What Are Some Sustainable Stores in Manila?

image from Humble Market

There are range of stores throughout manila particularly in the BGC area that promote sustainable living. This includes stores such as:

So, what do these shops have in common? What makes them sustainable?

Firstly, they are owned by local Filipino communities rather than large corporations. Not only does this reduce food miles (i.e. the increased carbon emissions from goods that are shipped long distances from overseas), but it skips the middlemen during the corporate distribution process, and thus, more of the profit goes to the farmers who grew the foods.

In addition, goods (such as rice, nuts, oils, and soaps) are sold in bulk. Bulk? When we say bulk, we're not talking about purchasing large quantities from S&R or Costco (which typically hale in imported goods which are heavily packaged in single-use plastics). In this context, bulk shopping refers to the purchasing of such goods without any packaging. The customers typically bring their own containers, and fill them up with their desired item at the refill station. It is also a cheaper option, as you are only paying for the item, and not the container.

Finally, these stores sell reusable and/or compostable materials. Purchasing items such as bamboo cutlery, lunch containers, and reusable bags can allow you to avoid using single-use plastics, helping us mitigate our waste and achieve a circular economy. It is important to note, however, that it is best to make use of whatever reusable items you have (even if neither ideal nor new) before purchasing new ones in order to evade corrosive waste.

Well, can't I just shop plastic-free from my supermarket?

Sure. But it is often more difficult, and in doing so you are no longer supporting farmers and local business owners. Vote with your dollar. Be mindful of where you shop.

Click here for a more complete list of sustainable stores in the Philippines!