FREDERICTON – Customers will be able to buy fresh produce and crafts at The Ville’s new and sustainable ECO Market, starting July 19.
The weekly market will have zero plastic, environmentally conscious arts and crafts, and fresh and local produce, grown right on site, said Adam Weaver, one of the people who collaborated on the idea.
Kaity Harquail, ECO Market Coordinator, says the idea was born in May. The Ville had hosted a market before for around two years, the Impact Market, but they were looking at ways it could be more sustainable.
“At our market, we don’t use any plastic products, and if we can, we do as low waste as possible.”
The market will offer jewelry, handmade soap, hand-stamped jewelry, dandelion beeswax lip balm, farm-made jams, and The Ville’s organically-grown produce.
“If you go to the grocery store, your lettuce is from California or Mexico, but here you can see your lettuce growing,” said Harquail.
Harquail says the products have to be sustainable, ethically made, and local to be featured at the market.
“We understand that sometimes, especially in New Brunswick, it’s very difficult to not use plastic packaging, but there’s a limit … We’ve had to say no to some people who were just not sustainable enough for us,” she said.
Harquail says it wasn’t difficult to get vendors. Many of them reached out to the non-profit organization after looking at a post advertising the market on their social media feeds.
“People in Fredericton are surprisingly very excited to shop sustainably and provide sustainable items. All vendors are from… the area,” she said.
The Ville will provide customers with paper bags, and will soon be getting linen bags. The organization sells produce by weight, and customers who reuse their bags get a discount.
Harquail says she loves supporting local products and is glad to be part of a process that brings them to people.
“As someone who has lived in Fredericton for a very long time, I love to shop local and support local, and I’m very happy and very proud to be part of bringing more sustainable, ethical, and local foods to people who also want to shop local like me,” she said.
She says the market is important to her team because everyone has the mindset of living a sustainable life and uses the market’s products. Some members are vegan and vegetarian.
“It brings food very close to us,” she said. “Having the ECO Market very, very close is making [living sustainably] even easier for us.”
The market will take place Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. during the summer and the beginning of the fall.