As promised in Part 1, I'm bringing you another installment of my favorite eco-friendly businesses in the Manchester Area. In today's roundup: organic food, vintage and second-hand finds, and handmade goods from local artisans. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Eighth Day Co-Op
The Eighth Day Co-Op is a Manchester institution that has been around in some form since the 1970s. Though it’s had several permutations and locations, today it’s located on Oxford Road in the city centre and is part cafe, part grocery, and totally vegetarian.
The grocery sits on the ground floor and is filled with a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, organic, and fair trade foods, including loose produce and fresh baked bread. What makes Eighth Day worth a visit, in my opinion, is its robust cosmetics counter which offers an array of natural and organic skincare, makeup, and personal grooming products. Next to the cosmetics counter is the nutritional and herbal supplements section of the store, with an impressive selection and an expert on hand to help customers find what they need.
Eighth Day also stocks natural and biodegradable housekeeping products, and, to my delight and surprise, they offer refills on Ecover laundry liquid and washing up liquid, as well as Faith in Nature shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. This is the first place I’ve come across refills of this kind of product in the Manchester area. Eighth Day are leading the refill revolution!
The cafe sits on the basement level and is a great place to grab a healthy and delicious vegan or vegetarian meal. They also serve tea, coffee, fresh juice, wine and beer. You can get your drink to stay and save a disposable cup, and if you ask for your fresh juice without a straw, they’re happy to accommodate you. Bonus: there’s a tap at the bussing station where you can refill your water glass or bottle.
If you’re looking for a few second hand pieces to spruce up your wardrobe, look no further than Pop Boutique. This meticulously curated vintage shop (with a few rails of new mixed in) in the Northern Quarter is a thrifter’s dream come true. The shop is comprised of two floors of retail space offering men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, a small selection of furniture and housewares, including second-hand records.
You’ll find everything from loud printed blouses to chunky cable knits, flat caps to military jackets, boots to sneakers. I picked up a black mock neck rib sweater for a tenner that my husband now refers to as my “boss jumper”.
In need of a sparkly party dress? They’ve got you covered. A kimono? A jean jacket? A pair of leather shorts? It’s all here.
Manchester Craft & Design Center
The Manchester Craft & Design Center is a gallery located in the norther quarter, with two levels of studios opening onto a central hall, in the middle of which is a cafe and bar. Each studio is part workshop, part retail space, with owners and artisans at work in the back while they sell their goods in front. There’s something for everyone here, from ceramics to jewelry to home accessories. It’s the perfect place to find a unique handmade trinket.
My personal favorites are Katherine Lees’ ceramics in Studio 25. She does lots of small jars, vases, plates, and hanging planters, which she fires right there in the studio, in a small kiln she has stashed away in a cupboard! Her pieces are screen printed, which I didn’t even know was possible. She keeps her secret printing technique quite close to the vest, and I don’t blame her! The result is beautiful subtle patterning, and a uniqueness to each delicate piece.
RSPCA Charity Shop Northern Quarter
As you leave the Manchester Craft & Design Center, pop in and have a look at the RSPCA charity shop on the corner. Though it’s small in size, it has a unique range of men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as a small selection of books, DVDs, and home wares. For its size, it’s quite well curated - each piece is unique and has a reason to take up valuable floor space. You don’t have to do much hunting to find a gem on the rails.
Don't worry, we're not finished yet! Stay tuned for Part 3 coming at you soon.
Pssst! Are you a Mancunian? What are your favorite second hand, eco-friendly, vegan/vegetarian, zero waste spots? Leave a comment or send me an email!