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March 31, 2017

5 Sustainable & Cruelty-Free Stores To Visit in Great Britain

Text by Wyanet Vaz

Big-hearted stores and indie labels that support ethical and green fashion

THE KEEP

Kate Richard’s boutique, The Keep, is full of carefully curated sustainable fashion and homeware, that aims to overturn the trend of fast fashion. The store is located in Brixton village and is also home to a bunch of highly skilled artisans. ‘To seek out and promote fashion brands with true integrity, whilst carefully curating the selection to ensure style comes first,’ is Richards’ philosophy. Among the handpicked local brands that line the store, look out for labels such as A Beautiful Story — a Kathmandu-based workshop that uses local artisans to create statement jewellery; Matt & Nat — a cruelty free, vegan accessories line designed in Montreal;  Thought — a clothing brand  producing ethical clothing using as hemp, bamboo and organic cotton; and Quazi Design — a responsible label from Swaziland that transforms waste magazines into accessories and homeware.

Find it here: 32/33 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR

THE THIRD ESTATE

The Third Estate is an independent store established in 2005 in Leeds by James and Angie. They aim to sell well-made, good looking products, all of which are ethically sourced. They have a large collection of vegan footwear, but there’s a lot in store for indie shoppers who wish to support fair trade practices and eco-friendly fashion manufacturers. Some of the brands present at the store include Ahimsa, a Brazilian label that manufactures handmade footwear made of cotton (and are the only 100 percent vegan factory in the world). Jonny’s Vegan is a German brand that has been making footwear since 1608. Imported from Spain, they use animal-free components and materials made from recycled PET bottles. Don’t miss Corkor, a Portugal-based brand that offers functional products made from cork.

Find it here: 27 Brecknock Road, London, United Kingdom

HERE TODAY HERE TOMORROW

Here Today Here Tomorrow is a collaborative shop studio run by three designer friends Anna-Maria Hesse, Katelyn Toth-Fejel and Julia Crew. Their handmade knitwear comes with bold geometric patterns and playful combinations. All their designs are crafted by female artisans from 15 different districts in Nepal. Each product from the collection is handmade and provides these low-income group artisans with economic and social support. When it comes to the raw material, they use 100 percent sheep wool in their knitwear which happens to be natural, warm, highly sustainable and biodegradable. Their collection spans across handbags, jumpers and sweaters, mittens and minimalistic jewellery. Other brands they stock up on are Antiform, Goodone and Outsider.

Find it here: 30a Balls Pond Road, Dalston, N1 4AU

FAMILY TREE

Started by Mathew and Takako Copeland in 2004, Family Tree is a homeware and accessories store with curated items from around the world. While the duo works on the illustrations, textiles and hand-printed patterns, they are manufactured by local craftspeople. They also curate and sell independently-designed items such as hand-made dark chocolate by a chocolatier in Dorset; brooches made of West African fabric; and zip pouches made from luxurious Scottish linen, sewn in a small London workshop.  An interesting label to pick up is Art House Meath — a social enterprise that sells products made by people living with learning difficulty and epilepsy. If you’re looking for artsy buys, pick up original prints inspired by folk art from the Baltic countries, which have been personally sourced by the founders.

Find it here: 53 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QL

SCARAMANGA

Carl Morenikeji discovered an old iconic vintage leather satchel whilst travelling in India in 1998. Inspired by the style and quality, he sought out artisans who would use the same traditional methods and tools to recreate modern leather satchels. He started the store Scaramanga in 2006 — where all the products are directly and fairly sourced from craft-based families and small enterprises. The business has now expanded to include distressed homewares such as big wooden chests and brightly-coloured wooden cabinets, some of which have also been used in Tim Burton’s movies. Other collectibles include original vintage postcards from India which have been upcycled by the famed Udaipuri artists. Some of which showcase traditional Indian miniature paintings, all done with a single bristle paint brush.

Find it here: Scaramanga, Units 1-3 Prestonhall, Cupar, Fife, KY15 4RD

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