eco travel: 7 superstar vegan cafés in paris

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plant revolution

“everything in food works together to create health or disease,” shares biochemist + author t. colin campbell. campbell is an advocate for science-based education promoting human health via plant-based nutrition. “it’s never too late to start eating well,” he reminds us in his book whole: rethinking the science of nutrition.* research shows that eating a plant-based diet can increase energy, improve cognitive function, encourage digestive health + boost the immune system.*

in celebration of 7 years of good health {that’s seven years cancer free + seven years of vegan eats, boys + girls!}, i am sharing my newest paris vegan café guide, in which i happily provide fabulous, 100% plant-strong venues including an organic, local + vegan tapas bar, chill cocktail destinations for effervescent drinks, the most savory veg burgers in town + my numero uno vegan hot dog venue {here is my first roundup of 12 vegan cafés and a second list of 6 vegan cafés}.

today is the day for delicious + nutritious cuisine to power your body and transform your health! bon appétit!

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mopa

mopa offers some of the best vegan burgers in paris. choose the house recipe with its symphony of flavors or the popular beyond burger. the fries are cooked to tasty perfection. zesty hot dogs are also on the menu. if you’re craving fast food, try mopa’s slow version prepared with healthy, plant-based ingredients. you’ll also find fabulous desserts like moist chocolate cake and one of my personal faves, the palmier {or “elephant ears”}. this cafe with its super warm ambiance + friendly proprietors is at the top of my list of veggie restaurants. charming, wide open space with ample indoor seating for your entire tribe.

address: 17 rue du croissant // paris, france 75002


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janine loves sunday

janine loves sunday has it all, my friends. they have fabulous pizza, pasta + desserts including my favorites, vegan banana splits + vegan sundaes. this is a popular venue for locals, both veg heads + those simply seeking a cool, vibrant atmosphere, an excellent bar for wine + beer, and savory menu offerings. expect great service {the tops, honestly} along with the most chill playlist including marvin gaye, bob marley + nina simone. indoor + outdoor seating.

address: 49 rue montmartre // paris, france 75002


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breathe

breathe is the place for fun, experimental menu offerings. inventive wraps, burgers + sushi are available, as well as delectable desserts + weekend brunches boasting vegan croissants. breathe offers responsible eating in a former tea room. a colorful, hip destination for those wanting delicious, vegan fare in a spirited atmosphere + sophisticated milieu. top-notch service + a generous-sized bar makes this a popular cocktail destination. ample indoor seating.

address: 16 rue henry monnier // paris, france 75009


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abbatoir végétal

abbatoir végétal is a gorgeous venue with its many happy plants + bright white space accentuated with gold details. ab is one of the few vegan cafes to be found near the hilltop area of montmartre {north of paris city center}. find flavorful vegan burgers, tasty hot dogs + creamy soups. desserts include the classic carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting. one of my fave locales for fruit + veggie juices. i’m not sure how they have come to be so deliciously refreshing + energizing, but i will travel far + wide to get to one of their juices. lively atmosphere with ample indoor seating + outdoor seating.

address: 61 rue ramey // paris, france 75018


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jah jah by le tricycle

jah jah offers mouthwatering burgers, hot dogs + veggie bowls and they’re doing it right. protein-packed recipes with fresh, local veggies yield satisfying + filling options along with an array of freshly-squeezed juices. a chill vibe with a great mix of music including reggae beats. cheerful crowds congregate + are willing to wait for the fab plant-strong food. ample indoor seating.

address: 11 rue des petites écuries // paris, france 75010


lotus + cactus

lotus + cactus has succeeded in creating an amazingly warm + infinitely charming space for homemade tapas + handmade desserts. female-owned, this petite downstairs eating area opens up to their lovely, airy upstairs eating area. a relaxed, warm atmosphere + the very best service in town. word gets around town fast, so call ahead to find out if in-demand food offerings are still available {this sometimes happens in the city of light, where we want not, waste not}. small, cozy outdoor seating area available.

