BY SARA BAWAR
This year, Toronto’s Eco Lifestyle market had a holiday twist, with the focus on encouraging shoppers to purchase local Christmas gifts. The market is always a busy event, with over 50 local vendors. Walking around the market, people can find sustainable, eco-friendly and handcrafted items for themselves or for loved ones. With shopping malls being so busy this time of year, Eco lifestyle market promotes purchasing gifts that are one of a kind and personal.
Ben Dykenan and Brianna MacCara are owners of Wildflower Honey Co. Dykenan says, “The economy is changing. It’s becoming more people having to create their own jobs and having to find something that they can support themselves with. This is how we found beekeeping because its something we enjoy and it is also a sustainable business.”
One of the main benefits of shopping local is the story behind the items for sale. This is exactly what Dixy Baldex, owner of La Villia Goods business is all about. Everything is ethically made by artisans in El Salvador. They sell handmade scarfs, pillow, and jewelry made from coconut shells. Baldex, says “My whole idea is to support artisan’s productivity in El Salvador, give them a fair pay and also showcase the people that make the products.”
Baldex also adds, “There has been a shift in the consumer trend. People are getting more conscious about where they put their money. You have power in the way you decide to shop and its important for people to understand that.”
Shopping local can sometimes means having to pay more for items. “If costumers are willing to pay a little bit more for a product that has been ethical sourced , intern they are supporting the development and economy of small businesses,” Baldex adds.
There were several returning vendors like Kate Scott, owner of Dot Scott Studio. “As an environmentalist, up until my first year of doing this, I realized how much paper, packaging and waste so what I started doing was drawing on this wildflower seed paper and the packaging is bio-degradable.”
Scott also adds, “This is my full time job, and it gives me so much joy. The Eco Lifestyle market is different because people that come in here have an environmental focus and the little things such as the packaging and wildflower paper really matter.”
The Eco Lifestyle market started in August of 2016 and has since been bringing together some of Toronto’s top wellness vendors. The market also gives local businesses a chance to showcase their company. The event is bi-annual, with one market in the winter and one in the summer. Vendors who wish to participate can visit, The Eco Lifestyle market website to apply.
The Eco Lifestyle market is hosted at The Great Hall event venue in Toronto. Those who are interested in a similar event, can check out The Trinity Bellwood Flea. Many of the vendors will be at this event hosted at the same venue on Dec. 16 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. For more information visit their website.