Saturday afternoon, nice hot weather, delicious food and freshening drinks. I am sitting at a table with my friends and listening to all three panel talks taking place just in front of me. I get motivated and inspired by anyone surrounding me.
I realize how important living responsibly and consciously is and this whole event just proves me right that I am not alone. There are so many people out here that went much further than I, so I discover new (for me personally) revolutionary thoughts and implement these ideas into my everyday life as well.
On the weekend of 12-13/9 Manifesto Market in Smichov hosted its first year of the Sustainable Festival. The main aim of this whole project was to bring together all people who care about the environment and sustainable lifestyle in general. Many interesting speakers from all different areas were invited to talk about their field of interest and how sustainability is connected to the topic.
Manifesto Market’s permanent mission is that sustainability is not only about recycling or reducing our usage of disposable goods… but about the way we think. We can think sustainably while doing anything and that is why the moderator Jakub Michna and his guests talked about fashion, cosmetics, food, shopping, traveling, buildings, energies, and much more. If you missed this wonderful and inspiring weekend, hope that there will be another happening soon, but now let me introduce you the speakers and talk about highlights of the event…
Are you a shopaholic but looking for more sustainable ways than just to buy fast-fashion?
This was our first topic… sustainable fashion!
La Femme Mimi
Mimi is a Vietnamese living in CZ. She has always created own clothes for herself and soon even for her friends because of the lack of good looking and quality clothes in the stores here. Her brand is zero-waste…offers one collection until it’s completely sold and has one more set of clothes annually to finish all of the remaining material. “My mum took me shopping to Kotva here in Prague, after I had arrived from Vietnam in 1993, all the clothes they offered was khaki and so big… I had to re-make it using items I found in secondhand stores or children apparel.”…replies she to the question how did she start.
She closed the talk with words… “I believe and hope that the change and philosophy of up cycling should come to Asia first.”
Is a sportswear brand run by young Natalia, who has worked for a high fashion brand abroad and experienced the usual process of the industry, which she afterwards didn’t want to support anymore.
She got back to CZ and realized there is no local brand she could buy ethically made sportswear from. So, she started her own business...easy, right? You can get stylish leggings and tops for yoga and since only recently even swimwear with and support your local brand- designed in Prague, sewn in Valašské Meziříčí and Brno.
Is an online fashion magazine (not printed which makes it even more sustainable) that tries to share tips and tricks to live more and wear more sustainably.
What you consider the greatest horror habit people do? “To have a bursting wardrobe full of clothes that they wore once or not even that- basically saw it on Instagram and bought it head-first... I call this ultra-fast- fashion.”
What have brought you to write about this topic? “After watching a Norwegian reality show titled Sweatshop Deadly Fashion- (in which fashion bloggers were sent to Cambodia to work in a sweatshop for a month under the same circumstances as the usual Cambodians)- I felt like this needs to stop.”
If you like shopping but prefer sustainable and quality fashion, then Freshlabels- originally an online store that has already opened one store in Prague 7- would be a good way for you. In Freshlabels they don’t sell only ethical brands but create their own portfolio to rate brands for how sustainable they are and want to become 100% sustainable in the future. “Even though, we try to be as much sustainable as possible, we realize our carbon footprint and try to make up for it. Our goal is to educate our customers and act as responsibly and transparent as we can.”
FOOD IS LOVE, FOOD IS LIFE…
But we can still dine and drink sustainably… let’s see!
Have you ever heard of sustainable food? And made of crickets? Yep, no kidding, this is what the brand Sens Food has come up with. It is a very effective substitute for all products- especially beef. When you compare the usage to of water to raise cattle and crickets- you save gallons. They have much protein, don’t actually feel pain and the food tastes like you would never say there is cricket in it.
You can get a protein bar, crackers, pasta, flour or protein shake… Haven’t tried yet? … Let’s go.
Flor de Caňa
Bars are pretty unsustainable industry. However, you probably wouldn't succeed if you tried to close them all- so you can try to find a more sustainable alternatives in some ways… Sustainable rum coming from Nicaragua called Flor de Caňa, where this business supports development of locals’ lives, is such an idea. Other than that, you can avoid using plastic straws, have returnable bottles or use 100% green energy.
“If you are interested in partying sustainably- check out the Hemmingway Bar, Bankers Bar or Spojka Karlín.”
Dewii and Surová dcerka
Both ladies are young inspiring Instagrammers, bloggers and authors of two vegan books (each of them). “Only few years ago, most vegans were vegans for the ethical reasons, today the most common motivation is the health and wellbeing.” -Dewii
“The goal should be to actually change the consumption habits- not only replace the things we do with the same- just with the eco label.” -Dewii
Would you try the cricket crackers? - “I support the idea, but probably not.” -Surová dcerka
“It’s not the planet that needs to save- the planet will survive anything- its people who will become extinct.” - Surová dcerka
Maybe you’ve been there already or at least have heard of it. Bezobalu is a very popular concept that expands all over CZ. When you walk in the store, be sure to get all bio and organic food, in most cases local. What you will definitely not get here are disposable packaging and plastics. You come with your own containers, fill them up with anything you want and happily take them home.
“We don’t want you to become 100% zero-waste immediately- probably not ever- we are all human… Let’s start with baby-steps otherwise- you will get demotivated- and slowly add other practices.”
Free time activities, travelling and self-care. How to minimize the carbon footprint that we leave behind?
Surftravel organizes surf trips to France and Portugal… to be in Panama as well, unfortunately it was stopped by the coronavirus pandemic. However, thanks to those travel restrictions Suftravel created wake surf events in the Czech Republic “Thanks to surfing I realize how small I am in comparison to the great ocean… I am aware of the impact I have on the nature and believe that all I get I have to give back" “Just a single person won’t make any difference- that is why have to create strong community and work together.” As soon as we will get the opportunity to travel safely, make sure that you check the surf travel offer and before this- try Prague Surf Club and get ready for the waves!
Lucie van Kotten
Lucie is a blogger writing about sustainable cosmetics. On her blog she recommends only organic and bio cosmetics- shows that there is a way.
What is your biggest advice? “To always keep it minimalistic- not to accumulate things. When I step in bathroom of some of my friends, I never understand why anyone would have ten different mascaras… have one quality and buy another one when you run out of it…”
Visit her blog and get some info even about face yoga, “French women are so pretty because they have to articulate so much- face yoga is just like that- makes your face seem at least ten years younger.”
Keep it clean
Is a non-profit celebrating 10 years in 2020. The idea is to clean the space where we want to have fun- oceans and mountains. “It’s not about one mass cleanse but conscious and sustainable lifestyle- we don’t want to surf in ocean full of plastic or snowboard with waste all around on the slope.”
“We connect with medially famous people and share our message- we all want to live and have fun in clean environment.”
Are words for an alternative and very optimistic community. “In Bali we wanted to create a meeting point where we can get together with our friends and share cool place… it expands and expands… now there is a bar, café, gallery…” They up-cycle old and broken things, use containers to build “houses” and organize many retreats for Czech community coming to Bali.
“We are not flawless- we travel by plane, drink Coke from a plastic bottle, but what we try to do is to have a healthy mindset and share the ideas with the community.”
Hopefully, this gave you a good picture of what the festival looked like! If you enjoyed reading this post and found it any useful, I have some good news for you…
This was only a half of it and the other is yet to come! For now, I’ll leave you here with some new ideas to think about… Stay tuned!
AUTHOR: Anna Suchánková