“Sustainability is treating ourselves and our environment as if we are to live on this earth forever.” – Aaron Wood.
I don’t know if it is just us, but if we had the option to live on this earth forever, Gastown is the place that we would like to be.
Our neighbourhood truly embodies the notion “something for everyone.” Which means that if you want to spend it sipping on organic, fair trade coffee, in your favourite consigned or slow-fashion sweater and small batch denim, surrounded by copious amounts of plants in your bright Gastown loft – just steps away from everything that we will ever need, we’ve definitely got you covered.
As summer has officially collapsed into fall, there’s no better time than now to stop and reflect on how we can live a more eco-friendly life – starting with supporting some of the amazing independent Gastown businesses that preach this model way of life. Besides, earth is pretty damn fantastic.
Shop + Style
Vintage Hot Spot
The fast fashion industry generates 100 billion garments each year and is one of the most polluting industries in the world. While some retailers are making the effort to lower their carbon footprint, one of the best ways to shop sustainably is to shop second hand. Gastown has you covered with vintage shops carefully curated to suit any style.
Founded in 2011, Community Thrift & Vintage is a social enterprise, that sells a tightly edited collection of recycled fashion. They support at-risk people through their compassionate and supportive work training program, and all of their profits are donated to the PHS Community Services Society.
Hey Jude (a Gastown neighbour) is a design-inspired vintage clothing shop that specializes in contemporary-style pieces that have been hand-picked and edited into seasonal collections. With a high emphasis on natural fibres, clean cuts and shapes and cohesiveness, each collection is curated by founders, Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow.
Nestled under Out and About lies one of Vancouver’s best vintage clothing stores. This Underground treasure trove has unique items for the whole family. Thrifters will be delighted with the vast collection.
A treasure trove located right on West Cordova Street, Uniques is just as its names suggests! Find valued antique items that will breathe new life into any space.
Another West Cordova must stop! Well Nettles Tale mostly focuses on well crafted, slow fashion items (to-die-for bathing suits), they also have a couple racks of vintage pieces that suit any trend cycle. A place that truly values local and ethical manufacturing, inclusive sizing, quality, and thoughtful design. Yes, please.
With an overarching collective value of timeless quality, a remarkable amount of goods and services in Gastown are produced with a future in mind. Although aware of trends and fashion, many local makers and shop owners find inspiration in the longevity of our planet and prefer to source small batch, consciously produced and carefully sourced pieces.
Indigo Sutra will be the bridge between discerning audiences who appreciate and value global culture and artisans from around the world who have a rich and deep heritage of creating unique, exquisite products using sustainable materials and methods.
Committed to going above and beyond to create a supportive community, The Nooks only stocks artisan food from local creators! Their vision is simple: We want to empower, educate, and help Canadian makers become successful.
Established in 2005, One of a Few is beautifully curated with designer women’s clothes, shoes & accessories from established and emerging labels. All with a focus on slow fashion and sustainability
*NEW BIZ ALERT.
At Fable, everything is designed and crafted with sustainability in mind. They make beautiful kitchen and tableware meant for any home.
And this is only the start. View a full list of independent, innovative, retailers in Gastown HERE.
Food + Drink
With the rainy days beginning to add up, there’s no doubt that we are craving some comfort food. Fitting perfect into our monthly theme, MeeT provides those satisfying dishes with sustainability in mind. Their mission is to help transition the mainstream to eating more plant-based foods in a friendly, accepting and engaging venue. It helps that they make a mean (and 100% plant-based) burger. Don’t let the name fool ya – It’s MeeT, not Meat.
It’s all in the name. Trees Organic Coffee and Roasting House serves up the finest ingredients (and tastiest cheesecake – mark our word). With a focus on fair trade, single-origin, and providing women coffee farmers with social and economic programs in their communities, Trees does it right.
EVR roasts specialty coffee and makes bean-to-bar chocolate using single-origin, direct and fair trade beans. They are also a social enterprise program that was founded by PHS Community Services Society, providing housing, healthcare, harm reduction and health promotion for some of the most vulnerable and under-served people in Vancouver and Victoria.
Shout out to our neighbours – Nuba Gastown (authentic, healthy Lebanese cuisine) and The Vegetarian Butcher (veg-centric butcher) who seek out the freshest ingredients—organic and local—and handpick them daily.
Plants over Plastic
Freshen up your home with some clean air! Not only do indoor plants enhance the overall appearance of a space, but they’ve been shown to boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants—making for a healthier, happier you.
Always conscious of the environment, Heathers offers delivery by scooter and environmentally responsible recycled product options. Community giving is also a priority at Heathers. They’ve donated bouquets, gift certificates and event center pieces to raise money for important local causes such as Atira Woman’s Resource Society.
Avelyn serves the Gastown and greater Vancouver community. According to Avelyn, flowers are more than a mere gift. They have a deep and profound meaning.
Certified B Corp Status
B Corporation is a third-party certification of a company’s commitment to social change, earned by businesses that are focused on the big picture, factoring people and the planet into their business decisions, alongside profit. Gastown has several businesses that have earned this status, which is something to be extremely proud of.
Yulu PR is an award-winning social and environmental impact communications firm. They were also Canada’s first communications agency to become B Corp certified, and recognized by B Lab with the honorary agency title of “Best For The World: Changemaker.”
Junxion advises on strategy, sustainability, and social impact for some of the world’s most courageous and generative brands.
President and CEO, Mike Rowlands discusses the importance of having social purpose when it comes to business and the road to recovery. Learn more HERE.
“We’re taking a different approach to investing. We start with understanding community need and work from there to create new market-based solutions.” – New Market Funds.
Play Your Part
We can all play our part when it comes to living more sustainably. We are always eager to hear suggestions from our community on how we can make Gastown more green. Have a suggestion? Check out our Urban Design Study: Gastown Tomorrow, and have your voices heard!
Want to learn more? We recommend exploring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as outlined by the United Nations (UN SDGs) found HERE.