22 Feb Eco-Shopping in Bali: Ethical Fashion, Organic Coffee and Sustainable Food
Nyuh Kuning is a charming and quiet village located in the heart of Bali, near Ubud. Over the years, it has grown into an eco-conscious shopping and dining destination, and many of Bali’s eco-entrepreneurs have made Nyuh Kuning their home. Here, you’ll find ethical fashion, organic cafés, sustainable restaurants, and a friendly smile. We have lined up nine of our favourite addresses for guilt-free shopping in Bali below. Happy shopping!
1. ABOVE THE CLOUDS
ETHICAL FASHION MADE OF LOCAL LINENS AND NATURAL DYES
This tiny boutique, located right next to the monkey forest, sells men’s clothing made of gorgeous cotton and linens, which are dyed with natural dyes. The shop is run by Charlotte, who is originally from the States, and her French partner, Florant. The couple’s environmentally conscious fashion line is basic yet elegant, and perfect for the tropical Balinese weather.
Charlotte has worked in the fashion industry for many years, and after moving to Bali, she decided to start her own, ethically-minded clothing brand. “Each piece is made locally, by small manufacturers,” she shares with us. “We give women the option to work from home so they can watch over their children. We also work with a small Balinese family business that has been naturally dying fabrics for more than twenty years.” The brand’s work ethic is reflected in its name. “Above the Clouds got its name because I believe that it’s time for people to get their heads out of the clouds, and get more globally action-oriented in politics, society, and the environment.” Amen to that!
Jl. Nyuh Bojog No.11 | Open daily 9:30 am – 5:30 pm | +62 812 3898 5545 | website
2. OLD FRIENDS COFFEE SHOP
A FARM-TO-CUP COFFEE EXPERIENCE
This homey coffee shop provides a unique ‘farm-to-cup’ experience: the coffee they serve comes from their own plantation! Made, Old Friends’ owner, was born and raised on a coffee plantation in Belantih Village, in the Kintamani district in northern Bali, perched 1,200 meters above sea level. “Kintamani lies on the slopes of the Mount Batur volcano, which is known for its fertile soil that produces world-class coffee beans,” he explains. “Our farmers are united in a coop called “Subak Abians,” a collective that operates on the ‘Tri Hati Karana‘ philosophy. This means that we try to sustain the harmonious relationship between God, man, and nature.”
Made explains how most of Bali’s coffee is wet-processed. This wet process, used to remove the fruit around the bean, is very water-intensive and requires special equipment. The Kintamani coops have started experimenting with ‘dry’ and ‘semi-dry’ processing, as these are more sustainable methods of processing. Dry processing is the oldest method of processing coffee. The harvested whole cherry is first cleaned and then placed in the sun to dry, which adds a layer of complexity to the flavour of the coffee.
At Old Friends, you can order a taster of coffee processed in three different ways: wet, semi-dry, and dry. We recommend a pour-over of all three (IRD 30,000) so you can taste the unique flavour profile of each bean. We especially like the semi-dry coffee, a syrupy body with enhanced, almost honey-like sweetness, round acidity and earthy undertones.
Jl. Nyuh Bojog No.5 | Open Wed-Mon 9:00 am – 6:00 pm | +62 813 5328 0267 | website
3. SWASTI ECO COTTAGE
ORGANIC PRODUCE AND GARDEN YOGA
Swasti Eco cottage is a wonderful little eco-paradise boasting brightly designed bungalows and cottages, a restorative spa, as well as a peaceful yoga shala. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that its name, Swasti, means ‘health’! Last but not least, the Eco Cottage has an eco-friendly restaurant serving up greens from its own organic garden. It is the place for deliciously fresh vegan dishes and healthy Indonesian options.
Swasti practices eco-friendly measures, including recycling, chemical-free cleaning, composting organic waste, and worm farming. The Swasti’s are an animal-friendly bunch: don’t be too surprised if you see a cat or rabbit hopping around during your yoga class, or goats playing lawnmower trimming the grass around you. Like what you see? Why not try sleeping in one of the colourful cottages or bungalows made from 100% recycled wood from Java? Fun fact: The designs were inspired by the century-old carvings of native Indonesians.
Jl. Nyuh Bojog No. 2-4 | Open daily 7:30 am – 10:00 pm | +62 361 974 079 | website
TEXTILES & BATIK FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Tradisi is a lovely little workshop that sells hand-woven and hand-drawn batik fabric from across Indonesia. Not just from Java, Sumatra, and Lombok, but from as far as Madura, Sumba, Timor, and Rote. Their products include batik and multiple other styles of hand-weaving, all coloured with natural dyes.
Tradisi is a social enterprise, which means that profits are used to support local community projects. In 2015, they partnered with the John Fawcette Foundation to provide free eye exams to hundreds of people in the weaving village of Pringgasela, Lombok. The cushions are designed and sewn directly in the store, and the earnings go towards mentoring Nyuh Kuning women in small business skills. They get their own sewing machine and learn how to market their products both locally and globally.
Jl. Nyuh Bojog No. 4 | Open Mon-Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm | +62 81246888717 | website
JAPANESE HOME COOKING IN AN IDYLLIC SETTING
Tucked away from the main road, Kagemusha offers home-style Japanese cooking in a seriously dreamy garden atmosphere. Surrounded by the sounds of nature, filled with the smell of home-cooked food, sitting inside this hidden gem feels nothing but peaceful. In true Japanese style, there’s no Wi-Fi here, but there are books aplenty! This restaurant has become the go-to place for authentic Japanese food in the area: Kagemusha’s owner and chef, Ibu Umi, has served up her home-cooked dishes over twenty-five years. After finishing your food, Ibu Umi will even come out of the kitchen and thank you for eating here.
