Were you there? At the Zero Waste Christmas Market 2021!
It was COLD; a brisk, bright but wintery day with beautiful festive lights framing the decorated stands. So many people turned out to shop with us at Old Spitalfields Market, and we're delighted to play a small part in helping those shoppers enjoy a sustainable Christmas.
Whether you made it down or not, it is our pleasure to introduce you to the remarkable brands who attended our Zero Waste Christmas Market on the 27th - 28th of November.
Did you know socks are one of the most popular gifts to give at Christmas? But you'll find none of the novelty rubbish with Socko. A fantastic small business run by Founder Emma, who is passionate about creating a hardwearing product, that's softer than a baby, cosier than a Christmas knit and all the while helping the planet. Fundamentally, Socko celebrates the practice of upcycling and each new range is crafted from yarn that is no longer serving a purpose (everything from upcycled t-shirts and fishing nets) into socks to be worn for years.
Our Favourite: The Reader - £15. From the recycled range, made with:
- 50% Pre-consumer garment cutting waste
- 33% polyester from recycled plastic bottles
- 17% ECONYL® regenerated nylon
We've known Kind2 for over two years now and their products continue to go from strength to strength. They produce award-winning, high performing solid shampoo and conditioners, made to stand the test of time, suit a variety of hair types and are entirely zero waste. A Kind2 bar is palm free, vegan, made with natural fragrances, natural colours and they’re full of active plant based extracts to gently treat specific hair needs. Packaged in recyclable card they are a fantastic alternative to traditional haircare.
Our Favourite: The Discovery Bundle - £15
Our discovery bar bundle is the perfect way to try them out, convince someone you love why they should too or pop in that Christmas stocking!
Paper Rose Crafts hand makes jewellery from up-cycled materials. Made using recycled paper and metals that are found around the home, these lightweight earrings, necklaces and accessories are wonderfully coloured, well-presented and entirely zero waste.
Our favourite: The Paper & Brass Triangle Necklace - £26
This beautiful triangle pendant is made entirely from recycled paper and brass from a broken curtain pole on a fine sterling silver or gold filled chain.
Francesca is a wizard in the kitchen. Having turned vegan four years ago while graduating on a full scholarship in Gastronomic Sciences at UNISG, one of the world's most renowned food-focused universities, Francesca launched her own business to reflect the overlap of values. Both kind to animals and empowering of women in and out of the kitchen, her treats are a celebration of what is possible and demonstrate how important our food choices really are.
Our favourite: Gloria Steinem S'mores Chocolate Bite - £21
Decadent, ooey, gooey choc brownie-style bite topped with toasted marshmallows, crunchy biscuits and dark chocolate.
Throw me down is such a beautiful brand that is dedicated to quality and the up-cycling of valuable materials. In this company, nothing is wasted! By sourcing eco-friendly fabrics that not only benefit the environment but also have a positive impact on those producing the fabrics, Throw Me Down creates ripples of change throughout their work. Organic, recycled and low impact fabrics are used to create practical yet stylish aprons and accessories. Wonderfully designed, gender-neutral and a unique gift for any occasion.
Cross-back, vegetable-tanned leather straps give a high-end touch to these simple-fronted, recycled cotton aprons, made from 100% recycled cotton clothing offcuts.
6. Calm Cocoa
Nothing says winter more than a decadent cup of hot chocolate. Not only is Calm Cocoa a high-quality, ethical chocolate brand, but they also promote mindfulness and meditation. Meredith, a meditation teacher and chocolatier, combines her passions and includes a mini meditation inside every pack of her stunning hot chocolate. Her stylish zero waste and compostable and recyclable packaging puts the finishing touches on this beautiful gift.
Our favourite: The Jamaican Ginger Gift Selection - £25
Sip on the award-winning Gingery Jamaica hot chocolate with delicious rum and raisin tones of the chocolate, naturally complemented by a touch of organic ground ginger. Add some gingery shards using the same chocolate from the blend, with crunchy cocoa nibs dusted in ground ginger and with a teensy pinch of smoked salt, plus little pack of sugared ginger. Yum.
