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Grab yourself a bargain at Manchester's Markets. With fifteen different markets in eight venues across the city centre, you're sure to find what you're looking for. As well as seasonal markets such as the Spring Market in May-June and the Christmas Market in November-December, you'll others such as the Fashion Market, Real Food Market and Arndale Market all year round. For great food, head to Bolton Market which has been named 'Best Indoor Retail Market 2010' for its 300 stalls across 17,000 square foot selling fresh food, exotic fruit and vegetables, Mediterranean delis, locally sourced meats and cheeses and fresh fish. It also features a cookery demonstration kitchen with regular events and seasonal food tastings. Or visit one of the many Farmer's Markets in Greater Manchester, where the stallholders have grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked and processed their own produce.
Looking for an environmentally-friendly souvenir or present? Dojo Ecoshop in the city centre sells organic, ethically sourced furniture, soft furnishings, toys and gifts. Products are made from organic British wool, sustainably produced timber, Fair Trade organic cotton, hemp and coconut fibre. Shared Earth near Piccadilly Gardens is the UK's largest retailer and wholesaler of handmade and eco-friendly fair trade gifts. Eighth Day has almost a thousand certified organic product lines, herbal remedies, cruelty-free toiletries and much more. If you are exploring outside of the city centre, try Justicia in Bolton for fairly traded goods such as jewellery, ornaments, greeting cards, gifts, soft furnishings, glassware and foodstuffs.
Scour Manchester's many vintage shops to find a one-off piece of fashion or jewellery. Vintage items have already been used once, so by wearing them again you are recycling them. Wander around the Northern Quarter and you'll come across many of the vintage shops including Pop Boutique, offering retro fashion and vintage homewares; Afflecks for four floors of quirky independent outlets; Retro Rehab for vintage clothing and jewellery; and Junk for second-hand togs and accessories and its own unique clothing lines made from recycled, re-worked clothing.
Arts and Crafts
Looking for a hand-crafted piece of art to take home? You can't go wrong with the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. Based in a wonderful building (a former Victorian fish market) you'll find eighteen studios where craftspeople produce and sell jewellery, textiles, ceramics, furniture and artwork. Or head to the craft shop in the Royal Exchange Theatre to view the changing exhibitions and buy quality handmade crafts and cards. If you are visiting during August, head to the Summer Arts and Crafts Market in St Ann's Square for a chance to purchase original artwork, one-off gifts and exclusive design pieces from one of the many stallholders.
Other green shops
Retailers across Greater Manchester including clothes shops, jewellers, pharmacies and convenience stores, have joined Manchester's Environmental Business Pledge. This award and advice scheme is designed to help organisations in Manchester improve their environmental performance and generate cost savings.