First published October 2020
As discussed in the previous blog, Ethical Consumer week is coming up at the end of October. Last time, we looked at some of the national and online shops where you can buy clothes which are kinder to the planet.
However, Bristol itself, which has been a FairTrade City since 2005, is a great place for shopping with both the environment and ethics in mind. Plus of course buying local means you can pop down to the shops on your bike, rather than paying for lorries to move goods around the country.
Here are some of my top picks for ethical shopping in Bristol.
Arts and crafts: Room 212
Independent art and gallery shop Room 212 on Gloucester Road sells arts and crafts made by local people, including its owner Sarah Thorp. This shop features a gallery space at the back where artists have their own areas to display their work. The shop offers a range of Bristol-related prints, jewellery and gifts, meaning it’s the perfect place to buy birthday or Christmas presents for your loved ones.
You can also order the prints online and either have them dropped round to you or go and pick them up. The shop is described as ‘fiercely independent’ and is partially run by the local artists who sell their work there.
I strongly believe in encouraging people to shop local within their community, think about the products they buy and reduce waste and packaging.
Zero waste shops
There are a host of zero waste shops in Bristol. My favourite is Nom Wholefoods, who are a delivery service rather than a physical shop. Nom currently deliver to BS4, BS5, BS7, BS15, BS16, BS30, BS31 and BS36. However, they are looking to expand this catchment area, so get in touch with them if you live elsewhere and want to use their services. Nom sell beans, pulses, coffee, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, bathroom products and face masks. They will deliver in either paper bags or glass jars, which they will then refill. They will also refill your laundry detergent for you, meaning you can reuse those pesky plastic bottles.
Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash
Other zero waste shops in Bristol include Smaller Footprints, Preserve, Scoopaway and Zero Green.
Brothers We Stand is a shop that sells men's clothes made ethically and created to last. Each item of clothing sold in store has a label which details its social and environmental impact, offering you a transparent window on what it is you’re buying. You can read more about their vision here. You can order their clothes online, but they also have a physical store in Whapping Wharf. In a world that can be dominated by clothes for women, it’s great to see something for the men out there as well. Brothers We Stand sells funky, colourful shirts, cosy looking hoodies and even has a range of vegan belts and wallets.
Buying your clothes second hand is always going to be more ethical than buying new as it avoids landfill and means fabric is reused. Fortunately, there is a dizzying array of second hand shops in Bristol.
My personal recommendation is to get down to Cotham Road in Clifton, where there are multiple options. You can also pick up books, records, DVDs and games in these shops, as well as clothes.
Food: Owwee Vegan, Old Market Assembly, Root
Bristol has been crowned as the World’s number one city for vegans three years in a row, meaning it’s super easy to eat delicious food which hasn’t harmed the planet or any animals in almost any area of the city.
As a vegan and lover of dinner myself, I would personally recommend the vegan options at Dangun, the burgers at Quay Street Diner and the wraps at Baba Ganoush.
Additionally the Old Market Assembly offer delicious food from a seasonal and sustainable flexitarian menu. These guys say they are ‘passionate about showcasing local supplier produce with creative, flavourful dishes we create everything fresh in house’. They offer veggie, vegan and meat dishes, meaning you don’t have to go entirely plant-based to eat here.