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Sustainability: How markets and their stallholders are keeping the planet green


Our guide to sustainable markets and their stallholders…

The Hawthorn Co. Navy blue striped cotton fabric gift wrap

Sustainability has been a buzz word for a long time, and between Greta Thunberg’s climate protests, BBC programmes on plastic reduction and the rising popularity of recyclable and reusable packaging, sustainability is often at the forefront of our minds when buying products. 

When we shop, there’s suddenly so many questions to consider. How much packaging has been used? Is it recyclable? Is the item produced locally, reducing carbon emissions?

25% of people actively refuse products and services that have a negative environmental impact according to a 2018 market report, with spending on sustainable products growing ever higher. 

Local markets are the perfect answer, enabling you to shop locally, which automatically reduces the carbon footprint of a product in transport costs alone, with a bonus in supporting local trade. In this era of isolation it’s still possible to shop online, and Pedddle still allows you to source and order local goods, using our location function.

There are so many simple changes you can make when buying products, to allow sustainability into your everyday life. Read more on how markets and their stallholders are keeping the planet green.

Sustainability at markets

Some markets have taken sustainability to the heart of everything they do, and sustainable methods are a growing trend amongst market organisers. 

Microplastics in the sea actually outnumber the amount of stars in our galaxy, so plastic reduction is a must. Many markets and food stallholders are turning to more sustainable alternatives, such as bamboo cutlery. South Coast Makers do this to great effect, with all of their food traders using biodegradable cups and plates to reduce plastic waste. 

At A Very Eco Market at Camp & Furnace, each stallholder has a blend of vegan, upcycled, recycled or reusable products, with everything from soy candles to vegan food. A Very Eco Market promotes the Carbon Neutral lifestyle, with all donations on the door going to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity attempting to keep Britain’s beaches and oceans plastic-free. 

Markets such as Old Spitalfields Market and Mercato Metropolitano are utilising the ‘Too Good to Go’ app, which allows users to help combat food waste by collecting excess food from stallholders at a discount. 

Shopping Vintage for Sustainability

Buying vintage is a great way to shop sustainably. Not only do you get something unique and with its own personal story, but reusing a product is the peak of sustainability. 

Levenshulme Market is a community-run social enterprise, with its artisan stallholders offering vintage clothing and homeware amongst an array of other things. 

As we can’t visit markets at the moment, you can still buy vintage goods online. Vintage Whatnots have a wide range of vintage and antique pieces, or check out Mr G Loves Miss B for other retro finds. 

Sustainable Stallholders

Sustainable Self Care

In these times of social distancing and self isolation, it’s more important than ever to be kind to yourself, and prioritise your self care. 

Holistic Earth create environmentally friendly, zero waste, natural feel-good wellness products, so you can soothe your soul in every way. Their motto is “healing holistically, living consciously” – a pretty perfect way to summarise the sustainability ethos. 

Therapy & Scent offer vegan and natural aromatherapy soy candles and wax melts for a sustainable way to soothe your body and mind with a long-lasting scent. They offer kits too – perfect for a lockdown style at-home spa day!

Sustainable Homeware

So many of us are incorporating sustainability into our daily lives, such as by using wax wraps instead of cling film or buying fabric tote bags for supermarket runs. 

The Chemist’s Daughter creates beautiful and durable sustainable products using organic, recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible. Their range includes everything from reusable face wipes and soap bags to planters.

Tweedles Handmade offers fun and contemporary homeware designed to help busy families cut down on household waste, without compromising on convenience. The range includes reusable sandwich wraps, snack bags, make-up wipes and kitchen towels.

Spreading the light

Who doesn’t love a good candle? Whether you’re treating yourself to a relaxing bath or creating a bit of ambience in your living room, we seem to burn through candles like there’s no tomorrow! 

Cedar creates 100% natural soy wax candles, and all of their jars are made of recycled glass which can be reused and recycled after use. 

Sustainability and ethical values are at the heart of the ByNala brand, with environmentally friendly packaging used for all of their natural aromatherapy candles, which are made with plant wax and pure essential oils, specifically designed to rejuvenate the body and mind. 

Old Man & Magpie Candle Co. is also vegan friendly, and uses 100% soy wax with paraben-free essential oils. 

Giving the gift of sustainability

The Hawthorn Co. creates fabric wraps as a sustainable alternative to packaging, which can be re-used afterwards and are the perfect way to wrap any gift. 

Rooks & Roses create the most beautiful handmade jewellery from upcycled metals. Artisan silversmith Karl Smith designs and hand crafts every piece from scratch, taking care to make each one unique. He is largely inspired by nature – the perfect sustainable gift. 

Cork leather is often referred to as ‘vegan leather’ and is a material that Ami & Lo use to full advantage, creating gorgeous jewellery in an ethical way. All of their packaging is recycled, recyclable and plastic-free – what’s not to love?!

Do you know a guitar lover? Karen of String Effects designs and makes jewellery using recycled guitar strings – a great way to gift something beautiful from a recycled material.

Evie Jade Jewellery uses recycled t-shirts to make thread for her bracelets, necklaces and more – a fun and sustainable way to re-use fabrics and create something beautiful.

Wild & Rocky have designed some fabulous plantable cards, which grow wildflowers then planted – the perfect way to recycle and spread the love!

Bertie Rose creates the sweetest children’s and lifestyle decor, sourcing fabrics using eco-friendly inks and organic, earth-friendly fabrics. All of their orders are shipped using 100% FSC® approved and recyclable packaging boxes too. 

You can find out more about these stallholders here, or find more of our blogs here. And if this has whet your appetite for sustainability, find more ideas on sustainable thinking here