We wanted to share shops below we love that sell fair-trade, made-in-Chicago, sustainable or vintage items within some of our favorite neighborhoods in the beautiful city of Chicago.
These shops are all located within the Logan Square, Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village neighborhoods in Chicago, which means you can reasonably visit them all in the same day.
As Shirley Kienitz, co-owner of Wolfbait & B-girls, pointed out, “Shopping locally has grown to mean supporting the micro businesses unique to each neighborhood, whether down the street from your own home or while traveling. Shopping locally is crucial to preserve individuality and promote economic growth within our communities. Shopping ethically has to do with buying products that are sustainable, and made by people who are paid a living wage and are provided safe healthy working conditions.”
We love having options here in Chicago that allow us to shop local and ethical.
Why not try these local shops for your last-minute holiday shopping needs?
Support a female-owned and operated business that features more than 250 local Chicago artisans and the products of Chicago-based fair-trade companies. They offer great products, from clothing - including co-owner Shirley Kienitz’s own women’s wear collection made in store, to unique accessories, personal care products, jewelry, fun handcrafted gifts and more. Wolfbait has strict standards on only offering products that meet their locally made and fair-trade requirements. Kienitz noted the fair-trade brands they carry are also not-for-profit charity-driven organizations that use their proceeds to further help and empower the people on the production end. They have a page on their website dedicated to explaining why shopping local is so important that you can check-out here: https://wolfbaitchicago.com/why-local/.
Location: 3131 W. Logan Blvd. Chicago, Illinois 60647 | 312-698-8685
Shop Hours: Monday–Saturday 10–7 | Sunday 10–4
Fleur is so much more than just a beautiful plant shop. Owner Kelly Marie Thompson notes, “We always search for something that is purposeful and thoughtful” to have in the shop. She also notes, “Sourcing local product is extremely important to us,” and a large portion of their inventory comes from the midwest. As a small, woman-owned business, it’s a priority for Kelly that Fleur support the local community. She described, “Knowing our makers means we know the quality and craft that goes into their product and then we pass that along to our customers. And there is something very special about becoming friends with the people whom you support. I once read that shopping locally enhances the health of the residents in the community. If that has anything to do with mental positivity then I 100% agree. The smiles when we tell a customer about the makers, the laughter & delight we share - it definitely makes our job at Fleur rewarding.”
Kelly often finds designers from whom to source Fleur products by visiting local craft fairs and determining through a one-on-one connection if the product, personality and ethics are the right fit for Fleur. One of their favorite lines in the store is Bike a Bee honey, a locally & environmentally consciously sourced on the south side of Chicago. Their hives not only provide delicious honey, they also are placed to be visible, so that the community can gain a better understanding of them, and why bees are so important. Another supplier, Katie Carder Jewelry, is a local designer, who formerly lived in Logan Square and met Kelly as a customer. She currently resides in Indiana where she creates hand crafted jewelry pieces from recycled 14K gold, and donates to many local animal charities.
Fleur also carries a number of vintage items found through flea markets and private sellers, such as floral prints, brass animals and barware.
Regarding their non-local pieces, they travel to a few gifts shows a year and always seek out companies that offer fair trade and ethically produced homeware, decor and gifts. Dassie Artisan is a new line that they just began carrying in October. The pieces are made all over the world and 100% of their products are fair trade.
Retail Location: 2651 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60647 | 773.395.2770
Shop Hours: Monday - Friday 10-7 | Saturday 10-5 | Sunday 10-4
By Appointment Studio: 2706 N Sawyer, Chicago IL 60647
Go here to experience owner Emily Gloekler’s jewelry collection, Kipepeorocks. It’s handcrafted by Gloekler personally, in 21ct gold plated brass with semiprecious stones. Anne has a pair of her earrings that have been the subject of approximately 15 compliments since she purchased them in August. If you’re looking for an average of 5 compliments a month, you know what to do. She also has a nice collection of cards, candles and shirts. Our favorite part of her shop is her taste in jewelry, though. She also sells from other incredibly talented local Chicago jewelrymakers such as Michelle Starbucks. Stop in when you’re in Wicker.
Location: 2124 W. Division St. Chicago, IL
Shop Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11-7 | Saturday 11-6 | Sunday 11-5
We recently shopped here, and Colleen was able to find three great dresses (that doubled as maternity wear) for only around $40, and one of the dresses was originally priced over $100 with the tag still attached! There are some great clothing finds here for men or women, and we highly recommend this shop for recycled clothing finds compared to other vintage shops we’ve visited that lack the same quality selection. Although the wears here might not be from ethical brands we would normally want to support support, all items are being re-used rather than ending up in a landfill, so we feel good purchasing Crossroads’ second-hand clothes and shoes. You may also want to consider selling your clothes to Crossroads. Anne has sold several items over the last couple years (using the Marie Kondo mindset) and has been happy to either select store credit or cash for the items.
Locations: 1519 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 & 2711 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Shop Hours: Monday - Saturday 11-8 | Saturday 11-7
Crossroads Trading Company also has locations in Lincoln Park, Andersonville and Evanston.
A small shop with limited hours, but worth a visit, Apartment 528 is focused on handmade and vintage apartment wares on Chicago avenue in Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village. Their inventory is often bright and eclectic, ranging from colorful pillows to throws to candles, chairs and side tables. We love that they have information on their vendors of handcrafted furniture pieces hanging in the store to inform customers on from whom exactly they are buying. They also offer some unique jewelry selections.
Location: 2136 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Shop Hours: Thursday - Friday 1-7 | Saturday 12-6
Paperish Mess is a local shop that offers a wonderful selection of paper goods, but it’s truly much more than just a great card shop. They also offer organic handmade baby clothes, jewelry, art, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
“Our brick & mortar Paperish Mess, is a storefront and art gallery located in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood. The shop is a retail space showcasing original artwork in a variety of mediums and styles, as well as handmade goods and wares by independent artists. We also feature rotating art shows, gallery installations and community events on a monthly basis!”
Colleen’s favorite moon phases necklace was made by the co-owner, a visual artist/jewelry maker/curator. Anne has also purchased several gifts and cards from this shop over the years.
This is one of our top recommendations for gifts in Ukie Village.
Location: 1945 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Shop Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 12-6 | Friday 12-8 | Saturday - Sunday 12-8