Sustainable City Guide: London
My favourite sustainable restaurants, cafés, ethical clothes shops, organic beauty stores and more To visit in london.
This post has been a really long time coming and has been started at least ten different times, weather on paper, phone notes or as a blog post draft… However as we are talking about one of the cities most prone to change (you can literally watch the skyline grow - okay, maybe not l i t e r a l l y), those notes didn’t feel quite right anymore, so I decided to start all over again and promise myself I was going to publish this time!
So here we are, let’s start with the most important part of this guide:
Lyan Cub (Hoxton East London)
Possibly the most sustainable restaurant in the city is Lyan Cub in East London. It was launched as a collaborative project by some on the most interesting and pioneering chefs out there, like Doug McMaster the founder of zero waste restaurant Silo in Brighton). The menu is mostly Veggie (you can ask for vegan, gluten-free options ahead), and most ingredients are usually either wonky or surplus that would’ve gone to waste. Molasses made from leftover bits of fruit, tender apple slices frozen, bathed in vitamin c and then defrosted for an incredible texture - this restaurant is an experience and a form of art.
ps: the counter top you can see there (that I am totally drooling over) is made from recycled materials such as yoghurt pots.
153 Hoxton Street
London N1 6PJ
t: +44(0) 203 6933 202
Farmacy (Notting Hill, West London)
I will tell anyone that will listen about this place, because the food is that good. The place is full of plants (tick), wicker (tick), has a beautiful bar with gold details in the middle (tick) and delicious plant-based food (tick tick tick). The restaurant only serves organic, seasonal and local food sourced from their own certified biodynamic farm in Kent.
The menu might have changed for the new season, but if they still have it please do me the favour of trying their truffle mac n’ cheese (it’s vegan) - I had an outer body experience eating this.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH
+44 (0)20 7221 0705
Spring (Strand, Central London)
The restaurant is based in Somerset House and was launched by acclaimed chef Sky Gyngell. A couple of years ago they launched the sustainable scratch menu in which meals where cooked (for a much more budget-friendly price) one a week made entirely from food waste scraps. The restaurant has also pledged to minimise the use of single-use plastics
Somerset House, New Wing,
Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA
t: +44 (0)20 3011 0115
Farmstand (Covent Garden, Central London)
Farmstand was founded in 2016 with an all-day menu is based on the diet the founder has been following since being diagnosed with cancer and believed vital to improve health. The restaurant sources the best ingredients seasonally with an 80% plant-powered menu, the addition of 5% sustainable fish and 15% meat. They also have free filtered sparkling and natural water refills to help you avoid single-use plastic. Ps.: the coffee is ethically sourced too and delicious.
42 Drury Lane, WC2B 5AJ
t: +44 (0)20 7240 3866
Wild Food Café (Neal’s Yard, Central London and Islington, East London)
This café is the perfect spot to get your seasonal, vegan, organic cake and coffee fix (actually, you should really get the hot chocolate here!). An extra 99p is added to your bill which will pay for the planting of a fruit tree in the developing world.
1st Floor, Neals Yard, WC2H 9DP
t: +44 (0)207 041 3972
269-270 Upper Street, N1 2UQ
t: +44 (0)208 036 3990
Petersham Nurseries (Richmond, West London and Covent Garden, Central London)
This café, originally opened in Richmond, is a family-run business. The concept is based around their Richmond nurseries and garden, and is run under the ethos of ‘slow food and flowers’. Everything in the garden is of course grown organically and you can even buy sustainable alternatives to pest and disease control as well as peat free composts. The food is locally sourced and sustainably winning them the Leadership award by the Sustainable Restaurant Association four years in a row.
Church Lane, Off Petersham Road
Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7AB
t: +44 (0)20 8332 8665
Petersham Nurseries, Floral Court, London, WC2E 9FB.
La Goccia is located at 1 Floral Court and The Petersham at 2 Floral Court.
The Shop and Florist are located at 31 King Street.
