Bristol is celebrated for its independent spirit and eco-conscience and has a long association with the green movement. As well as being the first UK city to win the award of Green Capital (back in 2015), Bristol is the UK’s first cycling city and a Fairtrade city. In stark contrast to ‘fast fashion’, plastic over-consumption and factory farming, more and more people and independent businesses all over Bristol are upping their ethical game. We shine the spotlight on sustainable clothing and ethical shopping in the city...

Wapping Wharf | Clifton | Gloucester Road | Stokes Croft | Redland & Cotham | Bristol Shopping Quarter | Southville & Bedminster | City Centre | Markets |

Money

  • Bristol Pounds

If you're planning an ethical shopping spree in Bristol, help strengthen the local economy and support independent business by swapping regular cash to Bristol Pounds! The UK's first city-wide local currency, the Bristol Pound, can only be spent in the city’s indie shops and features artwork by local artists. The Bristol Tourist Information Centre has handy maps showing which shops accept the notes.

Sustainable clothing and ethical shops in Bristol

Image - Bristol Pound

Ethical clothing and shopping in Bristol:

Wapping Wharf

Better Food Company has branches at Whiteladies RoadWapping Wharf and St Werburghs. They sell organic and local food and have a big emphasis on how to shop without filling your house with plastic and packaging. Each store has a café serving up nutritious, organic and seasonal food, and the staff are always happy to cater for different dietary requirements

Bristol's award-winning cider shop, stocks over 100 types of local artisan cider. Pop in to sample some 'proper' cider - served with West Country cheese or pork pie. Or for the ultimate cider experience, sign up for one of their regular cider tastings and events, where you can try 10 different ciders, including traditional scrumpy, celebration cider and the famous Somerset Cider Brandy.

Headed up by 23 year old Bristol University graduate Sam Mabley, this ethical and sustainable clothing store down at Wapping Wharf aims to make sustainable and ethically-produced clothing for men accessible. Its range only includes independent brands and features wardrobe staples like basic organic T-Shirts which retail at £12.50, as well as more unique pieces like the Ecoalf lightweight jacket (£150), created from 100% recycled nylon from fishing nets. To top it all off, every aspect of an item’s social and environmental impact are calculated and can be checked by customers under the ‘footprint’ label.

The Other Space and sister company Loop, (housed in the cargo container next door), were born out of a wish to give busy Bristol people an urban retreat. Both businesses are very mindful of the environment and carefully source the products they use, and both are vegan friendly. The Other Space is able to offer a fully vegan nail salon, a host of holistic treatments from wellness practitioners and a carefully curated Natural Beauty shop, to introduce you to a more mindful way to look after you skin.

The Bristol Cheesemonger supplies cheese from within the UK, with a strong focus on locality and Somerset. All their cheeses are wrapped in cheese wax paper which is not only ensures the product is in the best possible condition, it's also plastic-free and completely recyclable. And what's the perfect accompaniment to cheese? Wine! Which they also supply on Tap. The organic wines change seasonally depending on flavour and style and are provided in a refillable bottle or bring your own to refill!

Ethical and sustainable shops in Bristol

Image - Bristol Cider Shop

Clifton

With the air of a countryside farm in an urban setting, Ruby & White offers a modern twist on the traditional butcher's shop. Passionate about the provenance of their produce, the butchers take extraordinary care over the origins of everything they sell. Working directly with a small group of local farmers and breeders means they can trace their produce from field to fork, as well as guarantee that each cut of meat sold is ethical, sustainable and of the highest quality. Alongside the meat counter, the shelves of this Whiteladies shop are bursting with locally-grown vegetables, free range eggs, artisanal cheeses, wines and charcuterie selections from home and further afield.

Ethical and sustainable shops in Bristol

Image - Ruby & White

Gloucester Road - Bristol Independent District

Gloucester Road is the longest high street of Independent Shops in Europe and is packed with independents doing good things. We’ve listed some of them here:

Room 212 sits on Gloucester Road. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of local arts and craft in independent art shop and gallery Room 212, which stocks art and craft from over 50 Bristol artists. As well as paintings, affordable prints, jewellery, cards and gifts, Room 212 is a real community hub, organising events such as the Gloucester Road Central Mayfest and Christmas Street Party as well as creative workshops and activities. Artists help with the running of the shop and there’s always the chance to meet creative people when you visit.

This shop is run by designer-maker Alice of Rolfe & Wills and Alice Rolfe Illustration and her mum. Both have a keen interest in supporting young designers and brands, and currently feature over 30 emerging designers, makers and artists. 

Co-Lab's message is loud and clear ‘Shop Social, Shop Local’.  Inside, its edgy clothing, jewellery, cards and books offer a taste of Bristol’s art and makers’ scene. 

