A Visit to Carol Young's Undesigned Boutique in Los Angeles


While visiting the City of Angels, I had a chance to stop by the Undesigned boutique, where eco designer Carol Young sells her gorgeous clothes (and accessories and shoes by other sustainable companies). Carol wasn’t in the store that day, as she has recently had her first child (congrats, Carol!) but Alexandria See, a reuse-oriented designer herself, was there to answer my myriad questions.

I tried on a number of pieces, all of which are made from factory-second materials. This means that the fabrics were used by larger clothing manufacturers and these extras would otherwise have been thrown away. Carol Young uses these materials (mostly from high-end designers) to create her smaller-batch designs.

Having written about Carol’s designs previously, it was a treat to get to try on and experience her whole line; I ended up buying the perfect black travel dress (pre-wrinkled and washable in cold water, with an edgy but comfortable crinkle around the neckline and hem), the Moth Microfiber Cowlneck has already been dressed up (lovely dinner) and down (thrown over my bikini at the beach) and worn about 10 times in three weeks. I also found a grey and black striped wrap/scarf that’s the perfect layering piece on the sale rack.

Alexandria See, showing me around the store.

The exposed pocket is a classic Carol Young design motif, her on a skirt that can be gathered at each side, for a shorter look, or left longer.

Detail on skirt shown above

Loved the collar on this drop-waist dress. It’s a perfect dress for the office; a bit conservative, but still stylish and fun.

Rings and other jewelry (all made from recycled and sustainable materials) are available at the front counter.

Cydwoq shoes and boots are for sale at Undesigned. This shoe brand is handmade from veggie-tanned and sustainably-dyed leather. I have a pair of sandals by Cydwoq that are going on four years old.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.