The best of Manchester’s sustainable scene
And on the Sixth day, God made Man(chester) – one of the greatest cities in the world. Manchester is home to the industrial revolution, the birth of Britpop, two premier league football teams, the craziest nightlife, 40,000 students and much, much, more. This eclectic city is experiencing a massive movement towards sustainability and it’s no wonder why. As a student that’s lived here for three years now, I thought I’d give you a little rundown of Manchester city centre’s most sustainable spots, so if you ever visit, you’ll know exactly where to go:
Fairly new to the Northern Quarter but Blue Rinse has already made an impression. This huge store feels like it goes on for miles and the walls are covered with clothing, you could be in here for hours. Blue Rise stop clothes from heading to landfill by reworking, recycling and remaking them to sell in their stores
If you like the sound of Blue Rinse, you’ll love Cow. Cow Vintage is one of my favourite shops in the whole of the city. Sadly, it was closed due to a burst pipe this week – so no pics 🙁 – but I’ve been many times before and I love it there. It’s got two floors packed full of men and women’s vintage clothing so there’s no way you’re going in without falling in love with something.
The Pick n Weight Kilo Sale is pretty self explanatory. Pick your clothes, weigh them, pay for how much you’ve got! This place is essentially a massive room full of old clothes so you’ve gotta do some rummaging, but there’s always a decent find in amongst the madness.
Manchester has what feels like thousands of charity shops, so if you’re looking for cheap, sustainable clothing that gives back – try these. In the city centre there are loads, especially around the Northern Quarter. Try Oxfam Originals. This place isn’t just clothes, too. It’s got second-hand books, music, handmade baskets, and snacks. If you’re making a day of charity shopping in Manchester, be sure to head South as those in Withington and Didsbury always have some gems.
You just can’t visit Manchester without going to Afflecks.
“Afflecks in an emporium of eclecticism, a totem of indie commerce in Manchester’s Northern Quarter”
This place has three floors full of everything you could ever need, from a sustainable vegan cafe on the ground floor to more than 5 vintage shops for you to browse. In here, Pop Boutique is one of my favourites, they have lots of reworked vintage jeans and accessories like sunglasses, bags and belts. They even have another shop more than double the size just across the road if you can’t get enough.
For everything else sustainable, you should check out McCall’s Organics. Its bang in the heart of the city centre, just next to the Arndale. They are a family run shop that sources only great quality, organic, local and affordable food. Their vegan section is massive, with everything from chocolate and cosmetics and they even have Kombucha on tap! Plus, they have an awesome zero waste section for grains and cleaning products.
8th Day Co-op
If you can’t make it to the city centre but love the sound of McCalls, be sure to check out 8th Day on Oxford Road. This place is health-food-store-heaven. The upstairs has every kind of food you could ever want (sustainably sourced, organic, vegan, the works) and nearly a hole wall full of tea. There’s also a little counter with freshly baked vegetarian treats. If you’re more hungry than just a brownie, head downstairs to the 8th Day Cafe for hearty vegetarian and vegan meals (the portions here are HUGE).
Manchester’s lucky enough to have one of the first of Lush’s ‘Naked Shops’, there are only two others in Milan and Berlin. This means that there’s no single-use packaging anywhere, so you can grab your favourite cruelty-free cosmetics completely packaging free. Even better, the store has loaaads of packaging free exclusives like naked shower gel (how does that even work?). If you really want something to hold your latest bath bomb, soap or conditioner, you can grab one of the ethically-sourced containers, too. Such as their vibrant knot wraps, metal tins or cork boxes.
So there you go, your sustainable guide to shopping, eating and drinking in Manchester. This list is most definitely not exclusive to what Manchester has to offer and there’s lots more out there, so get exploring as this city is anything but boring ?
Are there any other super sustainable cities you know about? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear about them!