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4 Ways to Shop Sustainably with Aarven

Want to make more sustainable shopping choices? Margate-based boutique Aarven is here with its guide to shopping better, from sustainable subscription services to decoding packaging labels.

We’re all looking to make more sustainable shopping choices, but it can be hard to know where to start.

Enter: Aarven. Nestled in the bustling streets of Margate, Aarven is a hub of ethically-produced fashion, homeware and lifestyle collections, and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to sustainable shopping tips. Working closely with 30 artisan groups across India and the African continent, the boutique is committed to the communities they support, aiming to bring as much joy to them as their makers do to their customers.

Read on for Aarven’s guide to shopping better, from sustainable subscription services to decoding packaging labels.


Keep it Local

"Small businesses generate almost 1 trillion pounds a year for the UK economy. For every £1 spent 63p stays in the local economy compared to 40p at larger chains.

Choosing local also helps to build diverse communities, cut down on air miles and reduce packaging. Of course you don’t need to stick to your own town to support local communities. Trouva is a fantastic resource to find anything and everything you could dream of from a local high street."

Choose Authentically Crafted Goods

"The trend for woven and hand crafted goods has boomed over the past few years. This has meant that many chain stores have begun to offer what looks like authentic craft, but is in fact a mass produced copy.

Not only does this raise issues of cultural appropriation where a craft that has been honed and handed down over generations is turned into a fast fashion item, it also means that local communities suffer as a result.

Items that could take weeks to make are offered at a vastly discounted price. Buying authentic craft with a story will enrich your home and make it more likely to be treasured and valued for years to come.

Brands selling authentically crafted products like to shout about it, so if you can’t immediately see evidence of this then always check the small print for the country of origin. For example if you are shopping for an African basket, check that the country of origin says that it has been made in an African country. Another way of checking a brand's eco-credentials is by looking them up on, which is a brilliant resource for filtering the greenwashers from the green champions!"

Only Buy Things You Really Love

"From an environmental point of view, when shopping look out for products that have the lowest environmental impact after they have been bought. Ask yourself these questions before purchasing: how often does it need to be washed? Is it going to end up in landfill within the year? Can it be easily mended? How easily recyclable or reusable is it?"

Choose Sustainable Subscription Companies

"We are a big fan of subscriptions that save you time and do the job of recycling things for you.

Our favourite swap is to use a glass water filter by Phox. The glass jar comes with a refillable cartridge and you can buy the filter granules in either an Alkaline pack or a Clean Pack. Each pack lasts for up to 3 months. There is no waste with this product as you can just add the granules to your garden or window box or house plant.

You can swap out your laundry powder for laundry strips – these are tiny pre-measured strips that totally avoid any wastage and are packed in cardboard – the package is slim enough to fit through your letterbox and as the packaging is tiny it will save space in your cupboard.

Swap your electric toothbrush replacement brushes with recyclable bamboo ones. Made by Live Coco and made to fit most toothbrushes, these little guys are a no brainer. The best bit is you simply post your old ones back to them in the same box for free! They also supply toothpaste tablets, natural eco floss and natural soaps for both humans and their pets.” Trusted Site