We love supporting local entrepreneurs, especially those who are trying to make the world a better place. With not one but TWO sustainable brands under her belt, we are very excited to be featuring the founder of both BIDE Market and Town & Anchor – Paris Morris.
Parisa not only founded Chicago’s first sustainable, luxury skincare line — Town & Anchor — but she also started Chicago’s first sustainable, luxury seasonal market – BIDE Market. Basically if you want to make more eco-conscious decisions but prefer to do so in style, look no further than Parisa.
We LOVE all things clean beauty, and Town & Anchor not only uses clean ingredients in their formulations but they take it one step further by being a completely sustainable brand. From their multiuse skincare products (no need for a 12 step beauty routine contributing to unnecessary packaging waste!) to using recyclable Biophotonic Glass bottles, Town & Anchor is a fully conscious company that we’re big fans of (can’t you tell?)
We were already fans of Parisa and Town & Anchor, but then she took it one step further and founded BIDE Market – a totally sustainable, plastic-free, vegan, and cruelty-free shopping experience (that debuted this month!) Supporting local and shopping all with sustainability in mind? We’re in!
Now that we’ve gone all fan girl on Parisa, we want you to hear from her. From what sparked her interest in sustainability to how you can live more consciously (and everything in-between), here’s our interview with Parisa Morris.
What inspired you to start your companies?
TOWN & ANCHOR was born out of desperation for effective products that weren’t irritating or toxic. After my husband and I quickly learned the importance of natural ingredients, we began experimenting with different formulations and tested on ourselves, friends, and family. My skin quickly cleared from years of irritation and blemishes and from there we launched our website and our vegan skincare life began.
Over the years of having a small business I would attend countless markets in Chicago. I would notice the waste, the unnecessary plastic, the lack of curation for brands sharing the same values and mission, and wondered, “could there be a better way?” A way to source from brands who create luxury, long lasting products or services that are not just in it for the business aspect, but also to be a part of the much needed movement we need as a society–The Sustainable Movement.
And so BIDE Market was born. With BIDE, I wanted to create a shopping experience for both the consumer and vendor to truly connect. Sustainability is a crucial component of TOWN & ANCHOR’s core brand ethos. BIDE offers consumers the comfort of knowing all brands are creating a positive impact on the world and I hope it creates a community of likeminded individuals who are passionate about the same things. BIDE Market is a fully sustainable, plastic-free, vegan, and cruelty-free shopping experience that will take place seasonally. If you’re a sustainable brand that would like to take part in the first market, let us know! We’re looking for vendors and sponsors who are making intentional choices, creating plastic-free products, making without animal products, and are interested in conscious consumption.
What’s the meaning behind the names?
TOWN & ANCHOR is meant to embrace the materials that both the land (town) and sea (anchor) give us. We only use ingredients from the earth, so wanted to incorporate that somehow into our name.
Shortly after decided I was going to give BIDE a go, I began googling the root of the word sustainable. Sustain and bide are both variations of the word “to stay,” so it made sense to have something that was similar. I love that the word is short and offers a welcoming tone to it. We even incorporated it into our now popular hashtag #ComeBideWithUs to encourage a community that cares for the planet and our mission, while feeling welcome to stay with us for guidance and direction.
How did you go about finding the brands for the first BIDE market?
There were a few brands I was already familiar with during the years of attending markets, but there was also a lot of Instagram and Google searching that had to be done. Luckily most of the brands that applied adhered to our guidelines, so they were accepted into the market as well.
Has sustainability always been important to you? Is there something in particular that made you want to live more sustainably?
For a very long time I was willingly ignorant to where our waste was going and that I could be a part of the solution. I felt discouraged and honestly overwhelmed with it all. It wasn’t until I was pregnant in 2015 that I began to take it as seriously as I do now. The fact that our planet wouldn’t be inhabitable for my children or my children’s children equally saddened and infuriated me.
I figured I could at least start with my company TOWN & ANCHOR because it wasn’t just me, but my customer’s that I was responsible for. Shortly after I made many lifestyle changes and never looked back. There is tons of resources that are available to help if you’re starting or feel like you don’t know where to start. One of my favorite helpful, non-judgemental resource is Ashlee Piper’s book Give a Shit: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet.
What are some of your favorite sustainable brands?
What are a few simple ways someone can make their life more earth-friendly?
Start with one room in your house and go from there. If it’s your bathroom, evaluate what ends up in the trash the most. Simple replacements like single-use cotton pads to reusable, washable cotton pads or natural nontoxic cleaning supplies can make all the difference. Remind yourself that sustainability is not a destination, but a journey. Judging yourself or allowing others to judge your process will not get you anywhere, so trust your actions and know that it will get easier.
What’s the most surprising fact you’ve learned on your journey to live a more sustainable life?
We’re now at a million plastic bottles per minute–91% of which are not recycled. That one just really hurts to read.
What would you like to see more of in the sustainability community?
I’d love to see more male-founded sustainable companies. Perhaps they’re out there and I can’t find them, but if they’re hiding, come on out and join BIDE! We want BIDE to be a community of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
What’s next for BIDE Market?
We’re excited to announce BIDE II will be this December 15th. Location and further details will be announced this week, so stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Instagram and join our newsletter. Applications for vendors will open early October.
It’s safe to say we’ll see you at the next BIDE Market…likely covered in Town & Anchor oils.