Top 5 Vegan Food Spots in Milan: From Street Food Re-Imagined to Fancy Eateries

Asking for a soya cappuccino in the centre of Milan a few years ago would cause the waitress impatiently roll their eyes at you, if you're lucky. Looking for a decent restaurant serving vegan dishes (unless you were fine with being brought a plate of bland boiled veggies) was like trying to find a unicorn. Fortunately by 2017, Milan stepped up the game and new vegan eateries keep popping up in the city. We have listed our 5 favourite ones!

Words: Katrin Kaurov

1. Flower Burger - For the Young & Vibrant Community

Flower Burger. 

Flower Burger. 

The first vegan gourmet burger in Italy, perfect for a quick bite if you’re nearby the bustling Corso Buenos Aires. Offering an alternative experience, Flower Burger’s mission is to show that it is possible to have a tasty, colourful meal using only vegetables, legumes and cereals for combinations. 

Do not miss: Tofungu Burger made with smoked tofu and mushrooms, Cheesy Cecil Burger made with a chickpeas patty, black bun and the turtler sauce & the Cherry Bomb Burger, which is the it-girls' favourite for its bold pink colour and flavour. 

Viale Vittorio Veneto 10, Milan

 www.flowerburger.it

2. Raw Vegan Mantra - Market Restaurant & State of Mind

Raw Vegan Mantra. 

Raw Vegan Mantra. 

The first raw vegan restaurant in Italy where nothing is cooked in order to maintain intact all the nutritional values of the ingredients used. Inspired by Californian vegan lifestyle craze and combined with Italian traditional cuisine, Raw Vegan Mantra’s food is prepared in the Raw Lab by the food designer Alberto Minio Paluello.

Not to miss: Tostado (avocado toast on raw homemade bread), cold-pressed juices, rawv (raw pumpkin ravioli in a pine nut and spinach fondue).

Via Panfilo Castaldi 21, Milan

www.mantrarawvegan.com

3. V3raw - The Healthy Jump

V3Raw. 

V3Raw. 

With the aim of harmonising nutrition organic functionalities and energy control, V3raw is a health cafe in the heart of Porta Venezia. Offering healthy breakfast bowls, lunch and dinner options together with V3raw sport events, it is not just a regular eatery. V3raw is a jump into a healthier more mindful life!

Do not miss: The best Macha latte in town with almond milk!

Via Spallanzani

Angolo Viale Regina Giovanna

www.v3raw.com

4. Universo Vegano - Vegan Fast Food

Universo Vegano. 

Universo Vegano. 

Universo Vegano is the first healthy vegan fast food chain in Italy, aiming to cater for people who follow a vegan lifestyle even during a busy day. With two cosy restaurants situated in Milan, it offers a quick but healthy escape from the daily bustle, the menu includes everything from vegan salads to “cheatmeals” such as seitan burgers, vegan kebabs and tiramisus.

Do not miss: Tartufu Royale (vegan mushroom burger with truffles).

Via Solferino 41, Milan and Ripa di Porta Ticinese 49, Milan

www.universovegano.it

5. Radicetonda - Real Organic Food

Radicetonda. 

Radicetonda. 

Although everything is labeled as 'natural' or 'organic' these days, Radicetonda takes it to another level being one of the 10 restaurants in Italy to have the biologic certification ICEA with maximum score. Radicetonda offers innovative possibilities in the field of vegan cuisine, using raw ingredients and freeing the prejudices that present vegan cuisine as unattractive - choice ranges from street food to mixed dishes with pasta, cereals and vegetables.

Do not miss: Theme nights with a real Japanese chef offering organic and traditional Japanese vegan food!

Via Lazzaro Spallanzani 16, Milano

www.radicetonda.it

 

'The Oscars of Sustainable Fashion': Green Carpet Fashion Awards by Livia Firth are Pairing Ethics with Aesthetics

What kind of an image appears in your mind when someone mentions sustainable fashion? I bet glamorous would not be ranking first in your list. However, the times when clothes made out of recycled plastic and cotton waste were exclusively for spiritual hippies have passed. The global fashion industry is reshaping the image of sustainable fashion - bringing a piece of the glitz and glamour to the eco-friendly clothing industry.

Words: Katrin Kaurov

Teatro alla Scala. 

