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Sustainable Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Shopping, Dining & More!

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is not just a trendy neighborhood known for its artistic vibes and eclectic culture; it’s also a hub for sustainable living. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various stores, restaurants, and activities in Williamsburg that are committed to sustainability, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to make eco-conscious choices.

SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING:

Pollution is a problem in the fashion industry. The council for textile recycling said that more than 70 pounds of textiles per US citizen are going into landfills annually. That means over 21 BILLION pounds this year alone. –Zero Waste Daniel

  • Sustainable Farms and Markets: McCarren Park is worth seeing if you’re exploring Williamsburg and on Saturdays, swing by the McCarren Park Greenmarket. Here, you can find fresh produce from regional farmers who follow sustainable farming practices. Supporting local agriculture helps reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
  • While they don’t have a brick and mortar store, Mo.Na, is a Williamsburg-based sustainable jewelry company, is pioneering accessories made of biodegradable plastics.
  • Zero Waste Daniel: a bit of a celebrity in the space and his pieces are very stylish. Daniel is a “zero-waste lifestyle pioneer” – he uses pre-consumer waste sourced directly from the local garment industry and other hard-to-recycle materials. His mission is to send nothing to landfills.
  • Treehouse Brooklyn: is a unique store that offers a range of clothing, jewelry, apothecary items, and other treasures, including their in-house clothing and jewelry lines, Big Fun Thing and Sirius Lux. Established in 2006, it supports local designers and has become a well-known part of the Graham Avenue community.
  • Industry of All Nations: This brand is committed to developing sustainable industries worldwide, working with local and well-working communities. They use environmentally friendly practices, including a medium proportion of lower-impact materials like organic cotton, and hand-manufacture products to reduce their climate impact, though there are areas for improvement in worker rights and animal welfare policies.
  • Shop Collective: this collective is a collaboration of six unique brands under one roof, offering handmade specialty pieces and one-of-a-kind treasures. It is a nostalgic homage to the NYC of old, where streets were filled with maker-run shops, fostering a community of artisans and unique craftsmanship.
  • By Liv Handmade: This sustainable clothing brand based in Brooklyn adopts a full lifecycle approach to sustainability. They focus on recycling every material down to the thread and use antique textiles like handkerchiefs, doilies, vintage drapes, and bed linens to create unique, one-of-a-kind handmade garments.
  • Baggu: is committed to sustainability, focusing on minimizing waste in its operations and production processes. Their efforts include using 100% recycled material for their ripstop nylon products and 65% recycled cotton for their canvas bags, designing for longevity, and adopting a minimal waste design. 

VINTAGE STORES:

  • L Train Vintage: Embark on a sustainable fashion journey at L Train Vintage on North 7th Street. This vintage store offers a curated selection of pre-loved clothing, giving new life to fashion pieces and reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion. Explore unique and timeless styles while contributing to a more sustainable and circular fashion economy.
  • Awoke Vintage: Awoke Vintage, located on Driggs Avenue, is a treasure trove of vintage clothing and accessories. This boutique is committed to promoting slow fashion by offering high-quality, second-hand items that stand the test of time. Embrace your individual style while making environmentally conscious choices.
  • Beacon’s Closet: Beacon’s Closet, situated on Guernsey Street, is a well-known thrift store offering a diverse range of second-hand clothing, shoes, and accessories. By shopping here, you not only score one-of-a-kind fashion finds but also contribute to the reduction of textile waste and the conservation of resources.
  • Buffalo Exchange: Known for its chain of secondhand stores across the United States, Buffalo Exchange plays a significant role in promoting sustainability in the fashion industry. Their focus on buying, selling, and trading pre-owned clothing supports the ethos of secondhand fashion, contributing to reducing emissions and fostering eco-friendly practices within the fashion resale market.
  • Mother of Junk: a unique thrift shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, known for its quirky and offbeat items. While it may not be the most curated or budget-friendly store, it offers a fun and unconventional thrifting experience that is unique to this store. 
  • Antoinette Vintage: draws inspiration from a vast collection of chic finds from the 1950s-90s. Named after the owner’s mother, who worked in the fashion industry, the store has grown since its opening in 2011 and now includes new and local designers in its collection​.
  • The Attic: a vintage store that prioritizes sustainability and offers sustainable fashion options. They provide an affordable vintage experience and even offer alterations in-house.
  • Hybrid Vintage:  is a sustainable vintage consignment shop offering a blend of contemporary and vintage fashion styles. The founder sources unique pieces from her travels and curates her stock based on customer preferences, aiming to provide high-quality, timeless fashion choices. The store’s focus on secondhand clothing contributes to sustainability by promoting reuse and reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion​
  • Stella Dallas:  a vintage store known for selling vintage t-shirts, sweaters, shoes, and more. They also have a variety of dead stock items from the 70s.
  • 7 Wonders Collective:  a unique vintage collective known for its carefully curated vintage clothing and accessories. Founded by Melissa Blumberg, the shop not only offers one-of-a-kind treasures but also fosters a vibrant community of vendors, creating a diverse and magical shopping experience. 
  • Bedford Vintage: a sustainable and socially responsible thrift store in Brooklyn, New York. Founded by two friends, they focus on curating a collection of high-quality, second-hand fashion and accessories. The store promotes sustainability by extending the life of clothing and reducing waste. They actively engage with their local community and collaborate with various organizations to support social causes.