address: 2 rue des taillandiers // paris, france 75011


hot vog

hot vog is a woman-owned enterprise where the love of good food, a taste for adventure, and the spirit of intrepidness brought to life my absolute favorite hot dog venue in france. i am drawn to this veggie comfort food precisely because it is browned to perfection + well-seasoned, then nestled inside a light, fluffy + gluten-free bun. the daily menu includes a drink + homemade dessert, usually a waffle or sweet cafe of the week. staff are attentive, professional + friendly as can be. bright, with super petite indoor seating area {3-4 inside} with outdoor seating available. just a stone’s throw away is the gorgeous jardin luxembourg, the perfect place to meet with friends, enjoy a little fresh air + eat your delicious, afternoon treat.

address: 10bis rue vavin // paris, france 75006

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le tops!

if you’re in paris, pop in to my absolute favorite veg café comptoir veggie weaving organic ingredients + deep flavors into their menu offerings; be sure to check out the vegan concept shop aujourd’hui demain {fab fashion boutique, satiating comfort food café + grocery store all in one!}; and do not leave without trying the wonder pastry shop offering fresh croissants, tangy tarts + heavenly confections pâtisserie vegetal.


{don’t forget the tip} “every kilogram of beef requires 100,000 liters of water to produce. by comparison, a kilogram of wheat requires just 900 liters, and a kilogram of potatoes just 500 liters.”* animal agriculture is a leading cause of tropical deforestation in the brazilian amazon rainforest, with land being cleared for livestock + crops for animals at an alarming rate.

What you eat every day is a far more powerful determinant of your health than your DNA.
— Dr. T. Colin Campbell

deforestation {the cutting and removal of trees to make land available for other uses*} causes the destruction of precious ecosystems, hence destroying biodiversity and depleting natural resources crucial to the survival of indigenous peoples living within the forests. human-driven deforestation causes carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, to remain in the atmosphere and trap solar radiation which affects weather patterns, wildlife + human inhabitants. reducing meat + dairy intake reduces our carbon footprint and halves our greenhouse gas emissions. give it a try!

not sure where to start? take one step at a time! you can start with meatless mondays or try veganuary. did you know research shows a plant-based diet can lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes + heart disease? there are veggie alternatives for all of your favorite foods including eggs, cheese, yogurt + mayo. here are some recipes for pastas, pizzas, omelets + one of my faves, potato salad. eating a plant-based diet is good for the environment, good for you + good for the animals!

for further reading see the china study or click on over to the center for nutrition studies.

header image by ev // images c/o restos + cafes

eco travel: les musées et jardins de paris

green spaces + art places

“art place” is my seussian way of saying that holy ground known to my mind + heart as the art museum. museums have always felt like a safe haven where i am ensconced in centuries of creative energy + uncensored, raw emotion. albrecht durer, the 15th century painter + printmaker of the renaissance period, was my greatest influence as an artist, and i’ve carried his works + his self-portraits in my mind, having admired them in books for many years. my first time seeing an original painting by durer was at the louvre museum. it was in this moment that i realized that seeing a masterpiece in person is indeed a gift + one of life’s simple pleasures.

one of my best friends recently asked me about my favorite museums in paris, thus i was inspired to compose this post about one of my favorite topics of all: paris art museums + their sister gardens, gorgeous green spaces seemingly found in each + every far-reaching corner of paris.

here today, part one: 7 art museums along with my favorite green spaces in paris + just beyond. stay tuned for part two!

the louvre

the museum: the louvre museum is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in paris. the louvre was originally built as a fortress in 1190, but was reconstructed in the 16th century to serve as a royal palace. it was opened as a museum in august 1793. masterpieces from history’s greatest artists abound here. visitors flock to see leonardo da vinci’s mona lisa, painted in 1503, but tucked into the lower level is my personal favorite 16th century art piece by albrecht durer.

the garden: jardin des tuileries is an expansive garden created in 1564 upon the commission of queen catherine de medici and opened to the public in 1677. hosting a living labyrinth, its green walls of shrubbery reaching skyward; fountains reflecting the colors of the season; and sculptures by the most prominent artists of the era. 5 min by foot // free garden entry

the address: rue de rivoli, 75001 paris

musée d’orsay

the museum: musée d'orsay is housed in the former gare d'orsay, a beaux-arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. the museum holds mainly french art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. a prodigious collection of impressionist artwork from degas to monet.