Teatro alla Scala. 

Italy announced the Green Carpet Fashion Awards created by Livia Firth’s initiative Eco-Age and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, which will take place in the famous Milan’s Teatro alla Scala on 24 September 2017, during Fashion Week. The aim is to bring focus to the ethics and sustainability of to the Made in Italy brand, therefore leading the path for other major fashion capitals. The Green Carpet Fashion Awards will feature major brands, including Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada and Valentino, whereas each of the haute couture fashion houses will create a unique look according to the strict criteria of the Green Carpet Challenge.

The president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda, Carlo Capasa, describes the event as The Oscars of sustainable fashion. He has the intention to make Milan the cornerstone of eco-friendly fashion, as it pairs well with the Italian conscious lifestyle and biological food production, which are an essential part of the Italian heritage to date.

Carlo Capasa, Livia Firth and Michele Scannavini.

Carlo Capasa, Livia Firth and Michele Scannavini.

"Italian unique design heritage must be developed and built on the values of environmental protection and social justice in our supply chains, which will uniquely allow Italy to be the added-value designer and manufacturer on the global fashion stage."

Livia Firth, the ambassador of the project, hopes to bring attention to sustainable lifestyle with the Green Carpet Awards, as Italy has always been more about slow, hand-made approach to fashion, with a high focus on quality and uniqueness, in contrast with the general trend of mass-scale fast fashion. She claims that Italian unique design heritage must be developed and built on the values of environmental protection and social justice in our supply chains, which will uniquely allow Italy to be the added-value designer and manufacturer on the global fashion stage.

It is definite that haute couture brands won’t turn back to the 19th-century exclusive, tailor-made ateliers, as a more fast-paced, contemporary mass production is needed to keep up with the global pace of fashion. However, the Green Carpet Awards Challenge lets designers explore new ways of combining the glamour of high-end fashion with environmentally friendly production methods and the large-scale global demand for clothing.
 

#SustainableCities May 2017 Guide: Keeping on the Pulse of Milan's Treasures

Curated by Katrin Kaurov

In our modern world of chaotic, fast-paced rhythms, there is one nation that still embraces il dolce far niente - the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians have mastered the art of slow lifestyle even in a business-oriented fashion and design capital, Milan. A true Milanese knows when to disconnect from the virtual, fast-paced world and embrace being fully present with all senses attuned to the moment. Whether it embodies zipping an ice-cold Spritz at an aperitivo in the bohemian district of Navigli, or an unhurried window-shopping stroll in the luxury district of via Montenapoleone, it's all about taking in the beauty of the city's cherished treasures. Running out of unique ways to wind down in Milan? Grasp the beauty of on-the-spot meaningful moments with our Culture Guide to May.

ART BOOST FOR THE SENSES — The highly anticipated “LOVE.Contemporary Art Meets Love” which travelled from Rome to Milan’s Museo della Permanente is curated by Danilo Eccher. It features 39 masterpieces dedicated to the expression of love, taking you on a deeply emotional journey. The contemporary art exhibition spotlights Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Francesco Vezzoli among others, enabling you to compare and contrast different visions of love’s fairytale.

Tracey Emin - My Forgotten Heart. 

Tracey Emin - My Forgotten Heart. 

GOOD ENERGY SPOT - Missing the edge in the elegant and sophisticated capital of Lombardy? There is an alternative East London vibe in Lambrate Design District. Situated in the hipster district nearby artists’ lofts, exhibitions and installations, East Market Milano brings together indie music, vintage designer clothes, old vinyls, multicultural street food and extravagantly dressed people. Taking place on the third Sunday of each month on 600 sq., the Brooklyn-type creative energy of the avant-garde market will leave you spiritually nourished.

East Market Milano. 

East Market Milano. 

FOR RECHARGING THE TASTEBUDS - Considered as the most “instagrammable” café in Milan, Macha Café, situated just a few steps away from Corso Garibaldi, offers a Japanese-Scandinavian fusion with a twist. Everything in the menu includes green macha - the Japanese superpowder notorious for unbelievable health benefits. The healthy menu ranges from filling (and incredibly photogenic) macha-avocado burgers to sushi bowls and delicate green chia puddings topped with macha for good. Be ready for a buzzing live queue to secure a spot in the new it-place!

