Green City Guide: Portland, Oregon

Green City Guide: Portland, Oregon

Sarah Coffey
Jul 6, 2010

Portland has consistently topped the list of green American cities in reports from Popular Science, SustainLane, and Grist. And why not? It's full of green building supply stores, salvage shops, vintage furniture dealers, and sustainable garden stores. Thanks to our amazing Portland-based bloggers, Apartment Therapy has been publishing green recommendations and reviews from this forward-thinking city for many years. Here are the best of the bunch.

Building Supply Stores

968c0f4055c56e55de287bf5ac0be3e60c12141c. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The ReBuilding Center
This non-profit has a huge selection of salvaged stuff (sinks, cabinets, lighting, tile, windows, doors, lumber, etc.), they offer deconstruction services, and they sell furniture made from reclaimed materials.

bdb3703ccd3816ef3be20b98752fb897dede2f7f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Hippo Hardware
This Portland institution specializes in original and reproduction hardware, lighting, and plumbing. Their gigantic basement houses unique architectural pieces (moldings, columns, fireplace mantels) and they buy or trade for quality vintage items.

09f8ee36235cb18708101f0eb17ed47689724290. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Ecohaus
Formerly known as Environmental Building Supplies, Ecohaus sells everything from low- and no-VOC paints to cork flooring. The Portland showroom is in a beautiful brick warehouse neighborhood near the Wilamette River.

9c510636e1de03c443bae3e02fab2397a30183fe. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Northeast Portland Tool Library
Located in the Redeemer Lutheran Church's basement at NE 20th Avenue and Killingsworth, the NEPTL is a non-profit organization that lends out free tools for home improvement projects. The library is open for borrowing on Saturdays from 9am - 2pm.

Furniture Stores

d2b2d0e17c52a65cf22bf4c0afca1b6557e331da. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Good Mod
This is one of those beautiful old loft spaces with shelves in the back stocked to the ceiling with vintage Eames chairs and walnut credenzas. The store only keeps regular 'open to the public' hours on Saturdays from 12 to 3, but they're open by appointment any other day.

ba2243635c052d03aee4a78517c0b4afe804ff96. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Look Modern
Another beautiful Mid-Century vintage store, Look Modern keeps a large warehouse stocked with unique Danish pieces, including many name brands (as in Peter Hvidt, Larson Juhl, Hans Wegner) in excellent condition. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm.

55dcef6da308a8e201abd0e7eaacec5cca9d818b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Made Studio
This design studio makes everything by hand in their Portland workshop. They specialize in clean-lined and contemporary case goods and tables made from walnut and rift-sawn white oak, as well as custom cabinetry.

Home Decor and Lighting

70ec2b38bb871b002ac0143230faf14ad81ab37a. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Canoe
This Portland store is a must-see. They focus on "simple, beautiful, and functional objects that can be used and enjoyed everyday." Product lines include Heath Ceramics, Chemex coffeemakers, Noguchi lanterns, and other beautiful modern items.

f1289902c5c91c5c78ba4aa73dcc72bf0a423e9b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Schoolhouse Electric
This lighting store specializes in reproductions of 20th century schoolhouse-style shades that are made in the US. They restore antique fixtures and work with glass-blowers in West Virginia, parts manufacturers in California, and finishers in Portland.

02a5318b64ee1dfeb38751d59684f465f73c0232. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Rejuvenation Hardware
This is another amazing lighting store that focuses on restored and reproduction pieces in "Classic American" styles. Their lighting is handcrafted and they follow a progressive program of socially responsible business practices.

Specialty Stores

e975a7a9a0526a9ac7b9af0d6a224c2d3b130eac. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Grove
This Portland-based design collective doesn't have a brick-and-mortar store, but we wanted to highlight them because of their beautiful bamboo iPhone cases with reusable bamboo packaging. Another example of Portland's innovative green design scene.

4fd61a181cde2ac3e81776c112c73d7fb8ab01f7. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Baby Works
Reader LD tipped us off to this store and explains, "They specialize in organic baby clothes, bedding, diapers and gorgeous wooden toys. They are small, but their choices are great, and they will talk to you with knowledge about everything they sell."

142eb2c677a89c80f6fed25de1d884e9e12c5304. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Black Wagon
Sarah Shaoul's baby boutique, Black Wagon, is an eco-friendly, design-minded store in the Mississippi neighborhood. They carry organic bedding, toys, clothing, and baby gear — all with a modern aesthetic.

e5793d0db5326faac59d8c22624f6f2008c58c62. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Pistils Nursery
This store is a fabulous resource for your sustainable gardening needs. Throughout the year they offer workshops in urban chicken keeping, bee keeping, garden design, terrariums, worm composting and vegetable gardening.

This post was compiled from Apartment Therapy bloggers visiting and reviewing stores in Portland, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. To search more Portland listings, click here.

• Do we have an address or listing wrong? Send us an email and let us know!
• Have we missed your favorite green resource in Portland? Send us an email and ask us to add it to the guide!

Photo: Portland, Oregon by Flickr Member William Beutler used under Creative Commons license

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