the garden: jardin luxembourg is a meticulously manicured garden, a magical maze of flowers + 106 sculptures, covering 25 hectares {62 acres} of beautifully landscaped flower gardens + thickets of centuries-old trees. this urban oasis was developed upon the initiative of queen marie de medici in 1612.

there are apple orchards, games and activities for adults + little ones, a large pond where children sail miniature boats, and benches + chairs galore for readers, people watchers, lovers + visitors alike. a popular spot for runners + strollers. *remember, no stepping or sunning on the grass in the main areas, there’s a lovely special section reserved for picnickers and those getting their earthing fix in! 10 min by bus/20 min by foot // free garden entry

the address: 1 rue de la légion d'honneur, 75007 paris

versailles palace + gardens

the museum: the palace of versailles is located southwest of paris. an opulent chateau once employing 10,000 people, it was the royal residence of france from 1682, under louis XIV, until the start of the french revolution in 1789, under louis XVI.

louis XIV ruled france for 72 years, and in that time transformed versailles by encompassing louis XIII's chateau with a palace that contained north and south wings, as well as nearby buildings housing ministries. versailles is a spectacle to behold, saturated in art + adornment. every room, every wall + every furnishing is steeped in fine detail + splendid colors.

the garden: i’ve never experienced a garden like this: with it’s groves, fountains, sculptures, an orangerie + a lake for rowing. add to that the grandeur of classical music playing, sounding from little caches or seemingly from the tree branches themselves, and it feels as though you’ve stepped into a film with the most sumptuous soundtrack. in 1661 louis XIV entrusted andré le nôtre with the creation and renovation of the gardens of versailles, with renowned artists engaged to create stories via masterful sculptures and thousands of workers employed to cultivate this lush wonderland. work on the gardens lasted over 40 years and must be replanted every 100 years. located on the grounds // admission fee {garden fee is separate from palace admission fee}

the address: place d'armes, 78000 versailles

musée rodin

the museum: the musée rodin, housed in an 18th-century mansion in paris, is a museum that was opened in 1919, primarily dedicated to the works of the french sculptor auguste rodin. rodin’s pioneering work in modern sculpture linked traditional art with modern art. find the work of brilliant female artist camille claudel here as well. if you like smaller museums, with their hushed, serene rooms + ample space to take in the artwork, then this museum will surely top your list as well.

the garden: this secret garden, with its canopy of leafy trees, is home to some of rodin’s finest works, including the thinker. stroll beneath the open sky while reliving history via the carefully-crafted sculptures telling the stories of heroes + laymen. remember: do not touch the statues {i learned this the hard way, gulp}. located on the grounds // garden entry included in museum admission fee

the address: 77 rue de varenne, 75007 paris

musée bourdelle

the museum: when i told one of my french friends that this petite museum, with a menagerie of blossoming gardens, bulging statues + free admission, was one of my favorites, he asked, “who is bourdelle?” a lesser known artist + an incredibly gifted sculptor, antoine bourdelle worked as an assistant to augustine rodin while building his own career.

bourdelle was instrumental in bringing the world of beaux-arts into the new world of modern art. the musée bourdelle is the artist’s former home + studio where you can now see where his artwork was created and you can step through history as you step through his airy, sun-drenched working area.

the garden: bourdelle’s work space looks out onto a charming garden offering over-sized hydrangea bushes; this voluminous flower is the perfect backdrop + compliment to his sky-reaching sculptures. stroll all the way through to the very reaches of the gardens to find a beautiful, bronze rendering of joan of arc. located on the grounds // free garden entry + free museum entry

the address: 18, rue antoine bourdelle, 75015, paris

musée petit palais

the museum: the petit palais is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement across from the grand palais. built for the 1900 exposition universelle, it now houses the city of paris museum of fine arts. lesser known, hence less crowded, this intimate museum allows visitors to view masterpieces of painting + sculpture in four wings built around a semi-circular garden.

