Small businesses have been hit hardest by what’s going on, and I’m more aware than ever of where exactly I’m buying my items. Supporting small businesses, particularly those local to you, will make a legitimate difference to your community. I’m also really uplifted to see that statistically, consumers care more than ever about the ethics and sustainability behind a brand. Knowing, and caring, about who made it, and where, and what their conditions were like… matters. On my main feed, and also on my @LouiseRoeHome feed, I’ve been sharing some of my favourite small local brands, and also black-owned brands, from book shops to interior decor to fashion. Taking the extra minute to discover where you’re spending your money, is well worth it. Here’s an expanded list:
Mara and Mine
Two of my dearest buddies, Australian fashion designers Tamie Ingham and Jasmine Stanovic have elegantly reimagined slender sandals, slides and loafers.
The Line by K
Chic ‘Basics that aren’t basic’, Los Angeles based Karla Deras designs simple and stylish high- quality clothing that will be the perfect compliment to all your favourite pieces.
Rene Macdonald reworks fine silk to give a new life to classic shapes with the most gorgeous, vibrant colours and prints. Promoting slow fashion, this brand also gives back to its community both locally and in Africa.
Essentially elegant, these simple statement trinkets feel like a luxury we all need right now. This brand is also working toward a vision of educating 1000 underprivileged girls by 2023.
London based Sincerely Nude, is but one example of a small brand becoming part of the immensely important global movement promoting change in fashion stereotypes. Offers nude clothing for any skin tone, they work to ensure that all women can feel beautiful and sexy.
Simple but stunning, these bags and beanies are to be desired even more so when we find that they’re grounded in sustainability. Each of her products is made from industrial material excess, so each design of Jenifer Lyu’s can only be described as unique.
60 million women worldwide, aged 18-35 who work in the garment industry are paid less than minimum wage. Birdsong employs incredibly talented women across the UK, who face such barriers in their work, to design the most beautiful and original wardrobe pieces.
Owned by my best friend Anita Patrickson, I could not be prouder of what she has created. Described as ‘the tactile and the timeless’, Amanu’s cobblers shape and design the sandal to fit your foot, as you wait in-store (or by the pool at beautiful hotels, where many of her boutiques also stand). She has personally trained tens of women in Africa to become cobblers, giving them a skillset and career. With their no-waste policy, Amanu styles you a unique shoe, in the knowledge that you’re supporting conscious consumption.
We Dream in Colour
If like me, you love your jewellery to add a little something to your look We Dream in Colour, influenced by a mix of nations and cultures, is just perfect! Beautifully hand-crafted, there is something for everyone among Jade Gedeon’s bold re-imagining of everyday pieces.
Self-described as ‘for women who apply lipstick with their fingers’ this Parisian brand takes its inspiration from real women. With its fresh take on femininity, these designers are putting together timeless products that you shouldn’t go without.
Mia Chae Reddy is spreading the powerful and relevant message of inclusive beauty through her range of vegan, plant-based, and ethically sourced products.
Sarah Brown promotes environmentally conscious skincare treatment, particularly for those that suffer with sensitive skin. But what is so special (and just incredibly generous) is that Pai Skincare have recently been donating their own hand products to local NHS hospitals and care homes.
By Sarah London
A skincare brand that lists its full ingredients on the front label, By Sarah London is the work of sisters; Sarah and Lauren, who are promoting transparency in skincare. All ingredients being plant-based and organic, they believe in using less where everything is of the best quality.
The Lip Bar
Fighting the narrow image of beauty portrayed by the media, which is so important right now, The Lip Bar offers a diverse range of vegan and cruelty-free products.
Marcia Kilgore is giving everybody access to luxury make-up with her clean, cruelty-free products sold at accessible prices.
If, like me, you love that dewy, healthy glow for your skin then Arabella and Charlotte have got you covered! Believing proper cleaning to be at the foundation of great skin, they create the most fantastic products (with my absolutely favourite packaging too), using ingredients that are 100% vegan.
Products that celebrate free, simple beauty, Kosas is a small Californian brand looking to redefine the relationship between skincare and make-up. Their lipsticks are heaven.
The Inkey List
When you’re struggling to find a product to cater to each and every of your skincare needs, The Inkey List offers you advice, in the form of a unique skincare routine catered to each individual. They are working to simplify and explain ingredients in skincare.
Founder Kate Kindersley is supporting local African craft by sourcing the most stunning work from various African artisans and co-ops of any and every discipline. From traditional to modern designs, they truly have something for everyone.
