Center City Philadelphia Shopping

Since 2004, being centrally located on 3rd Street in the heart of Old City Philadelphia affords a low-carbon footprint for our customers and us. We encourage our customers to enjoy the offerings of locally owned independent businesses in America’s ‘most historic square mile’.


Design with sustainability and human-scale

Sugarcube’s display fixtures and furniture comprises locally salvaged material. From reclaimed American yellow pine (a rough-cut hardwood stripped clean of antique nails), thick sheets of metal, and blackened pipe, to forgotten industrial hardware make-up the interior. Like the joists used in the construction, the flooring circa early to mid 1800 is original. We refurbished and then preserved its raw aesthetic with high-quality wax.

Sugarcube is an in-house design/retail project which is referenced by many designers and visibly recognized as an ever-evolving artist installation.


Products made with healthier processes

We showcase a mix of vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories. Many of our vendors strive as we do to understand environmental effects of manufacturing and delivery methods season-to-season, year-to-year, leading to healthier processes and materials.


Websites with reduced energy consumption

Sugarcube uses cloud hosting to lower energy consumption, cut hardware infrastructure, and simplify associative IT maintenance.


Word-of-mouth advertising builds community

Our customers exercise the original ‘paperless publicity’, word-of-mouth. When we do use paper to publish, albeit rarely, we reduce our footprint with small-scale but thoughtful design and placement. Our in-house publication, printed locally by an independent press is postcard art designed as a keepsake.


Reducing shopping bag use one customer at a time

While we offer paper shopping bags to our customers, we suggest bag consolidation and backpack use where possible. Prefer our branded shopping bag, no problem; we return used bags to nearby businesses.


Doing our part by recycling

We recycle nearly everything. Community drop-off sites collect our occasional hazardous material such as paint, and fluorescents. We also courteously recycle customer waste products such as coffee cups and water bottles.


Precept for minimalist design

“Less is more”, a phrase from the 1855 poem Andrea del Sarto, called ‘The Faultless Painter’ by Robert Browning. The phrase was adopted by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a precept for minimalist design.