the garden: this lush inner courtyard garden is a quiet + calming retreat in a bustling milieu. the tranquil incorporation of a green space within this urban institution is both welcome + unexpected. a charming outdoor cafe can be found adjacent to the museum + garden. located on the grounds // garden entry included in museum admission fee

the address: avenue winston churchill, 75008 paris

musée albert-kahn

the museum: the musée albert-kahn, located just outside paris city limits in boulogne-billancourt, is made up of four hectares of gardens {or ten acres}, joining together bucolic landscapes of various traditions including an english garden, a japanese garden and a french garden. the museum includes historic photographs and film collection by the banker and philanthropist albert kahn.

kahn was known for initiating the archives of the planet, a vast photographical project spanning 22 years, in which photographers + explorers were enlisted to venture out into the world to capture the spirit of cultures around the globe. it resulted in a collection of 72,000 color photographs and 183,000 meters of film.

the garden: the garden beautifully reflects the care, efforts + diligence set forth by kahn in creating a space for people to come together and explore our commonalities, our love for nature + the beauty of green spaces. located on the grounds // garden entry included in museum admission fee

the address: 10 rue du port, 92100 boulogne-billancourt

join me this month, eco boys + girls, as i continue to explore the magnificent art places + green spaces in paris via my simple pleasures posts! until next time, stay green dear hearts!

eco travels: amsterdam, the city of freedom

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the city of freedom + fantasy

while walking along the tree-lined canals of amstserdam on a clear day, a svelte gentleman in a finely-tailored, navy blue suit whizzed by on a scooter. not an unusual sight in the world of blithe bicyclists and zippy commuters on vespas in europe; however this particular gentleman had in tow about 100 pink helium balloons cascading behind like an inflated liberace cape or a one-man pink parade; so many balloons, in fact, i felt i'd been transported inside the animated pixar film up, a fantasy world come to life. 

in that moment i made the decision to simply soak in the smile-inducing spectacle; i left my camera in its case as i watched him ride into a bubble-gum pink sunset. i did however snap shots of some of my fave museums, green spots + plant-strong restaurants to share with you here, including some fabulous cafes with savory vegan dishes to keep you healthy, happy + extra alert when an unexpected personal one-hued rainbow floats by. without further ado, let's draw the curtain on this beautiful, green city!

amsterdam, known as the city of freedom, is one of the world's most multicultural cities and has a fascinating history of tolerance in the netherlands. originally a small fishing village in the 12th century, amsterdam would eventually become one of the most important ports during the 1600s and a haven for religious dissidents. referred to as the world's most liberal city by author russell shorto, he shares, "it was also the publishing centre for the racy philosophical tracts that were too hot to be printed in france or england." * so no burning of the books here, oh la!

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the world's most liberal city

i didn't understand why people continued to ask me if i smoked before, during + after my trip to amsterdam. i realize now that they weren't referring to cigarettes. but i do know about delicious, nourishing food + museums filled with vibrant works of art. here are my faves: 1. van gogh museum so much has been written about the prolific artist, but you'll never know the depths of this passionate painter until you've spent a day in this museum. give yourself ample time to listen to the heartfelt letters exchanged between edgar and his brother theo, as well as artists paul gauguin and emile bernard; 2. fashion for good museum if you wear clothes + you love to learn, come hither. this museum creates a light, colorful + edifying environment where visitors can learn about the pioneers and innovators in the slow fashion world. become involved in a movement to accelerate positive change within the fashion industry and to protect workers + the earth; 3. rijksmuseum just a stone's throw away from the van gogh museum is the dutch national museum, housing objects of history from 1200-2000 which include glorious  art pieces from the "golden age" by masterly painters rembrandt + vermeer.

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green spaces + smiling faces

4. wondel park i read about the most visited park in the netherlands, welcoming over 10 million visitors each year, but it wasn't until i was sitting in my very own little corner of this vast, green space that i realized why travelers are drawn to this lush park + broad landscape. there is so much energy from travelers near + far. free concerts are offered at the open-air theater during the summer months + the historical pavilion houses terrace cafe vertigo. dogs, bicyclists, children, runners, relaxers are all welcome; 5. nature's fast food if you're a snack-powered voyager like me, then try stach for fruit, granola, nut mixes + homemade chips with salsa and juice brothers for the most energizing smoothies, vegan pudding + vegan cheesecake too! multiple locations throughout the city for eco boys + girls who need to refuel.

