Ethical Fashion Finds on North Williams and NE Alberta Street

by | May 9, 2024 | Sustainability, Alberta Arts District, Alberta Neighborhood, N Williams Avenue, NE Alberta Street, Shopping

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North Williams Avenue and NE Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon are home to a number of locally-owned and ethically-focused shops supplying fashions making positive impacts on people and planet that you can feel good about.


Eco-friendly and ethical fashions are essential for supporting locally-owned businesses and promoting sustainability. At Portland Eco House, we are dedicated to showcasing ethical fashion brands that prioritize people and the planet. Our guide to ethical fashion in the Williams and Alberta neighborhoods highlights local businesses committed to sustainable practices and offers tips on how to shop responsibly.

The clothes you wear say a lot about you. Not only your personality, style and mood on a given day, but also the impacts they may have on people and planet.

It’s understandable that shoppers may not give a whole lot of thought to the latter when on the hunt for new pieces or outfits to make them look their best. Thankfully, on North Williams Avenue and NE Alberta Street — the two bustling shopping districts that are literally just one-half and one block from the Portland Eco House — there are a good number of shops that are doing a lot of that thinking for you, so that you don’t have to work so hard to select the most ethical fashion finds possible.

The Importance of Eco-Friendly, Ethics Fashion and Impacts to Consider

There are two major area of impacts to consider when trying out fashions to reflect the beautiful soul that you are and want to be. One is the environment, our beautiful planet. The other is the employees, suppliers and community members where the clothing manufacturers and shops are located.

Environmental impacts

Environmental impacts are influenced by the materials that the clothes for sale are made with. Clothes made with long-lasting organic and natural fibers, rather than synthetics, reduce pollution from chemical fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides, and they reduce the use of fossil fuels and carbon emissions. At the same time, they prevent the runoff of microplastics into our soil, rivers, lakes, oceans and blood streams.

Going hand in hand with these considerations, choosing vintage fashions helps minimize or eliminate these and other impacts on our planet by “reducing, reusing, and recycling.”

Social impacts

Positive social impacts involve how employees and communities are affected by the production, manufacturing and sales process. A large part of what this involves is selecting attire that’s designed and crafted by local community members, rather than big corporate producers, and/or by manufacturers in the US and abroad that pay their employees a livable wage.

Then there is the aspect of “giving back” to the local communities on the part of the businesses where they are located. This can involve, in part, supporting local nonprofits and causes and helping empower customers and employees alike.

The twenty locally-owned shops below that are on North Williams Avenue and NE Alberta Street (popularly known as the Alberta Arts District) offer a nice selection of quality fashions that are produced based on these environmental and social values. Next time you’re meandering through the neighborhood, pop into them and check them out!

North Williams Avenue

Origin Story. 4022 N Williams Avenue.

In tandem with houseplants, planters, locally-made ceramics and imported Moroccan textiles, Origin Story carries Soluna Collective’s beautiful fair-trade, eco-conscious, organic line of clothing.

Monochromatic. 4026 N Williams Avenue.

Monochromatic’s stated aim is to be part of positive change in the fashion industry. Integral to this mission is its collaboration with designers and manufacturers locally and throughout the US and abroad who share and act on their vision for an equitable and sustainable planet, such as by providing factory workers with livable wages and using organic cotton fabrics as much as possible.

Monochromatic’s collection is made in small batches for every pronoun and body type, and with a playful workwear vibe in primarily single-colored garments, with select prints each season.

Join their mission by supporting slow fashion, small businesses, and yourself. And feel good knowing that a portion of all sales is donated to organizations promoting social justice, LGBTQ rights, and environmental sustainability.

Workshop Vintage. 4011 N Williams Avenue.

Owners Audra Santillo and Nate Moore love the thrill of hunting for sustainable high-quality, chic vintage clothing and local artisan goods.

Their visually striking displays are crafted by Moore from reclaimed wood, and they leverage Santillo’s background in visual merchandising. Their inventory, sourced from attics to old barns across the Pacific Northwest, ranges from weathered turquoise jewelry to vintage clothing spanning from the 1940s to the 1990s.

