To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Simplicity. That's the most important ingredient in all food according to Honest Weight Food Co-op. So to understand what makes their products stand out, it's better to look at what's not on the nutrition label. No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. No antibiotics, hormones, or other non-food ingredients. The team at Honest Weight Food Co-op works with local farmers and producers to make sure their standards are met in every product.
That's been Honest Weight Food Co-op's modus operandi since its founding in 1976, and the efforts of the members-owned organization have proved successful. The co-op has expanded into bigger and bigger spaces over the years, until they finally arrived at their current Watervliet Avenue location in 2013. The building brims with fresh meats and fish, in-season produce, natural groceries, and household items such as light bulbs and laundry soap (which also come from eco-friendly, responsible suppliers, naturally).
In addition to storing vast amounts of grocery items and prepared meals, this expansive space also makes it possible to host events ranging from juicing classes to reiki sessions. Honest Weight's outreach programs send educators to local schools to teach about healthy living, and the co-op partners with WAMC public radio to host Food For Thought evenings of food, film, and discussion, at least when attendees are done chewing.
Like many children, Tim McCann learned how to clean clothes from his grandmother?his education was just much more involved than most. His grandparents founded the original Best Cleaners in 1957, and it was after them that Tim and his wife Catherine named their company and modeled their business. With a lifetime of dry-cleaning education embedded in their fibers like so much starch, the McCanns boast impeccable cleaning services driven by eco-friendly technology. Each of its locations are inspected, tested, and certified by America's Best Cleaners, a third-party organization that vets the garment-care industry. Best Cleaners Dry Cleaning offers free delivery for clients in the area, as well as extra services such as bridal-gown care, tailoring, and rug cleaning. For their efforts, Best Cleaners Dry Cleaning is a perennial presence among the top 30 cleaners nationwide.
Named for the Massry family, whose contributions to The College of Saint Rose helped propel the construction of the arts emporium, the Massry Center for the Arts furthers community appreciation for the arts through performances and events. Music-education classrooms and rehearsal rooms beckon fledgling performers to further their sonic craft, whereas a gallery and a recital hall allow artists to showcase their paintings or beat-boxed readings of the Constitution. The entire environmentally friendly center adheres to green standards, with a geothermal system for heating and cooling, wind-powered electricity, and hardwood floors made of American cherry wood culled from tree farms.
Via Fresca takes its name form the Italian word for “fresh,” and a commitment to fresh ingredients can be found in every dish the gourmet Italian market and eatery serves. Tender circles of fresh mozzarella pair with tomatoes on cold sandwiches, and freshly sliced Boar’s Head meats line paninis on artisanal ciabatta bread baked in house. Inside the cozy dining area, glass display cases sport specialty desserts such as tiramisu, flourless chocolate cakes, and coconut macaroons. Patrons may opt to dig into housemade crab cakes on the outdoor patio, order meals to serve families back home, or cater special events such as 6-foot-sub-eating contests.
Situated two hours north of the Big Apple in a historic red barn built in 1864, the 800-acre Black Horse Farms grows florid fruits and vegetables to sate patrons' stomachs while supporting environmental stability. The sun-ripened earth treats—such as beefsteak tomatoes and sugar sweet corn—are only sold during the seasons in which they are most wholesome and undergo a rigorous quality inspection that includes washing, grading, and skin exfoliating before going to market. Black Horse Farms' gardening center yields equally vitalizing vines, including sweetly scented house plants, annuals, perennials, and remarkably sprightly bicentennials ($1.99+).