When visiting Asheville, I bemoan that Charlotte doesn’t have that same fun, eco-aware shopping vibe that they do. A new store in Plaza-Midwood, however, is infusing a little Asheville soul into the Queen City – Ecolicious.
Ecolicious is to Plaza-Midwood what Paper Skyscraper is to Dilworth. It’s that gem of a store, the place you buy gifts that leave people asking you where in the world you found them. Only Ecolicious has another perk — all of its products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.
The store is equal parts practical and fun. On the practical side, they’ve got a wide selection of eco-friendly cleaning supplies, product lines that will clean your bathroom, your kitchen, and your clothes without the usual chemicals. They also sell sprays to keep bugs from your garden and mosquitos from your bod without dousing either in pesticide. If you’ve got allergies or a healthy aversion to a chemical-filled life, this store is your eco-goldmine; I haven’t seen many of these products anywhere else in town.
I swear, it was this practical side that brought me there. Really. But while I headed back to grab laundry detergent, I was accosted by a table of gorgeous wristlets. In addition to being très adorable, they were also handmade with 98% re-purposed materials (photo below). I was defenseless. The store also sells home decor, dog accessories, baby gifts, and jewelry. Really, really cute stuff. They’ve even got a selection of vegan baked goods and snacks (I wish I had gone there during my vegan experiment!). Many of the products are made locally, and prices are quite reasonable.
While we’ll never be Asheville, stores like Ecolicious — and neighborhoods like Plaza-Midwood — give Charlotte that soul and personality that keep us from being strictly The City Formerly Known as Banktown. While talking to Marley, one of the co-owners, I found it so apparent that this store is a labor of love. When I mentioned a product I was looking for, she didn’t have it but immediately investigated where she could find it. She mentioned a community garden they hope to put behind the store. She plugged the upcoming Know Your Farms tour. Ecolicious is this great little neighborhood store that keeps its eyes on the local and the global at once. Yay for them, and yay for us for having them in town.
1916 Commonwealth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205 (Across from The Diamond)