The Darwin Ecosystem is located in Bordeaux which I have previousely written about here and here. Yet, I wanted to dedicate an extra post to this place. Because it’s so different than the rest of Bordeaux and, as the name tells, it’s its own system. And it’s heaven for any ecologically minded person.

Since 2008, the warehouses of the Niel military barracks have been renovated and now provide space to various sustainable ventures. In the front, you’ll find an organic grocery store, restaurant and coffeeshop; all the goods carefully curated with a rustic brick backdrop and lovely antique furniture placed inbetween.



Another hall accommodates a spacious thrift store selling everything from clothing to furniture. What’s very common in especially the anglosaxon countries, I get quite excited about. Thrift stores are so rare in Austria, and when they do exist their selection is often disappointing. It’s such a pity really, because the concept of giving your stuff new life is a brilliant one: It helps the original owner let go of items that are not worn/used anymore, knowing someone else will appreciate it. It’s a sustainable, affordable, authentic way of shopping. And I really wish and hope the concept will establish itself in my home country too!


Two halls are dedicated to skaters, to me mostly fascinating because of the light situation 😉



Further in the back, there’s a recycling centre. Something I was also happy to see because contrary to what I’d heard before, France is not great at recycling. In Lyon we only separated bottles, cans and paper which all go into the same bin; who knows if and how they are divided afterwards…


In between the overgrown and graffiti-coloured walls community gardens were planted, another possibility to consume sustainable and affordable and get to know our food.


The ecosysteme is complete with art shows, working spaces for sustainable companies and event spaces.

It’s so great finding projects like this. Solutions are everywhere. Hopefully they inspire change in many.

What are your favourite sustainable projects? I’d love to hear different ideas from different places!

P.S. There is a French movie “Tomorrow” in the cinemas now highlighting ideas for a more sustainable world, you should check it out!


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