Looking for the best ethical outdoor gear? Here are some of my favourites.
I may or may not have mentioned it a few times, but I have outdoor adventuring on my mind this summer. It’s been a tough few months, in more ways than one, for us. As such, the thought of kicking back outside in the sunshine without a care in the world is very very appealing.
Of course, you don’t need much. Or rather, you don’t need anything, for outdoor adventuring. You know, save for yourself and some wide-eyed enthusiasm, and maybe a fully charged phone just in case. However, there are some things that might be nice to have or might just be downright useful to have. Here are my ethical outdoor gear favourites.
Ditch the fossil fuel powered stoves. Instead try a portable wood powered rocket stove for making cups of tea, or scran, out in the wild. I can’t be without my plastic-free tea, not even in the woods. I have to confess, I am lusting after one of these bad boys so badly.
Speaking of tea, a handy flask to store said tea in. Let it be said, I take my tea very seriously, especially so when partaking in outdoor adventures. Or, if you don’t like tea (who even are you?!), then you could just fill it with ice-cold water (also refreshing when outdoor adventuring).
An eco-friendly sunscreen*, because sunburn isn’t cool. And because I burn at even a hint of a ray of sun cracking through the clouds. Check out my guide to eco-friendly sunscreen for more suggestions.
Depending on the type of outdoor activities, then you may need sandals. Vegan ones at that. I really rate Birkenstocks because my pair are 12 years old and still going strong. I dare you to find a more durable pair of sandals. Bonus points for being made of super sustainable cork.
Finally, a plastic-free lunchbox for storing those all-important energy-giving snacks. I confess, mine often contains Jaffa Cakes…! However, do check out my guide to plastic-free snacks for more eco-friendly snack inspiration.
Where do you like to go on your outdoor adventures? I have to say, I’m a big fan of Aviemore. And any ethical outdoor gear you’d like to share with me? As I come across more, I’ll update this article.
Looking for the best places to shop ethically in Edinburgh? Right this way, my friend!I’ve put together a mammoth Edinburgh ethical shopping guide just for you.
Every so often an email lands in my inbox from a reader enquiring about places to shop ethically in Edinburgh. So, after living in and around Edinburgh for nearly 10 years now, I’ve put together my ultimate Edinburgh Ethical Shopping Guide. I’ve included all of the places on my radar of where to shop ethically when in this fair city.
I’ve also gotten all technical on you and made my own Google Map, which should help make it easy for you to locate all of these lovely places. I hope you find it useful!
Edinburgh Ethical Shopping Guide & Map
Marchmont-based Bohemia sells a small but perfectly formed range of clothing, as well as jewellery and home accessories ethically sourced from artists and craftspeople around the world.
Specialising in Scottish design-led craft, Concrete Wardrobe sells high-quality clothing and crafts handmade by Scottish-based and/or trained designer-makers.
Dandelion & Ginger
This cosy little shop in Tollcross sells a nice range of ethical clothing, accessories, and gifts. You can visit their website here.
Godiva is a funky boutique on West Port, selling a range of vintage and repurposed clothing, as well as clothing and accessories from independent designers, such as Rowan Joy.
Hibiscus Flower stocks a range of ethical clothing, from brands like People Tree and Komodo, to smaller, less well-known brands.
Joey D makes clothing and accessories (and now furniture too) from recycled vintage clothing and sells them from his Broughton St store.
Totty Rocks makes it on to this Edinburgh ethical shopping guide because they make all of their seriously beautiful clothing in their Bruntsfield shop from locally sourced fabrics. It takes about 2-3 weeks for your order to be ready – slow fashion at its finest.
Armstrongs, Edinburgh’s most iconic vintage shop, has three locations across the city – The Grassmarket, Teviot Place, and Clerk St. My personal preferences are either Teviot Place or Clerk St. They seem better value than the Grassmarket store, although Grassmarket does have the biggest selection.
I haven’t visited Carnivale Vintage yet but I hear they have a cracking selection of vintage dresses.
Elaine’s has a wonderful carefully curated selection of vintage clothes, and Elaine herself is very helpful and knowledgeable.
I haven’t visited Those Were The Days but I have heard from various sources that they have an amazing selection of vintage wedding dresses.
Breadshare is a community-supported non-profit organic bakery with an impressive zero-waste policy.
Dig-In is a community-owned and supported, not-for-profit greengrocer that supplies locally-sourced produce and provides volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Earthy sell local and organic fruit and veg, as well as other groceries, wines, beers and personal/household products, including Ecover refills, from their 3 shops around the city – Causewayside, Canonmills and Portobello.
