GUEST WRITER

The Ultimate Eco-Guide to the Fashion Capitals

By Talia Contributors

Our favourite residents of the world’s fashion capitals have opened up their little black books for Talia Collective’s eco-guide to New York, London, Paris, Milan and Madrid. Whether you’re travelling for fashion week, business or leisure, we hope that these alternative city-guides will help you stay healthy, happy and allow you to lessen your environmental impact whilst travelling.

New York

By Rhianna Jones

Eat and Drink

The city’s rich global diversity brings a cornucopia of cultures and cuisines, but no matter how far the flavor, there are many ways to find locally-sourced homegrown hotspots. Natural Blend is my favorite local café for organic food and soulful vibes, its a Jamaican owned chain and perfect for an energy boost on-the-go. The Kale Mary Smoothie, plantain porridge and unreal pastries will keep your heart singing all day.

The city might be an “urban jungle,” but its also bursting with greenmarkets, farmstands and other community efforts to bring locally-grown produce to our forks. Markets happen everyday in all five boroughs.

For a classic weekend brunch or a delectable dinner, Rosemary’s in the West Village serves its beautifully plated “Farm-to-Fork” menu in a sprawling restaurant with outdoor terrace. Sourcing most ingredients from it’s rooftop garden and upstate farm, Rosemary’s is a staple for eating sustainably in style!

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I’ve lived here a decade, and I’m still discovering all NYC has to offer. My suggestion is to skip all the “tourist stuff,” and do like the locals…get a little lost and enjoy the ride. 

Brooklyn Museum is smaller and more inventive alternative to the Met. The staggering facade is right beside Prospect Park – a wonderful alternative to Central – and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden so make a day of exploring this trifecta of art and nature. 

Everybody knows Williamsburg as Brooklyn’s “hipster haven,” but if you want to see the less gentrified and authentic Brooklyn you’ve got to go a little deeper. Meander Fort Greene and Dekalb Ave restaurant row, Bed-Stuy’s Tompkins Ave for Black-owned businesses and lively energy, and Crown Heights’ Nostrand Ave for Caribbean flavors galore. Here’s you’ll see that world-class diversity that makes NYC so special.

Harlem is the legendary land of Black culture, art and history. Daytime pulsates with vibrant street culture, incredible food, stunning architecture and murals galore. Once the sun sets however, and the jazz clubs and supper clubs open the neighborhood truly comes to life. So get up, dress up and dance your way through Harlem. 

Do

My favorite thing to do is just bike to a park, ground myself in nature and breathe. Depending on the season, look for outdoor movies, concerts and other events.

A true marvel of green architecture, The High Line is an elevated park created from an abandoned rail line. The five mile green space offers unparalleled views with staggering sculptures, mini gardens and food carts.

Few NYC destinations are more iconic than Central Park, with its winding paths, charming ponds and stunning architecture. Hit the Conservatory Garden for a slice of romantic manicured gardens, or cross over to Cherry Hill for gorgeous aqueducts and fountains. 

In lieu of walking the Brooklyn Bridge, enjoy it from afar while exploring the 85 acre sustainable waterfront park that sits below it. This extraordinary urban playground connects people, nature and architecture across 6 piers and 3 parks along the East River shoreline.

Instagram: @xx_rhiannajones Cycling in Brooklyn

Shop

NYC is the world’s style capital with no shortage of luxury, boutique and fast fashion spots to shop, but the true gems are in its thrift stores.

Beacons Closet is inarguably the city’s best thrift shop, this women-owned resale chain is a fashion fairy tale chock full of vintage, luxury, street, and every style under the sun.

Calling all avant-garde fashion lovers, head to Tokio 7 n the East Village to find the best curated selection of high-end, luxury and contemporary designers. Think Chanel, CDG and Supreme all under one roof with accessible prices.

If you love scouring flea markets as much as me, the Grand Bazaar will bring you hours of discovery and delight. NYC’s largest and most diverse indoor/outdoor street market boasting takes place every Sunday with profits going towards four local public schools, enrichment programs and classroom essentials.

London

By Amelia Windsor

Eat and Drink

London is full of fantastic organic restaurants and cafés and there’s always something different on offer. Babajani at the top of Portobello Road makes the best rose harissa houmous and falafel buddha bowls. Another favourite is Paradise Plant-based café in Kensal Rise for an array of vegan salads and groovy decor to meet friends or work in. If you’re looking for international vegetarian and vegan food in London then head to Mildred’s. They cater really well to all dietary requirements and intolerances and have several restaurants dotted around London. Farmacy is another favourite vegan option among Londoners. Located in Notting Hill, every colourful dish is created with nutrition in mind and comes from their own organic farm. If you’re looking to go upscale then head to Spring at Somerset House for seasonal British food by Skye Gyngell who is known for promoting responsible consumerism in the restaurant industry.

