Coming full circle Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

Asia's Tech News Daily

Bangkok has finally sprung back to life! People are venturing outside, Asoke and Siam are once again centres of headache-inducing traffic jams and dining-out is an option again. But we also shouldn't forget about shopping and while it was technically possible even during semi-lockdown, it's different now that we can go outside with relative ease. However, as we ready our wallets — or perhaps credit cards because cashless is the way ahead — to go on a post-lockdown shopping spree, we can also consider buying from places that help the environment and reduce waste. Whether it's buying pre-loved items or selling or donating the stuff in our closet that we've barely used, there are many avenues in the city to do just that, like Ikea Bang Yai's brand new Circular Shop. Here are a few ways you can shop 'til you drop and at the same time help make the city a greener place.

Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

Ikea Bang Yai

  • Rattanathibet Road
  • Visit
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: Ikea)

The master of furniture and products with unpronounceable names has jumped into the sustainable fray with their newly-unveiled Circular Shop and Recycling Centre. The Scandinavian company’s branch at Bang Yai has introduced the Circular Shop, which allows people to resell their Ikea furniture that is still in good condition thus giving it a “second life”. If they agree to buy it back from you, Ikea will give you a gift card valid for two years to buy new furniture from their store. If you’re on the other side of the bargain and are looking to buy new additions for your living space to make it more aesthetically pleasing, check the Circular Shop to see if you can buy pre-loved items at a lower price than a new one, without having to worry about understanding Ikea’s assembly instructions. Aside from the Circular Shop, there’s also the new Recycling Centre where you can deposit recyclable waste like plastic, paper, clear glass and aluminium. Every kilogramme earns you Ikea family points though the number of points will carry depending on the material you deposit. Every 5,000 points gets you a B50 voucher. In other words, the more you recycle, the more you get!

The Vintage Store

  • Eight Thonglor, Thonglor Road and 2nd Floor, Central Embassy, Phloenchit Road
  • Visit, Call 02-713-8548
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: The Vintage Store)

Vintage fashion has always been in trend no matter what year it is, which shows how we like to dwell on the heydays of yesteryear. At the same time, shopping for vintage pieces or thrift shopping is also a great way of lessening waste in the world. If you’re looking for a few great vintage pieces to add to your closet, The Vintage Store has most things you need. All their items are consigned by their respective owners, but more than that, the store also makes sure that they’re genuine vintage pieces from iconic fashion houses like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. If you’re going to pay them a visit and expect cheap knockoffs or grade A imitations, don’t waste your time because this isn’t the place for it. Having said that, don’t expect prices to be cheap either. Genuine vintage comes at a price, but hey, you get your money’s worth and you also help reduce waste by buying these pre-loved items. It doesn’t hurt that you also come out of the shop absolutely fabulous with your new/classic accessories and clothes. Time to get some photos for the Gram #StylishAndSustainable.

GC Circular Living Shop

  • Siam Discovery, Rama I Road
  • Visit
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: GC Circular Living Shop)

It’s not every day that a chemical company is at the very least making an attempt in making the world greener so the GC Circular Living Shop is a welcome sight. The name is self-explanatory: the shop, which is online but also has a physical shop in Siam Discovery’s Ecotopia, sells products made from recycled materials like plastic. The result is a number of stylish things that could be used in your everyday life. They’ve got a wide range of things like fashionable sandals, totes and even upcycled sleeves for laptops and tablets. Aside from accessories, they also have things that could be cute additions to your home like their coral containers where you can put cotton buds in or their polar bear tissue holder. They also have a couple of items of clothing like the very cool-looking upcycling jacket. Check out their website to get a full list of their items on sale or pay them a visit at Siam Discovery’s Ecotopia.

Eco Ring

  • Visit
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photo: Eco Ring)

There are a number of Japanese second-hand stores in the city but one of the best places for great stuff that’s in good condition is Eco Ring. They’ve got a lot of branches around the city and have been a great place to find a variety of pre-loved things that you might be in the market for. Looking for a new guitar? They have those at a discounted price. Used clothing? They’ve got that, too. You should be warned when you walk in here: due to the low prices of many of these items and the several things they’re selling, you’re bound to walk out having spent cash you weren’t planning on spending. Eco Ring has everything: watches, furniture pieces, shoes and even jewellery. Aside from buying, you can also sell any of your pre-loved items. They’ll do an appraisal free of charge and are willing to buy anything except for perishable items, counterfeits and used underwear. You’ll have to find a different platform to sell that last thing. Hey, anything for the environment, right? Visit their website to find a list of their branches.

Pankan Society

  • Visit
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: Pankan Society)

“Sharing” is what Pankan Society seeks to promote in Thai society. The social business has many locations all around Bangkok and at first glance it seems like any other regular shop with bright orange decor. However, the items here have all been donated by people from all around the country. You can donate items like clothing, bags or even furniture, though they ask people who donate to make sure that all items are in good condition as they will be sold as-is. Obviously, sharing used items already helps in lessening waste in the world, but Pankan Society takes it a step further: sales actually help underprivileged children go to school. All the proceeds of their sales will go to funding scholarships sponsored by the Yuvabadhana Foundation, the foundation behind Pankan Society. That means buying items from them doesn’t just mean you’re helping the environment but you’re also helping a child who may otherwise not have gone to school without the scholarship the foundation provides; a scholarship made possible because you bought something from Pankan Society. Visit their website to get info on where their stores are or how you can donate your items.

Swap ‘Til You Drop

  • Visit
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: Swap ’Til You Drop)

The Swap ‘Til You Drop page on FB has been organising swaps for the past eight years in Bangkok. Not to be confused with swap meets where people also sell items, Swap ‘Til You Drop’s events allow people to practise no-limit swapping by just paying an entrance fee to their event. That means you can come to their event, pay the usual B400 fee, which includes a drink, and you can browse the items people bring and take as much as you want. That means you can go home with a whole new rack of pre-loved items. You can also bring your own items to the event where the staff will organise and sort them before placing them on the tables and racks for everyone to peruse and obtain. Though you’re encouraged to bring your own items (it is called a “swap” after all), the organiser has said that you can attend even if you have nothing or even just one shirt to contribute to the event. Swap ‘Til You Drop is planning an upcoming event though there’s no final date yet so keep your eyes peeled on their socials for any further updates. They also said to stay tuned for news about “alternative options” from their usual swap events.

The Remaker

Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots
Coming  full circle  Bangkok's eco-friendly shopping spots

(Photos: The Remaker)

Leather has been a fashion staple for decades and is no doubt sleek and stylish, but making it takes a considerable strain on the environment. It produces a lot of greenhouse gas and takes a very large amount of water, as well as harmful chemicals to make. The Remaker has taken it upon themselves to solve that problem. Their shop has a good variety of leather items from accessories like wallets and belts, stylish bags from laptop sleeves to clutches and even shoes. However, these leather goods aren’t made from scratch but are instead made from second-hand leather jackets. After going through a process, they are then made into the products they sell. The result is a chemical-free and environmentally-friendly bag, shoe or accessory that is stylish and new despite being made from something old. You can browse and buy their entire collection on their website.

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