Hidden away on Döbrentei utca in the shadows of Budavár, is a tiny boutique dedicated to showcasing both Hungary’s dedication to sustainability as well as the creativity of its people.
The store is a literal treasure chest of goods lovingly made by Hungarians from organic cotton, recycled materials, and other eco-friendly sources, and most have some sort of story or surprise behind their “look.” A selection of chic leathery earrings are in fact made out of used inner tubes from bicycle tires; various large-weave bags have been designed using scraps of unused t-shirt material; and colorful backpacks, messenger bags, and smaller cases are made out of discarded advertising banners and other industry leftovers.
There is the line of children’s clothing made with organic cotton and hemp, items that are designed, and in some cases sewn, by Hungarian moms who took time off to stay at home with their young children. You can find colorful blocks in the shape of local animals and landscapes made from trees found already fallen in local forests and comfy sweatshirts and sweaters from GOTS-certified fabric. The store also carries body butters, soaps, perfumes, and scrubs in a variety of scents that are all palm-oil free and mostly all entirely vegan, a wide range of naturally dyed clothing, bags and jewelery, and postcards and notebooks made with recycled paper. Individuals can even pick up chocolates, a lovely ceramic animal, or hand-woven seat pad made by individuals with autism and disabilities.
Many items at Prezent are made by people who have taken up this activity as a side job, driven by the desire to promote sustainable production as well as create goods that are locally made in their native Hungary. The boutique is as interesting for the stories behind each of its brands as it is for its array of beautiful pieces, and prices across the board are nothing outlandish. If not for yourself, this is the ultimate gift-getting destination… for those who want something useful, tasteful, and uniquely Hungarian.
Prezent: Budapest, Döbrentei utca 16, 1013
Copyright Liz Frommer