Macha Café

Macha Café

SHOP FOR A GOOD CAUSE - An exclusive shopping marathon will take place nearby Moscova from 13-16 May, with a mission to fundraise for underprivileged children. The event called ‘Profit No Profit’ Haute Couture Shopping features more than 90 high-end brands donating their current season’s collection of clothing, bags and other accessories for charity. The items will be sold at discounted prices up to 80% and all the profit will be granted to “Associazione per il Bambino Nefropatico Onlus” and “Panda Onlus.”

Via Lincoln. 

Via Lincoln. 

STROLL AWAY THE WEEKEND - One of Milan’s best-kept secrets is via Lincoln, just a few steps away from the business district of Porta Nuova known for its skyscrapers and futuristic buildings. The picturesque neighbourhood via Lincoln, which grew out of the idea of having a garden city with small colourful houses, resembles an extraordinary fairy tale. Take a long stroll in the tranquility of the Rainbow District with its tiny gardens full of fruit trees and flowerbeds.
 

Textile Designer Nelly Rose: Honouring Global Artisanship with a Voice

For the London-based textile designer Nelly Rose, on top of placing elements of traditional craftsmanship and up-cycling in the centre of her eccentric textile artwork, the power of collaboration is key. The main themes running through her expressive textile lines are female empowerment and creating a ‘voice’ through her conscious craftsmanship. Nelly Rose is extremely concerned about the de-valuing and vanishing of traditional techniques that should be cherished and preserved instead. Through her vibrant, empowering prints — forever, if we may.

Photo by  Marilu Venditti.  

Photo by Marilu Venditti.  

What led you to sustainable approach in textile design? How unique is your approach in London vs on a wider, global scale? 

I have studied Print, Knitwear and Embellishment, and all of these have led me to make more conscious decisions about the materials I was using and where the techniques derived from. In London, my approach is very much inspired by the concept of 'upcycling' and DIY-culture. On a global scale, my work is lead by my curiosity and passion for handcrafts and discovering their origin; nothing excites me more than being able to include them in my collections. I am currently exploring Japan, absorbing the culture and discovering all kinds of beautiful craftsmanship [from the region].

What are the values your brand encompasses? What are the main themes you are keen to explore? 

My values as a brand lie in working on projects which focus around female empowerment and creating a voice through a creative medium. I have worked in various projects from ‘shop window stitch-ins’, raising awareness about the Rana Plaza factory collapse, to the first modest wear runway collection in the UK made entirely in artisan houses in Indonesia.  

I tend to use a lot of typography in my work, which I guess contributes to the idea of raising a ‘voice’. Overall, the main themes I explore in my work are: Handcraft, Messages and Storylines, Protest and Equality, Printed Textiles, Creative Campaigns.  

"The brand I strive to create is my expressive vision of what I consider to be ethical in my own way, whilst still being loud, bold and a little eccentric." 

Photo by  Marilu Venditti.  

Photo by Marilu Venditti.  

How does Nelly Rose as a person and as a brand differ, if at all?  

Interesting question! I would say my personality as Nelly Rose mainly focuses on networking and bringing people together, who have similar mindsets about changing the world in creative ways. I guess Nelly Rose is my rainbow vision, my compassion and my voice.  The brand I strive to create is my expressive vision of what I consider to be ethical in my own way, whilst still being loud, bold and a little eccentric.  

Your work was recently showcased at the Green Fashion Week in Milan. What does the experience mean to you? 

Green Fashion Week was a brilliant experience as it fused together my interest in global climate change, as well as having fashion at the forefront.  The new collection I showed was of hand painted up-cycled garments, ranging from denim to leather, which I salvaged from a textile waste plant.  My highlight of the experience was the photo shoot I directed at the Bosco Verticale alongside designer Silvia Giovanardi. It fused the relationship between sustainable fashion and architecture, and it was very inspiring to witness my work being a part of that. 

Although I love the ‘calendar’ fashion weeks, I also have to express my love and connection to other global fashion events such as AFWL (Africa Fashion Week London) and the recently participated in GFW. I find that there is an open dialogue and a more personal level of fashion presented.  

"I tend to use a lot of typography in my work, which I guess contributes to the idea of raising a ‘voice’."

