Located in Lagos, it was opened by Terri Toyota and her talented niece Jenni. Their motto is "Ethical design for beautiful living".
We are usually well aware that our shopping choices are not very sustainable, but sometimes a sustainable option is not as easy as a non-sustainable one. Now, in Lagos, there is a new shop that wants to be the change the world needs and that consumers have been waiting for. A space that brings together different products, 100 percent made in Portugal by artisans and companies that pride themselves on being ethically sustainable.
From the moment I walked in, I felt a fantastic atmosphere. The place has been carefully decorated and Terri is friendly and pays attention to every detail of her shop. You can find clothes, shoes and home decor. In other words, there is a great diversity of products, with one thing in common - all selected from companies that have the best standards.
Pillars of sustainability
When we talk about sustainability, it is not only linked to the environment, although it is the first element of sustainability that jumps out at us most easily. However, in addition to environmental sustainability itself, there are two other pillars on which sustainability rests.
“I generally group it in three elements - Environment, Social and Governance. Social is how you treat your staff, inclusivity, diversity, to working hours to the working conditions. Also, is to know if company message, your promotion is actually social responsible. The Governance is how you manage your company - the ethics. Do you have women in senior positions? Are you paying your taxes? Do you run the businesses with the right principles?”
"A company that practices greenwashing may only be looking at one aspect, which is good. It's better than doing nothing. However, you have to make sure that on the other hand they are not using child labour, unfair payments or poor work conditions. You have to look at the bigger picture,” she said.
Greenwashing is indeed a problem that leaves many consumers very confused. People who really want to make conscious choices, but are not sure that the brand's advertising actually corresponds to reality. To solve this problem, Terri said that "we should have a measure to say that this is legitimate or that this brand is just doing the bare minimum. Something like the energy labelling we already have for appliances. We need a certification that becomes known," Terri suggested.
Although we haven't done it yet, the fact is that people don't have time to research everything about a brand before buying a product, which is why Terri and Jenni are trying to make it more accessible for people. "They can shop in good conscience without having to do all the research by themselves," Terri said.
Brands of excellence
In their shop, every detail is carefully thought out, from the price tags, where you can read nice messages about the production methods, to the materials, which, for example, in the fabric of the clothes, I found to be very soft cotton. As for the shoes, they are made of pineapple with recycled plastic in the sole.
Some of the Portuguese brands they work with are: Algarve Candle Co., Bam&Boo, Zouri, Organique, Lily Brown, among others.
Terri really is a person with a lot of empathy for the world. You can feel it just by talking to her. That's why I wasn't too surprised when Terri told me that she has dedicated her life to humanitarian work, first at the United Nations and then at the World Economic Forum, where she worked hard to bring the social element into the economy.
As a Canadian with Japanase roots, her life has been very international. “I probably lived or travel almost to 150 countries, including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Italy and Switzerland”. Currently, she has been permanently living in Portugal for two years.
For further information, please visit Cobblestone Avenida website at https://www.cobblestoneavenida.com/ or visit them in person at Ed. Antiga Fabrica Da Ribeira Av. dos Descobrimentos, Loja F 8600 - 584 Lagos, Portugal
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252