Our Story

Family owned and operated, Verde came about through a series of choices (mostly exasperated ones) by Laurie and Sarah. Where does one get environmentally friendly products? Further, where does one get environmentally friendly products that haven’t been green-washed within an inch of their lives? The answer, simply put, was everywhere and nowhere but rarely in one place. Laurie and Sarah wanted to change this. The result is Verde.

Our Store

“What can I do? This is the question people inevitably ask when thinking about today’s environmental problems – the climate crisis, declining biological diversity and toxic pollution. It’s a short and simple question, but there’s no easy answer. Everything we do has some kind of impact, but some decisions and actions are more important than others. Nearly all of us want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, but few of us have the time or the specialized knowledge necessary to sift through the competing claisn and mountains of information about the greenest choices… Knowledge plus motivations equals action” (David Suzuki’s Green Guide)

These words, taken from the opening pages of David Suzuki’s Green Guide, captures what Verde strives to achieve. Our aim is to offer people planet friendly alternatives for their consumption needs. We do extensive research about the products before they make it to our shelves. Each product in our store must meet a strict criteria of leaving the smallest footprint through all stages of creation.

Verde is an environmental general store, which means we carry a little bit of everything. We carry a range of items from books to bubble bath, clothing for men and women, baby toys, jewellery, household cleaners and even paper made out of poo. We ask questions (and you should too). Where is the product from? How is it made? What dyes were used? What are conditions for the workers in the factory making the products like? We don’t stock products we’re not 100 per cent comfortable saying are good alternatives for the planet and the people making them.

Making environmentally responsible decisions can often be overwhelming. We want to make it easy. We’ve done the research for you, and know our products. Our mission is to help you live more sustainably and encourage conscience and conscientious consumerism.

Part of this is our love and commitment to not just sustaining the planet but Kingston’s historic downtown core. We have to be part of the local community—we shop local, so you can too. Conscientious consumerism isn’t just about buying reused products, it’s about voting with your dollar. We believe firmly that you should love what you find in our store, not just because it’s all sorts of ethical, not just because it’s pretty, but because it works.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you carry?

We’re an environmental general store. We carry a little bit of everything, from house and home to bath and body and clothes and books for the whole family.

Are you kid/ pet friendly?

Yes! So many people breastfeed in here. And we’re always keen to pet a good dog—we even keep biscuits behind the counter for them.

I’m allergic to. . .

That’s cool! One of our staff members is allergic to Cheetos. Another can’t even look at a shellfish. We like to read labels and can help make sure you don’t end up itchy, promise.

Are you hiring?

Probably not. We’re a small store with a small and dedicated staff. Many of them are related. Show your love for a tree: email us at squantick@verdealternatives.ca instead of printing out a resume.

I’m a charity looking for a donation. . .

We do that! We will need a letter explaining the cause and what you’d need from us. We’re also going to do some research and ask a lot of questions. We want to make sure our donations go to organizations and initiatives that align with our mission of environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.

How much do your products cost?

We have products for every price range. If you have a budget, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help you stick to it.

What sizes do you carry?

We carry a range of sizes from extra small to plus sizes. Our sales staff are all shapes and sizes, and all wear clothes from our store. And occasionally we dress like our mother. Because Laurie is awesome.

What’s that smell?

Our store smells fantastic. It’s a combination of the soaps, the candles and we like to think good vibes.

I’m looking for a stuffed snail. Do you have that?

Why yes! This is also a true story: a woman came in desperately searching for a stuffed snail toy for her five-year-old daughter. We not only had a stuffed snail (hand knit from organic wool!) we had several other snail-related gift ideas. Moral of the story: just ask us. We’ve got weird stuff.