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 when it comes to ethical outdoor gear. 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.
Guide to Ethical Outdoor Gear
Ethical Bags For Carrying Your Outdoor Gear and Essentials
For carrying your outdoor gear in, then this handy tote bag from Millican* is seriously useful. It’s made from recycled polyester and converts to a rucksack at the tug of a strap for however the day’s adventuring pans out. Do check out my guide to ethical backpacks for more inspiration.
Wood Powered Stove
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 is a key part of my ethical outdoor gear collection. 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).
Ethical Sun Protection
An eco-friendly sunscreen* is a must for your ethical outdoor gear kit, 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 a pair of ethical sandals. I really rate Birkenstocks because my pair is 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, and you can even buy vegan versions now.
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 my new favourite, the Rhins of Galloway. And any ethical outdoor gear you’d like to share with me? As I come across more, I’ll update this article. I’ve also got a useful guide to sustainable camping gear, that also covers ethical outdoor gear. From eco-friendly tents to sleeping bags, and more.
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!
This cosy little shop in Tollcross sells a nice range of ethical clothing, accessories, and gifts. You can visit the 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.
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 onto this Edinburgh ethical shopping guide because it makes all of its seriously beautiful clothing in its 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. These shops seem better value than the Grassmarket store, although Grassmarket does have the biggest selection.
I haven’t visited Carnivale Vintage yet but I hear it has a cracking selection of vintage dresses in its Bread St store, from the 1920s through to 1970s designs.
Elaine’s has a wonderful carefully curated selection of vintage clothes, in her Stockbridge store. And Elaine herself is very helpful and knowledgeable.
Herman Brown is a delightful wee vintage shop in West Port. It has been offering vintage clothes, jewellery and accessories since 1984, so it knows vintage inside and out.
Miss Bizio Couture
Miss Bizio’s is a Stockbridge-based shop focusing on vintage pieces from designer brands.
Another one that I haven’t visited yet, Pi-Ku Collective, just off Grassmarket, is definitely on my radar.
Those Were The Days
I haven’t visited Those Were The Days but I have heard from various sources that this St Stephen Steet shop has an amazing selection of vintage wedding dresses, as well as a separate vintage boutique that specialises in 1920s pieces all the way through to iconic 1990s collectible pieces.
Breadshare is a community-supported non-profit organic bakery with an impressive zero-waste policy. Find them on Jane St in Leith.
Dig-In is a community-owned and supported, not-for-profit greengrocer in Bruntsfield that supplies locally-sourced produce and provides volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Social care charity Garvald has an onsite Garvald Bakery, which sells a wide range of organic bread, rolls, and cakes, where profits go back into its 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 the amazing work that Garvald does.
Holland & Barrett
Holland & Barrett, the high street staple, has eight stores in Edinburgh – Princes St, Rose St, Nicolson St, Shandwick Place, Ocean Terminal, Cameron Toll, Deanhaugh St, and The Gyle. This means you are well served for vegetarian and vegan foodstuffs, 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! It also stocks, 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 its well-stocked range of eco-friendly cleaning products and personal care products.
Tattie Shaws is a good old-fashioned independent greengrocer with locally sourced stock where possible.
Independent and Secondhand Books
Edinburgh is lucky to have a good selection of independent and secondhand bookshops:
Golden Hare Books is an independent bookshop in Stockbridge, open 7 days a week, offering free coffee for customers, a 10% discount for students, and it runs a monthly book group too.
Lighthouse Books is an independent radical bookshop and publisher specialising in modern politics, socialism, radical history, and more.
McNaughtan’s is the oldest secondhand bookshop in Scotland, and also has a nice wee art gallery attached to it.
Tills is a really lovely little secondhand bookshop packed full of a wide range of books. My top tip 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!
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 its stock is sourced from British designers and artists. The stores also stock ethical homewares brand Nkuku, as well as other ethical brands.
A funky little gift shop on Bernard St, Flux says 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. Based in St Johns Church, it sells a wide range of fair trade products and is a great spot for finding unique ethical gifts.
The Cat’s Miaou
The Cat’s Miaou on Elm Row sells a mix of fair trade, ethical, and locally made gifts.
Red Door Gallery
On beautiful Victoria St is the lovely Red Door Gallery, selling art and jewellery from independent designers and artists. This store is such a treat for the eyes.
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, the Repair Centre will 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!
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 its work. Edinburgh also has a lot of charity shops and I thought it might overwhelm the map!
This guide and map are 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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