Win tickets to visit London’s first Zero Waste Christmas Market!

There aren’t many activities more festive than visiting a Christmas market during December. No matter whether it’s a romantic date, a place to catch-up with mates over some mulled wine or a way to get some last-minute presents - there is just something about the atmosphere that makes even the grumpiest Grinch hum Christmas tunes.

Amazingly, this year London’s very first Zero Waste Christmas Market is launching at the Hoxton Arches on the 8th December. Mel Fisher, who is the founder of Zero Waste Goods - an online marketplace and offline movement dedicated to showcasing Zero Waste Goods and brands - has partnered with 29 Zero Waste brands (one of them being Oddbox) to help enlighten, empower and inspire Londoners to think and do differently this Christmas.

The market is aimed at everyone, no matter whether you’re just curious, already passionate or maybe completely overwhelmed by the idea of 'zero waste'. It’s a place to learn together whilst exploring new ways to gift to others and the planet.

Read until the end- as we will be giving away 2x 2 evening tickets (for you and a friend) for entry after 5:30pm, just in time for inspirational talks, mulled wine, stalls and food!

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Could you explain a little about your project – Zero Waste Market?

The Zero Waste Christmas Market is an antidote to the panic-buy gluttony of the festive season. I've found 29 incredible zero waste brands who are all tackling the issue from different angles to help people buy green gifts that don't cost the earth. It's important people think about the waste they produce but also that they feel empowered to change. I've worked hard to make it as sustainable an event as possible and my big ambition is to send nothing to landfill. This means I've organised for bamboo or palm-leaf plates and bowls for the food, deposit-scheme reusable coffee mugs for hot drinks, low-power LED lighting, reusing all my family's Christmas decorations and even bottle caps from the beers will be reused. I am partnering with the Zero Emission Network to help us reduce our carbon footprint and will be donating 100% of the profits from ticket sales to Cool Earth to help offset any carbon that might be unavoidable. It will still be a festive extravaganza with everything we love from churros to Christmas cards; I want to prove that we can still enjoy Christmas whilst doing our bit for the planet.

What inspired you to organise Zero Waste Christmas Market?

I personally have found transitioning to a low-waste lifestyle both exciting and challenging. I also love Christmas and couldn't face another year of panic-buying packaging from Amazon! So I started researching brands in the UK who make ethical, sustainable and ecological products and realised there was a whole community of people in the space. I wanted to help them and the planet - and I also want to enjoy Christmas; so the Christmas Market was born. I am running this project in my spare time outside of freelance work and my coaching. I've loved every minute but it's been a huge undertaking as it has been just me on my own. I am grateful for the support of my partner, family and the amazing people I've connected with.

What are your favourite waste-conscious brands?

Do I have to choose? ALL the brands coming to the market I am in love with - I wouldn't have chosen them to come if I didn't want to buy from them myself. If you're curious and look for brands that live their values and where the whole business is built to be eco-progressive, for me Gungho-Designs is one of those brands. Other ones which are not present at the market include Finisterre, People Tree, Divine Chocolate, Starseeds, Elvis & Kresse and Rewrapped.

Could you give us your favourite 3 tips on how to avoid waste over festive period?

It might sound counter-intuitive, but if you're looking to avoid waste, the first thing to do is to tell people who are buying for you what you actually want. Make a list of two or three things you'll cherish that are made by brands that use sustainable, ethical materials like the ones at the market and offer zero waste delivery and packaging.

Secondly, be positive! There is a lot you can do that is also easy such as getting a potted tree, sending e-cards or seed paper cards and using reusable wrapping paper. Food waste is also a big hairy beast, so be brave and chop your shop by a 1/3rd and freeze any leftovers. Finally, focus on quality. One long-lasting and well-made gift is worth a thousand pieces of plastic and, in the end, quality time is the most priceless gift of all.

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

My family have so many it is hard to choose, but I love decorating the tree. There is something I find so satisfying about getting the boxes down and seeing all the shiny, familiar decorations and choosing which ones go where. We rarely add any new ones so I know where they all go (though Mum will always rearrange it when we're in bed). A glass of hot wine, Christmas songs playing, log fire roaring, being at home and putting the angel on the top of the tree with my family watching, that's when it's Christmas.

We at Oddbox are delighted be one of the brands present at the market and are looking forward to having lots of insightful chats with all of you, in a truly festive atmosphere.

In the late afternoon Emilie, one of our founders, will be hosting a seminar on the topic of food waste around Christmas & how to avoid it. For more info on the event and tickets, see here.

Want to win two evening tickets to the event? All you need to do is follow @OddboxLDN and @ZeroWasteGoods on Instagram, and comment on this post tagging a friend you’d like to take to the event. Competition runs until Wednesday, 5th 6pm. We’ll notify the winners on Thursday. Non-refundable.

We hope to see you there!

The Oddbox team

Oddbox Team