MAY 30, 2019

Sustainable Shopping at this Eco-Themed Bazaar


The zero-waste movement has gone mainstream, and all for the better. At the Good Trade Fair, which have been held at various Ayala Malls over the weekends this summer, you’ll see a lot of shoppers interested in sustainable products, just as you’ll see a lot of vendors selling handmade shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, woven Inabel towels, and upcycled jewelry.

A few years ago, this would have been a niche market. You’d have to search far and wide for a natural tooth powder—or make your own. Good Trade founder Jana Bunagan noticed the sustainability movement picking up, and gathered together merchants and social entrepreneurs who were making ethical, organic, or zero-waste products, so shoppers could easily make better decisions for themselves and the planet.

The Good Trade Fair, launched last year, has grown to include workshops and seminars on composting, eco-bricking, and the magic of essential oils, as well as screenings of environmental documentaries. At the U.P. Town Center fair, they partnered with local sewers to offer mending and alteration services. At the Glorietta iteration, they collaborated with to give away free second-hand clothes donated from the closets of fashion influencers Laureen Uy, Crissey Si, and Erika Kristensen.

The goods found at the Good Trade often hark back to simpler times, while others are innovations on traditional items. Handcrafted soaps from Daniela Calumba and the coconut coir dishwashing tools from Druid Things are all natural products that will leave no trace, while the silicone menstrual cup and cloth pads by Sinaya are reusable products that aim to reduce women’s dependence on disposable, non-biodegradable tampons and pads.  Healthy food products are also available: kombucha from Boochamama, vegan cheese from In a Nutshell, malunggay pasta from The Ruby Pantry, coffee from Dream Wide Awake, pure honey from Bzzz, and many other options for those pursuing a plant-based lifestyle, or just a more natural one.

In an ideal, zero-waste world, we wouldn’t be spending all the time—we’d consider first using what we already have, then borrowing, swapping, thrifting, or making, as outlined by the “Buyerarchy of Needs” by Sara Lazarovic. Of course, as we start on our journey we need the necessary tools to guide us.  Intentional shopping also supports small, local businesses which in turn support the livelihoods of Filipino farmers, weavers, and craftspeople.

Conscious consumers can follow on Instagram for the next bazaar.