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Friday, October 30, 2020

Buck Street Market: The UK’s first hub dedicated to sustainability

The newest addition to Camden High Street, Buck Street Market is all about sustainability and veganism, without compromise on quality or flavour.

Even though the weather is getting cold, the atmosphere of Buck Street Market ensures you leave warmed up. The pastel colours of shipping containers used as a building material take you on an adventure through different cuisines, drinks and shops.

People selling here invite you with a smile on their face to share their passions and enjoy everything that the sustainable market “for the conscious consumer” has to offer.

This multipurpose space built from 52 repurposed shipping containers expands to three levels, featuring different planet-friendly brands.

The first floor takes you through a series of shops comprising upcycled clothes, grooming products, jewellery and dog goodies.

Our picks: Buck Street Market’s best shops

Londonworks

When entering this store, it’s easy to get lost in colours, fabrics, and materials of clothes that do not lack any trendiness. With Londonworks’ fashionable clothes, it’s hard to guess they’ve been upcycled.

“We’re buyers, we buy clothes from different brands but we make sure we buy good clothes, that the colour is in good standard as well as the material,” says Eli Bilgin, the store manager. “We’re very careful of skincare and allergies.”

Londonworks has been selling sustainable clothes since 2002 driven by a slow fashion principle. “What we’re doing is environmentally friendly. For example, we are paperless, we don’t print anything at all, and we use recycled bags.” 

Tea Top Up

This is “London’s first package-free tea shop”, where you can either top up your own tea caddy or buy tea in “environmentally friendly packaging”.

The contents of the packaging are just as great as the green idea, which saw Tea Top Up win an award.

Sweyn ForkBeard

This beard and skincare shop is inspired by natural recipes used by Vikings and English men. The products are made in the UK from 100% natural and organic materials.

Everest Dog Chew

This store is perfect if you are looking to buy something for your four-pawed friends. It offers not only dog treats but also “ethically sourced and manufactured” handmade toys and beds.

The second and third floors offer 26 food stalls and a restaurant no short of vegan and vegetarian menu options. Buck Street Market prides itself with a zero single-use plastic policy, so there are plenty of recycling points around the market. It also composts all its food waste to generate energy for the market.

Vegan food options at Buck Street Market

Arepas

The Arepas menu features traditional cornbreads that can be filled with a choice of vegetarian or vegan meat, and is topped with avocado and plantains.

Quinoa Arepa

This Peruvian street food stall offers a quinoa twist on classic arepas. For a vegan option, you can take a pick from Quinoa Arepa’s fresh avocado or guacamole with plantains, beans and vegetables covered in homemade sauce. It also offers vegan cachapas, wraps and salads.

Killa Waffles

vegan wafflesThe options at Killa Waffles are either the vegan savoury waffle cone with a crispy fried falafel mix, vegetables and a sauce of your choice, or a waffle burger with a green chilli and black bean patty, carrot slaw and baked sweet potato fries.

Magic Falafel

Magic Falafel, as the name tells you, offers a “completely vegan falafel” made out of 100% chickpeas in a pitta or salad.

Elia

Elia features a vegan option of Greek falafels wrapped in a pita bread with vegetables, enriched with its signature sauce and oregano chips. For vegetarians, there is a pita with halloumi and a halloumi falafel box.

PRTZL

PRTZL is an entirely plant-based spot full of indulgent burgers and pretzels with sauces. The core of its flavours lies in using natural spices to achieve flavours and colours “like never before”.

The menu offers three Beyond Meat burgers with different toppings and sauces, as well as three pretzels of various flavours.

Sunshine Hummus

The people at Sunshine Hummus are specialists when it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine and perfecting the hummus recipe. Choose from a classic or spicy sabich served with homemade pitas, olives and pickles, or pita pockets filled with vegetables.

Fire Flatbreads

Fire Flatbreads offers wraps or mezze boxes filled with vegan and vegetarian kebabs, consisting of skewers of mushrooms, peppers and onions covered in various sauces and toppings.

Glass

sustainable coffee londonGlass’s coffee is not only sustainable and served in compostable packaging, but completely transparent with its origin in Brazil, thanks to the QR code on every cup.

Simone Musu, the manager of Glass, tells me about the brand’s mission: “We don’t use any mass production products and you can track it back to its origin.” That’s why Glass make its own alternative milk from oats on the site.

Glass’s offering also includes a special tea menu and events bringing new products like a sustainable Espresso Martini.

Wildflower Restaurant

Completely separated behind a glass wall, you can experience a unique fine-dining concept brought by chef Adrian Martin at Wildflower Restaurant. Enjoy a vegan tasting menu sourced and grown in the wilderness, accompanied by art on the walls of this restaurant.

Nusa Kitchen

Nusa Kitchen is bringing Southeast Asian flavours with a focus on healthy eating “without compromising on flavours”. Its vegan options include soups, a tofu and mushroom rice box, miso tofu and vegan buddha salads.

Yaki Box

Yaki Box offers Japanese fusion food whilst being vegan-friendly. The menu includes vegetable sushi rolls with cucumber, avocado or a vegan mix. But the domain of its menu is vegan Katsu Curry with steamed rice.

Churros London

Buck Street’s churros are “100% vegan, fried in crystal-clear sunflower oil” and even though the site says the toppings are not vegan-friendly, I went to chat with Erica Muriana selling at this stall to find out more.

Turns out it does offer vegan toppings featuring dark chocolate and caramel made with coconut. She was kind enough to let me taste them, and they couldn’t be creamier.

Ethika

vegan street foodEthika offers a street food twist on Mediterranean tapas featuring kimchi-marinated tofu with Asian slaw, pickled cucumber and more. Pick up some tapas and a drink and soak in all the views from the top floor of the market.

Rico Burrito

Rico Burrito is not slacking behind its neighbouring stalls, and it brings the option of vegan meat to the mild as well as spicy flavours of Mexican street food. Choose from the classics like burritos, nachos or naked bowls.

sustainable market londonMaking your way through the market, you end up on a rooftop terrace surrounded by drinks and food places with a view of Camden. There are plans for putting up a big screen that’ll include everything from environmental films, festivals and talks.

Even though the opening was delayed until March 2020 and Buck Street Market only experienced ten days of trading days before shutting its doors due to coronavirus, the market, owned by LabTech, is becoming right at home on Camden High Street as a green-friendly hub.

Diana Buntajova
Diana is always looking for the environmental aspect of every story. She is interested in health and lifestyle, hoping to point to issues that are often overseen. Diana has explored topics including B-12 deficiency in the vegan diet, fears about exotic skin farms sparking another pandemic, and the Oreo controversy. Currently studying Journalism at City University of London, she enjoys everything to do with visuals especially photography. Creative and detail-oriented in both her visual and written work. On a mission to find the best vegan cheese and can't resist beyond meat burgers.

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