5 sustainable homeware stores you need to know
Although I haven’t always been aware of the social and sustainable benefits of shopping locally, lockdown has really made me realise why it’s important. From local farmers markets to independent stores on your highstreet, these small businesses are essential to the wider economy and will help the planet in a small way too. By buying local produce and goods, you will reduce the CO2 emissions normally produced by mass manufactured goods that have to travel across oceans from factories to warehouses. The benefits are clear from a social perspective as well. Many new brands are championing local NGO’s in countries like India, striving to help those markets in a social way. You should also speak to your store owners if it’s not obvious whether the products they sell are responsibly sourced and ethically made. This ensures that brands, shop keepers & stall sellers are held accountable too. If you're not sure where to go to find beautiful products from local independents, then read on. These are the best local stores that offer unique products that are good for the planet & for your interiors too. 1.The Future Kept The Future Kept started back in 2014 by husband and wife Jeska & Dean Hearne. They offer a collection of consciously crafted, responsibly and ethically sourced products for your home, encouraging people to live a more eco-friendly sustainable lifestyle. Most of the products they sell are made by local artisans. They pride themselves on offering quality goods with an honest provenance that we use in our day-to-day lives. 2.Aerende The word Aerende means ‘care’ in old english, perfectly reflecting the brand’s ethos and commitment as a social enterprise. Their online shop sells “life improving homewares”, as they’re all made in the UK by people facing social challenges. The products are not only unique in design and made in limited-editions, but will bring joy, revenue and a sense of purpose to the makers and charities that your purchases will support. 3. RE A store that sells an eclectic mix of the RAre, REmarkable, REcycled, REscued and REstored - furniture and objects for the home. Founded by Jenny Vaughan & Simon Young back in 2003, they’ve gone from strength to strength, winning Homes & Gardens retailer of the year in 2011, a concession in Liberty’s between 2012-14, and have relaunched their online store in 2019. As well as sourcing from great brands, they’ve developed their own inhouse brand too - REgd, selling homewares produced by local crafts people or trusted manufacturing partners from around the world. Although some products come from afar, they seek out Fair Trade organisations where possible and local co-operatives to ensure fair pay and working conditions. 4. A new tribe Since opening their doors back in 2016 they have been the go-to place for an eclectic mix of beautiful interior objects. All their products are sourced from independent designers & small brands from across the globe - ranging from Morocco, Japan, India, UK and USA. Each product is carefully considered, not only for its aesthetic but the ethos of each brand is vetted too. They champion hand-made products & small batch productions too. A New Tribe is also home to 'The Rug Trade', an extensive selection of Boucherouite, Azilal, and Beni Ourain Moroccan rugs, including rare vintage finds and newly designed rugs hand-made using the traditional Moroccan weaving techniques. 5. The edit 94 Set up by Interior designer & art curator India Whalley, the store was originally an art gallery where she championed under the radar artists. However, the gallery struggled to get off the ground so she moved all the pieces into her own home, converted the space into a lifestyle store, selling unique vintage pieces handpicked from flea markets in the UK, France & Italy. Her store is akin to Aladdin’s cave - a great mix of vintage Italian glassware, French tea towels and pieces from local up-and-coming artists. Come by to shop sustainably by buying second hand & socially by supporting local makers.