Photo by   Marilu Venditti.  

Photo by Marilu Venditti.  

What are the most meaningful collaborations you have done so far? What do you consider perhaps your biggest accomplishment? 

I consider my biggest accomplishment to date the Co-Identity collection which has been showed at the Jakarta Fashion Week and then London Fashion week via Fashion Scout. The collection was a collaboration with Dian Pelangi and Odette Steele in which involved fully immersing myself in Indonesia as an inhabitant and creating the textiles for the full 24 Looks of Modest Womenswear. These consisted of fully hand rendered techniques ranging from hand painted gowns, Batik and Songket weaving.  

Making of: Nelly Rose Artisanal Textiles. 

Making of: Nelly Rose Artisanal Textiles. 

What irritates you about the fast fashion industry? Why do we need a slower approach? 

The fast fashion industry irritates me mainly because of mass consumption and the de-valuing and plagiarising of traditional techniques.  I believe in a slower approach to prevent the de-humanisation of garment workers in the supply chain, thus preventing the capitalisation of poverty.  We take such an avid interest in the ingredients that go into our body or our pharmaceuticals, so I don’t understand why we don’t have the same mindset about what we wear on our skin.  The industry deliberately makes it hard to question, and easy to ignore, so it is imperative we constantly ask #whomademyclothes.  

Do you personally feel it is more difficult to deliver work using ethical and artisanal approach? 

I believe that in order to deliver a luxury product, there should be a transparent process. In my personal work, the initial process is more difficult, as it can be more costly as a young emerging designer; however I am constantly trying to inform myself in ways I can maximise the artisanal approach. I have a vision of working with artisan communities across the world to collaborate on beautiful creative outcomes, and I will carry on finding the most efficient ways to deliver these collaborations.  

"The fast fashion industry irritates me mainly because of mass consumption and the de-valuing and plagiarising of traditional techniques." 

 Nelly Rose, credits: Laila Cohen / Imprint Magazine. 

 Nelly Rose, credits: Laila Cohen / Imprint Magazine. 

How would you categorise yourself in the fashion world? What's the most important message you aim to deliver as an artist? 

I predominantly refer to myself as a designer because I like to create wearable pieces which tell a story. However, as designer refers to the process prior to a piece being created, I also refer to myself as a creative director because I love to work with a concept in various forms, such as film and installation. Ultimately, I aim to deliver an outcome through the power of collaboration, which reflects the journey and honours the craft. 

http://www.nelly-rose.com

GreenModelMe: Green Lifestyle Lessons With Daniela Christiansson

Last month, the second edition of Green Fashion Week went live in Milan, Italy. In the light of the event, we discussed green living tips, climate change and the future of fashion with its founder Daniela Christiansson, also a model and ambassador of green lifestyle and beauty at www.greenmodelme.com...

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela, how did you grow interested in a more conscious, ethical lifestyle?

Being Swedish and growing up in Switzerland, I've always led a rather conscious lifestyle — as both countries take care of the environment and are healthy, it has been quite naturally a part of me. Likewise, I have always wanted to have a blog and 6 years ago I challenged my father telling him that I will set up a blog as guidance to sustainable lifestyle to influence people to change their habits and encourage them to believe that together we can cause less harm to Earth. Climate change is real and we have all the resources to fight it, we just all need to gradually change our consumption and lifestyle habits. I hope to influence as many people as possible with GreenModelMe, my team and partners. 

What are your key lifestyle tips for adapting a more mindful approach to living in this speedy world?

Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things. Our society is just pushing us to buy and consume more things, which we ultimately do not need. We are a generation that is stressed, addicted to speed, constantly rushing and many individuals lose themselves by living through a virtual world or through someone else's ideals. Also, my father always tells me to slow down. We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end. It is an ambitious way and probably one of the best ways to succeed, but not for our own good. 

Therefore, I suggest to switch off as often as possible and live in the present. Take some air, relax, do some sport, read, cook healthy and organic food and if possible, do it in a community to share and cherish those moments. Like in the old days. 

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

I am travelling often, which makes me work on my computer or phone most of the time. It is a good opportunity, but I also oblige myself to take a break and look outside the window, sleep or listen to music, when I am alone. I think it is important to share and communicate as often as possible and be less connected in virtual worlds, because these are the opportunities — in real life — where you can create the best memories, which contribute to our happiness and health. 

