In a city where we proudly compost, ban plastic, and shun gasoline-fueled cars, it only makes sense that we’re now looking at the clothing industry’s impact on our environment. And BeGood, a clothing boutique with its flagship San Francisco store at 2127 Union Street, is happy to give us a quick lesson.
Big retail is the second most pollutive industry on the planet, according to BeGood. So Mark Spera and Dean Ramadan founded BeGood with two goals in mind: Sell clothing that’s manufactured in a way that reduces the harmful impact on the environment, and support designers who give back to the world.
Big sellers at BeGood are Threads 4 Thought, Alternative Apparel, and Amour Vert. Labels like these use sustainable fabrics, zero chemicals, and natural dyes. Matt and Nat handbags, made from items like recycled plastic bottles and bicycle tires, are also popular. And then there are the “give back” brands, like Toms, the company that donates a pair of shoes for every pair that’s purchased.
BeGood recently started manufacturing its own eco-friendly apparel line as well. And for every item that’s purchased, BeGood donates 12 gallons of water to people in need.
Along with the Union Street store, BeGood has a heavy online presence. “We have a good customer base and people really seem to care about the give back,” said Lindsey Blackbum, BeGood’s store manager (2127 Union Street, 415-829-2289, begoodclothes.com).
Down the street, pre- and postnatal wo-men will soon have a new place to exercise. The Lotus Method is scheduled to open its doors any day; this is the company’s second location.
Caitlin Ritt, a former professional ballet dancer, founded the Lotus Method. After giving up her dance career, Caitlin turned to personal training, where she was fascinated with working with pregnant women. “There’s no other time a body goes through this much in so little time,” she said. “The body goes through such a physiological change.”
Caitlin listens to the concerns of each woman and designs a workout specifically for her. The workouts largely focus on functional movements and postural alignments. Her goal is to help women feel good during and after pregnancy. Caitlin says 90–95 percent of her clients have very little aches and pains, if any, and they’re having shorter labors.
“We help you connect the muscles you need to push with those you need to relax,” said Caitlin. “We’ve had first-time moms push babies out in 10 to 15 minutes.”
The Lotus Method is also creating a community — women are connecting and becoming fast friends. Caitlin finds this satisfying as well.
“I get asked all the time if I miss my dance career. But what I get from these women, and meeting the babies after, makes me so incredibly happy,” says Catilin (1775 Union Street, thelotusmethodsf.com).
Another new tenant on Union Street is Sugarfina, a candy boutique for grown-ups.
Sugarfina was founded by husband-and-wife team Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick. They launched in Beverly Hills, selling “cocktail candies” like Champagne gummy bears and peach Bellini gummies. Those candies quickly became hits, and Sugarfina flourished into a must-have, high-end candy brand.
“We dreamed of gourmet sweets made with premium ingredients — candy that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to taste,” said Rosie.
Sugarfina now sells more than 150 different candies, two-thirds of which can’t be found anywhere else in the country.
In honor of its new San Francisco location, Sugarfina will offer a limited edition “I ♥ San Francisco” bento box featuring custom illustrations of the city. The eight-piece bento box ($60) and the three-piece bento box ($25) will feature candies produced in the Bay Area, such as matcha green tea caramels and dark chocolate coffee toffee (1837 Union Street, 855-784-2734, sugarfina.com).