NE Wygant Street

Sugar Mountain Vintage. 315 NE Wygant Street.

Striving to serve as an inviting, inclusive business that makes a positive impact on the community, Sugar Mountain Vintage delights in offering vintage 60s and 70s attire that’s funky and strange, but also affordable.

The shop is just three blocks’ walk from the Portland Eco House, and right by Everybody’s Bike Rentals.

NE Alberta Street

Modern Domestic. 422 NE Alberta Street.

Since 2010, under the direction of local owners Michelle and Lupine, Modern Domestic has been bursting with a wide selection of premium fabrics and BERNINA sewing machines from which sewists can make their own fashions as well as curtains and other decorative items.

Yet by additionally offering a regular schedule of classes, these two entrepreneurs have transformed a mere fabric shop into a community supporting sewists of all levels and ages, genders, or backgrounds to work on their projects and hone their skills.

Modern Domestic isn’t just a store; it’s a destination where passion meets skill and creative possibilities. And when you shop and craft there, you not only support a local business and community, you also support numerous local nonprofit organizations to which the shop makes monthly contributions.

LaTinas Style of Elegance Boutique. 1237 NE Alberta Street.

Black woman-owned, this boutique caters to the upscale fashion needs of women of all sizes. Whether for everyday attire or special occasions, LaTina McCord will match you with the outfits that best complement your personality.

Frock Boutique. 1439 NE Alberta Street.

Stepping into Frock Boutique you’ll happen upon independent designs spun from vintage fashions that are fused with the inventive spirit that has been so inviting to experiment around with at the popular Burning Man affinity camp known as Black Rock Boutique.

With a varied selection of European brands alongside the locally-designed, handmade small runs for women, men, and kids, this place guarantees a fun shopping adventure.

Zig Zag Vintage. 1476 NE Alberta Street.

This is your destination for unique reworked vintage and modern clothing for both adults and kids. Dive into an eclectic blend of men’s and women’s apparel, spanning from understated classics to bold and extravagant styles.

While here, peruse its collection of exquisite Middle Eastern rugs, books, handcrafted ceramics and jewelry, well as an assortment of guitars, records, cassettes and knick-knacks.

Broken Dreams. 1524 NE Alberta Street.

Alongside their used, vintage, and consignment clothing, this little spot offers a diverse array of vinyl records, art, accessories, books, home décor, and various ephemeral objects.

Revive Athletics. 1538 NE Alberta Street

Here’s a store that’s very near and dear to the heart of Portland Eco House’s ethic by helping shoppers take a less damaging approach to the environment. Find your high quality men’s and women’s secondhand active wear that won’t break your budget. They also collaborate with other eco-conscious shops in the area and help hold active events every month.

The Mustard Seed. 1627 NE Alberta Street, #3.

Tucked inside a mini-mall of local shops, The Mustard Seed will dazzle you not only with its collections of African drums, Tibetan singing bowls, hand woven Indian rugs and Rasta gear, but also with its bevy of super colorful men’s and women’s cotton clothing for all shapes and sizes.

Laundry. 1723 NE Alberta Street.

This is where you can go for vintage sportswear and streetwear for all budgets. Enjoy rummaging through 80s and 90s attire, including basketball jerseys, jackets, band tees, hats for your favorite teams and more. Represented are iconic brands like Champion, Starter, Nike, Adidas, and Polo. Not to overlook is its selection of vintage Portland Trail Blazers gear.

Owned and operated by local Chris Yen, LAUNDRY prioritizes inclusivity and cultural respect.

Tumbleweed. 1812 NE Alberta Street.

Since 2000, Tumbleweed has been a Portland staple, evolving from a backyard dress shop into a hub for Portland fashion.

With its own house line, kara-line, as well as other Portland-produced and international labels, Tumbleweed is a casual, comfortable space to find dresses, jeans, sweaters, tops, jumpsuits, and clogs that go easily and beautifully together. Visit for everyday clothing finds, or shop online for select designs. Tumbleweed also carries locally crafted jewelry to go with your new outfits.

Grasshopper. 1816 NE Alberta Street.