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Dalston Curve Garden is a magical space and feels a world away from the busy city bustle of Hackney that surrounds it. It is open every day of the and is the perfect place to sit, unwind and soak up the energy of the plentiful plant life. It is a place of community and all profits from the bar and café onsite go to maintaining the lush gardens.

Another favourite of mine is Studio Pottery London. I find pottery extremely meditative and an excellent escape from technology. Located in Victoria, Studio Pottery London is a bright and welcoming communal work space offering hands-on pottery lessons for all levels. The team are incredibly patient and kind. Book a place online or just pop in.

Shop

The Restory helps bring much loved luxury items back to life thanks to a skilled team of artisans. They mainly focus on shoes and handbags however, you can take most things in to them and their team will advise you. The Restory are leading the way for the future of luxury fashion and have recently partnered with Harrods, allowing clients to extend the life of their favourite items.

For vintage shopping, London is dotted with fantastic charity shops which are curated by their teams. Keep an eye out for Oxfam, Cancer Research UK and The British Heart Foundation. Another favourite of mine is Portobello Road Market and even if you’re not shopping it’s definitely worth a visit.

It is also wonderful to see the luxury department store Selfridges making an effort to go green. Not only do they run on 100% renewable energy but they have also teamed up with Vestiaire Collective and set up RESELLFRIDGES which offers their archive pieces at lower prices. Their most recent collaboration is with wardrobe rental company Hurr. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Paris

By Ilaria Sgaravato

Eat and Drink

There are so many different places for healthy, vegan and conscious eating in Paris. Some of my favourites include Le Potager de Charlotte for gourmet plant-based cuisine, Abattoir Vegetal for colourful veggie bistro. L’avant-poste is an organic restaurant offering seasonal farm to fork dishes in a trendy setting. 

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You don’t need to go to a museum to enjoy the beauty of Paris although there is always something special going on behind closed doors. The Palais de Tokyo, Palais Galliera and Fondation Louis Vuitton are personal favourites. After a day exploring the museums and cobblestoned streets, stroll around the Jardin des Tuileries located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde.

Do

In a city as vibrant and fast-paced as Paris, take a few hours to unwind with a yoga class. Satnam Montmartre offers a magical setting for Kundalini yoga and meditation. I also recommend paying a visit to historical parfumerie Buly 1803 for a taste of old Paris. The Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in the city and offers food from all over the world.

Credit: L'Avant Poste, Paris

Abbatoir Végétal, Paris

Milan

By Olivia Puri Negri

Eat and Drink

Milan has some really amazing vegan and organic restaurants. One of my favourite places to eat is Radicetonda,  a vegan waste-free café and perfect for a light lunch in the heart of Porta Romana. Another spot in the financial area of Milan and adjacent to the famous Bosco Verticale is Capra e Cavoli. The restaurant offers an intimate dining setting with twinkly lights and a modern (vegan) twist on Italian favourites. Their veggie carbonara is to die for.

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Between fashion week and the Salone del Mobile, there is always something new and interesting going on in Milan. Galleria Carla Sozzani is located in 10 Corso Como and housed in a former industrial building. The gallery is a hub for photography, design and architecture. There is also a fantastic bookstore and a roof garden so I recommend visiting in the evening so that you can watch the sunset over Milan. Villa Necchi Campiglio is a privately owned ‘house museum’ from the 30s and definitely worth a visit. For something more traditional, head to the Pinacoteca di Brera which has recently been refurbished and houses some of Italy’s most famed artists.

Do

The best thing about Milan is that you can walk everywhere or take one of the vintage trams that rattle around the city. On a sunny day, take a walk through the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli from Porta Venezia and end up in the cobblestone streets of the Brera district. The park even has free still and sparkling water refill stations for residents which I love! Stop off for a coffee, brunch or aperitivo at LuBar before exploring the hidden gardens located behind Villa Reale.

Shop

You can find some real vintage gems in Milan. Three of the best shops are Usato Firmato which sells second hand clothing and accessories, Sous Vintage in the Navigli area for high-end vintage and Humana, a charity shop just behind the Duomo. Another little secret is The Cloister who have an incredible selection of clothes, accessories, homeware and miscellaneous objects depending on the time of year.

Credit: LúBar, Milan

Madrid

By Inés de Cominges

Eat and Drink

For green haute cuisine head to El Invernadero. Another favourite of mine for tasty eco-dining is Mama Campo, their menu is Mediterranean with  organic, locally-sourced ingredients. For alfresco jungle vibes, dine at Amazonico or Raiumunda.

Do

There is always something to see at the Prado Museum. Another favourite of mine is the Reina Sofia museum which has a Petrit Halilaj exhibition on until February 2021. Take a walk around the historic centre of Madrid and peek into the San Miguel Market.

Shop

Terapia is a beautiful vintage shop with its own secret garden. On Sunday’s I like to browse the El Rastro market for beautiful vintage furniture.

Credit: El Invernadero

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