Not all women are feminists, and not all feminists are women. However, feminism is a women-centered movement. Feminists believe that women have a unique set of experiences, dialogue, and knowledge to offer to the world that has historically been silenced or neglected. One of the goals of feminism is to work in a variety of disciplines to bring these female voices out into the open and pay homage to the outstanding lives that women lead all around the world.
Last week’s blog on ecofeminism may have left you wondering what ecofeminism has to do with West Michigan. To start, the concept locally is interwoven with the sustainable business movement. Some of its local leaders, particularly among small business owners, are women. Below you will find a list of five women-owned businesses in West Michigan that maintain sustainable practices in one way or another. Though perhaps not inherently ecofeminist (ie: the proprietors may not identify themselves as such), these business-owners bring their unique viewpoints as women to their work and take good care of the earth while doing it! This deserves applause.
Check out these local businesses and support women and the earth:
- Global Infusion– Situated in the East Hills Business District of Grand Rapids, Global Infusion is a marketplace for Fair Trade goods, as well as tea, coffee, and chocolate. Included in the Fair Trade agreement is a commitment to ensuring environmental sustainability in international trade.
- Marie Catrib’s – Marie Catrib’s is an excellent restaurant in the East Hills Business District of Grand Rapids serving up Lebanese inspired food with many gluten-free and vegan options. Whenever she can, head chef Marie purchases locally grown and raised food.
- Karla’s Place – Located in Downtown Holland, Karla’s Place is a gift boutique that sells handmade items from local vendors. Many of these items are made from upcycled materials, including, but not limited to, wallets made from newspaper and candles made in used, vintage dishes.
- Groundswell Farm – Started by a graduate of the GROW Program (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women), Groundswell is a CSA farm located in Zeeland offering year round organic produce. Groundswell also sells produce at the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market.
- Eden Environments – Eden Environments is West Michigan’s first sustainable design center. Located in Grand Rapids, Eden Environments uses sustainable building materials, finishes, and furnishings. Owner Denise Hopkins is a licensed architect and a LEED Accredited Professional with over 17 years of design experience.