It is that time of year again.
The temperature is getting colder, the Christmas lights are going up and the oliebollen (balls of delicious doughnut covered in icing sugar) and being baked. I love this time of year. It means roast dinners every Sunday, winter walks and layering up so much that only your eyes are visible through your layers of scarf, hat and coat. Here are my favourite sustainable finds of October.
This is an app that taps into your location settings and finds the restaurants and supermarkets in your area that have excess food, and sells this excess food to you for a very good price around closing time. You can’t choose your food, you just get given a big mystery bag full of stuff. I have so far ordered four mystery bags, the best one was from Marqt on a Tuesday in a central location ( where I am guessing not a lot of people except tourists do their groceries) the worst was from Ekoplaza and admittedly only 2.99, and was vegan sushi, alfalfa sprouts and tabbouleh. Still pretty good for the price, just none of the stuff I would have bought normally. However, I got a banging bag from Le Pain Quotidien with fresh croissants, a chocolate tort and beautiful fresh bread. The app also means companies are dissuaded to throw out leftovers and it shows you how many carbon emissions you have saved!
Maasstraat 146, 1079 BK Amsterdam. I went in here to sell some old clothes I had after a friend recommended it to me and wow, what a shop. It holds beautiful pre-loved pieces of clothing, that range from high-street to premium. They have everything from Acne Studios to Stella McCartney, at pretty fair prices. The fact is, THE CLOTHES ARE ACTUALLY NICE and organised and you don’t need to fish through 30 tea-stained items before finding something good, it is all pretty cracking stuff. If you are in Amsterdam check it out!
The conscious wardrobe seems to be getting a lot of spotlight at the moment, and consequently there have been an array of secondhand online shops that are trying to dissuade people from purchasing new items and consider buying pre-loved items. At the higher-end there is the Vestiaire Collective and Depop, and The Resolutiopn Store where you can get a good price for designer items, but for those whose purse strings don’t quite stretch to those kind of prices (mine certainly does not) there is nothing wrong with a good old ebay browse not forgetting charity and secondhand shops in your area.
This online retailer is making waves in the fashion industry by being completely transparent about their fashion supply chain. Within each garment, which are usually strong stable basics for you to adapt to your wardrobe, you can find out the true cost of every piece from the material to the payment of factory workers. The factories they use are under constant scrutiny with compliance to things like working conditions and fair wages. I have not yet bought anything from here myself, but the idea is that Everlane creates good quality pieces that are built to last with transparent pricing
This is an ethical shopping app that gives a round up evaluation of the companies who are doing their part to make their clothes more sustainable and eco-friendly or their workers conditions better. The people at Good On You rate the companies based on its impact on the planet, people and animals to make its evaluation. You can search almost any brand and get a quick summary, which will give you some insight before shopping.
The Letdown, Netflix. This one is a little bonus that has nothing to do with sustainability but is a good watch. I am not a mother myself, but weirdly I feel complete empathy for the new-mum protagonist in this programme. Firstly, this series is hilarious, it comes in short manageable episodes and the characters are completely relatable. For me, shows that portray an unpolished, unfiltered lifestyle and important, particularly when illustrating the reality of motherhood, give it a go!