When Shift was opened in 2009 as a conscious clothing shop, the concept of an “eco boutique” was new to many places around the world and practically unheard of on Cape Cod. Although it is a niche market that has become more common, it is also a concept that is ever-evolving as the fashion and home décor industry develops new ways of dealing with their negative human and environmental impact.
Awareness of sweatshops, unethical employment practices and unsafe factory conditions is not new; but until recently the environmental pollution caused and chemical toxins have gone largely unaddressed. Both are realities that have been continually ignored by the majority of Western shoppers, and have garnered little governmental intervention.
Eco boutiques are a way of bringing ethically and sustainably made goods to the consumer public. At Shift we require that the products in the store are crafted from recycled, upcycled, repurposed and sustainably grown materials using fair trade and fair labor practices.
We believe that by offering these products in our store and online, we can change the consumption habits of people and thus change the way products are made, thereby improving conditions for people and our natural world.
Since our opening we have not only found several more eco clothing designers, but have sourced green products for the home and body as well. We've also noticed that sustainable products are becoming more affordable and aesthetically pleasing. You could say in the last 4 years we are truly seeing a "shift" in the manufacturing industry.
To us running an eco boutique is not just about providing an eco alternative to consumer goods, but we also hope to provide insight, information and ideas to customers in the store and on our website on how to incorporate green practices and products into your wardrobe, home, habits and daily lives.