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Day Trips, Travel

Edinburgh Ethical Shopping Guide

edinburgh ethical shopping guide
edinburgh ethical shopping guide

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!

I also have a separate guide to zero-waste shops in Edinburgh, so make sure you check that out too!

Edinburgh Ethical Shopping Guide & Map

Ethical Clothing

Dandelion & Ginger

This cosy little shop in Tollcross sells a nice range of ethical clothing, accessories, and gifts.  You can visit the website here.

Godiva

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

Joey D makes clothing and accessories (and now furniture too) from recycled vintage clothing and sells them from his Broughton St store.

Totty Rocks

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.

Vintage Clothing

Armstrongs

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.

Carnivale Vintage

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

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

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.

Pi-Ku Collective

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. 

Ethical Groceries

Breadshare Bakery

Breadshare is a community-supported non-profit organic bakery with an impressive zero-waste policy. Find them on Jane St in Leith.

Dig-In Bruntsfield

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.

Garvald Bakery

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.

Jordan Valley

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

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

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:

Armchair Books

Armchair Books is a secondhand and antiquarian bookshop on West Port.

Edinburgh Books

Edinburgh Books has a vast selection of secondhand books in its warren of a shop!

The Edinburgh Bookshop

The Edinburgh Bookshop is a lovely independent bookshop in Bruntsfield.

Golden Hare Books

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

Lighthouse Books is an independent radical bookshop and publisher specialising in modern politics, socialism, radical history, and more.

McNaughtan’s Books

McNaughtan’s is the oldest secondhand bookshop in Scotland, and also has a nice wee art gallery attached to it.

Tills

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!

Ethical Gifts

 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.

Flux

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.

Ethical Jewellery

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.

Miscellaneous

Soul Cycles

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!

And don’t live near Edinburgh? Do check out my guide to the best ethical clothing brands, where you can shop online.

Day Trips, Travel

Things to Do at Cairnie Fruit Farm

cairnie fruit farm

Planning a visit to Cairnie Fruit Farm in Fife? Here’s my verdict.

I grew up in Ayrshire, which, farming wise is famous for dairy farming and potatoes.  Fruit farms are few and far between over there. And pick your own farms were most definitely not a thing in Ayrshire.  I guess digging your own potatoes is nowhere near as fun or tasty as picking soft fruit!

So it came to be that the other week was my first ever visit to a pick your own farm.  It just so happened that we picked a really great one to visit – Cairnie Fruit Farm, near Cupar in Fife.

What Can You Pick at Cairnie Fruit Farm?

Depending on the season, at Cairnie Fruit Farm you can pick strawberries, raspberries, tayberries, gooseberries, black and red currants, and even pumpkins in over 45 acres of luscious farmland.  

What Else Is There to Do?

As well as being able to pick your own fruit, there’s a big family play area with heaps of outdoor activities for kids.  Think trampolines, flying foxes, chutes, sandpits, a go-kart track, straw bale climbing fortress and you’re only halfway there.

There are also fun tractor rides for kids. And the pièce de résistance – the huge maize maze.  The maze changes theme every year – this year it was BFG-themed.  The maze opens in mid-July, by which point it was around 5 feet high, so we were there just in time for its opening.  The maize is then harvested in October (by which point it’s over 8 feet high) and fed to cattle, so it’s a pretty sustainable maze at that!

maize maze cairnie fruit farm

After a lot of fun in the play area, we ambled over to the fruit farm.  The strawberries were a bit thin on the ground as they were between crops, but there was row upon row of ripe raspberries and gooseberries ready for the picking.

cairnie fruit farm
pyo strawberries
pick your own strawberries

As our allotment is sprouting raspberries faster than we can eat them at the moment I picked a huge punnet of soft delicious gooseberries for just a couple of pounds.  There’s nothing quite like freshly picked fruit still warm from the sun.

We had lunch in the Cairnie Fruit Farm cafe, but if you wanted to save a bit of money then there are plenty of spots overlooking the rolling Fife countryside to have a picnic or even a barbeque.

cairnie fruit farm cupar

Wondering what I made with my gooseberries?  My eldest and I baked this gooseberry clafoutis.  It’s so good and really easy to whip up – give it a go next time you have a punnet of gooseberries to hand!

punnet of gooseberries

We’ll definitely be back at Cairnie Fruit Farm soon!  Have you hit up any good spots this summer? If you’re planning a trip to Cairnie Fruit Farm then do check out my guides on things to Fife, and more things to do in Fife. I’d also recommend the Kelpies in Falkirk – it’s a great day out not too far away from Fife.