I must admit… I used to think Germany was all beer and bratwurst.
So it was quite a pleasant surprise during my first trip to Germany in April to discover how many conscious spots there are to see in German cities! There is no shortage of vegan cafés and restaurants or secondhand, Fair Trade, sustainable and ethical fashion stores.
And certainly Munich was no exception—in fact, Munich had some of the most exciting sustainable spots I’ve seen (including one very unexpected one, but more on that later.)
Here are the eco-friendly and ethical spots we visited during a two-day stop in Munich.
Ethical and Sustainable Stores
While we originally just stopped in this store to find quick refuge from the cold, I was quickly impressed by the collection of goods in Manufactum. The store is dedicated to selling only the highest quality products, meaning what’s sold here is made from durable materials, made with high skill, and will outlive any trend.
And while buying long-lasting goods is a more sustainable approach to begin with, they also have a section dedicated to natural, eco-friendly and Fair Trade certified products as well.
Oxfam is widely recognized as a charity fighting for human rights around the world. What’s a little lesser known is that the nonprofit also sells ethical, sustainable goods to generate revenue that helps fund their work.
The UK-based charity has a couple locations in Munich with secondhand clothing, accessories, and books, along with a small curation of their Fair Trade chocolate and tea.
Probably my favorite of the conscious spots we visited, Freitag is a sustainable fashion brand with bags and clothing for men and women. The Swiss brand uses recycled truck tarp for their bags, and a combination of linen and hemp for their clothing. I loved that they clearly communicated the sustainability of their products right in their store.
As you can see in the second image, they have a great image showing the circularity of their garment production. Freitag uses fabrics from nature to craft their clothes, and then once the consumer can no longer wear the clothing, they can compost it and return the garment back to nature. Fascinating, right?!
Vegan Restaurants and Cafés
Schmeckerling is an adorable vegan restaurant we visited on our first day in Munich! They have a vegan brunch buffet (which is what we did) as well as a normal menu. The vegan spot sources organic, locally-grown, and Fair Trade ingredients as much as possible. And they have delicious smoothies—that come with a reusable metal straw!
Lost Weekend is a vegan café and coffee shop, working space, and small hub for cultural events. We had the coffee and cappuccino to drink and the white chocolate croissant and the sandwich with mushrooms to eat—and we loved it all. Even my boyfriend, who isn’t a vegetarian or vegan, really enjoyed the all-vegan breakfast here.
Viktualienmarkt is a daily, year-round market in the center of Munich. The market has over 100 shops with produce, baked goods, honey, flowers, plants, among other delicacies and essentials. It’s definitely a fun place to walk around, though we didn’t stay long since it was so cold the day we went!
This bakery is in the Viktualienmarkt. The bread looked delicious here, but we were full from lunch so we didn’t get anything. However, I wanted to still share it because it’s a very sustainability-minded company.
Hofpfisterei bakes natural bread without artificial additives or chemicals and operates completely carbon neutral. They also have a yearly sustainability report they publish. (Though, to be honest, I’m not sure what it says since it’s all in German!)
… and One Last (Unexpected) Conscious Spot
BMW Welt (BMW World)
A car showroom is a conscious spot to visit in Munich? (I told you it was unexpected!) Before you think I’ve gone crazy, let me explain.
BMW has an impressive amount of ultra fuel-efficient and electric-powered vehicles. (Of course they also have some gas guzzlers, too). And the BMW World showroom is an opportunity to see the most innovative electric vehicles and technology the automaker is developing, like a wireless charging station!
And you can ask one of their “geniuses” (a.k.a. customer representatives) for explanation on these battery technologies. I went with my boyfriend who’s studying mechanical engineering and an avid car fan, so he was my “genius” for the day!
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