MEGA Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), and their neighbours created a whole new way of combining shopping with… not shopping!
Eco House is a new sustainability initiative in partnership with the local community and our team at MEGA Nizhny Novgorod meeting place. It opened as a retail space, but products to buy aren’t the only things you can find: Eco House is an open space for people to connect, gather, share ideas, and also sit comfortably and chat while enjoying a good, healthy meal. Launched in November 2020, people are actively taking notice, with over 5,000 visitors in only one month! Sustainable products found on the shelves range from disposable shoe covers, wax napkins, safe biochemical cleaning solutions, children’s toys and practical things for the home. They also sell exclusive eco-goods made from recycled materials and hemp clothing for children. Tucked amongst these items, you’ll find air-cleansing salt lamps, wonderful florariums with live plants and designer bio-fireplaces. One unique aspect of Eco House is the eco-food café. The meals and snacks are gluten-, lactose- and sugar-free, and served on biodegradable tableware. Nearby is our MEGA Nizhny Novgorod meeting place repair café and a donation area to receive old clothes for recycling. Our repair café also hosts a variety of master classes to help teach upcycling and repair ideas so people can see the value in items that might get thrown away.
Our meeting place team’s first project with Eco House was the “Love our stuff for longer” campaign, where we encouraged our guests to rethink the Black Friday mentality and shop more thoughtfully. The goal was to have a positive impact on the real needs of the local community and to help keep wasteful shopping at a minimum. This included providing durable, environmentally friendly goods for the benefit of people and the planet. Eco House’s grand opening featured a swap party that focused on clothing, including a chance to exchange, collect for upcycling, a fashion show featuring recycled materials, methods for customising, as well as a master class in shoe repair and upgrading.
Partners presented lectures on the value of second-hand goods and how to think of sustainably-made paper and recycled bags for shopping as not only convenient, but stylish too. Eco House is now run by a local eco-activist who recycles clothes and now manages this very unique concept store, so we’re expecting to see more innovations in the future.
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