A popular lunchtime seller is Kagemusha’s bento box containing chicken katsu, tempura, omelette, greens and rice, as well as miso or noodle soup (IDR 80.000). We also recommend you to try the miso nikani udon (IDR 58.000), or simply go for any of the specialities they have listed on the board. When asking around, every customer seems to have a different favourite dish at Kagemusha!
Jl. Raya Nyuh Kuning | Open daily 11:00 am. – 11:00 pm | +62 361 973 134 | website
A VEGAN’S CULINARY DREAM COME TRUE
Looking for an eatery with a super fresh, organic, and very healthy menu? Sage is the place to go! This sleekly designed restaurant is relatively new to the scene but has quickly become a hotspot for those looking for a unique vegan experience. For the gluten-restricted, this restaurant is a little paradise, the menu has plenty of options, including pastries and cakes.
For breakfast, we highly recommend you to try the Sage smoothie bowl—a cold fresh fruit smoothie topped with granola, pumpkin seeds, and grated coconut—or the gluten-free pancakes. Their veggie burger is a favourite choice for lunch. Sage’s dinner menu takes on a Mexican twist, with the most popular dish being the jackfruit Asada tacos (IDR 70.000).
Jl. Nyuh Bulan No.1 | Open daily 8:00 am – 9:30 pm | +62 361 976 528 | website
ZEN CO-WORKING PLACE FOR SPIRITUAL ENTREPRENEURS
Outpost is probably the most zen workplace we’ve ever set foot in… barefoot that is! Here, shoes and flip-flops get left at the door, and you share workspace at handsome sustainable wooden tables. Its two spacious floors ooze calm. Pre and post-work yoga and meditation sessions are available in the garden, and the pool in the hotel next door is open to members.
Outpost hosts loads of community events to meet and connect with other amazing creatives in Bali. Oh, and did we mention that in-house massages are part of the package? Day passes available, and prices start from IDR. 220.000. Did you know that Bali is home to quite a few cool and unusual coworking spaces? Click here to find out more!
Jl Raya Nyuh Kuning Ubud | Open daily 8:00 am – 6:00 pm | +62 361 9080584 | website
8. WAMM & MOTHER
STYLISH CAFÉ SERVING LOCAL ORGANIC FOOD
Centrally located across from the soccer field, ‘What About My Mother’ (WAMM) is a beautifully designed two-story café decorated with earthy colours, textures, and patterns, such as batik-inspired terracotta tiles. “We are committed to serving fresh locally and ethically-sourced organic produce and ethically raised meat,” the WAMM team explains. There are also plenty of scrumptious vegetarian items on the menu. WAMM also serves dinner under the brand MOTHER, a homage to mothers around the world. The menu offers an adventurous take on classics, inspired by hearty, home-cooked dishes you’d enjoy back home.
Why not start your day with a truly gourmet adventure? We like WAMM’s take on Eggs Benedict: their ‘Bali Benedict’ pairs soft poached duck eggs with smoked eggplant, greens, sweet potato, and taro hash brown. The secret ingredient that makes this dish extra delicious? Homemade coco kaffir sauce! If you prefer your breakfast sweet, we recommend you yo try the heavenly WAMMcakes: pumpkin pancakes topped with whipped coconut, strawberries, and cream honey (IDR 45.000).
As WAMM is located across a soccer field, the owners were inspired to take some activities outdoors for the whole community to join, such as organic farmer’s markets and movie nights to enjoy under the stars.
Jl. Nyuh Bulan No. 24 | Open daily 7:00 am – 10.30 pm | +62 812-3696-2663 | website
9. BARONG BRIDGE
VINTAGE-STYLE CAFÉ AND COOKIE FACTORY
Please note that barong Bridge is currently closed because of renovation
When the Japanese Toshidanaka San met Say in Bali in 1997, it was love at first sight, and he knew he wanted to stay here. A few years ago, the couple’s dream of opening a café came true. Say only uses local ingredients to dream up uniquely flavoured food and drink. Her cookies are available throughout Bali and make the perfect gift to bring home (boxes start at IDR 40.000).
At this shabby-chic café, you’ll find wonderful pastries, delicious juice concoctions and coffee. The latter is Barong Briodge’s speciality: They roast single-origin beans from Kintamani (1.5 hours north of Ubud), on sight. Toshidanaka and Say are also avid antique collectors, which explains the café’s colourful repurposed window shutters, sewing tables, and old lanterns. It is a wonderful place to camp out on the comfy patio with a book and watch the day go by. The lunch and dinner menu has an Italian flair to it, offering pizza and pasta, but truly, most people come here for the coffee and banana chocolate cake (IDR 45.000).
Jl. Raya Nyuh Kuning No.14 | Open daily 8:00 am – 10:00 pm| +62 361 978 244 | website
Ready to explore Bali? Bring us with you!
Find the best, sustainable places for shopping in Bali, and more in the free iDiscover app for iOs or Android, which features handcrafted walking and cycling itineraries that show you the soul of Bali. Click here to download the app!
You can also download the illustrated iDiscover Nyuh Kuning map here, designed by Aryo, a local artist.
Words and photos by Lee Ann Deuben
Lee Ann Deuben loves to cook, and she loves to travel. Good thing her life has turned into that of a global nomad, having lived in Oslo, Lyon, Jakarta, and now Beirut. She also is a very accomplished city planner who is passionate about building sustainable and inclusive communities.
Interviews by Diah Kardinal
Diah heads the Bali Kuna Heritage Society, a non-profit working hand-in-hand with local communities to promote, celebrate, and preserve Balinese cultural heritage.
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