London’s sustainable, independent retail stores are being promoted on a new shopping map showing the location of 50 outlets across the capital.
Brainchild of ICON Printing, the Sustainable Shopping map showcases businesses selling a range of products, from homeware to homemade dog treats and plant-based beauty products.
Based on the map of the Underground, it shows the closest tube stations to each shop, from Crouch Hill’s Pickled Pepper Books in the north to Brixton’s Keep Boutique in the south.
The release of the map comes as a survey conducted by research company Censuswide, reveals that over half of UK shoppers (59%) think supporting independent retailers is important when buying gifts this year. It says 67% are considering shopping sustainably this Christmas.
It has been a difficult year for the retail industry as coronavirus restrictions have resulted in lost revenue and closures
According to VoucherCodes Shopping for Christmas 2021 report, sales fell by 4.1% year-on-year to £79.7 billion during the 2020 Christmas period.
Esther Knight, founder of sustainable fashion label Fanfare, believes there is hope out of the crisis: “Staying at home has strengthened ties within local communities, and there is a strong shift towards supporting small business this Christmas, especially as so many small businesses have been started in the wake of furlough and redundancies.
“We are individuals behind the brands and, unlike when you shop at larger retailers, we celebrate every purpose and value every customer.”
Tanya de Afonseca, owner of Tooting-based zero waste shop BYO, believes shopping sustainably hasn’t been a focus for many people throughout the pandemic: “Covid has given everyone a sucker punch and, for a lot of people, shopping sustainably just isn’t a priority right now.
“But shopping locally allows you to support small businesses that are more likely to align with your moral compass rather than the profit-seeking practices of big business. People are still coming out to our shops, there’s a demand and a desire for change. People are becoming more conscious and educated about their impact.”
Alex Econs, founder of ICON Printing, says now is an opportune time to support independent retailers: “Christmas shopping presents an invaluable opportunity to support independent businesses and is one of ways we can work towards a more socially just and environmentally sustainable future.”