6 Slow fashion London boutiques where to shop on Small Business Saturday

It may only be at its second edition, but Small Business Saturday is a big deal for indies. Taking place on the first shopping Saturday in December, the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses, and these are the results of 2013′s inaugural edition: 48% of UK consumers were aware of the day and 40% of all Local Authorities supported the campaign; over 1.5 million facebook views and #SmallBizSatUK trending top 3 all day on twitter; and, most crucially: over £460 million spent in small businesses on the day.

There are infinite ways to support independents on the day (and beyond! This really should become a lifestyle…): go to a local farmers’ market/bakery/fishmonger (healthy quality produce!), have brunch at an independent cafe’ (much tastier!), read something you bought from a small bookstore (great conversation with knowledgeable staff!), and so on.
But obviously for me this is the perfect occasion to remind you to support slow fashion boutiques. Because here in London we are lucky to have several. So here is a little itinerary, which will take you around the whole city if you decide to make a great shopping day of it.

> 69b


Established in 2011 in Broadway Market, this is an absolute gem. Owner Merryn Leslie has a long-spanning career as a fashion stylist, which shows brilliantly in her buying choices and visual merchandising. The space is fresh, edgy and elegant at the same time – only, all the labels also happen to be sustainable. Essentially, 69b already embodies the future of ethical fashion: when it will be just fashion. Plus, their new e-commerce website has just launched, literally this week. Visit in person on 6th December, and order online all year round.
69b Broadway Market, London E8 4PH

> Here Today Here Tomorrow


Here Today Here Tomorrow is a collaborative studio shop between designers Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Emma Rigby, Julia Crew and Anna-Maria Hesse. Their Dalston space is used not only to house the designers’ own lines, but a range of other brands too, be they upcycled, fairtrade or Made In Britain – plus craft skills workshops such as natural dyeing techniques.
They also have an online store: heretoday-heretomorrow.com
30a Balls Pond Road, London N1 4AU

> Cock & Bull


This is one for the boys: from a basic t-shirt to classic tweed flatcaps, this store is the ultimate sustainable gents outfitters. Nestled in quaint Cheshire Street just off Brick Lane, a visit to Cock & Bull will fit perfectly in your shopping itinerary.
Also online at cockandbullmenswear.co.uk/store
30 Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH

> The Fara Workshop


The Fara Workshop in Angel is another totally winning retail formula. Since the collection comes from reclaimed fabrics, the whole store has also been outfitted with reclaimed materials, which make for a beautiful and unique space. Every garment for sale is also unique, as well as handmade in the premises and contributing to a great charity. How many more boxes can you tick? Ah yes, you can attend sewing and upcycling workshops here, too.
28-32 Pentonville Road, London N1 9HJ

> The Keep Boutique


Anyone in the know is aware that Brixton is where it’s at – particularly with boutiques like The Keep in its midst. With a selection of the best sustainable brands from Antiform to Wunderwek, and regular events held in store, this is exactly what the indie shopping experience is all about: handpicked pieces, a knowledgeable and friendly owner, the perfect atmosphere.
Shop online too, at thekeepboutique.com
32/33 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PR

> Lowie


No winter shopping trip is complete without a piece from knitwear brand Lowie, be it mittens or socks or the perfect Fair Isle jumper. And if you visit their lovely store, you’ll also find yourself in another great area for indies: Dulwich/Herne Hill (check out this The Resident piece on shopkeepers of the area). Or, find them at their Old Truman Brewery pop-up, or online at ilovelowie.com
115 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London, SE24 0NG

p.s.: if you are an independent retailer and are looking for ideas to make the most of SBS, have a read of this piece on the ecommerce advice blog I write for: 5 ways to get your business ready for Small Business Saturday.


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