If you are looking for Christmas cards, then look no further. Elena Drew This is a stunning collection of eco-friendly but progressive environmentally themed Christmas cards. This graduate uses her passion for the environment to tell stories and raise awareness about issues, in a way that is visually eye-catching and informative without being in-your-face. We love the geometric style designs and a lot of people think the same!
Our favourite: Snow Globe - £3.25
A5, with a recycled, Kraft C5 envelope. Designed and printed in the UK, onto recycled 300gsm card. All packaging is 100% recycled & recyclable (or biodegradable!) One tree is planted for every purchase, making Elena Drew This a climate positive business.
Lanji candles not only smell amazing but look great too. Each candle is handmade and poured in the UK using 100% soy, to ensure all of our products are vegan friendly and ethically made. Blending fragrance & essential oils to help support various aspects of mental health like alleviating anxiety, low mood and sleep deprivation. Each candle also comes with an affirmation card.
Our favourite: Himalayan Cedar & Jasmine - £13.00
Top notes: bergamot, eucalyptus, thyme. Heart notes: jasmine, Muguet, cedarwood, iris wood, vetivert. Base notes: patchouli, cocoa, amber, oakmoss, tonka bean, musks
9. Nibs Etc
Nibs Etc is on a mission to reduce food waste by creating delicious snack from surplus ingredients. We ADORE their products. Not only is the granola crunchy, moreish, sweet and vibrant, with oats, nuts and a tiny bit of honey, but it also encirporates 1/3 upcycled fruit & veg pulp fibres. The juice pulp is sourced from Kent-grown-and-pressed Worcester Apples, in England. Full of flavour and fibre, crunch and chew, with clusters of goodness just waiting to burst onto your breakfast bowl.
We love: 500g Oat, Almond + Honey Granola made with Juice Pulp - £8.50
What's more, the packaging is certified 100% petrochemical Plastic Free. The inner film is certified home compostable - toss in your food waste/bin. Outer box is 40% grass (yes, grass)and 60% post-consumer card printed with minimal inks - toss with your dry recycling.
10. I Am Nut Ok
Cheese, but vegan? Yes, vegan cheese can get a bad rep, but if you're up for trying something that is, dare I say it, just as good as the real thing then buckle up! I Am Nut Ok use a mix of traditional and new techniques to create our plant-based cheeses and which is produced by hand in small batches. These delights also go through a process of fermentation and ageing, then given extra notes of flavour with herbs, spices, and various tasty gems found in the plant kingdom - you honestly could be fooled.
Our favourite: Crack On Black Pepper Log (the truffle cheeses/butter are also amazing) - £5.99
This black pepper encrusted, fresh roll, boasts warm spiciness and the smoothest texture which we think would go great on, well, basically anything!
We also love the fact this brand goes the extra mile with their packaging too, all of their products are housed in recyclable/reusable glass jars, or wrapped in compostable vacuum pouches and recyclable boxes. They ship orders out in fully recyclable packaging using paper insulation, straw, and in some cases, bubble wrap repurposed from deliveries.
11. Coco Dream
A brand new edition to this year's market is Coco Dream. As the name implies this nourishing bath and body range has been crafted with quality ingredients, specifically highlighting the powers of raw and unrefined cocoa and shea butters to hydrate and moisturise. But for us, it is their handmade candles that steal the show.
We love: The Egyptian Amber - £20
Beautifully presented in a heavy frosted glass jar and custom timber lid, this candle is designed to wisk you away and help you unwind. Egyptian Amber is a rich warming fragrance opening with fruity nuances leading to a heart of muguet and exotic jasmine resting on a base of vanilla, tonka and sandalwood.
All their candles contain 100% soy wax and carefully tested fragrance oils to ensure the scent delivers as it should.
We can not get enough of Frankie Collection. Another new brand to our fold, we were wowed by the inventiveness and high-quality of Frankie's range. Elodie the founder sources vintage French tapestries and turns them into wearable art. Her idea is to give a second life to vintage materials, creating sustainable products that are original and timeless and make the wearer feel unique and empowered.
Our favourite: Roses - £155
Each design is one-of-a-kind so once they're gone, they're gone. Each vintage denim jacket is embossed with French tapestries, including a feature patch on the back and a cute single patch on the pocket. Handmade and sustainable.
So many lovely ideas! If you're looking for more, stay tuned for part 2 of our market round up.