Supporting eco-friendly fashion labels is a great way to indulge in a little retail therapy, and still feel smug about playing a part in reducing carbon emissions. We've rounded up the most interesting shops and artisans in São Paulo that are embracing an environmentally-aware approach to their products, be it by using recycled materials and organic fibres to more sustainable packaging and delivery.
Plus, the old adage that one man's trash is another man's treasure certainly holds true when it comes to exploring the best of São Paulo's second-hand bookshops, vintage clothing stores and antique furniture shops.
This green clothing brand uses fibres and seeds grown in the Amazon to make everyday clothing and accessories, in beautifully simple, natural tones. Rua Iaiá 38, Itaim Bibi (3071 4029, amazoniavital.com).
Atelier de Alegria
The kooky Atelier de Alegria houses animal sculptures, custom-designed race cars and other whimsical works of art made from bric-a-brac. Rua Norma Pieruccini Giannotti 557, Barra Funda (3392 1631, atelier.alegria.nom.br)
Bright and cheerful T-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles are produced by a collective of women in Jardim Santo André, on the outskirts of São Paulo. Buy them online at ecotece.org.br.
Get jiggy with necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other accessories fashioned from recycled metals, wood and PVC. Ateliê Carlos Casnati, Rua Simão Álvares 867, Pinheiros (3815 0239, joiasdalili.com.br).
Pay a visit to the studio of artist Nido Campolongo who designs lamps, sculptures and even clothing from plastic bottles and tubing. Rua Tupi 843, Santa Cecília (3826 7901, nidocampolongo.com.br)
The UN Environmental Goodwill Ambassador with the swingy hair, Gisele Bündchen, has put her money where her mouth is, starting a line of chemical-free skincare products with 100 per cent recyclable packaging (Available at Droga Raia pharmacies or at sejaa.com).
Será o Benedito
A phrase used to express doubt, ‘Será o Benedito’ has also become synonymous with ethical clothing as a brand using all manner of recycled materials to create fabric, bags, furniture and footwear. And if the components weren’t once a plastic bottle or rubber tyre, then they’ll at least be 100 per cent organic. The company's pioneering development of used truck tarpaulin and vegetable rind as viable materials for clothing leaves Será o Benedito’s credentials in little doubt. Buy the products at Vegethus, Rua Haddock Lobo 187, Jardim Paulista (2306 2116) or online at seraobenedito.com.br.
For antique furniture, head to the shops along Rua Cardeal Arcoverde, between Ruas Conêgo Eugênio Leite and Mateus Grou in Pinheiros.
Eco e-commerce sites
Websites such as Rede Tekoha (redetekoha.com.br) and Eco.lógica Design (ecologicadesign.com.br) sell unique gifts and accessories, from purses to poufs.
Second hand books
São Paulo is a book-lovers paradise, with more than 200 registered used booksellers (sebos) in town. Have a nose through the well-cared-for collection of books at Sebo 264 in Liberdade, or the art and fashion books at second-hand clothing store Juisi by Licquor.
More second-hand bargains and designer steals can be found at innumerable vintage and second-hand shops (brechós) – start putting an eclectic wardrobe together at treasure troves like B.Luxo, Capricho à Toa and Brechó Vó Judith.
Donate unwanted clothing to charities, hospitals and shelters across the city via the city's official campaign, Campanha do Agasalho, with donation boxes in some metrô stations across town (2588 5738, campanhodoagasalho.sp.gov.br).