Since 2004, sister store to Tumbleweed, Grasshopper has provided a delightful selection of high-quality American-made, easy-to-wear organic children’s clothing. It also boasts a selection of children books and non-toxic, eco-friendly toys that encourage imagination and learning.

Psychic Sister. 1829 NE Alberta Street, Ste. C(Entrance on 19th Avenue).

If you’d like to patronize a local venue that is centered one-hundred percent on strong community and environmental values, Psychic Sister is your place.

Entered off Alberta Street through a side door on 18th Avenue, the spacious woman-owned and operated venue has positioned itself inside what it considers to be a center of justice and healing. Here you’ll be knocked over by a huge array of crystals, jewelry, Tarot cards, books and more, all set for sale amongst countless restored garments brought in by hundreds of local vintage traders.

For Psychic Sister, fostering healthy economic and social systems through staff and community support is paramount. By offering a living wage based on individual value and contribution rather than market standards, this woman-owned retailer also empowers its team members to strive for personal and professional dreams. Staff are encouraged to create micro ventures within the Psychic Sister network, including designing products and organizing events.

Beyond staff support, Psychic Sister promotes local vendors, activists, and healing practitioners, utilizing its platform to nurture entrepreneurial endeavors in the community.

Modo Boutique. 2025 NE Alberta Street.

At Modo Boutique you can try on consignment designer women’s wear, shoes, and accessories, with new items arriving weekly. Modo also features a diverse selection of creations from local independent designers.

The shop’s owners akin the store to a luxurious international closet, filled with the cutest and most exciting pieces. Through their boutique they promote sustainability by giving pre-owned items a new life, emphasizing the importance of resale for those who value both style and environmental consciousness.

Lady Mae Boutique. 2136 NE Alberta Street.

Check out Lady Mae’s wide selection of dresses, pants, denim, skirts, tops, knits, outfit sets, outerwear, and jumpsuits. Each piece is handpicked to help you build your own capsule wardrobe. Named after their inspirational mother, Lady Mae is committed to providing stylish options for every occasion. As a family-owned business, it strives to share a passion for fashion and to empower women through their offerings.

StumpTown Kilts. 2303 NE Alberta Street.

Founded in 2009 by kilt enthusiast John “Jonny” McClain, StumpTown Kilts was born from a desire to create a better non-Tartan utility kilt for both men and women. Arising out of two years of trial and error and 16 prototypes, the perfected design yields comfort and style for all who wear them.

These modern kilts are made in the USA from durable fabrics and with adjustable waists and features like internal pockets and box pleats.

Average Joe’s Vintage Collective. 2407 NE Alberta Street.

Average Joe’s Vintage Collective specializes in USA-made clothing reflective of the Pacific Northwest heritage. Also here are vintage Mid-Century Modern home decor, classic rock records, and wall art.

Pie Footwear. 2916 NE Alberta Street.

Owner Stacey Keane, a Northeast Portland native, is passionate about helping people improve foot health and doing business ethically in the process.

With a selection recommended by medical and sports specialists, including zero-drop and minimal footwear, Pie Footwear is dedicated to providing men and women’s eco-friendly and vegan shoes from brands that give back to the community.


Visiting Portland? Book your stay at the eco-friendly, vegan-friendly Portland Eco House.

Cozy stay in Portland

My wife and I recently stayed in the Patio Cottage in Portland.  It was a great find.  The location was ideal for checking out different neighborhoods(Alberta and Mississippi) and super quiet.  All were within walking distance(10-15 minutes) and Scott was a terrific host.  He had plenty of recommendations and information and really respected our privacy.  Luckily, we had beautiful weather so the patio was ideal for relaxing, reading or just enjoying the weather.  A very cozy and comfortable little gem that we would definitely return next time we’re visiting Portland.

James P.

Patio Cottage Guest

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I stayed in the Patio Suite for 11 nights and found everything I needed for day-to-day living on a budget: Great mini-kitchen; sizeable bath area; enough closet space; ample heating (during winter); comfy bed. Suite is aesthetically pleasing and quiet. Scott is a role model for environmental progressivism. Plus, the location is just minutes from the Alberta Arts District which is s treasure to explore on foot, for its historical significance and present-day activism.

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