The Delicatessen and Cellar are located at 27 King Street.
t: +44 (0)20 7305 7676
69b boutique (Hackney, East London)
Established in 2011, this was the first store in London entirely dedicated to sustainable fashion. The shop stocks mid to high fashion ethical brands such as Filippa K, Beaumont Organic, Reset Priority, Jan n’ June and Birdsong.
69b Broadway Market
London E8 4PH
+44 (0)20 7249 9655
The Keep boutique (Brixton, South London)
Located in the depth of Brixton market (which in itself is an experience if you’ve never been), The Keep boutique curates a selection of sustainable, yet affordable brands, such as Pala Eyewear, People Tree, Armed Angels, Thought and Under Protection.
Ps.: if you head there, go get a gf buckwheat crepe next door at Senzala Creperie - yum!
32/33 Brixton Village
London SW9 8PR
t: +44 (0)207 924 0867
OXFAM Westbourne Grove (Notting Hill, West London)
This Oxfam charity shop is just off Portobello Road and for some reason seems to attract some of the best stuff from the area.
Here you can find affordable one-of-a-kind designer (and non) pieces in really good condition. They also have a really good selection of accessories.
245 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2SE
t: +44 (020 7229 5000)
Fara Charity Shop (Notting Hill, West London)
This charity shop is where I found my beloved flared white shirt for £8, it has a really good selection of quality pieces and my advice is to always look up as they hang some of the best stuff up on the walls.
10 Elgin Cres, Notting Hill, London W11 2HX
t: +44 (0)20 7243 6381
OXFAM King Street (Hammersmith, West London)
A great selection of second-hand clothes, but not only! They also sell Fairtrade carpets, wicker baskets, and more! Even a few sustainable beauty products and Fairtrade chocolate, coffee and teas).
87 King St, Hammersmith, London W6 9HW
t: +44 (0)20 8846 9276
Traid - any you come across, my tips is to always check out the ones in good areas, because you will find some really nice pieces here for sure! Should I do a separate post on charity shops?
Content Beauty and Wellbeing (Marylebone, Central London)
Content first launched in 2008, a boutique organic skincare store, naturopathic clinic and online shop for all things natural and organic skincare. Founded by organic beauty guru Imelda Burke, and with the help of supporters such as Deliciously Ella the store has been growing fast and recently relocated to a larger Marylebone shop where you can (of course) buy and test anything organic beauty, but also book beauty appointments such as facials and even shop for sustainable clothes and zero waste living items.
32-34 New Cavendish Street
Marylebone, W1G 8UE
t: +44 (0)20 3375 1960
By Sarah Facials at No.30 (Kensington, West London)
From the brand that arguably produces the best organic facial oil there is, By Sarah now offers organic facials at their new private space in Kensington. Perfect for men and women of all skin types. It’s by appointment only, so make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org to book yours and I promise you will feel incredible after.
Glasshouse Salon (Hackney, East London)
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me sing their praises for weeks after I went for my hair appointment, because they are just brilliant. Glasshouse only use organic products in your hair, including dyes which for me was super important since they can often contain quite toxic and harmful chemicals. The Salon also offers a wide range of natural beauty and haircare products in store. If you book an appointment, do me (and your hair) a favour and ask for stylist Michelle Garwood.
Netil House, 1 Westgate St, London E8 3RL
+44 (0)20 3095 9783
Getting around in London sustainably is actually quite simple, because public transport is generally quite well connected and efficient. I personally always use the tube or bus, but if it’s a sunny day you can also rent a city bike or unlock a Lime bike which is sometimes easier as it doesn’t require a doc but you can leave it anywhere (within reason). Depending on your route you can also walk, but being such a huge city, that’s not always possible time-wise or you might have to walk next to huge road (#pollution) so check your route first before deciding to walk. The best app to check your routes on is no doubt citymapper.
That about sums it up, I will continue updating the gallery as I come across new places, but do let me know if you come across any amazing ones or have any questions for me! Jil x