Green shopping in the middle of the forest? Yes please! – Put this Almtal valley-based site estimated to open the doors in summer 2018 on your slow travel bucket list.
Grüne Erde is in the top 5 of our favourite brands when it comes to shopping truly sustainable fashion, home and Christmas decorations, home textiles or furniture. So naturally, as soon as I heard of their new venture, I had to find out more and to share it with you!
So, Grüne Erde, eh? For my readers from outside Germany and Austria, a brief introduction.
The Austrian company started back in 1983 as a natural mattress manufacture and today, over 30 years later, it’s a renowned and multiple award-winning socially responsible and eco-friendly business. The company ethics even reach as far as to the social media (the strategy is to resolutely stay away from the latter).
Right now, Grüne Erde have several distribution channels: a print catalogue, an online shop and a chain of Grüne Erde stores, six shops and one outlet in Austria and seven shops in Germany – BTW, if you’re in Berlin or visiting, check out their fabulously cosy shop located Oranienburger Str. 1-3, near Hackescher Markt. Coming to the store is worth the experience because it’s there, in person, that you can touch the heavy, traditionally manufactured fabrics, test a natural mattress and take in all the nice smells of natural linen, organic wool, essential oils and the unique fragrance of untreated, fine, solid timber.
The quality of Grüne Erde products really is amazing, and well worth the higher price. The company works with many Austrian and European manufactures, most products are handmade with the greatest respect for the raw material and for the craftspeople.
The new Almtal valley project to open its doors in summer 2018 brings the Grüne Erde experience to a new level – an architectural ode to nature and to the place where the first Grüne Erde mattress workshop started. I can’t wait to go and see it myself because what’s planned really sounds great!
The 2,000 sqm big concept store built from sustainable and renewable materials is designed to blend with the surrounding nature by means of integration into the landscape and by using cleverly placed green patios (twelve in number) as well as beautifully mirrored storefronts.
The concept store is of course designed to experience the handmade ethical products but also to really see how they are made – the production of cosmetics, fashion and mattresses is made visible to the visitors.
To honour the beauty of the location – the Almtal valley is a highly popular tourist destination with a rich offering of accomodations and leisure activities – fruit orchards, potagers and herbaries will frame the Grüne Erde concept store, complemented by an educational forest trail, several hiking trails and bike rental. The same concept that works for conventional outlet centres across the world, the conjunction of shopping and tourism, finds itself on a whole new level here bringing the appreciation of skilfully handmade goods together with the love for nature.