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Credit: Lavish & Lime

From home goods and body care products to kids toys and clothing, Vancouver-based Lavish & Lime’s eco-chic e-store makes ethical shopping easy

In the market for a new eco-friendly bathrobe? Or perhaps it’s a sleek bamboo salad bowl (pictured left) you’re after? Stainless steel lunch containers? A recycled aluminum scorpion-making kit for the kids?

Well, even if these aren’t on your list, we’re betting that Vancouver-based online eco-boutique Lavish & Lime will feature something that catches your discerning eye.


 

The story behind Lavish & Lime


“Things that are good for the planet should be a given,” says company co-founder Louise Campbell. The mother of two founded the store in 2007 with her husband and business partner Collin, initially set up as a general online gift boutique with a small sustainable product component.


 


Garden in a bagGarden in a Bag: Mini petunias

alarm clockBedol water-powered alarm clock

stainless steel food containerStainless steel food container

Toy recycling trcuckBPA-free toy truck made from

recycled milk jugs

Check out the wide-ranging

array of great products for

easy green living at

Lavish & Lime


Web | Blog | Twitter


“We came back to Vancouver, had babies and really realized that there was a lot of waste going on with diapers and various baby products,” she recounts. “That got us thinking about the impact you have on the planet and also how we want to treat the planet given that we have children. There were a lot of products available—primarily in the U.S.—but they weren't accessible to us.”

So they decided to do something about it, expandnig their inventory to include ethical product lines.

When the “eco” gifts section of their fledgling website started garnering most of the company’s sales, the couple decided to refocus the site’s direction, relaunching Lavish & Lime as an eco-e-boutique on Earth Day 2009.

Today, the boutique carries more than 100 eco-lifestyle products, from hand-made wooden infant toys and yummy-scented natural body care products to jewellery made by B.C. artisans and whimsical recycled-paper stationary, and much more in between.

 

Is this really green? The product screening process


I asked Campbell about “green-washing” and how one can sort through the various eco-friendly products available on the market. “I always encourage consumers to ask a lot of questions,” she says. “That’s what we do.”

In fact, Lavish & Lime has made it a hallmark of their business to ask both creators and suppliers a lot of questions about the what’s and why’s behind a particular product.

“We're not tree-huggers, but we’re not litterbugs either; we’re about shades of green,” Louise says. The company vets each product they carry and choose only those that meet at least one of the following criteria:

* Is the product sustainable or does it have an eco-friendly purpose?

* Is it non-toxic/natural?

* Is it made locally to cut down on carbon costs?

They also attempt to seek out unique products that are not found anywhere else in Canada. A great recent find includes natural crayon rocks made in small quantities by a schoolteacher to help children develop their tripod grip for writing.


 

Innovative products


Another Lavish & Lime product, and one of their bestsellers over the holidays, is a water-powered alarm clock. Yes, a clock that runs completely on water. The ions in water create a charge, which powers the clock for about eight to 10 weeks at a time. Now if only we could create water-powered cars… hmm.

Often, their products are tested by the couple’s young children, something they often blog about, such as a recent experiment with another great gift idea: the “garden in a bag”.

For 2010, Lavish & Lime is focused on both expanding and refining their growing collection of green goods.

“We’re looking for contemporary, well-designed products,” says Campbell.


 

My picks


As for myself, I love their collection of recycled jewelry fashioned by Lower Mainland artist Capri Blue from Roman glass pieces excavated in Afghanistan. The cool recycled-rubber passport holders by a Montreal designer are just perfect for an eco-travel nomad; and their range of PVC-free shower curtains are funky yet chic.