It’s an environmental initiative to encourage both the public and business owners to be more aware of what they buy, use and consume.
Eco Market is a collaboration between several groups, including Friends of the Earth Malta, Birdlife, Get Trashed Malta, The Gaia Foundation and Nature Trust Malta.
Once a month a market will be held in different locations across the islands, where local artisans can sell their wares. But first, they will have to pass a screening test to make sure they meet the sustainability standards of the event.
Food, for example, can contain no artificial colours or flavours, while items such as clothing or homewares must be sourced from sustainable materials and in an ethical way.
Among the organisers is Zen D’Amato Gautam, Founder of Thrivers Malta, a group that supports sustainable entrepreneurs. “It is important for me to be a good role model for my children and to help work towards a cleaner planet,” she says. “It was this desire that led me towards learning more and deciding to follow a sustainable lifestyle. The Eco Market is the perfect way for us to not only teach the public about the need to be more conscious of what they consume, but to show them that making little positive steps doesn’t need to be expensive, difficult or time consuming”.
The first market will take place on 25th and 26th May at Vilhena Palace in Mdina. Other venues confirmed are Independence Gardens, Sliema in June and Fort St Elmo, Valletta in July.
But before setting out their stall, the Eco Market needs funding, so has launched a four-week online campaign where it hopes to raise up to €10,000.
“The Eco Market will operate as a not-for-profit, self-financing social enterprise where surpluses are re-invested in the project for the benefit of all community members,” explains Zen. “We are running a crowd-funding campaign with Zaar, asking local businesses, stakeholders and members of the public to contribute to make Eco Market a reality. It is a perfect occasion for businesses looking to fulfil their corporate social responsibility obligations or for members of the public looking to make a meaningful positive impact.”
“Contributions can be from as little as €10, but those contributing €25, €50, €75 or €100 will receive back their money’s worth in the form of an ‘Eco Goodie Bag’ full of innovative and awesome eco-friendly products. Even those that live abroad can donate and receive their ‘Eco Goodie Bag’ by post for a little extra amount to cover postage.”
More information can be found at www.ecomarketmalta.com