Gloucester Road's newest zero waste shopping experience. Bring your empty containers and weigh out vegan-friendly goods, shampoo, eco-friendly washing liquid, conditioner, soap, vinegars as well as organic rice, cous cous and flour. You can even make your own nut milks from the ingredients, recipe and blender onsite. Pick up a range of plastic free toiletries like hard bar shampoos, bamboo toothbrushes, environmentally-friendly fire lighters and lots more.

Scoopaway has been at the forefront of eco retail for a while, reducing packaging and food waste by making their bestselling lines available loose, so customers can scoop as much or as little as is needed. They are well known for their organic, natural whole foods, extensive range of herbs spices and detergent refills.

Co-operative Harvest’s raison d'être is to provide ethically-assured, healthy and fairly-traded products that consumers can trust. The carrier-bag free shop sells a variety of foods in dispensers and detergent refills. All products are vegetarian and GM free.

Specialising in high quality textiles that are hand-made in India by skilled crafts people, Chandni Chowk is a Fairtrade company works that with ethical organisations and cottage industries. Go here for for Fairtrade clothes, cotton sofa throws, Anokhi quilts, organic bedding, printed cotton cushions, printed curtains and more.

Find beds, wardrobes and made-to-measure items made from ethically-sourced wood, plus organic mattresses.

Cheltenham Road merges into Gloucester Road near ‘The Arches’, as the area is locally-known. 7th Sea is an emporium of handmade creations made with love by local artists and designers, selling everything from T-shirts, prints and cards through to unique ceramics and jewellery.

Ethical and sustainable shops in Bristol

Image - Room 212

Stokes Croft

‘That Thing’ houses around 50 independent, Bristol-based designers, as well as the shop’s own in-house line, also called ‘That Thing’. Their ethos is to present a fresh and eclectic mix of unique pieces, affordable luxury street wear, vintage clothing and lifestyle products. The store also stocks homewares, gift items, club night tickets and graffiti spray paint, and is well known for supporting the creative arts scene in Bristol.

Renowned for its street art and its alternative thinking, Stokes Croft is an area of Bristol which has always resisted convention. Run by The Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft, the Stokes Croft China shop sells ‘subversive’ English Fine Bone China, graffiti teapots, T shirts, books, cards, original art and prints.

Stokes Croft China - ethical and sustainable shops bristol

Image - Stokes Croft China

Redland & Cotham

Wild Oats Wholefoods and Deli is an independent health foods and natural remedies shop. All products are natural, organic and Fairtrade and many are also gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. The deli stocks delicious gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free plant-based and raw cakes by the Bristol-based sister duo Little Roar. There is also a range of natural beauty and body care products, natural remedies and supplements, chilled and frozen foods.

  • Earthbound Bristol Health store

A well-stocked little shop selling organic produce, some vegetarian food, vegetables and fruits, plus a deli.

ethical and sustainable shops in bristol

Image - Wild Oats

Bristol Shopping Quarter

Fresh handmade cosmetics using only vegetarian products, never tested on animals. Bath and hair, skin care, fragrances, soap and gift boxes – all look good enough to eat!

A proudly independent team based out of Bristol, doing business globally. Their products are made from bamboo, which means, kinder for the environment.

Southville and Bedminster

Bedminster’s packaging-free store invites customers to bring their own containers (jars, cloth bags etc) to fill up on cereals, pasta, grains and rices, nuts, seeds, spices, flours, vegan treats and more for greener living without the extra plastic consumption. They also sell a variety of non-food items such as plastic free deodorants, water bottles, coffee cups, bamboo cutlery sets and stainless steel straws. 

A shop/gallery, Casper supports independent and emerging artists and designers from around the UK. Stop by for homewares, illustrations, prints, original artwork, photography, ceramics, lighting, furniture, jewellery, accessories and more. They also take pride in supporting initiatives that benefit the wider community and are consequently a plastic plant pot recycling point in collaboration with Little Green Bristol (suppliers of their cacti, succulents and house plants) in their mission to become plastic-free.

Chitra Tarling (who featured on one of our Food Friday blogs) owns and runs The Independent Design Collective gift shop, located in the heart of Southville. She designs and makes a broad selection of her own products, under the name Karve Design, which you’ll find on sale in the shop alongside work from some of Bristol's most in demand designers.

Ethical and sustainable shops bristol

Image - Chitra Tarling, Independent Design Collective

City Centre

Keep an eye on the Preloved Kilo events page to see their upcoming events at Colston Hall. On entry you'll be given a big bag and then it’s time to get rummaging through tons of preloved, vintage and retro stock at wholesale prices! Once you've filled your bag, take it to the pay station and the team will weigh it and let you know how much you've spent (one kilo is £15). There will also be guide scales dotted around the venue for you to weigh as you go, so you can keep track on how much you're spending.

