Bath Christmas Market goes green

By Gill Harris on 16 October, 2018

Sustainability will be at the very heart of Bath Christmas Market this year, organisers have announced.

This week sees the Government’s first ever annual Green GB Week, which aims to promote green practice in the business world.

And Bath’s award-winning festive market, which will run from November 22 to December 9, is firmly on board, with plans to spread festive magic by using decorations made from recycled single-use plastic.

Organisers Visit Bath have collaborated with craft designer Christine Leech, who is the creative director of Marie Claire magazine, to create decorations made from empty bottles, many of which have been supplied by local waste management company MJ Church, and leftover plastic bags from some of the major supermarkets in the city, including Waitrose.

Challenged to make her signature wool pom-poms more robust to withstand the winter weather, Christine came up with the idea of making them from plastic bags and bottles from her recycling bin. The simple but visually stunning pieces, including a giant chandelier and an impressive wreath, will decorate many of the streets and focal points of the market.

Christine will also be working with pupils from Widcombe Junior School in Bath to make lanterns and decorations that will light-up Abbeygate Street, showing the children that there is more you can do with plastic than just throwing it away.

Law firm Mogers Drewett are supporting the recycling initiative as well as the Festive Family Artisan Market in Queen Square.

Around 160 chalets will line the city’s picturesque streets, with more than 80% of producers originating from Bath and the surrounding area. A full programme of festive music will be keeping shoppers entertained – new for 2018 will be a piano in Milsom Street that will form part of a ‘pop-up Christmas scene’, encouraging visitors to host their own sing-along.

Priormade, a new stallholder this year, will also be linking in with the sustainable theme and showcasing bold and colourful homeware, lighting and jewellery made from reclaimed and low impact materials, including drift wood, from the old Weston-Super-Mare pier.

Mick Heath, head of events at Visit Bath, said: “As one of the largest events in the South West, we are keen to make the market as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. Christine’s clever use of single-use plastic to make beautiful decorations is an innovative way of using up some of the plastic waste in the city.”

In 2017, an estimated 409,000 people visited Bath Christmas Market, generating an associated additional spend of £29.4m across the city, the highest ever in the market’s 17-year history and a 40% increase on 2016.

Pictured above: Recycled Christmas decorations by Christine Leech