Sustainable and local back-to-school products found here

Recently, my friend and I were chatting about what our kids will need for back to school, as her daughter is going away to first year at the University of Guelph.

She was bemoaning the idea of hitting a mall, so I asked her what items are on her most-wanted list.

The top-of-the-list items that mom wants for her daughter’s dorm room will promote studying and will make her girl feel comfy while away. The items include a desk, a lamp, a throw blanket for chilly nights, a robe, and maybe a plant (the kind you can’t kill), mugs for tea and pillows for her bed.

What’s on her daughter’s most wanted list? Something loose and cool to study in, a small carry-all for when she is out, glittery eye shadow, pictures from home, essential oils and nice teas.

Good news! Everything you need for back to school can be found locally in our fabulous east-end neighbourhoods and shops.

Consider this narrow metal desk made from reclaimed steel and a Coleman stove base. It’s the perfect size for a dorm room. Add a brass lamp with an adjustable arm, a vintage throw, container for small essentials (like keys and lipstick), an easy to care for succulent and study time is suddenly attractive! (all items from The Leslieville Flea)

While in Leslieville, check out Gadabout! This treasure trove of history was recently voted the number one vintage store in Toronto by BlogTO.

During a recent visit I found a selection of retro mugs, throw pillows and comfy jeans. Owner Victoria and her crew are always available to find what you are looking for, and for those of you in the film biz, they do rentals!

In Kingston Road Village, pop in to Blossom & Tempest for a small carry all, Courage Foods for special teas, and just a little further east, Collected Joy. This local shop describes its wares as functional, locally made and primarily sustainable. Look for robes from east end maker Panuk, locally made, organic cosmetics including metallic eye shadow from ‘da lish’ Cosmetics and essential oils from Leaves of Trees made by another east ender, Roohi Qureshi. Their eucalyptus headache balm promotes mental clarity and will keep last minute crammers refreshed when prepping for exams.

It’s great to know you don’t even have to leave our neighbourhood to get everything you need for back to school.


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