Social care charity Garvald have an onsite Garvald Bakery, which sells a wide range of organic bread, rolls and cakes, where profits go back in to their main work of supporting people with learning disabilities. Members are involved in baking, packing and delivering orders and there’s a really lovely video if you want to find out more about their amazing work.
Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barrett, the high street staple, has six stores in Edinburgh – Princes St, Rose St, Nicolson St, Shandwick Place, Ocean Terminal, and The Gyle – so you’re well served for vegetarian and vegan food stuffs, and bulk buys of nuts and other dried goods.
This Nicolson St shop is a bit of a goldmine for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone vaguely health conscious. The shop is literally packed to the rafters – the friendly owner is always up his ladders retrieving things that customers can’t reach! I’ve particularly found that for pulses and grains, and things like spices and specialty teas (all the specialty teas – apparently the biggest tea range in Edinburgh) –the prices are often cheaper than anywhere else.
New Leaf Co-Op
New Leaf Co-Op is an employee-owned vegetarian shop where you can scoop and refill dried produce such as nuts and pulses, getting a discount if you bring your own container! They also stock, where possible, local produce, such as bread, honey, eggs, fruit, vegetables and more.
Real Foods has two locations in Edinburgh – Broughton St and Tollcross. Broughton St is the largest, however, the Tollcross store is a bit of a rabbit warren! Here you can pick up all sorts of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free foodstuffs, as well as organic fruit and veg, and beers and wines. This is on top of their well-stocked range of eco-friendly cleaning products and personal care products.
Tattie Shaws is a good old fashioned independent greengrocers with locally sourced stock where possible.
Independent and Secondhand Books
Edinburgh is lucky to have a good selection of independent and secondhand bookshops:
Tills is a really lovely little secondhand bookshop. My top tips is to buy a book from Tills, and then walk across the road to the Meadows, and sit in the sunshine reading. A perfect afternoon if ever there was one!
Word Power Books
Word Power Books is an independent radical bookshop and publisher specialising in modern politics, socialism, radical history and more.
Curiouser & Curiouser
Curiouser and Curiouser have two sites across Edinburgh – one on Broughton St and one in Bruntsfield. Supportive of local designers, the majority of their stock is sourced from British designers and artists, and they also stop ethical homewares brand Nkuku.
A funky little gift shop on Bernard St, Flux say that anything not made in the UK will be sourced from only the most ethical of overseas companies.
One World Shop
One World Shop is probably one of Edinburgh’s oldest ethical shops, and has temporarily moved from it’s St Johns Church location to Nicolson Square. They sell a wide range of fair trade products, and is great for unique gifts.
Hannah Zakari sell jewellery and art from independent designers. Their Grassmarket shop is always an absolute treat to visit.
Red Door Gallery
Just up the hill from Hannah Zakari is the lovely Red Door Gallery, again selling art and jewellery from independent designers and artists. Another treat for the eyes.
Bra Bohag sell mainly secondhand Scandinanvian/mid-century furniture.
Soul Cycles sell refurbished secondhand bikes (as well as new bikes).
The Bike Station
The Bike Station sells refurbished secondhand bikes, secondhand bike bits, and can even teach you to fix your own bike.
The Buggy Repair Centre
In need of a secondhand buggy? The Buggy Repair Centre will sort you out. Got a broken buggy? Again, they’ll sort you out!
The Edinburgh Remakery
The Edinburgh Remakery sell refurbished IT equipment and secondhand furniture, and on top of that can teach you how to sew, mend and fix computers!
Vintage & Reclaimed
Causewayside based Vintage & Reclaimed, sell, as the name suggests, vintage and reclaimed furniture – beautiful pieces of furniture at that, all sourced and made in the UK.
Please note, I’ve not included charity shops in this Edinburgh Ethical Shopping Guide, as the excellent Changeworks have already put together an Edinburgh Charity Shop Map, and I didn’t want to replicate their work. Edinburgh also has a lot of charity shops and I thought it might overwhelm the map!
This guide and map is definitely a work in progress, so if you can think of any to add then do let me know in the comments below!
I'm Wendy and welcome to Moral Fibres, a UK based eco blog. I'm a sustainability expert, and my aim is to make sustainability simple, by researching and writing on all things environmental - from product guides to breaking down big ideas - so you don't have to.
As well as the blog I've also written a book on natural cleaning - Fresh Clean Home is out now!
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