Recycling is the name of the game here so expect to find a chest of drawers made out of an old wooden boat or a table made out of discarded shipping pallets. Situated on the Rozengracht, the aptly-named shop is filled with beautiful items made out of old, unwanted materials. The store itself is rustic and inviting, offering a sprawling space for visitors to peruse its covetable wares. ‘I just couldn’t sit back and watch people throwing good materials out,’ says owner Erik Beemsterboer, ‘so I set about doing something about that.’ Green, affordable and one of a kind, Raw Materials is a haven for all things recycled.
Raw Materials, Rozengracht 229-233, 1016 NA Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 421 3893
Fair Trade Shop
Amsterdam’s Fair Trade Shop is 100%, well, Fair Trade. Whether its 100% organic Chardonnay from South Africa, CDs of earthy salsa beats from Buenos Aires or record bags made out of disused potato sacks from the Netherlands, the much-loved Fair Trade Shop is all about eco. The products are all stamped with the Fair Trade since 1959 logo and the own-brand food selection is extensive, including punchy Columbian coffee. The mini Buddhas, a mere 10cm high, available in three pastel shades, are supposed to bring an abundance of good luck and fortune for only €6, which seems a price worth paying.
Fair Trade Shop, Heiligeweg 45, 1012 XP Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 625 2245
‘Fair Trade fashion does not have to equal ugly,’ says Dutch fashion designer Cora Kemperman. The definite lines of her tailored collections are a far cry from sandals and billowing kaftans. Kemperman has become famous in the Netherlands for creating off-the-wall silhouettes, such as the falda skirt, which has a metre-wide circumference and she’s not afraid of a bold palette – her latest collection was a rainbow spectrum of canary yellows, grass greens and electric blues. Her sprawling Amsterdam store, an urban, minimalist space, is equally green, with a recycled metal staircase spiralling up through its centre. The store’s big pull is the trademark €259 Audrey Hepburn-inspired chequered mac. This is one of the hottest eco spots in town and rarely puts a fashionable foot wrong.
Cora Kemperman, Leidsestraat 72, 1017 PD Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 625 1284
‘I wanted to create a place that people would think is beautiful, cool and doing something good for the world,’ says Floortje Dessing, the owner of Nukuhiva. This edgy, unisex urban store on bustling Haarlemmerstraat takes its name from Nuku Hiva, a stunning island in the Polynesian archipelago. It offers hip, urban brands such as Kuyichi jeans and Edun, the label founded Ali Hewson, wife of U2’s Bono. At the entrance there’s a chair made up entirely of stacked recycled denim sitting next to shelves brimming with Make Poverty History trinkets, Dessing’s own 365 Days on the Road book that details her existence as a bona fide green goddess and Tony’s Chocolonely organic, Fair Trade chocolate in its trademark blue and red packaging. Nukuhiva’s most covetable wares? The €199 Buddha bracelets hand-crafted by Buddhist monks, of course.
Nukuhiva, Haarlemmerstraat 36, 1013 ES Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 420 9483
Restored, set up by friends Petra van Roon and Marijke Hukema, breathes new life into unwanted items. ‘We wanted to create a bolthole for those with strong eco and Fair Trade ethics, somewhere that sees the beauty in discarded items and gives something back to Mother Nature,’ says Hukema. Alongside their own designs, which can cover anything from 100% organic appliqué cushion covers to hand-painted crockery, van Roon and Hukema sell the wares of 15 other designers in this eco-savvy store. In the atelier at the back of the shop, visitors can watch the pair weave their eco magic using an antiquated Singer sewing machine, which was, aptly, saved from a rubbish heap.
Restored, Haarlemmerdijk 39, 1013 KA Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 337 6473