I moved to Paris from the United States over the summer, and ever since, I’ve found it easier to live a sustainable lifestyle. In France, and Paris in particular, I enjoy not having (or needing) a car, being able to easily live as a pescetarian, and having the option to compost for free.
One of the first boxes to check on my to-do list when I arrived in the City of Light was to find sustainable stores where I could purchase eco-friendly home, health and beauty products. Luckily, it only took me a few clicks to find everything I needed. The options are widespread and affordable, and many of them can be found in physical stores as well as online.
For the eco-friendly shopper, here is my list of the top 5 sustainable stores in Paris.
Lamazuna is an environmentally-friendly home, health and beauty brand based in France. Out of all the sustainable brands I’ve found in Paris so far, Lamazuna has the widest selection. While not a full list, they offer products such as:
- Solid perfume (I love the scent Le mystérieux)
- Solid toothpaste, with and without fluoride
- Bamboo toothbrushes with rechargeable tops
- Solid makeup remover and washable remover cloths
- Solid shampoo and conditioner
- Solid deodorant
- Zero-waste shaving kits
- Menstrual cups and washable panty liners
- Eco-friendly kitchen brushes and sponges
Lamazuna has also published several books, including Ma vie sans plastique written by Celine Mollet, which I highly recommend for anyone looking for ideas to live more sustainably. I have found Lamazuna products in the eco-conscious stores Mademoiselle Bio and Naturalia, as well as online via their website.
Emmaüs is a huge organization in France, providing support, job opportunities and different types of shelters to those in need. One way to support Emmaüs and refresh your wardrobe at the same time is to shop at their various thrift stores, or friperies. Each store is different, but many sell more than just clothing and shoes. You can also find home decorations, artwork, technology, books, furniture, toys, sports accessories, jewelry, small home appliances and more. They also have an online option where you can search for second-hand objects that may not be available at a store near you and have them delivered to you.
Other friperies and second-hand boutiques, including vintage shops that offer a more expensive selection, exist around the city, with a large number located in the Marais. My personal favorites besides Emmaüs include Free’P’Star, Kilo Shop, and the Red Cross (Croix Rouge Française) thrift stores.
Located in the 18th arrondissement (Métro line 4, Porte de Clignancourt), La REcyclerie is a restaurant, urban farm, and repair workshop (atelier) located at a disused train station along La Petite Ceinture. This track used to surround Paris before the city expanded, and it has since been discontinued. Several areas are still open to the public, however, through places such as La REcyclerie, garden spaces, and walking paths like the Promenade Plantée.
When I studied abroad in Paris in 2022, I worked as an intern in the urban farm, and I learned a lot about La REcyclerie throughout my time there. While they are no longer open on a daily basis, they still offer days to enjoy a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly menu with locally sourced foods (some of which even come from their own farm!). In addition, you can bring your old appliances to the Atelier REné to be repaired or transformed into something new, or you can borrow tools instead of buying your own.
Zero-waste and sustainability are a big part of La REcyclerie’s mission, which they share with the public through their Instagram account, volunteer days, school field trips, workshops, movie nights and more. During opening hours, you can enjoy an organic meal at an affordable price, walk along the train tracks to see the garden and visit the farm animals, and even take a peek at the ruches, or bee houses, on top of the roof.
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Looking for a sustainable, vegan-friendly grocery store? Naturalia is an excellent option with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan foods. This popular chain of organic stores also offers snacks en vrac, or loose, that you can fill yourself using recyclable/ compostable paper bags or your own reusable container.
At some Naturalia locations, I’ve found not only vegan and vegetarian food options, but also solid bars of lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, conditioner, sunscreen and deodorant, along with bamboo toothbrushes. Grocery stores in general and even pharmacies may carry sustainable options, but the selection at each store depends on the location and size of the store. I recommend checking out a store in advance to make sure it carries what you’re looking for, or asking your neighbors if they know of a nearby store with a more sustainable selection.
Though my personal favorite sustainable grocery store is Naturalia, others include BioCoop and Bio c’ Bon. You can also support local farmers by shopping at certain smaller stores or at the markets that take place on a regular basis throughout the city.
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The French health and beauty brand Respire offers sustainable alternatives to products like toothpaste, makeup remover, deodorant, shampoo and more by offering solid versions. While Respire also sells non-solid products, you can easily find a more sustainable, plastic-free alternative that is about the same price as their non-solid counterparts. In addition, if you prefer Respire’s non-solid products, many of them come with bottles to recharge your desired product, so you don’t need to waste more plastic and money on buying a brand-new bottle every time you run out.
Respire products can be found online and at various pharmacies and beauty stores around Paris. Simply use their online tool to find the Respire brand at a store near you.
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I first discovered the British brand Lush in the U.S., where I learned that they offer a variety of handmade, vegan, cruelty-free products, many of which come in reusable or recyclable containers (or no container at all). Similarly, French Lush stores offer products like solid shampoos and conditioners, solid deodorants, soap bars, bath bombs, lotions, face masks and more.
Lead photo credit : Photo: Lamazuna Facebook Page