Black Friday, Cyber Monday… in the last few days, we’ve all been absolutely swamped with offers and discounts, willing us to buy more, spend more. Bothered as we may be by these blatant pushes to reckless consumerism, a look at the calendar reminds us that today marks – deep breath – exactly 4 weeks to Christmas! And a certain amount of shopping is certainly on everybody’s cards. Only, it doesn’t have to be mindlessly consumeristic, nor mind-bogglingly stressful. Instead, this week we want the key words to be Ethical and Enjoyable.
So, I’ve drawn up a list of new pop-up openings, Christmas themed evenings and other stylish happenings, all organised by my favourite sustainable brands. And it’s not all – follow tomorrow’s blog post for a list of weekend markets with an ethical twist.
With excellent seasonal timing, knitwear brand Lowie are opening their first store – not a pop-up, but a real-life, brick-and-mortar location that’s there to stay, in the lovely Herne Hill area. The launch party is this Wednesday, 28 November, details below:
Over in Portobello, Danaqa is a quirky boutique with many ranges of gorgeous and strictly ethical accessories. On both the 29th of November and 5th of December, from 6pm until 9pm Danaqa will be open, and offering special prices too. And if you cannot make it, don’t forget to do your shopping at www.danaqa.com and use the discount coupon ‘ChristmasCheer’.
West London is also home to Henrietta Ludgate‘s own Work-Shop (inside the Whiteleys shopping centre). On Tuesday 4 December, 7-10pm, the boutique will present a limited edition of 200 luxury scarves, special one-off collaboration between Sam Birch and Henrietta Ludgate, each one individually hand signed and numbered by the artists. Limited edition Giclée prints on fine art paper will also be available on the night, with 15% of the profits donated to charity. In keeping with the Christmas spirit, they will be serving mulled wine, spiced cider, and a selection of exciting home made canapés.
Henrietta Ludgate is a regular host to great events at her Work-Shop. Only last week, The Good Wardrobe had their launch night there. The Good Wardrobe is an online style-sharing community hub created by Slow Fashion advocate Zoe Robinson. It mixes the best of sustainable fashion with services that prolong the life of a wardrobe. The idea was born out of the increasing demand for affordable sustainable style, the positive impact of personal creativity, the desire to promote local and ethical industries. (photo credit: Susanne Hakuba)
If you’re interested in taking part in the project, their next event is on Friday 30 November at Atelier Tammam. A similar location, the home of an ethical fashion designer who is always happy to open its doors to stylish and fun initiatives – remember our Vogue Fashion’s Night Out back in September? The evening is cheekily themed around the ‘A dress that’s not just for Christmas’ concept, and will be a perfect shopping opportunity, with brands such as Outsider, Nancy Dee, Lucina Puro by Tammam, Ruby and Eve, A.Alicia and Frilly by Lily taking part. Meet the designers and benefit from their styling expertise as they show you how a few select pieces will last you the festive season and beyond.
Also, swing by Atelier Tammam this Wednesday 28, 6.30-8.30pm for an exclusive try-on session with new brand Andrea Paul – she makes the finest dresses, ideal for the office. Maybe not on top of your Christmas shopping list, but you’ll thank me for this tip come January!
In trendy Dalston, Here Today Here Tomorrow are offering a series of fun Crafty Christmas workshops on Monday evenings, where participants will learn crafty skills to create hand sewn and sequined Christmas decorations, perfect for the tree or as gifts. But HTHT is home to a collective of amazing designers and brands, and if it’s some gorgeous ethical fashion you’re after, they will be open on Sundays for four weeks, starting on the 25th November 11am-4pm – and on the weekend of the 15th and 16th of December, they are doing an extra special offer: 10% off everything in store!
I also have news of some great pop-up stores!
You may remember I already blogged about a few pop-ups in October, some of which will be open throughout the Christmas period. A welcome addition is soon to be found in Sloane Square (which might sound like an unlikely area for small brands, but read this past post I wrote in September about a number of sustainable finds in this part of town). Pants To Poverty are opening The Loom, The Stitch and Wardrobe in Pavilion Road from 5 December to 5 January. The shop will act as the brand’s flagship, bringing the ethical story of Pants to Poverty: From Cotton To Bottom to life with cotton plants, spindles, looms and sewing machines, vibrant vegetation and videos from farmers and their communities in India as well as photography of models in the cotton fields.
Another pop-up I’m very happy to advertise is by Antiform – this might be in Leeds and not in London, but I think it deserves a mention as it’s looking striking! A collaboration between two of Leeds’ most unique home-grown brands – Antiform and Dots Printhaus – Made In Leeds Pop Up will be bringing the best of locally made clothing and accessories to an exciting new pop up shop in the city’s iconic Corn Exchange. The collaboration is part of the wider ‘Made in Leeds’ initiative in a association with Hebe Media that aims to animate and promote the fashion and textiles industry in the Leeds City Region. With special events and offers celebrating local production throughout the month, the Made in Leeds pop-up shop will run from Saturday 24 November to Saturday 22 of December, open Monday – Saturday from 10-6pm and 10.30-4.30pm on Sundays. (and if you are not planning a quick trip to Leeds, Antiform are stocked with our friends Here Today Here Tomorrow, mentioned above!)
Last but not least, this is the event I’m looking forward to the most – as Rewardrobe will be part of it! Organised by forward online magazine The Urban Times, Bid For Better will take place on Thursday 13 December, and it promises to be the most stylish culmination of a Christmas shopping season with ethics firmly at its heart! This is not a strictly speaking shopping event – rather, a charity silent auction where guests will be able to bid on one-off or limited edition pieces by some of the best and most renowned sustainable fashion brands out there, with all proceeding going to the Environmental Justice Foundation, for their campaigns promoting human rights and an end to environmental abuses in the cotton industry. There will also be a chance to speak to thought-leaders in the industry, such as fashion designers Ada Zanditon and Olwen Bourke and filmmaker Leah Borromeo (whose documentary Dirty White Gold I introduced in my latest blog post). Rewardrobe will be there offering style advice – you will be able to book mini one-to-one consultations. More soon in a dedicated blog post!
Doesn’t it all sound fab? I promised you at the beginning of this post that it was going to be Ethical and Enjoyable and I think I kept my word there. If you go to any of these events, I would love to leave your comments below!