For shoppers in Surrey, there’s an easy alternative to the often questionable ethics of big high street chains in the form of the Guildford vegan market.
Though high streets need our support right now, it’s important not to forget our ethical roots, which is why we are looking very forward to the next vegan market in glorious Guildford. Honestly, we couldn’t be more jealous of the vegan community living in Surrey, as they have easy access to a host of independent traders, delicious foods and cruelty-free goodies.
How to get to Guildford vegan market
It couldn’t be easier to find the market, because far from being hidden away in an unknown corner of the town, it is front and centre, running along the pretty cobbled high street. Public transport takes you directly to the street and there is very reasonable car parking close-by too, if you fancy making a pilgrimage from further afield (Covid-19 restrictions, permitting of course. Let’s not have any Dominic Cummings-style trips!).
What is there to buy?
Pretty much everything you can think of, just with an ethical, animal-free and cruelty-free twist. In previous years, the food stalls have always enjoyed long queues, with shoppers being only too happy to wait for a taste of handmade rolls, rotis and more.
But food isn’t the only thing on the menu. Beauty products, gifts and handicrafts are all sold, with many traders selling out at previous markets, so arriving for the start is never a bad plan.
Our top tip is to stock up on the panettone from Vegan Sweet Tooth London. Because Italian deliciousness is not just for Christmas, it’s for life.
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Why buy from a market?
As we said, there’s a responsibility to support our favourite high street shops now that they are starting to reopen, but remember that big companies were able to benefit from the furlough scheme.
Smaller, independent traders — especially those who had only just opened when the pandemic devastated the UK — might not have been privy to help from the government, so we need to shop small and locally. Let’s invest our money into the vegan community by choosing handcrafted products made with consciousness and love.
What if we have another UK lockdown?
Plenty of market organisers have taken up the mantle of being creative in lockdown, with virtual markets taking place in lieu of in-person versions. Hopefully, we are seeing the back of national lockdowns, but should circumstances change and require them to be put in place again, there might still be a way to enjoy the Guildford vegan market.
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The ambience, chance to talk to with makers and general happy vibes that course through a street market are irresistible, but if you can shop with the confidence that you are supporting fellow vegans as well? That’s just the cherry on the independent bakery’s cupcake.