This green and sustainable business, located at 119 N. Main St. in downtown Blacksburg, is the winner for the Best of Blacksburg’s Green Business category for its free-trade, sustainable clothing, accessories and jewelry.
The store claims that “Homebody is retail as activism, shopping that supports fair wages, and decent labor practices, environmentally-sustainable production, and raising awareness.”
One example of Homebody’s merchandise is a clutch made completely out of rubber from recycled car tires.
Another is a coin purse constructed of old clothing zippers. These items are not only sustainable and of fair-trade, they are fashionable and inexpensive too.
Sophomore Katie Dawson, a regular client of Homebody, said she was willing to pay a little more for green business.
Dawson also said that her favorite Homebody items include organic makeup, elephant poop stationary and old costume jewelry.
“Homebody is pretty inexpensive,” Dawson said. “They sell a lot of clothing that I like. It’s definitely cute.”
The owner and founder Margaret Breslau said that Homebody is able to set itself apart from other clothing stores.
“Homebody is unique,” Breslau said. “All items in here are sweatshop-free and sustainable and all items are made from recyclable materials.”
In terms of Homebody’s pricing, Breslau said, “You rarely fine anything in here over 20 dollars.”
Homebody gets its merchandise from all over the world, including countries in Africa, Central America and Asia.
“Some things are made right here in the States,” Breslau said, “others come from Haiti, India, Nepal, Guatemala, Ghana and South Africa.”
Homebody only stocks its shelves with products from businesses that are members of the Fair Trade Federation.
She describes the certification process to be in the Fair Trade Federation as not easy.
“It is an arduous process to get that certification,” Breslau said.
“The main focus of Homebody as a sustainable, green business is to promote fair trade and educate people,” she added. “I think that more people prefer to shop at businesses that are sweatshop-free.”
Breslau believes that people are more conscious about where they shop and what they buy. Breslau said that consumers “have a choice here in town” when it comes to apparel shopping destinations.
Homebody not only helps one keep up with the latest fashion trends, it allows shoppers to protect the environment without draining the world’s resources or their own wallets.