Shop to Support Local Sustainability

Think local and help the environment

The best way to give this holiday season is by shopping eco-friendly and local. Lucky for us, Portland is a great place to find gifts that fit this bill. Between food, activities and a vast resource of all-natural and renewable products, it’s entirely possible to satisfy all your friends and family while supporting awesome local and sustainable businesses at the same time.


The new year is a great time to switch up your facial regimen. Alberta’s native beauty store Blendily has everything you need for acne, makeup removal and even sun protection (in the city that rarely sees the sun this time of year). Their products are all-natural and made in store by the lovely women running it.

As for fashion, Altar is an underrated gem. Although on the spendier side, Altar carries a wide variety of jewelry, clothing and beauty all handmade in Oregon, and the sale rack has great deals year-round.

If you’re looking to thrift this holiday season, located right next door to Altar is House of Vintage, a huge warehouse filled to the brim with second-hand clothing; the selection is seemingly endless. Considering its variety, it’s easy to find a gift here as long as you’re willing to browse the racks. Other thrift gems in the area are Magpie Vintage and Red Fox Vintage.


Great sustainable gift options always include do-it-yourself gifts. If you want to get crafty, PotteryFun on SE Stark St. is an affordable, artistic, customizable and heartfelt gift option. Making your own pottery isn’t accessible to most people, so PotteryFun takes care of that for you, providing readymade mugs, plates and shapes for you to paint onto before firing up the kiln. A small mug is $14, and your mom will love it.

If you are looking to get real creative and put in some time, SCRAP PDX on SW Alder St. is an entirely donated craft store, complete with retro beads and buttons, fabric scraps, strings, yarn and retro boxes and bins. SCRAP offers you the chance to make something uniquely you to give to your loved ones, and not to mention, will be easy on your wallet.

Local Media

Music will never go out of style and 2nd Avenue Records is the place for all your music needs. The selection is fantastic and, if you’re willing to look, chances are 2nd Avenue has that record your friend has been ranting about. Their cassette selection vastly out-catalogs other record stores in the area.

Sometimes the best gift of all is choosing to spend time together. What better way to spend time with a loved one than with a classic and mutually-cherished film? Locally-owned Movie Madness in Southeast has a prolific amount of films on its shelves for rent to take to the comfort of any home.

Sweet Treats

For those of us who don’t have the time, or talent, to bake tasty sweet treats, local eateries and bakeries are here to rescue you. Missionary Chocolates on NE Glisan St. specializes in vegan, soy-free chocolates and cakes, and they also do gluten-free upon request, perfect for guests who have dietary restrictions.

Closer to Portland State campus is Saint Cupcake. If you need something quick and affordable, I can’t recommend this enough. Their small cupcakes are only $1.50 each and they taste fantastic. As a bonus, they always do holiday cupcakes to perfectly suit any party you’ll be attending this year.

Go the extra mile this holiday season by shopping sustainably and locally; let the person on the other end of the gift know you care. And remember, no matter what you decide to gift this holiday season, it’s the thought that counts.