For all who dream of carrying around old bus seats all day, let your wishes be granted. Well, not whole bus seats—just parts of them. An odd dream, but at Green Goddess Boutique, even the strangest dreams come true. At Green Goddess, which opened at 1009 West Armitage on April 1 (another location is in Hinsdale), recycled and repurposed items yield fashionable goods that often come from unusual places.
These oddly rooted items include handbags made of recycled bus seats from the Argentinean brand Viva Zapata!, but it doesn’t stop there. There are portfolios made with recycled billboards so that they can survive any weather, floor mats made of recycled candy wrappers, light fixtures made out of mason jars—and this is just the beginning.
Green Goddess is full of renewed treasures, but you won’t know it by looking. The aesthetic is all about mixing new and old, expensive and bargain, trendy and eclectic. Owner and founder Elyce Rembos says most people who hear that Green Goddess is “sustainably chic” and eco-friendly are surprised to see the store is high fashion and trendy. She assures customers that they can have both worlds here.
In the clothing department, there are chic, fashionable pieces that are extremely individual. Although the clothing isn’t necessarily “green,” Rembos tries to carry apparel that no other store on the block has, or hopefully no one in the whole city.
The jewelry department, though, continues in repurposed items with many of the brands using recycled metals and vintage jewelry to create a fresh new look. A few notables include the Madonna & Child brand that turns recycled rosaries into more fashionable cross necklaces, Ella E jewelry that uses antique metals and recycled antique pieces, and Bittersweet, which is a celebrity-driven brand that often uses vintage charms on its jewelry.
The home department, in addition to the things mentioned before, abounds with repurposed and recycled products. Old wine bottles turn into elegant romantic candles, china plates transform into backdrops for wall hooks, and old doorknobs morph into wine stoppers. A large corner of the store holds antique Turkish rugs that have been stripped and re-dyed in funky colors. Antique vintage spools stick out of walls to hang up coats and scarves. Nothing is what it seems.
“There’s always something grabbing my attention,” says customer Melinda Tennis as she browses some of the jewelry. Tennis tracked down Chan Luu jewelry, a favorite of many celebrities, at Green Goddess. Once she arrived, though, she found out that it’s hard not to get too distracted by other great items. “It’s friendly, touchable and has a great layout,” she says.
Not only does Green Goddess have repurposed goods, but Rembos also carries many Fair Trade brands, vegan products, handmade goods, palm oil and soy candles, and much more. Whatever it is, it’s unique and most likely has a story behind it. “There’s something for everybody at Green Goddess,” says store manager Stephanie Jensen.
The price point at Green Goddess has a large range, with items going for around $5 all the way to $600. “It’s my belief that people who truly have style have the confidence to mix garage sale finds and expensive things,” Rembos says. (Sarah Alo)
The Green Goddess Boutique, 1009 West Armitage, (773)281-5600, thegreengoddessboutique.com