Green Scene

hopping local is one way to be green—supporting small businesses means you’re participating in the local economy, oftentimes buying locally made products and driving less to get them. Store owner Heather Higgins takes her customers’ buy-local experience a few steps further.

When you walk into A Stone’s Throw on Monroe Street shoppers might be surprised to learn that chic empire-waist navy sundress by Three Dots or that Patagonia trenchcoat are both made of organic cotton.

“We have quite a few organic lines,” says Higgins. “So much of the industry is moving in that direction. Many use merino wools, bamboo—most of our companies have some percentage of their line that’s either organic or has recycled material in it.” She ticks off Horny Toad, Patagonia and Icebreaker as a few brand examples.

And by now most consumers know that organic and sustainable clothing is pretty fashionable. No more plain old organic cotton T-shirts—bring on the silk dresses, designer denim and recycled-leather handbags. Higgins’ “active lifestyle” shop is stocked with yoga pants, tees, hoodies, scarves, sundresses, socks, sunglasses and more—most with a stylish bent.

“A lot of the clothing is fashion-forward but sustainable at the same time,” says Higgins. “Before, it used to be boxy and basic.”

She’s eco-choosy in the items she carries and the bamboo hangers she displays them on—but she’s quite literally upping the ante. Above A Stone’s Throw, a boutique called The Upstairs Closet is chock-full of sale items as well as gently worn active lifestyle clothing. Customers can bring in clothing for the resale part of the shop and receive store credit.

“So many of our lines are turning to [green],” says Higgins. “I have three little boys—I think it’s just preparing for our future.”


* Read Miller’s Window Shopping blog »

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.