Westport's Wakeman Farm hosts first-ever 'Eco Market,' featuring sustainable goods

WESTPORT — Hoping to centralize a wide range of mindful products and practices — as well as showcase a good time —Wakeman Town Farm hosted its first-ever Sustainable Goods Eco Market on Sunday.

About 20 vendors from throughout the area offered a variety of sustainable goods, including clothes, food, candles, and even artwork.

“Hopefully this is a success,” said Nicole Gerber of Westport, a volunteer farmhand and supporter. “I’m hoping we’ll make this an annual, or semi-annual event.”

Gerber was approached by Fairfield’s well-known Eco Dude, also known as Brad Kerner, who operates both an online store and a new brick-and-mortar shop in Norwalk that strictly uses regional vendors with sustainable products.

“I want to see more things like this,” said Kerner, who helped organize the event. “This is a nice way for people to see the options.”

Those were many and varied, including such clever takes on sustainability as Chad Anderson’s Phandles, a line of specialty candles.

When work slowed down with the pandemic, the Bridgeport-based music photojournalist decided to incorporate his art with helping the many musicians that inspire his work. “I decided to turn my art into candles,” he said, with each candle including a picture of a musician and a unique QR code that links to their Spotify sounds.

More importantly, he said, his products us upcycled glass and organic soy, making them a perfect fit for the market.

“I am a huge believer in no waste,” said Brooke Lalumiere of Fairfield, whose Pink Moon by Brooke earrings are created from, in essence, small leftover supplies of leather that previously had no use.

“I love giving new life to something that would end up in a landfill,” she said.

“The planet’s not gonna last that long if we don’t do something about sustainability,” said JoAnn Flaun of Westport, a volunteer with Sustainable Westport, on hand to share about the importance of composting and keeping food waste out of the dump.

“I think it’s wonderful to have a sustainability fair,” she said. “This is a good start.”