I would say the best approach is to enjoy the present and the simple things with what we have and not constantly keep looking for more. We can as well create a lot of different things with what we already have by reusing or mixing them, for example. We just need a little bit of creativity. 

Consume less of everything (food, clothes, everyday products). Be creative and learn to reuse! Additionally, replace many products with better quality and eco-friendly alternatives. You can get a lot of tips from GreenModelMe — on improving your health, finances and the environment. 

What are the visible benefits of leading a more conscious lifestyle? How do you preserve a balance and cope with stress?

As said above, I try to disconnect, enjoy the little moments, do some sport and relax, which definitely gives me more power short-term — a better mood, a better concentration and freshness (which is very important in my modelling career, to be relaxed and look fresh). As for the long run, it definitely contributes to my health, self-esteem and happiness. 

“Learn to disconnect and come back to the joy of small and simple things.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

You are the founder of Green Fashion Week hosted in Milan last month. What do your role and this experience mean to you?

I came to this idea with my manager, the owner of Major Models Milan, Guido Dolci, after attending COP21. 

I was invited to COP21 by the UNFCCC to make their promotional video of the Climate Neutral Now Campaign in which I am a champion with my boyfriend, and where I was invited by the UEFA to assist at the SIIS (sustainable innovation in sport).

Everyone loved my idea of GFW and consequently a team was directly created to make it happen as soon as possible. The first edition took place four months later in April 2016 in Abu Dhabi, which was a beautiful success. We called it the Abu Dhabi Fashion Sustainability Experience involving Major Models and my partners of the UN to make a zero emission event.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

I am involved with various eco-friendly brands and I develop projects with companies to make the event as green as possible. Furthermore, knowing what I talk about, I represent and promote the Green Fashion Week, that is in addition to presenting it and modelling for it during the event. This project is very precious to me, I always call it my baby and I really hope to make sustainable fashion the new trend — more visible and approachable. 

“We tend to do too many things all at once because nowadays we have the possibility to work and stay connected almost everywhere we are, which makes all of us never actually having a break in the end.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

You always seem to look so effortlessly flawless. What are the beauty tips you religiously follow?

1. Drink a lot of water 

2. Eat clean whenever possible 

3. Exercise

Pretty natural, right? 

Who is your 'green lifestyle' or 'green fashion' muse?

I don't have one in particular because I find that many people are an inspiration to me. The people working in the business, such as companies or designers, are the best coaches, as they have all the knowledge in the world. I love to learn in that way and I always keep myself updated with the latest news. I read articles and blogs as well, because I like to see different opinions and ideas. I also watch documentaries when I have time.

 What are your latest go-to eco beauty products you would recommend?

Thank you for asking me the latest because there are so many great ones! I am a fan of Moroccan Natural, which is an organic skincare brand. I love their Cactus Oil. I find Dr. Hauschka very good because it is a complete organic cosmetic brand with both skincare and make-up products. Their philosophy is very much concentrating on what is best for the environment and the human's health. 100% pure lipsticks are very good and I am of fan of Kure Bazaar nail polish. They cure your nails as well. 

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

What fascinates and inspires you the most about eco fashion? How to still look stylish with consuming less?

The story behind the clothes. Knowing how the garment has been made and learning about its components interests me the most, and the creativity, skills and innovation behind the garment always fascinate me. I love when the designers tell me about their values, the story of the garment and the materials they are using. We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.

I have always used the same clothes several times and created different looks by just changing the accessories, which makes it easy to style a look. I don’t see the point in buying one garment knowing that I will only use it once. I usually shop what I like and therefore, it is sad to use an item only once, no? I see that as a waste of money and resources…

“We can do so many things with natural products and consume less, if we just change the production process and materials.”

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

Daniela Christiansson, GreenModelMe.com.

There are so many amazing eco-friendly brands out there. People often think that they are not beautiful, or look too basic, but they are completely wrong! This is one of the goals of the GFW — making people aware of the amazing conscious designers and spread the message of the issues to do with fast fashion and climate change. I always love to discover new eco brands — I have a list and I’ve almost lost track of it already, because the numbers are just growing. I love it!