This emporium of eco loveliness is the name on everyone's lips. Every purveyor of style, from magazines to museums, is rushing to showcase the eye-catching designs of Bird Textile. Rachel Bending's award-winning label and store offers unique fashion, homewares and stationery which are handmade outside of Sydney, in Byron Bay using 100% renewable solar power.
The gorgeous fabrics are certified organic and water-based dyes are used to create quirky and covetable prints. With such commitment to the environment, it is perhaps no surprise that Bird Textile became Australia's first climate neutral business in 2004 and that owner, Rachel is often called upon to guest speak around the country at events focused on design and sustainability.
To see the charming range of eco products from Bird Textile, be sure to step into their emporium in Surry Hills. This is the prettiest place to find products to furnish your ethical life in the most striking, stylish and sustainable way.
380 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.
Showroom in Byron Bay
San Francisco's Mission District is the place to go for Mexican food but if you like your burritos sans meat and filled with organic, vegan goodness, wrapped up in non-GMO corn tortillas, then Gracias Madre is the place for you.
This unique restaurant is lovingly run by the same owners of San Francisco's popular Cafe Gratitude. Gracias Madre has an equally positive and inspiring atmosphere and the food is of the highest quality. Most of the produce served at Gracias Madre is local and grown at the owner's 'organic, biodynamic Be Love Farm in Pleasant Valley'.
You can bite into the flavours of Mexico with dishes such as Quesadillas de Calabaza, made with butternut squash, caramelized onion, cashew cheese and pumpkin seed salsa or try the Mole Enchiladas or Tacos served with seasonal vegetables. Don't forget to order some nutritious and delicious sides like wild mushrooms with garlic or local brown rice with cilantro, chile and lime.
The divine selection of postres will thankfully not go straight to your posterior, as only wholesome ingredients are used. Sit back and enjoy every morsel of the desserts such as Coconut Lime Cheesecake or Mexican Wedding Cookies served with homemade ice cream. You can also indulge with some lovely organic wine and beer. Vegans and non-vegans will happily lavish many 'gracias' upon this Mexican gem, due to the impressive menu and mission of Gracias Madre.
2211 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
image credits: here
Hidden amongst the Australian bush, a little over 100km from Sydney, lays a secret bush camp that will give you a real slice of Australia's green life. You can sleep by the banks of a river, beneath the open sky surrounded only by trees and wildlife. Yes, you'll be camping but you will be camping in style. You can either drive or be picked up from Sydney and whisked away to this secluded location at the southern end of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Once you hear the sounds of the city replaced by the sounds of kookaburras, you will know it's safari time. Your private guide can take you on bushwalks past waterfalls and canoe rides down the Wollondilly river as well as give you a tour of the pioneering town of Yerranderie. Remember to keep a lookout for any kangaroos, platypus and wombats.
After a day of intrepid exploring, you can return to camp to enjoy a lovely cooked dinner served with a glass of excellent Australian wine (sourced locally from the Southern Highlands vineyards). Sleep will be equally blissful because your 'swag' is actually a comfy mattress with a soft duvet and pillows. There is also an eco-friendly en suite with a hot water 'bucket camp shower' with towels and organic soaps provided. If this is what life is like in the bush, then hand me a billy can, put a damper in the fire and call my next door neighbour a kangaroo because I could definitely get used to this!
Ph: 1300 790 561 or international: +61 2 9 571 6399
by Mimi Giboin
This duplex restaurant opened in 2003 and is giving organic, vegan dining a thoroughly chic and sophisticated image. With a divine selection of dishes and an organic wine and sake bar, Candle 79 attracts locals and celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone. It's no surprise Candle 79 were 'twice rated as Zagat's number 1 vegetarian restaurant.' Try stopping by on the weekend for a stunning brunch of Homestyle Pancakes served with seasonal fruit, cranberry butter and gingered maple syrup. You can also find a gluten free menu available both here and at Candle Cafe.
154 E. 79th Street (between Lexington and Third), New York, NY 10075
by Rob Branch-Dasch
You can tell the love has been baked, sauteed and flambeed into every dish of organic and seasonal vegan food served at Candle Cafe (which also aims to use local produce when possible). Their menu featured dishes, especially the desserts, that very nearly persuaded me to move to New York City. If you thought the words, vegan and dessert, were two words that had never been placed side by side, then you are about to discover a whole new celestially sweet vegan world. How does a Decadent Chocolate Cake with chocolate frosting and berry coulis sound? Now you're thinking about moving to New York too, aren't you? When you do, have a drink for me. Perhaps the Amazon Mania smoothie or PB & J made with peanut butter, blueberries and vanilla soy ice cream. Is this what vegan heaven looks and tastes like? I think so.
1307 Third Avenue (between 74th & 75th), New York, NY 10021.
image: David Levene/Guardian
The charity, Oxfam, has three boutiques in the strategic style locales of Notting Hill, Chelsea and Chiswick (with another two outside London in Durham and Cardiff). At these impressive boutiques you can pick up high-end vintage fashion or exclusive collections from fair trade brands such as People Tree. Also look out for the 'reinvented' outfits created by independent designers and London College Fashion students and graduates. The cool profile of Oxfam was raised even higher when fashion photographer Rankin snapped Heidi Klum and Jourdan Dunn wearing Oxfam outfits for the 'Sustain Me' campaign.
This is the ultimate way to shop sustainably and stylishly knowing each item sold will help 'raise money to fight poverty around the world.'
Chelsea - 123a Shawfield St, Kings Road, SW3 4PL
Chiswick - 190 Chiswick High Rd, W4
Westbourne Grove - 245 Westbourne Grove, W11
If you want your raw, vegan dinner infused with glamour, then Pure Food and Wine is the place to go in New York. Diners can enjoy picturesque plates of gourmet delights as they recline in either the atmospheric restaurant, slick bar, serene garden or private dining room. Some vegetarians and carnivores may also welcome the restaurant's promise to serve 'no tofu, tempeh or seitan anywhere on the menu or premises.'
Flavourful menu highlights include White Corn Tamales with Raw Cacao Mole and Thai Coconut Noodles in Galangal Red Coconut Curry made with saffron oil. Delectable desserts such as the Trio of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats will no doubt prompt you to go and find the chefs to give them a great big hug!
Truffled Squash Pasta (image: Charles Schiller)
54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
first and last images by Ryu Kodama
Love the name, love the shop, love the stock! This enchanting store may be on the teeny side but their commitment to filling every nook and cranny with the best ethical and sustainable products is inspiring. There is an emphasis on showcasing Australian designers and products such as Northern Lights organic beeswax candles and Jangling Jack rings made from recycled vintage silver cutlery, as well as stocking products from co-operatives in countries like Nepal, Peru and the Philippines.
The area of Surry Hills is fast becoming the place to visit when in Sydney but it is stores such as 'I Ran The Wrong Way' that should be at the top of your shopping itinerary. The store is designed in the style of a local, quirky general store and it's the perfect spot to pick up a unique eco treasure for you or someone you cherish.
378 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, 2010 (Cnr Marlborough Street).