When you think about “environmentally sustainable fashion” you might think of hemp dresses and Earth mama blouses that loosely resemble burlap sacks. Luckily, Em Bo., a clothing and accessories boutique on the Southport corridor, proves that theory wrong. Em Bo. combines the elegance of vintage with the practicality of environmentally sustainable fashion so that you can help save the planet, one organic cotton dress at a time.
From the outside, Em Bo. loks like one of the many other eclectic Lakeview boutiques peddling women’s fashion. If you step inside, you’ll see that the store’s inventory features up-and-coming fashion labels made with sustainable materials including luxury fabrics that are woven, dyed and sewn in the United States.
As women are becoming increasingly aware on the impact that the apparel industry has on our environment, owner Heather George, an advocate for environmental causes, aims to raise awareness about new, eco-friendly lines of clothing and accessories. She named the shop, short for “Emerald Boutique” after a vintage emerald green dress that she purchased at age 14.
“A lot of our focus is on exposing new eco-friendly lines to Chicago, even to people who may have worn eco-friendly clothes in the past,” George told Chicago Magazine shortly after the boutique opened in late 2011.
For those who are watching their budgets as well as the environment, most of the store’s inventory is priced below $180. Labels include ecoSkin and Juleselin, a line of knitwear created from organic cotton and recycled fabrications, with each piece named for a woman near and dear to the designer.
Those who are interested in vintage looks will be inspired by the array of 1950s- era handbags and clutches in a variety of colors and styles.