With all of us staying home for the time-being, so many independent businesses are having to ‘pivot’ away from their usual brick-and-mortar stores, and into an online-only world. It feels like this sudden, surreal change is similar to a game of who can hold their breath for longest – and some of these small, independent designers and creatives are going to need our support in getting through it all.
To help, I wanted to share a few of my favourite places to shop and support, as inspiration for any future purchases you may be thinking of making…
A Note on Why Independent Businesses Are Best
In this list is a collection of my personal favourite makers, creators, and designers, and you may notice that so many of them are only able to produce small batches of stock, often at higher prices. While I’m not asking you to shop exclusively with them, I’d love for you to support them in any way you can. That includes following them on social media, writing reviews, or even buying vouchers for future spending.
So many of these businesses are creating a world that supports both social sustainability, and environmental sustainability, unlike the faceless global conglomerates who win us over with ultra-low-cost prices but have poor ethics. We’ve already seen big players push people to work despite cries to do the opposite from experts in the medical and governmental fields, so why should we support them any more? (Give my post, Is It Possible to be Sustainable during a Pandemic? a read for more info on this.)
I just feel so much happier when supporting small brands who are doing things in a kinder way – a way I’d do them, if I was in their shoes. Let’s reduce our consumption habit generally, and be picky with where we spend our money.
My Favourite Independent Designers & Creatives
Arokiyam Candles – Handmade natural luxury coconut-soy wax candles. My favourite is Bay and Juniper (gifted).
Birdsong* – Female-led sustainable fashion brand, employing women from low income backgrounds across London.
Eve & Keel – Organic skincare and bath-time products, with free aromatherapy consultations for anyone feeling anxious.
Evermore London – Uniquely scented luxury candles made with rapeseed and soy wax.
Glasshouse Salon – Sustainably-minded hair salon with a beautiful approach and range of haircare products too.
LF Markey* – Fashion with bold shapes and prints, made with sustainable fabrics.
Little by Little Jewellery – Ethical hand-crafted jewellery with designs inspired by nature. Each purchase provides funds to enable a disadvantaged woman to train at Luminary Bakery. Full review + discount →
Monarc Jewellery – Fine and demi-fine handmade jewellery in classic designs. I love the pair of chubby gold hoops I got for Christmas!
Nude Ethics – Affordable sustainable fashion with embroidery and line-drawing prints that I can’t get enough of.
Pivot Jewellery – Handmade brass jewellery brand providing employment to homeless and disadvantaged people. My earrings (above) were kindly gifted by them!
Siren* – Sustainable, handmade cards and candles with a sassy touch.
Soap Daze* – Somerset-based soap maker, using sustainable, vegan materials at a slow pace.
TWIIN – L.A. concept store showcasing emerging and sustainable designers from across the Atlantic. Top sustainable picks: Baggu, Boyish Jeans, Cotton Citizen, RG Kane.
Wild Fawn Jewellery* – Eco-friendly recycled silver jewellery in simple, minimalist styles.
Young British Designers* – Digital platform supporting young British fashion designers. My favourites: Beaumont Organic, LF Markey, Meadows.