London street
London street

Independent and Community Retailers in London

 


London is bursting with shopping opportunities, but it’s not just the big retailers that are drawing crowds. London is also home to hundreds of interesting and highly unusual independent retailers - offering everything from organic produce to zero waste products designed to help locals live better.

Whether you’re searching for a quirky birthday gift or the latest in artisan baking, exploring an independent shop is the perfect way to discover conscious shopping. From sustainable homeware to freshly baked cakes and biodiverse delicatessens, we’ve rounded up the best independent boutiques and businesses around the capital. Get out there and shop independently!

 

Artisan Food and Drink

If you’re looking for independent shops that also double as zero waste shops, you’ll find more and more delicatessens, cafes and farm stores with an ethical and sustainable focus at their core are appearing all over the city.

North London - Fridge of Plenty

people exchanging food

North London - Fridge of Plenty

Nestled in Crouch End, Fridge of Plenty is an organic farm shop that believes in striving for sustainability. Investing in sustainable principles and practices, Fridge of Plenty promotes the opportunity to pop in for a chat - encouraging customer feedback to help them improve. The sustainable shop, based in north London, is environmentally friendly too - it’s run completely on green energy. What’s more, all unsold food is donated to local people who need it.

East London - Mother

outside mother

East London - Mother

Just slightly back from the canal towpath in Hackney, you’ll find Mother - a cafe with a conscience. The plant-based eatery offers affordable, delicious wholesome food, and strives to be less wasteful - creating their menu and operation around this philosophy. Mother provides discounts for bringing back the glass bottles they serve their juices and smoothies in, and offers money off hot drinks for those who bring along a keep cup.

South London - Good Food

Cheese selection

South London - Good Food

Social enterprise, Good Food is a modern type of grocery store that prioritises local and organic artisan foods over fast, cheap, and plastic packed. Crowdfunded by over 350 local businesses and residents, Good Food has two locations south of the river. Find them in Catford and Sydenham, and stock up on everything - from store cupboard staples to specialist charcuterie and deli treats. You can even join their not-for-profit veg box scheme, set up in conjunction with Whitefoot and Downham Food Plus Project and Living Well to fund weekly donations of eggs to a local food bank. Starting from just £8.90, you can order a box of seasonal delights of up to six varieties. You can also support local farming by enlisting in Good Food’s Cheese Club.

Art, Gifts and Fashion

If you’re looking for independent boutiques that specialise in art, gifts and fashion, why not go hunting for nick-nacks, homewares and clothing with friends? Fill your home with ethically sourced products from some of London’s most interesting shops. You can even travel there more sustainably by car sharing with Zipcar.

North London - Bless

crystals being held over a table

North London - Bless

Bless in Stoke Newington began life as a pop up shop and is now an established favourite among locals. Founded by Ashlyn Gibson, Bless is one of London’s most unusual female owned businesses. A sanctuary for tarot readings, reiki healings and morning tea rituals, it’s a destination for “soul seekers and conscious beings”. Find everything from slow fashion to sustainable, ethical and soulful goods for the body and mind. The retail space also serves as a venue for workshops, talks and in-store gatherings.

East London - Soboye

Young man leaning on a door

East London - Soboye

One of fashion’s brightest creative forces is Nigerian-British designer Samson Soboye - the Founder and Creative Director of the Soboye Fashion and Lifestyle brand. Samson gives a platform to upcoming and established African and Afro-Caribbean brands and design talent. The store stocks limited edition prints in small quantities, and everything within embraces the founder’s commitment to culture and his own multiculturalism - not seasons or trends. You’ll find this black owned business on one of East London’s prettiest boutique shopping streets, Calvert Avenue.

West London - The Old Cinema

the old cinema

West London - The Old Cinema

A Chiswick High Road stalwart since 1978, The Old Cinema is a treasure trove of eclectic homeware, furniture and accessories housed in a former picturehouse. Discover thousands of one-of-a-kind pieces in the packed showroom spread over three floors. Whether you’re hunting for a vintage Persian rug, a mid-century Danish cabinet, or a set of Art Deco candlesticks, The Old Cinema is the real deal and will have you oohing and ahhing in every corner of its 10,000 sq ft space.

Community Retailers

These zero waste stores are helping people change their shopping habits, while working to develop connections in the community.

North London - Impact Store

woman refilling a jar

North London - Impact Store

Located in Finchley, North London, Impact Store is supporting small changes like offering bulk food without plastic packaging, and providing a range of sustainable and eco friendly products to their customers. Everything they sell is either locally sourced or grown, made from natural ingredients, and free from harmful chemicals. Make use of their refill service - pop by the store or order home delivery online.

South London - Naked Larder

Naked larder

South London - Naked Larder

Naked Larder in Herne Hill was born out of one woman’s frustrations with her own family’s growing waste, and the discovery that buying products without packaging often meant paying more for her shopping. Set up in 2018, Naked Larder is a place where shoppers can go to source all kinds of everyday household products - with minimal packaging. The ethos of Naked Larder is to work with ethical and sustainable suppliers to ensure the environmental focus is fostered throughout the supply chain.

East London - Refill Therapy

refill therapy

East London - Refill Therapy

Nestled in a quiet street in Hackney Wick, Refill Therapy is on a mission to reduce waste and packaging, and eradicate single-use plastic from our everyday lives. Drop by and pick up the essentials from their local shop. Discover a wealth of store cupboard staples and carefully selected health and beauty items - including new and exciting products that fit the company’s high standards and gels with their ethos.

Slightly Different

Library of Things

Borrower at Library of things

Library of Things

If you prefer to borrow rather than buy, then check out Library of Things. The community project’s aim is to help Londoners be kinder to the planet, by loaning out useful items when you need them. From steaming your bedroom carpet to whipping up delicious waffles, source tools for any home renovation project, or even your next camping trip. You’ll find local libraries of ‘The Things’ available across several areas of London. Following a successful Crowdfunding project, Library of Things is spreading to more boroughs. Library of Things has teamed up with Zipcar, offering a discount to help you get items home more easily and sustainably. To collect or transport them home, why not book a Zipcar?

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