Shopping with a conscience is becoming more fun than ever for parents who want the very purest clothing, toys and gear for their children. The greenest city in America boasts a bevy of sweet boutiques brimming with natural, nontoxic, organic and locally crafted options for babies and kids. These independent retailers put true heart into curating their wares, and all were founded by Portland parents who dreamed up and then built the ideal spot they’d love to shop!
Founded by Phoebe Smith Buls and family in 2006, Polliwog was given its moniker by her young daughter who named it after the nursery rhyme about animal mothers and their babies. Polliwog is delightfully stocked with lovely gear and essentials including Under the Nile organic clothing and soft chew toys, luxuriously smooth bamboo clothing by Kicky Pants, David Fussenegger recycled cotton blankets, non-toxic Natursutten natural rubber pacifiers and Made in Oregon Earnest Efforts rattles comprised of reclaimed wood (and finished with beeswax). The shop also showcases various local artists and artisans, such as Dan Stiles, Flipside Hats, Peri’s Ponchos, Ragtime, Bons Enfants, Matthew Porter, Nikki McClure, Caspar Babypants, Bloom. Tots will love amazing BUBBER molding “dough” (made in Sweden) and their bouncy RODY horses. Hatley raincoats and boots will last through this rainy season and the next, and plenty of hand-knit hats will keep kiddos warm while planting an early spring garden.
234 NE 28th Avenue
Black Wagon carries a comprehensive, modern selection of organic clothing and accessories for babies and kids, the bulk of which is crafted by local Portland designers like Little Lark and Lucky Wang. With clothing for kids from newborn to age 12, they thoughtfully select products and lines that are not only fun and functional, but created to hold up to a child’s wear and tear. Black Wagon’s merchandise runs the gamut from apparel, toys, books to furniture, bedding and decor. Classic green gear like Sophie the Giraffe and ERGObaby carriers can be scooped up at Black Wagon. Even with all of the hip merchandise filling the store, rest assured there’s plenty of room for strollers to roll through. Store founder and mom Sarah Shaoul is also a small-business advocate for locally owned and operated businesses, serves as a consultant and is a member of Portland’s Small Business Advisory Council.
3964 N Mississippi Avenue
ecoBaby Gear is more than just a one-stop shop for all of the essential (and fun!) green accoutrements you need for babies and kids. Their all-inclusive selection features everything from sustainably crafted rattles and teethers, feeding gear and baby skin care to strollers, decor and diapers, and this boutique also offers classes, workshops and parenting support groups via their mother corporation, International Loving Touch Foundation. Their classroom calendar is chockful of fun offerings for families, including baby sign language, family Spanish classes and live music shows for kids.
2122 SE Division Street
If it’s all in a name, then Posh Baby lives up to it well by offering a hip, modern and design-savvy array of eco-friendly toys, clothing, furniture and gifts for babes, as well as maternity accessories and essentials. Their stylish range of products includes luxe organic crib bedding, green baby carriers and slings, Babysoy apparel and Petit Collage wall art. This is a great place to shop for parents of kids of multiple ages because merchandise spans from baby layette to “off to school” gear.
Portland: 809 NW 11th Avenue
Beaverton: 12345 Horizon Boulevard #53
One of the original cloth diaper companies, Babyworks has been local and family-run for over two decades with the mission to provide products that are “comfortable for babies, convenient for parents and gentle to the Earth.” In addition to selling all of the essentials required for cloth diapering from diapers, covers and accessories to cleaning and laundering supplies, the folks at Babyworks seek to educate you on the topic as well as provide support with FAQ. They also sell reusable training pants and all night pants for big kids and natural toys, feeding gear, organic clothing and nursing pads and creams. The store features many family-friendly amenities including a play area, changing table, restroom and places to sit for nursing moms. (503) 224-4696.
2431 NW Thurman Street #A
Milagros was founded by mom of two, Jennifer Fuentes and her husband in 2004. The couple wanted to create a welcoming environment in a shop that supplies all of the baby essentials parents could possibly need, from breastfeeding supplies to baby carriers, wood toys, bath gear, clothing, potty training tools, books, music and cloth diapers. Milagro means miracle in Spanish and customers are invited to bring their own “little miracles” with them while they shop. Kiddos will be able to pass the time in a play area filled with toys and books. While there, check out their awesome community events calendar, including workshops with topics ranging from Babywearing 101 to Infant CPR, Baby Blues and Elimination Communication.
5433 NE 30th Avenue
What are your favorite local eco boutiques?
— Beth Shea