A sustainable guide to London
The planet’s not going to be saved in a day, but every little helps – and you’ll find all kinds of ingenious schemes afoot in London. In Hackney Wick, Rejuce turns wonky fruit and veg into feelgood juices, while Toast brews its beers from leftover bread (and gives its profits to charity). Elsewhere you’ll find natural wine bars and eco-conscious eateries, along with cool-girl-approved boutiques and fashion labels like fair-wage warrior Birdsong. Tread lightly on your next stay in the city, and discover a host of not-to-be-missed addresses along the way.
Five of London’s best sustainable addresses
Gourmet GoatBorough Market, Unit 27A, Rochester Walk; SE1 9AF
Come lunchtime, Borough Market regulars make a beeline for this friendly street-food stall, with its zingy, Cypriot-influenced menu and ethically-sourced ingredients. Standouts include the organic bean stew, laced with luscious whipped feta, and the tzatziki-spiked goat kofta wrap. (The meat comes from male billies, otherwise deemed ‘byproducts’ of the dairy industry.)
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers114b Blackhorse Lane, E17 6AA
Like the sound of the ‘buy less, buy better’ mantra? Then source your denim direct from this friendly Walthamstow atelier. Their raw-denim and selvedge jeans are the antithesis of fast fashion; made from organic cotton, woven in Europe and stitched on the premises. What’s more, they offer free repairs for life (if you’re not a Londoner, you’re welcome to pop them in the post).
Lady of the Grapes16 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NJ
This tiny, candlelit Covent Garden address champions female winemakers (the clue’s in both its name and the address). Its natural, organic and biodynamic wines are sourced from smaller vineyards, and best accompanied by a sharing plate or two from the simple, seasonal menu. Think charcuterie, comté with quince jam, or – if you’re really in luck – a next-level truffled raclette.
SpringSomerset House, Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA
In the grand surrounds of Somerset House, Skye Gyngell’s Italianate restaurant is luminously lovely. It’s also a pioneer when it comes to sustainability, with a ban on single-use plastics (even down to food containers and clingfilm). Its pre-theatre Scratch menu, meanwhile, is both eco-and wallet-friendly: three inventive set courses for £20, magicked up from yesterday’s leftovers.
69b Boutique69b Broadway Market, E8 4PH
Fashion can be toxic, but not at this impeccably curated Hackney boutique. Its owner has a magpie eye for emerging, ethically-produced brands – like Jaipur-based Pink City Prints, or London sneaker-freaks Good News. Come here on a Saturday, so you can hit Broadway Market’s stalls afterwards, with their pleasing mix of street-food snacks, crafts, vinyl and vintage treasures.
Sustainable hotels in London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
This modern hotel, just a short walk from London’s most iconic landmarks, has won awards for its green practices. Examples include reducing water use with eco shower heads and recycling water bottles through an on-site bottling plant.
Dorsett Shepherds Bush
The Dorsett Shepherds Bush, just minutes away from the shopping heaven of Westfield London, has built bird and hedgehog houses to encourage wildlife and has switched to suppliers that use organic and sustainable products.
This five-star hotel, off Chelsea’s famous Sloane Square, is proudly environmentally conscious, recycling anything from paper and cans to batteries and long-life bulbs. It shuns harmful cleaning chemicals and uses eco-friendly, organic and local products where possible.
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THE GREENER WAY TO GO
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