April 07, 2022
A vendor market designed to focus on sustainability and ethical production from the community is coming to Old City this Earth Day weekend.
A Sustainable Marketplace is being hosted by Feminist Flea and Grant Blvd, a West Philly-based fashion brand. The market will feature more than 40 vendors that use products like plant-dyed fiber, handmade paper and repurposed thrift-store finds. The event is taking place on Saturday, April 23 from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Cherry Street Pier.
A $5 or more entry fee is required and proceeds are going to support Urban Creators – a community collective using food, art and education to nurture resilience in North Philadelphia. The organization created "Life Do Grow," an off-grid urban farm and community marketplace that provided 67,000 pounds of fresh produce to families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We at Urban Creators are a team dedicated to serving our immediate community of North Philadelphia, operating from Life Do Grow farm," said Elizabeth Okero, director of operations. "We aim to always align our work with our mission and honor our core values: the Earth, balance, emergence, collaborative leadership and accountability, radical inclusivity, racial and economic justice, honoring legacy, self expression, respect and adaptation."
Originally planned three years ago by Feminist Flea organizer Zissel Aronow and Grant Blvd founder Kimberly McGlonn, the event was delayed further by the public health crisis. The market is meant to be one step in a much larger mission: to organize responses to the climate crisis and centuries of marginalization by highlighting sustainable creators.
Rather than focusing on individual actions in response to climate change, the marketplace is intended to showcase a "reimagining" of sustainability and collective efforts to find solutions to an existential threat, Aronow said.
Melanie Hasan, founder and fiber artist from Modest Transitions, said that although she loves vendor events, she feels as though she doesn't fit in because of the work that she makes. In particular, she said she experiences discriminatory situations as a Black Muslim woman.
"With me being a natural dyer and appreciating the land and soil from a different point of view, it really frightens me that there are farmers losing their land across the world because of the fast fashion industry," said Hasan. "We're wiping out societies, we're wiping out cultures. In the last two years, having my own greenhouse, that's something I think about every time I plant a seed."
A full list of participating vendors will be available through the Facebook event listing once it goes live. Highlights include:
• Modest Transitions: dye house and textile studio
• & Flora Studio: hand-poured soy wax candles
• Bee Our Guest: Kennett Square-based beeswax food wraps
• Bokeum Jeon: small batch, handmade clothing
• Heart of the Moon Herbs: herbalist specializing in muscle salves, candles, and ritual oils
• Moss Wichrowski: printmaker, painter, and digital artist
Masks are required for entry, in accordance with organizer's rules.
Saturday, April 23, 2022
12 p.m. to 7 p.m. | $5+ entry fee
Cherry Street Pier
121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106