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waste not, want not: rescued food + recovered energy

a city with a lofty energy + environmental agenda, amsterdam is increasing its solar and wind powered energy capacity in hopes of being energy neutral by 2025.* amsterdam's solid waste is burned to produce heat + power for the city, and a number of earth-friendly enterprises are also providing green alternatives: 6. meatless districtlocated in the old west, this restaurant + bar offers a changing seasonal menu of organic + vegan dishes. one of the best burgers i've had during my travels was here. phenomenal service and a warm, inviting atmosphere. cool kids of all ages dress up + gather here seven days a week. call ahead for reservations; 7. alchemist garden is a relaxed cafe serving up raw + vegan fare. they have a fun selection of natural + organic gifts including chocolate + teas. free live music later in the evenings draws in the crowds for a lively, buena vista atmosphere; 8. instock learning that 1/3 of food production is wasted was eye-opening, but finding eco entrepreneurs who are using unsold food picked up at local supermarkets to create great plates of healthy cuisine is heartening. instock uses the bounty of this city's produce to turn food surplus into savory meals in a sophisticated environment {see below}. creative chefs at this singular cafe craft dishes made from thoughtfully chosen ingredients. a quaint, expansive space with vegan + gluten-free options. for more veg options pop on over here

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politically progressive, socially integrated and beautifully atmospheric, amsterdam is a city with many draws, and i encourage visitors to pop in to the growing number of inventive + unprecedented green enterprises in the city of freedom!

eco travels: marrakech, the red city

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known for its rose-colored walls made of red sandstone, its maze-like streets and its labyrinth alleyways dating back to its founding in 1062, marrakech has a rich history that can be traced to neolithic times. with its myriad outdoor suqs {the araab word for bazaars} brimming with handcrafted silver baubles, pink pottery, woven tapestries and fragrant spices as well as the vibrant central square + marketplace, jamaa el fnaa, known as the busiest square in africa, marrakech is a locale vibrating with high energy + travelers from all around the world converging in a region filled with talented artisans + genial locals.

here are my six fave must see + must do experiences in this colorful, sometimes cacophonous + always dynamic city of marrakech: 1. dar cherifa cafe a sunny riad and eatery offering an entirely vegan menu. the vegetable tagine, served up in a traditional earthenware pot, was flavorful, fantastically filling + perfectly seasoned. insouciant kitty cats lounge around + happily dispense of patrons' leftovers. a beautifully tiled courtyard with blooming orange trees provide a tranquil + multi-hued venue; 2. maison de la photographie is an open-air photography museum featuring some of the most intriguing images + a visual history of quotidian life of the people of marrakech. a beautiful panorama view of the city is offered from their rooftop cafe; 3. majorelle garden french painter + passionate botanist jacques majorelle poured his heart + soul into the creation of this dazzling green oasis, a calming garden filled with exotic plants + trees from all five continents. you'll find a quaint cafe within to rest + enjoy traditional mint tea: the perfect place to recharge amidst songbirds; 4. musee yves saint laurent is a museum dedicated to showcasing the work of the legendary fashion designer who emancipated women from their restrictive clothing and gave us flattering utilitarian wardrobe essentials; 5. koutoubia mosque is a red brick + stone, 12th century mosque with an expansive garden + fountains. a central landmark located in the medina quarter, it is an architectural wonder with decorative arches, spires + orbs. from the mosque comes a call to prayer five times a day; 6. the market: jemaa el-fnaa this prominent marketplace was a place an introvert like me shied away from, but late one evening with the urging of our convivial host, my partner + i ventured out into the night air under a blanket of bright stars and we were swallowed by the whale. in the most beautiful sense, we were enveloped by the clamor of wide-eyed merchants, the smell of handcrafted incense, the colors of handmade berber rugs, and endless stalls of steaming food. it is a highly stimulating experience, but it is also the most magnificent reminder that we are alive + we were experiencing all of life's exquisite sights, sounds + smells. 

full of plant-strong options, i was overjoyed with the veggie + vegan cafe options available throughout the city: try the 100% vegan earth cafe + the veg-friendly nomad restaurant for more plant-strong options.

