As discussed our 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 Fair Trade 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
Independent art and gallery shop Room 212 on Gloucester Road sells arts and crafts made by local people, including owner Sarah Thorp. 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. The shop is described as ‘fiercely independent’ and is partially run by the local artists who sell their work there. Sarah says:
"I believe in encouraging people to shop local within their community, think about the products they buy, 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 say they are looking to expand this catchment area, so get in touch with them if you live outside of those areas 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 that are cluttering up our oceans.
Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash
Other zero waste shops in Bristol include Smaller Footprints (Clifton), Preserve, Scoopaway (both Gloucester Road) and Zero Green (Bedminster).
Brothers We Stand sells men's clothes which are made ethically and created to last. Each item of clothing sold 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. As well as an online shop, they also have a physical store in Whapping Wharf. Brothers We Stand sells colourful shirts, cosy 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 anything new. Fortunately, there is a dizzying array of charity shops in Bristol. My recommendation is to get down to Cotham Hill in Clifton, where there are multiple options. You can also pick up books, records, DVDs, knick knacks and games in these shops, as well as clothes.
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 great dinner enthusiast myself, I would personally recommend the plant-based options at Dangun (St Nick's), the burgers at Quay Street Diner (Harbourside) and the wraps at Baba Ganoush (St Paul's).
Additionally, the Old Market Assembly offers 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.