How to choose the best eco-friendly shopping web sites? Where do I purchase the perfect item? These are questions which I have been asked time and again in the last couple of months so I think it is time to provide a richer answer to the question and give you a market insider's outlook on eco-friendly shopping.

There are a lot of claims going around regarding eco-friendly shopping. And many of those claims you'll want to perhaps analyze a little deeper. Operating a company that at it's core is eco-friendly is not without it's obstacles, however based primarily on my experiences I have produced the

7 things to look for in your eco-friendly shopping:

- Is the item going to have a long life-cycle in its own right, to lengthen the amount of time before it requires replacing? If it's "eco-friendly" and yet needs replacing very quickly, what's the point?

- Is the impact on the environment minimal during production of the product? Consider the entire production cycle; nearly all modern items have a substantial amount of steps required.

- Do you really need this? The initial place to trim down is the stuff you don't need to buy to begin with. Maybe this process appears radical, however it ties back to the first point.

- The packaging-is that either re-useable or recyclable? Smart manufacturers understand to package in such a way that the packaging itself is useful, or perhaps just simply goes into the recycling bin to produce new cartons or bottles.

- How about delivery-is it direct to you? A tremendous amount of resource is wasted in the standard retail distribution chain as well as a shocking amount of product is simply just dumped during that chain. Selecting direct shipping cut down on this waste in a direct manner.

- Does this product itself have an eco-friendly impact? Just what exactly do I mean by that? For example, a company that helps educate consumers on ways to be more eco-friendly by caring for his or her environment, and quite a few other producers give direct from their own revenues to support the environment or education.

- At the end can you re-purpose or perhaps recycle the item? Not every product is a good choice for repurpose or recycling, however some are. Pretty much every product will come to an end of its useful life-cycle, and it's time to either re-purpose or get rid of.

Don't forget when you're on your eco-friendly shopping spree that the above is an ideal list-and many producers and brands are still working hard towards several of these goals. Nevertheless as consumers we can all do our part. Keep in mind that by your choice of shopping you're sending a clear signal to the brands out there about your views on eco-friendly shopping.

In the end don't forget this: It still has to be fun! Environmentally friendly fashion can be equally as stylish as any other kind of fashion. So whenever you go out in style, be sure you go out in eco-style.