Climate change and sustainability are important issues, but it's not always clear how we can help. One simple step is to consider the environmental impact of our purchases. We've compiled a list of sustainability-focused stores in downtown Victoria to help with your journey to an earth-friendly 2021.
Downtown Stores with Sustainability in Mind
Downtown Victoria is such a beautiful place with the ocean on our doorsteps and so many natural spaces. We need to protect it. We have a responsibility to help keep our city and the world clean and safe. Stores in the downtown core believe in this responsibility too. Here is a list of businesses with environmental initiatives:
The Good Planet Company
The Good Planet Company was founded in 2003 and has grown into a green store, full of healthy, eco-friendly products for baby, bed, bath, and more! Their mission is to help customers live a simpler, greener, and healthier life, by empowering them with knowledge and the best green products on the market. Their team encourages greener alternatives, knowing that even small steps can make huge impacts on our personal health and the well-being of our families, communities, and the world as a whole.
ecologyst is a clothing store that believes that when people spend time in nature, we are more conscious about taking care of it. They want to enable people of all ages, interests, and experiences to get out among the trees, into the ocean, and up to the peaks. They support the Sitka Society for Conservation and, for every product sold, 1% of the sale goes to preservation projects devoted to air, water, land, and the creatures in them. If you become a member of SSC, they will give 2% of all sales to the preservation and sustainability of coastal BC.
SALT sells clothing, kitchen accessories, and wellness products, which are made in Canada and with care for the ocean in mind. They are passionate about connection, community, and ocean conservation, and have held these ideas at the heart of the business from the beginning. From the content of the fabrics used to the shipping materials, as well as in their daily operations, they consider every action and decision made, and hope to grow and expand their reach for organizing, raising awareness for, and empowering others about ocean conservation.
Patagonia has stores in Calgary, Banff, and Victoria, and specialize in outdoor apparel, accessories, and packs for all outdoor adventures. They are reducing their carbon emissions footprint and support renewable energy by choosing green electricity through their partnership with Bullfrog Power, a company which blends wind and low-impact hydropower to create green electricity. They are also a member of 1% For The Planet, pledging a minimum of 1% of annual gross sales to find solutions to the environmental crisis.
Zero Waste Emporium
Zero Waste Emporium is a grocery store that aims to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill and oceans by providing package-free groceries. You bring your clean, dry containers and fill them up with delicious food, and other fabulous products; it’s that easy! One of the ways they are trying to reduce waste and support sustainability was through Blue Friday, where they donated all profits from their Black Friday sales to Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island Rise Above Plastics Campaign to help clean the Salish Sea!
West Coast Refill
West Coast Refill aims to reduce plastic waste in packaging and purchasing of cleaning materials. You bring in your clean and dry bottles and they will fill them by weight with all-natural, plant-based cleaning products. They also have beauty products, such as lip balm, bath bombs, and shampoo! Whenever possible, they try to support local British Columbian and Canadian small manufacturers. Sometimes they do have to look outside of Canada for things like cocoa butter, which we don’t have the climate to produce, but they do their best to ensure these items are ethically sourced and, when available, are organic.
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Since 1971, MEC has sold clothing, footwear, and accessories for playing and exploring the beautiful outdoors. From backpacks to tents to bikes, they have exceptional products at fair prices and with small environmental footprints. They are committed to reducing waste, energy consumption, and packaging through many initiatives, including their green buildings, their gear swap, and their waste reduction in shipping and transportation.
Silk Road Tea
Silk Road Tea began in 1992 in Victoria’s Historic Chinatown and has been creating teas, skin, and body products of the highest quality ever since. All their products are organic, which helps to prevent chemical pollution and has a lower carbon footprint. All their packaging is eco-friendly and either low or zero waste. They also have had a refill program for their teas since the beginning! Not to mention, each tea bag is packaged locally, using chemical-free filter material.
How you can help:
By shopping at and supporting these businesses, we help them with their sustainability goals. They want to help and give back to the beautiful planet we live on, and they are not alone in that regard. Many businesses have such initiatives. So come downtown, check them out, and support local while contributing to sustainability efforts!