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A Handy Guide to Eco Shopping In Bristol – Europe’s Green Capital 2015!

A Handy Guide to Eco Shopping In Bristol – Europe’s Green Capital 2015!

Ethical Fashion is spreading all over the world! There are pockets of people doing exciting things all over the place and we want to put a spotlight on these creative hubs. First up is: Bristol! The bustling city down South that’s a hotbed of creativity and artistic things. If rebellious and forward thinking, eccentric but chilled is your vibe, then Bristol is the place for you.

[Tweet “Where can I go #eco #shopping in #Bristol?”]

Who better to give us the grand tour than Anna-May Richards, a local writer and ethical clothes trader. Anna-May designs and makes sustainable clothes under the label “Mabbett” and sells these along with second-hand and vintage pieces at market stalls under the name Confused Gherkin. She’s part of the movement to make ethical fashion mainstream.  Check her website at

Take it away, Anna-May!

This year the city has been awarded European Green Capital 2015. Bristol has also been a FairTrade City since 2005. Both are thanks to its various eco-projects, initiatives and general lifestyle.

So, if you’re in or near Bristol, growing your wardrobe and finding fabrics ethically is right on your doorstep and here’s how we do it.

Eco Shopping in Bristol

Go To A Clothes Swap

Follow the unconventional path to wearing new clobber. Pop in to one of Bristol’s clothes swaps and take an old jumper that hasn’t seen the light of day in years or take that dress you bought last month but it’s been on Instagram twice now and swap it for an entirely new outfit!

Eco Shopping in Bristol

Easton Energy
puts on regular meet-ups at their eco-house, Labour Behind The Label organises swaps, Gwapamoley and Lady Gonzalez are having Costume Den with a clothes swap rail at it’s Halloween sale. Or why not arrange a Clothes Swap Party for you, friends and acquaintances? These come with the added bonus of social time (and perhaps some wine!).

Check Out Eco Designers

One of my favourite labels in Bristol is Fix Up Look Sharp. Not only does it reference a great track, it also takes old neglected clothes, makes them fabulous then donates the profits to childrens’ cancer charity Clic Sargent. (We love Fix up Look Sharp here at Offset Warehouse, check out this blog post they did for us a few months ago: An Amazing Way To Upcycle Two Old Shirts!)

Fix Up Look Sharp Bristol
Over Here has a stall in St Nicholas Market. Many of their clothes are organic or made of bamboo. All are designed and printed in Bristol. The designs on their tees and sweaters are fresh, playful and sophisticated.

Over Here Bristol
Designer Christina Melo creates beautiful patterns from eco fabric that’s hand printed. Inspired by Bristol’s architecture, her patterns manage to be both timeless and complementary to the current trend for pastel shades and 70’s chic.

Christina Melo

You can even find eco-jewelry, made from old bike tyres in Roll for the Soul.

Go To An Upcycling Workshop Or Event

Bristol Textile Recyclers hold regular ‘Fashion Salvages’. They bring heaps of donated and rescued clothes, stock up on wine and set up a haberdashery where you can bring back to life anything you find!

Fashion Salvage - Offset Warehouse
Even Marks & Spencer’s has got in on the upcycling act, holding free Shwop & Sew events in their Bristol branch, where you can turn up with clothes from home or pick something out from a selection and one of the experts will help adjust some seams

Check out Kecks Clothing for all things upcycled. They host free workshops, talks and trade on a completely handmade, upcycled ethos!

Shop Vintage and Charity

Bristol is jam-packed with charity and vintage shops. A personal favourite is the Cats Protection one in Easton and, of course, Gloucester Road with its stretch of independent shops. For handpicked, bespoke vintage pieces, I’d head to Eovu, who can also be found at pop up events and sometimes at The Island.



This is only a snapshot of all the beautiful ethical fashion and fabrics being traded in Bristol. So it makes sense for there to be an event that showcases it. Luckily, Love the Future has got that sorted. November 11th in Colston Hall, Love the Future of Fashion will take place following an inspiring series from TedTalks.

In Bristol, there’s not only plenty of opportunity to learn and discuss a sustainable future for fabrics but there’s also a demand for action to make this future a reality, which brings a whole bunch of people spreading the ethical love!

Thanks for the tips Anna-May! We can’t wait for a trip to Bristol here at Offset. You can follow Anna-May’s adventures on Instagram @confusedgherkin and check out her label on Twitter @MabbettClothes.

If you fancy showcasing all things eco  in your town just get in touch [email protected]. Or if you just want to keep up to date with our reports Sign up to our monthly newsletter!

[Tweet “Spread the #ethical #love in #Bristol! @MabbettClothes”]

[Tweet “I’ll be going to @welovethefuture #Bristol!”]

1 Comment

  • Another exciting eco shopping event in Bristol!

    BS5 Winter Jumble Trail

    Who doesn’t love a good old rummage in a box of shiny pretty things? Or even practical items for your house, little presents for family and friends, hidden treasures.
    It’s all about re-using and sharing!
    “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”

    Back by popular demand we are very happy to present:

    BS5 Winter Jumble Trail
    5th – 6th December (Saturday & Sunday)
    10am – 5pm

    * *
    What is it?
    An opportunity to sell , buy or even swap items you have kept in your houses for too long without using. Also, a chance to walk around our lovely area and meet our neighbours.

    How does it work?
    We are inviting everyone with a BS5 code to be part of the Jumble Trail. You can use either the front garden / patio or your front room in your house to set up your pop up shop for the day. You can sell anything you wish: second hand clothes, books, records, toys, handmade arts and crafts.

    Email us to take part and we will add your house details on our map: [email protected]

    (FREE to register)

    Every house should have a colourful umbrella outside to mark that you are part of the Jumble Trail.

    Hope to see you all there! The BS5 Winter Jumble Trail team

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