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November 30, 2009

Eco-friendly fashion at a store near you


Local storeowner Shabdiece Esfahani believes that buying vintage is an inherently eco-friendly act. Earlier this year, she opened Diece Boutique in Fell’s Point, where she stocks vintage clothing that she purchases from local shops and then reconstructs on site. “At Diece,” she explains, “we keep everything in house. If you shop the boutique you will see that many of our re-made vintage pieces have personal stories tagged with them to give shoppers a glimpse of where the garment has come from and what it’s been through to reach our racks.”

From the beginning, Shabdiece’s vision has been rooted in sustainability. “In a matter of days [after purchasing the space] we overhauled the store using only what we had available from the previous store components,” she explains. “All of the fixtures were created by a local designer/architect out of locally sourced materials such as our shelves which came from Scarlet Place. The walls were painted with low VOC paints and our curtains were all made by hand. Basically the only ‘new’ items we purchased in our renovation were screws.”

A Maryland native, Shabdiece traveled and studied abroad for several years before landing back in Baltimore. Upon her return, she was immediately enthralled by the local art and sustainable creative scene. She says, “Since starting the store I have met not only young designers, but I have also reached out to local alpaca farmers as a source of sustainable materials for knitting and design work.”

In addition to its vintage pieces, Diece offers a large selection of work from local designers who use organic fabrics, natural dyes, and build furniture from what others consider trash. The shop also contains a monthly rotating art gallery.

This holiday season, Diece will open a satellite store in Harbor East that will feature locally made art, furniture, clothing, and jewelry.

If you're a local artist or designer who uses sustainable methods, visit Diece online to read about how you can get involved.

Image courtesy of Diece Boutique

Posted by Christy Zuccarini at 3:49 PM | | Comments (0)

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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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