{eco mode: top photo, wearing a handcrafted, organic cotton sun dress from eco label by the sea; bottom photo, wearing a #30wears cropped sweatshirt with an entirely thrifted outfit including a faux leather moto jacket, oversized chinos + a vintage military messenger bag from mad vintage paris with a handmade, organic cotton scarf purchased in turkey}

{eco travels} sustainable belgium: brussels eco fashion landscape

when an airline recently lost all my luggage {somewhere in the beautiful country of iceland they surmised}, i knew i wasn't going to purchase any new items. first of all, the optimist in me hoped they would find my belongings {after all, i don't own a lot, and the suitcases contained, well, nearly all the clothes i own}; secondly, as an ethical consumer + minimalist, i understand our constant demand for new goods has implications.

80 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually for the international fashion market, with u.s. consumers purchasing an average of 62 garments and seven pairs of shoes a year.

my action plan involved making a list of the things i really needed: my list added up to two items: a jacket and sneakers. and so i headed straight to my fave secondhand shops in paris where i purchased a vintage jean jacket. i stumbled upon a flea market and bought a pair of baskets for one euro to keep my feet warm and cozy on rainy days. i did have some summer items at home that i decided to pack for an upcoming trip to belgium. layering is an important part of being an eco fashionista. need warm clothes? layer up and voila! 

80 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually for the international fashion market, with u.s. consumers purchasing an average of 62 garments and seven pairs of shoes a year. that's each and every year. with this comes a tremendous environmental impact + human rights violations that garment workers are exposed to daily in the name of cheap fashion as fast fashion companies pressure apparel factories to keep up with this demand.

i know i don't need a lot, and what i do need, i can find in secondhand/thrift shops + vintage boutiques. as i traveled through brussels, i had the opportunity to explore the eco fashion landscape of pre-loved apparel. eco brussels has a lot to offer!

the solution to fast fashion? it actually costs nothing, my friends. slow down: only shop when you really need an item. and if you do need to add a piece to your wardrobe, consider buying vintage + gently used apparel instead. here's how to do it in brussels:

1/ melting pot kilo: vintage clothing by the kilo. great selection with a clean milieu, chill music + cool vibes, oh and super prices. pick an item, pop it in the basket to be weighed at check-out + voila, weight will determine the price of your piece! fab textiles for home sewing also sold here. / 54 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 511 88 94

2/ les petits riens: celebrating 80 years of working with the homeless. proceeds from sales benefit those working to overcome social + economic obstacles. tidy space with vintage treasures interspersed. do not miss that box in the front + center of the shop with vintage finds, including beautiful 60's dresses, offbeat designs + colorful graphic textiles, for only one euro. 188 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 537 30 26

3/ spullenhulp: if you've decided to move to belgium, this is the place to shop for everything you might need in your new abode. a division of les petits riens, proceeds from sales benefit those working to overcome social + economic obstacles. clothes, furniture, decor + home goods sold. 101 rue americaine, ixelles 1050 / +32 2 537 30 26

4/ oxfam tweedehand: oxfam opened its first charity shop in 1948, and ever since then, they've been selling both new + used goods in an effort to fight poverty + transform lives. books, toys, clothes, they've got it. vintage + gently used items sold here. proceeds fund oxfam's programs + action projects including empowering survivors of violence + creating access to clean water in rural communities. did you know that oxfam has on online vintage shop? if you're in town, visit their brick + mortar shop at 243 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 502 39 5

5/ foxhole: while you can find a variety of shops big + small on rue haute, this one is off the beaten path. rare vintage pieces + rue des riches-claires 4, brussels / +32 476 95 88 72

oh, and this post does have a happy ending; my luggage was eventually found + i was reunited with my vegan + vintage attire! which means my zero apparel purchases in belgium were well worth it. that means i can use all that money i saved for more travels in the future!

until next time, stay green dear hearts!