SUSTAINABLE DINING:

  • Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.: Located on Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. is a prime example of sustainable seafood sourcing. This restaurant and fish market prioritize responsibly caught and sourced seafood, supporting local fishermen and ensuring the health of marine ecosystems.
  • Diner NYC: is an iconic restaurant that embodies the neighborhood’s unique spirit. It’s known for its classic American diner fare and retro ambiance. Their daily menu is committed to local, seasonal, and sustainable foods, built by the relationships with the farmers in upstate New York and surrounding regions.
  • Sunday in Brooklyn: a popular restaurant that focuses on using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to create innovative and delicious dishes. They prioritize sustainability by working with farmers and producers who share their commitment to responsible sourcing.

Farm-to-Table Eateries:

  • Meadowsweet: With a focus on locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce, Meadowsweet offers a farm-to-table dining experience that celebrates the flavors of the region while minimizing its carbon footprint.
  • The Farm on Adderley: This cozy neighborhood eatery partners with local farmers and producers to create delicious, sustainable dishes that showcase the best of Brooklyn’s bounty.
  • Sweetgreen: Known for its commitment to sustainability and transparency, Sweetgreen offers hearty salads and grain bowls made with fresh, organic ingredients sourced from local farms.

Eating vegan is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and be more sustainable. Williamsburg has no shortage of delicious vegan hotspots:

  • Plantega: a plant-based convenience store located in New York City. It offers a wide range of vegan and sustainable products, including snacks, beverages, and groceries. Plantega’s mission is to make plant-based living more accessible and convenient to everyone while reducing the environmental impact of food choices.
  • Terms of Endearment: a plant-based cafe just blocks away from Domino Park. Known for delicious pastries and hot and cold sandwiches on fresh baked Croissants and Focaccia, as well as seasonal bites and a full coffee program.
  • Ro’s Diner: If you’re craving classic diner fare with a vegan twist, Ro’s Diner on Meserole Street is the place to be. This all-vegan diner offers a menu filled with comfort food favorites like burgers, pancakes, and milkshakes, all plant-based and cruelty-free.
  • Modern Love Brooklyn: Head to Modern Love Brooklyn on Union Avenue for an upscale vegan dining experience. With a focus on locally sourced and organic ingredients, this restaurant offers a diverse menu with inventive and delicious vegan dishes, showcasing that plant-based cuisine can be both refined and flavorful.
  • Jungle Cafe: For a taste of exotic flavors with a plant-based twist, Jungle Cafe on Graham Avenue is a must-visit. This vegan restaurant brings together a fusion of international cuisines, offering a diverse menu of dishes inspired by global culinary traditions, all made with compassion for animals and the planet.
  • Dun-Well Doughnuts: Satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free at Dun-Well Doughnuts on Montrose Avenue. This vegan doughnut shop creates delectable treats without any animal products, proving that indulgence can be cruelty-free. With a variety of flavors, it’s a paradise for both vegans and non-vegans alike.
  • Vinnie’s Pizzeria: Craving a slice of vegan pizza? Vinnie’s Pizzeria on Bedford Avenue has got you covered. Known for its inventive pizza creations, this pizzeria offers vegan options that are just as satisfying as their traditional counterparts. It’s a perfect spot for a casual and delicious vegan meal.
  • Garden Carver:  known for its farm-to-table approach. They source ingredients directly from local farms and serve dishes inspired by seasonal produce. By supporting local agriculture and promoting sustainable food practices, Garden Carver contributes to the community’s well-being and the reduction of food miles.