Find Bristol-themed goodies galore, clothing and nibbles in our shop on Bristol’s Harbourside, many of which can also be found at the online shop. Snap up everything from local sweet treats, to mugs bearing Bristol's coloured houses, prints from local artists and street art.

Sustainable clothing and ethical shopping in Bristol

Image - Bristol Blue Glass animals available from Bristol Tourist Information Centre

Markets

All sorts of independent retailers can be found at St Nicholas Market. The Glass Arcade is a hive of food outlets, florists and textiles sellers and each week additional markets join the offering – see our Bristol Markets page for more info.

Source's Food Hall sells the best in local, free range meat, poultry and game, fresh fish from small, South West ports and shellfish from all over the UK, plus a fine selection of artisan cheeses, a lot of which appears on the daily menu in the café. In addition to they sell store cupboard provisions, local fruit and vegetables.

This stall, based in St Nicholas Market, specialises in ethically-produced, hand-printed T-Shirts that are mainly organic or made of bamboo. All are designed and printed in Bristol.

The Tobacco Factory Sunday market is a great place to discover exceptional foods, crafts and produce, made and grown in the local area. There are around 40 stalls to explore, featuring an exciting range of eco-friendly, fair-trade and organic produce – from artisan bread and shellfish to hand-made clothes and jewellery.

Ethical and sustainable shops bristol

Image - St Nicholas Market, credit Visit England

Charity shops

Bristol is jam-packed with charity and vintage shops. Gloucester Road has a high concentration where you can pick up some fantastic preloved bargains. In fact they’re so good that bargain hunting expert, Becky Barnes has set up some Personal Stylist Charity Shop Tours, which take place on selected dates throughout the year. Check out her blog to see her personal favourites

Ethical and sustainable shops bristol

Image - Becky Barnes

Online

This home delivery service offers refills of many grocery items around Bristol and North Somerset. Most of their groceries are 'dry' goods such as cereals, flour, pasta, sugar and coffee, as well as eco-friendly cleaning products, with plenty of organic options. All are delivered in containers which they collect and refill with no single-use packaging.

Antiform creates ethical, sustainable and fashionable designs by using reclaimed materials and mixing stylish shapes with heritage craft (think Yorkshire tweed accented pencil skirts). All materials and workmanship involved in the production of Antiform clothing is sourced within the UK, and local to their studio if possible. Buy online or at stockists That Thing in Stokes Croft.

Willowknd is a cruelty-free, eco and vegan-friendly clothing company founded by Hannah Price and based in Bristol. They source materials which have been grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, use only 100% organic cotton and vegan-friendly dyes to create their unisex adult, kids and baby clothing - kinder to the planet and your skin. All Willowknd pieces bear the official Carbon Footprint Reduction Label and use only renewable wind power. Their hand-dyed ranges are made in the UK with water-based dyes for low environmental impact. And last but not least, 10% of all profits are donated to animal welfare charities in the UK.

Ecojam is a green and ethical living website which was born in Bristol, but is now growing into a national network of local green hubs. You can tune into local news and events, discover local green businesses and initiatives, and search for ethical jobs and volunteer opportunities.

Ethical and sustainable shops bristol

Image - the EcoJam team

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Sustainable clothes and ethical shopping in Bristol

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CREDIT: Jon Craig

Bristol's award-winning cider shop.

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Newly opened health food store in a fantastic location for South Bristolians and those visiting and working in the city centre. This store’s café also has a sunny outdoor terrace.

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A modern twist on the traditional butcher's shop, Ruby & White offers an experience like no other, condensing the best of a country farm shop into an urban setting.

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A treasure trove of Bristol artwork from paintings and prints to jewellery, craft, cards and gifts. The perfect place to find original, quirky, handmade artwork by local artists.

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Colston Hall Bristol
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Colston Hall Foyer - CREDIT AARDMAN

Colston Hall is Bristol’s largest concert hall, presenting concerts and entertainment by major names in rock, pop, jazz, folk, world and classical music, stand up comedy and light entertainment.

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Browse their range of gifts, souvenirs, books, locally-products products and maps at the Tourist Information Centre or visit their online gift shop.

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This vibrant and buzzing market place can be found in the heart of the old city, which is full of fantastic examples of Georgian Architecture and is only a short walk from all of the hotels in central Bristol.

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Independently run and owner operated, Source's Food Hall sells the best in local, free range meat, poultry and game.

Producers Market at Tobacco Factory
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Producers Market at Tobacco Factory

The Sunday market will be back at Tobacco Factory with a great selection of local street food, producers, jewellery, plants and locally grown flowers.

Personal Stylist Charity Shop Tours
Walking Tour
Personal Stylist Charity Shop Tours Image 1

A two hour tour around the charity shops of Gloucester Road Charity Shops with professional personal stylist Becky Barnes - on the longest stretch of independent shops in the UK with clothes and accessories galore.