No guilty pleasures here. You can splurge at these shops and feel good about it. These are all shops in Boulder County that serve a greater purpose than, well, stuffing your closet.
Boulder is such a thoughtful community with a big heart for charity. It’s no surprise that there are so many stores accented by a social or ethical cause.
Here are our six favorite ways to shop in Boulder while also bringing some goodness into the world.
1. Bead For Life
This colorful, repurposed jewelry symbolizes hope in a Third World country.
The Boulder-based nonprofit BeadforLife originally started in 2004 to support women in Uganda by selling their beautiful paper bead jewelry back in the United States. Not only is the jewelry made out of recycled trash paper, helping the Earth, but it also provides an income for women living in poverty, in a country where women don’t have a ton of employment options.
Today, BeadforLife still sells paper bead jewelry. But it has expanded, too. It now also runs a business school program for African women.
Bead For Life is based at 6797 Winchester Circle, suite 200, but you can also shop online.
2. Humane Society of Boulder Valley Thrift Shop
There are lots of thrift stores that support good causes. But not all are as fun as the Humane Society’s thrift shop in East Boulder. Thrifting in Boulder far exceeds your standard bargain-hunting expeirence because (realistically) there are many super rich folks here who don’t care about haggling for a resell price on their unneeded goods, so they give them to the thrift store. This means you can land killer deals on great stuff that also helps furry friends through the Humane Society.
Shop at 5320 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder.
You’ve heard of fair-trade coffee and chocolate. But you can also buy fair-trade products and gifts. That’s what Momentum sells: handmade goodies that offer a fair wage to the artisans. The shop partners with artisan co-ops and workshops that use ethical and environmentally friendly materials and treat their workers with respect. It values products that preserve culturally important traditions and empower women. Find jewelry, clothing, bags, home goods (like pillows, lamps, rugs), decor, wall art, journals, gifts and cards.
The inventory is extensive and wonderfully unique. Momentum runs six stores, including one at 1625 Pearl St. in Boulder.
3. Ramble on Pearl
Ramble on Pearl would be cool enough to shop without needing a greater purpose. This Pearl Street shop sells high-end clothes for discounted rates.
How Ramble spreads goodness is a little different than the other shops, though. It is run by a nonprofit that trains and hires people with developmental disabilities. It provides them work experience, while your purchases raise money for the apprenticeship program. It’s a unique concept and a fun way to pick up some new clothes by reputable brands that you would probably buy anyway.
Not to mention the sales associates here are hands down the friendliest workers you’ve ever met. You will leave smiling.
Ramble is located at 1638 Pearl St.
4. Greenwood Wildlife Consignment Gallery & Thrift Shop
This is another one of Boulder’s best thrift stores that supports an animal-advocacy nonprofit. Greenwood, in East Boulder, has two stores in one. Downstairs, find clothes for men, women and kids and various home decor scores. But the real treasure chest is upstairs, where you can find high-end home furnishings, limited-edition art, stunning jewelry, antiques, collectibles and amazing finds that you’d never expect in a thrift store. Greenwood helps injured, sick and orphaned animals.
Shop Greenwood’s thrift store at 3600 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder.
5. Jewel and Lotus
Every product here has a story.
Jewel and Lotus is an ethical marketplace with collections of products from artisans, nonprofits and businesses headquartered in Boulder. Buy clothing, jewelry, home goods, accessories, kids and baby stuff and more.
For example, the Bahari sandals ($75) are stylish, handcrafted, beaded, leather sandals made ethically in Kenya, and all profit goes to educate and train women in the African villages. Shop online and check out the full selection of offerings — and ways to help.
Boulder-based Pact sells the comfiest clothes evahhh — and they don’t harm the planet or people.
“I believe that what we wear matters,” the company writes on its website.
Pact’s clothes are made with sustainable materials in fair-trade certified factories. It works with companies with a special emphasis on caring for workers and the environment, and nothing weird is put into the materials either: no dyes or pesticides.
Oh, and the fabrics are soft and cozy as can be. Buy underwear, hoodies, leggings, T-shirts, dresses, yoga clothes and more, for men, women and kiddos.
Find Pact at online and at 2108 55th St., suite 200, Boulder.