SUSTAINABLE COFFEE / CAFES:

  • Sweatshop Coffee: For coffee enthusiasts, Sweatshop Coffee on Willoughby Avenue is a must-visit. This coffee shop focuses on ethically sourced beans, emphasizing fair trade and sustainable farming methods. Enjoy your cup of coffee knowing it supports responsible practices.
  • Devoción Coffee: They are known for their direct-sourcing approach, which involves working directly with coffee farmers to ensure fair wages and sustainable farming practices. Devoción is committed to creating a more transparent and ethical coffee supply chain. Their dedication to direct trade benefits both the farmers and the coffee industry as a whole by promoting sustainability and fairness.

ECO-FRIENDLY BARS:

  • Radegast Hall & Biergarten: This popular beer garden not only serves up a wide selection of craft brews but also prioritizes sustainability by implementing energy-efficient practices and reducing waste.
  • Freehold: A hip co-working space by day and a lively bar and restaurant by night, Freehold boasts a sustainably sourced menu and eco-friendly design elements, including reclaimed wood furnishings and energy-saving lighting.
  • Brooklyn Bowl – the first LEED certified bowling alley in the world!

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Celsious: Where sustainability meets impeccable garment care, redefining the laundry experience for New Yorkers. They are committed in providing a laundry experience that not only cares for your clothes but also cares for the planet, without resorting to harmful ingredients commonly found in traditional laundry processes.
  • Natural Wine Company: A wine store that makes sure that each bottle in their collection is a testament to the sustainable, biodynamic, and organic farming methods employed by the locally dedicated vintners they support.
  • Puerh Brooklyn(GGripo): Prioritizes sustainability in several ways. Their commitment to sourcing true teas from responsible farms worldwide ensures ethical tea production. They also offer a “Time with Tea” sessions in a dedicated tea room encourage mindful and sustainable tea consumption, allowing guests to savor the beauty of tea gong-fu style. 

GREEN ACTIVITIES:

  • Oko Farms: Take a tour! The Oko Farms Aquaponics Farm and Education Center is NYC’s largest outdoor and only publicly accessible aquaponics farm. Located along the East River, the farm cultivates a variety of freshwater fish including catfish, tilapia and crawfish along with a wide diversity of vegetables and herbs.
  • Marsha P. Johnson State Park: Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the waterfront at East River State Park, a scenic green space that offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and opportunities for birdwatching and picnicking.
  • Domino Park: enjoy a newer greenspace along the East River. Domino Park was built on the former site of the Domino Sugar Refinery.
  • North Brooklyn Boat Club: Get out on the water and explore the East River with the North Brooklyn Boat Club, which offers kayaking trips and paddling excursions led by experienced guides committed to environmental stewardship.
  • Newtown Creek Alliance: check the schedule and join for one of their various events – from tours to volunt with the Billion Oyster Project.

 

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a hotspot for sustainable living, offering a variety of options for eco-conscious consumers. From responsibly sourced seafood and zero-waste stores to ethically produced chocolates and rooftop farms, the neighborhood provides a plethora of choices for those looking to make sustainable and environmentally friendly decisions. By supporting these businesses, residents and visitors alike contribute to the ongoing movement towards a greener and more sustainable future.

Be sure to check out our Sustainable Brooklyn Tour and our Sustainable Williamsburg Brooklyn Food & Fashion Tour led by a fabulous local sustainable fashion designer!