Village Green: Paris
It’s easy to be swept up in the romance of the city of light, love and haute couture when it comes to Paris. But look beyond the croissants and common clichés, la vie écolo is burgeoning on the Right Bank. Consider this your sustainable travel guide to bookmark for days when we can finally wander again.
The founders of Veja sneakers opened this boutique near Canal Saint-Martin in 2010, creating a platform to launch emerging brands that value transparency and foster cross-disciplinary collaboration with an environmental bent. Along with an extensive selection of Vejas, Centre Commercial stocks heritage French artisans like Paraboot and Saint James (the inventor of Breton-striped tees); small-footprint, high-quality pieces designed for longevity from the likes of Bleu de Paname, Suzie Winkle, and Base Range; and one-off jewellery and accessories by young local makers.
MARCHÉ AUX PUCES DE ST-OUEN
A short stroll over the périph, this 17-acre flea market peddles everything from well-preserved antiques and paintings that look like they belong in the Louvre to vintage fashion, African textiles, Modernist furniture and charming bric-a-brac.
Slow living and a penchant for provenance are at the heart of this serene boutique. Find contemporary ceramics by French artisans, like the colourful works of Héloïse Bariol (Rouen) and curvaceous vases of Lucile Boudier (Paris), alongside pieces from makers further afield.
THE NAKED SHOP
Forget your toiletries (on purpose) and beeline for this bulk store dedicated to refillable body products and solid cosmetics – all made in France.
A friperie (thrift shop) espousing vintage threads with a by-the-kilo price model.
Vegan clothing and accessories by European brands and those across the Channel.
Marine Gora and Romain Tellier create cuisine parisienne at this pocket-sized cafe in the Marais. They source from local producers in and around Paris, with specialty coffee from Lomi (18ème), bread from Le Petit Grain (20ème), and ricotta from fromage wizards Nanina (11ème). The menu always features a salad or toast du jour composed of seasonal vegetables. For the sweet tooth, ‘lost’ brioche is transformed into pain perdu (French toast), and the counter always brims with irresistible house-made tarts and cakes.
This hole-in-the-wall boulangerie champions all things fermentation. Valentin Orgeas makes sourdough loaves and (heavenly) focaccia from organic ancient grains and water pumped from artesian wells. Add house-made kimchi, local kombucha (in consignment bottles) and natural wine and you’re set for a picnic along the Canal.
>> 37 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 11ème
In the city of steak-frites, this cafe is defying tradition with its raw, cold-pressed juices and organic vegetarian fare.
>> 27 rue du Château d’Eau, 10ème
The young team at this bistro plates up contemporary French fare with ingredients sourced from local farms.
LA LAITERIE DE PARIS
Raw milk and yoghurt (sheep, goat and cow) in returnable jars, plus fresh and aged cheeses made on-site.
BACK IN BLACK
Responsibly sourced, seasonal specialty coffee roasted in-house. Pouring espresso, filter and cold brew.
Seek respite from the concrete jungle in Paris’s leafy sanctuaries. Soak up some greenery at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont – a sprawling 61 acres of undulating grassy hills and gardens constructed over old quarries. Next, stroll over to nearby Parc de Belleville, where the Belvédère pavilion offers an impressive view come sunset. Finally, Coulée verte René-Dumont, also known as Promenade Plantée, is a five-kilometre verdant passage atop a mid-19th-century viaduct. All city parks are pesticide-free.
This community space and micro-farm is dedicated to sharing éco-responsable knowledge. The restored train station houses a no-waste canteen, makers market and DIY repair workshop, while outside you’ll find chickens, ducks, bees and gardens along the old tracks.
Keep your practice flowing (in French!) at this light-filled studio where the extensive variety of classes include vinyasa, hatha, yin, meditation and moon circles.
MARCHÉ BIOLOGIQUE DES BATIGNOLLES
Fill your wicker basket with jams, honey, soaps and flowers at this all-organic market held every Saturday.
An experimental arts precinct melding world music, dance and exhibitions with tech and innovation.
An écoworking space with a room dedicated to napping, plus vegetarian food.