London based artist Tess Newall takes inspiration from antique patterns to rework them with a playful element. I just love her folk-style hand-painted furniture; her children’s chairs are the cutest!
A gorgeous friend of mine Charlotte Lawson Johnston is offering an aesthetic twist to our understanding of the traditional English home. Speaking from experience (my favourite window in our house is dressed by her fabric), her use of geometric prints and elegant colour palettes are delicious. Charlotte is developing fabrics dyed entirely by hand, using natural, seasonal products.
Isla Simpson is a London based designer and illustrator of the most beautiful stationary, home accessories and original artwork. Her classic English country aesthetic brings you a delightful taste of 1980s nostalgia.
Another incredibly talented friend, if you’re looking for a bit of natural goodness to send or receive, Willow’s floral arrangements are truly stunning. Offering everything from events and workshops to vases (her collab with Burleigh is amazing), the fact that all blooms are locally sourced is just another reason to show your love right now.
Effortless and sophisticated, Tamsin’s interior design is not afraid of bold sizes, shapes and colours. Though based in Sydney, as of 2013, she is doing a fantastic job of operating globally.
Specialising in long-lasting, sustainable homeware in the most fantastic patterns, Petra Palumbo is reducing the need for consumerism. Her glorious mix of colour, culture, techniques, patterns and prints support skilled workers across Britain. I have one of her carafes on my desk and I love it.
Estelle Coloured Glass
In memory of her grandmother, Stephanie Summerson Hall specialises in ‘heirloom quality’ hand- blown coloured glass in a variety of jewel tones and soft pastels.
Laura Hodges Studio
Laura Hodges creates clean and refreshing, dynamic environments tailored to an individual space. Her use of vintage and antiques are both contributions to her ethos of sustainability.
Food and Drink
Some really cool friends of mine, these guys have put so much hard work into their business. Sourcing high quality fruit and veg from conscious farmers, their juices are the perfect healthy, ethical companion for those of you always on the go. Boxes are delivered next day and they deliver tequila!
The Lost Tea Company
Something I think many of us can relate to…Jack Shaw and Harry Carr-Ellison have a real passion for tea. The Lost Tea Company brings edible and fermented tea from Myanmar to the UK, supporting local small hold farmers along the way.
Taxi Spirit Co
This family run business is the first ever London rum distillery. Taxi Spirit Co, ships premium quality rum to the whole of the UK… need I say more?
In their move away from commercial to family farming, Pipcorn’s tasty snacks boast better nutrition with an authentic taste. It’s no wonder Oprah is such as fan (thats right…I said Oprah).
Sweet tooth! Sweet tooth! A really lovely family orientated business, Dietsch Brothers fromFindlay, Ohio attest their success since the late 1920s, to their personal level of service and high quality products.
House of Cinn
London based, this delicious brand is turning the timeless treat (the cinnamon bun) into an act of goodwill. The fantastic House of Cinn, partnered with Street Safe Charity, reinvest 65% of their profits to help people in their local community rediscover hope.
Berry and Brie
Mako’s project Berry and Brie has been built with beautiful enthusiasm. Specialising in culinary events, this business is currently selling grazing tables, boxed up and delivered to doorsteps all across London and Surrey.
Health and Fitness
Founder Kat believes in the power of yoga to help people reconnect with the busy and challenging world around them. Her eco-friendly yoga accessories are easy and accessible for everyone.
Healium Hot Yoga
This expanding family of instructors host all manner of health and wellbeing classes for people of each and every fitness level. Currently working online, they might be your key to a healthier environment.
The Gym Kitchen
Segun Akinwoleola is showing us the role good food and nutrition can play in keeping healthy. These low protein ready meals are perfect for any health conscious, on-the-go, individual.
Boombox Boxing Club
In the face of studio closures, Boombox is currently offering online classes of 50 minute, intense workouts. Looking to make boxing accessible to people of all backgrounds and fitness levels, this community aims to empower and inspire.
Pilates convert Chloe began classes after a spinal injury, only to discover that it quickly solved all her problems. Now teaching, she has adapted to Covid-19 by going online, offering a 7 day free trial that will get you hooked!
And that is my list of just a selection of the best small businesses to support right now. There are a huge number of fantastic small businesses out there who really deserve your support in these tricky times. Hopefully, there was something there to catch your eye and provide some good, old-fashioned retail therapy!