Leading the way Sustainably

Check out these sustainability-focused businesses for your next purchase.

Consuming sustainably is a great focus for those of us keen to do our little bit of good in the world. Finding ethical, sustainable products that align with your intentions, however, can be a tough ask. Neat Places has put together a cheat sheet for that well-intentioned next purchase.

The Fermentist entrance on Colombo Street.

The Fermentist

380 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Sustainability is at the heart of it all at The Fermentist microbrewery and taproom. Committed to keeping its carbon footprint minimal, the good people here have created an entirely plant based menu, limit food waste and gather rainwater for irrigation of the restaurant’s edible garden (which is a lovely spot for a pint on a sunny afternoon). They also recycle and implement a thorough waste management system. What can’t be grown or made right here is collected from local farmers and producers. On top of all this, the entire operation is powered by solar panels that sit on the roof of the building.

Barista putting a lid on reusable coffee cup.

Prima Roastery

387 Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

A true pioneer of sustainability, Prima was the first roastery in New Zealand to use compostable packaging way back in 2011, and was presented an Eco Waste Warrior Award in 2018 in recognition for its dedication for waste reduction. It accepts its coffee bags back at the roastery and composts them, along with green waste collected from selected cafes around town, at a small farm in Leeston. Coffee beans make their way to the Woolston roastery from Fairtrade-certified growers and the petite café encourages waste reduction by using reusable cups only.

Untouched World exterior.

Untouched World

35 Helwick Street, Wanaka

The only clothing company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability, Untouched World is a true leader in the field of ethical lifestyle fashion. The key players in its production are sustainable fibres such as merino, organic cotton and soybean aka vegan cashmere, along with water based prints and earth friendly dyes. Water use is controlled and minimised, and recycling maximised – the Zero Waste Kids collection is made entirely from offcuts. The company also has its own foundation, UWF, which delivers ground-breaking programmes for students across the country focused on leadership toward a sustainable future.

A flatlay of food.


5/2 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

Gatherings focuses on the future of Planet Earth in everything it does. It focuses on organics and small-scale production, working strictly within the seasons and availability of produce. The restaurant’s offerings are restricted to vegetables and sustainably caught seafood. The belief here is that the future of food lies, not in meat or fake meats, but in produce grown locally and with integrity. The restaurant uses renewable energy only and even the fit-out has been created using recycled materials. Gatherings aims to stimulate thought about the role of food in reducing carbon emissions and hopes to inspire people to realize the beauty in simplicity and living harmoniously with our environment.

Cultivate Christchurch

156 Peterborough St

Cultivate is an urban farm in the central city, which aims to engage and inspire young people in meaningful learning and career opportunities around urban agriculture. Cultivate grows everything to organic standards, works within the seasons and closes the loop by collecting green waste, turning it into compost to feed the soil it grows its veggies in. It strives to find the best solutions to minimize packaging and waste, currently trialing home compostable bags for its greens. Cultivate offers a veggie subscription service and delivers hospitality orders via an e-bike, and in the future hopes to do this for subscriptions also.