Many of us look for ways to reduce waste, protect the environment and avoid unethical companies when we spend our hard earned dollars. It’s not always easy, but from clothing and groceries to makeup and soap, ethically sourced options are popping up all around Pittsburgh.

Here are three sustainable local businesses that are doing everything they can do to make their products ethical, affordable and easy to shop!

Brook Eyewear

Unlike other US-based eyewear companies that import frames from other countries, Brook Eyewear creates small batches of affordable-luxury eyewear all under one roof. At their Pittsburgh facility – one of the only frame factories in the US – Brook Eyewear takes a more hands-on approach.

Brook Eyewear designs and manufactures their eyewear all locally – offering prescription and non-prescription glasses, sunglasses, reading glasses and blue-light lenses. Their frames are beautifully crafted from premium acetate, which is nylon-based plastic. They’re stronger than regular plastic, hypoallergenic, flexible and comfortable for all-day wear!

They also make sure to not overbuy materials to avoid additional waste. The fashionable frames are designed by optical industry veterans, expertly tumbled and laser engraved, and even hand-polished and painted! Their in-house optical lab creates lenses at affordable prices. You can even use FSA or HSA funds, or request an insurance reimbursement with an itemized receipt from Brook.

Although Brook Eyewear is an eyewear company without physical stores, you can be sure that the glasses will be a great fit, for your style and your face! Find your fit based on glasses you already have or message their team for personalized assistance. Check out their unique selection of frames (even one named The Pittsburgh!) on their website.

The Refillery

With locations in Squirrel Hill and Oakmont, the Refillery is a zero-waste store. Bring (or buy) your own containers to refill with essentials like hand soap, lotion, laundry detergent and so much more. Their goal is to reduce single use plastic and packaging with an easy, accessible and affordable way to refill products.

Not only are the Refillery’s products practical and effective, they’re also locally, ethically and sustainably sourced. Most of their products – ranging from natural makeup remover and deodorant to reusable paper towels and food storage – are made right in Pittsburgh or PA. If not from PA, the products are US-based and ethically made.

The Refillery is affordable too! When refilling, you’re charged by the ounce (and not charged for the weight of your empty container). You can buy as much or as little as you need – great for avoiding overconsumption and testing products out. No more throwing out 32oz bottles of products that don’t work for you!

The Refillery even offers online ordering now. Order a product as a single unit, or buy a refill in a new or borrowed container! Local delivery is available for those in a 20 mile radius of their Squirrel Hill location, or you can pick up in store. Check out everything they have to offer here!

Farmer Girl Eb

Located in the West End, Farmer Girl Eb provides fresh and wholesome foods to the Pittsburgh area. Eb is an urban farmer and educator whose mission is to provide food security. She strives for everyone in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area to have access to fresh produce and improved health, especially disadvantaged communities.

Farmer Girl Eb carries locally grown produce, made-to-order food, freshly squeezed juice and organic herbals, syrups and tinctures. You can visit the storefront in person on Noblestown Road or even order online. The Farmer Girl Eb storefront carries loose herbs and spices, tea blends, coffee, baked goods, plants, popular canned and boxed foods and even cleaning products!

In addition to providing fresh options for urban communities, Farmer Girl Eb also offers seminars and hands-on farming coaching to encourage self-sufficiency. She can accommodate any knowledge and skill levels! She teaches everything from growing your own food to creating and properly using natural homemade products. Farmer Girl Eb’s educational resources are affordable and flexible – great for anyone interested in growing on their own!

With 11 years of teaching experience in the Pittsburgh School District, Farmer Girl Eb is a passionate educator and community advocate. She uses her outdoor classroom backyard to teach youth how to grow food and be self-sustainable. She even keeps up with best farming practices in order to improve sustainability in her practice. Check out Farmer Girl Eb’s offerings here!


Shopping small benefits everyone – especially when the products are good for the environment. Consider supporting these Pittsburgh-based sustainable local businesses now and through the new year!

What are your favorite sustainable local businesses in Pittsburgh? Let us know in the comments!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Caitlin McDonough

Caitlin is a native Pittsburgher who helps out with Made in PGH behind the scenes. She loves to thrift and antique hunt, always looking for hidden gems in the Burgh. She's a lover of pickles and pierogies, ciders and sours, and of course, the Pirates and Pens.

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