My friend Caitlin has a love affair with Vancouver and claims, “The streets are paved with gold.” So, when I’m deciding what to see when I visit Vancouver, I know Caitlin’s love of Vancouver and creativity will give me the advice I seek. Her suggestion? Granville Island Market. At first, I’m hesitant to be excited since I’m not a huge fan of crowded markets filled with tourist trinkets and souvenirs. Thankfully, my doubts are wrong, and I find products with the mentality of sustainable and ethical fashion—local and artisanal products. Here’s a few of my favorite finds:
Ten Thousand Villages: Walking into this fair trade retailer’s store, I was greeted by a variety of beaded bracelets and earrings from India. I even managed to find Christmas ornaments of painted egg shapes from Indonesia. I love the variety of products that carry items crafted by artisans from around the world.
Maiwa Handprints and Maiwa Supply: I fell in love with both stores of this company. One store was filled with home décor products of natural dyes and prints and the other a collection of crafts from yarn to fabric scraps to dyes. I spent a great deal of time wandering through both stores and loved finding a company whose products are aimed at preservation of traditional Indian fabric and craftsmanship.
Paper-Ya: Not only did I love the variety of journals with topics ranging from a unique travel journal that collects memories of colors and has places to stain the pages with favorite drinks, but it also has journals with a collection of daily meals cooked with your thoughts on each meal. The journals can be meaningful as they are sarcastic and humorous as I find one printed with gold lettering stating “Fucking Brilliant,” and others encouraging you to share what you really think of people on a daily basis. There’s everything from stationery to packaging materials to wrapping paper that would have kept me entertained for hours if I my stomach hadn’t called my attention for lunch.
Silk Weaving Studio: This was a great place to satisfy my interest in textiles and curiosity of another art form. Weaving is something I’ve become more and more interested in as I learn about companies that work with specific materials in their products. Although most of the spools were for weaving looms, I eagerly searched for options to knit and was thrilled to find Tussah, a specific type of silk used by one of my favorite ethical fashion companies Wild Tussah.
Finding a market that sells everything from local produce to artisanal handicrafts fills my day with plenty to explore. I can’t help but think, “If it’s possible to achieve what sustainable and ethical fashion support on one island, why can’t we do the same in the rest of the world?” Most often it seem as though hand-made or artisan gifts are deemed “expensive” and “poor quality,” a concept I find strange given that inexpensive clothes I’ve purchased need repairs after little wear and I complain that they’re “cheap.” Seeing the stores full of artisan, local made products, and recycled goods, I don’t see what’s wrong with paying for the quality of any of the pieces. After all, it’s not every day you find a durable, strong wallet made from recycled tires.
This post is a part of City Tripping hosted by Mummy Travels and Wandermum, Fly Away Friday hosted by Time Travel Blonde and Life and Wanderlust, and The Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond.