With our shopping habits changing, particularly over lockdown, many of us have started shopping with small businesses more often. However that’s often limited to luxury items, gifts and home decor … but there is so much more that you can buy from indie brands! Small businesses are starting everyday, making and selling amazing products that we need in our lives and helping us to shop more sustainably, responsibly and mindfully.

So I thought it might be useful to introduce you to some small businesses who sell products that you may not have thought about shopping small for before …

First up is something that is very much essential for many people! Sanitary products are a regular purchase that not only isn’t particularly sustainable from the big brands but also can be full of chemicals that aren’t good for you. It’s a big change but using reusable sanitary products is much better for you and the planet! My favourites are from BP3 Underwear and Wear ’em Out. I absolutely love my knickers from BP3 Underwear and they are certainly life changing! Kelly created them not only for periods but also incontinence, definitely go and check them out! And Wear ’em Out make reusable pads that are perfect for replacing your conventional pads, especially as they are free of all the nasty chemicals that are in disposable ones. And they help combat the crazy number of pads that go to landfill every year!

Skincare is something that, until you start looking for it, doesn’t automatically spring to mind when shopping with small businesses. I now only use products from small businesses and it’s so nice to know they don’t have lots of ingredients, haven’t been tested on animals and aren’t mass produced! A couple of favourites have been market stallholders … Eila Natural Skincare makes beautiful small batch oils for your skin and hair. I’m a huge fan of the Pomegranate Facial Oil, Avocado Body Oil and the Rosemary Hair Oil! And Zelenci Natural Health also make lovely skincare, I’ve just started using the Rose and Frankincense Cleansing Balm and it smells amazing!

Food is something that I love buying from small businesses … of course if you can then you can shop with your local butchers, fishmongers, bakers, greengrocers etc but you can also shop online with brands. Think jams and chutneys, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, snacks ! There are so many wonderful food businesses that you can buy from and they all make delicious things!
A few favourites are Pivnita Bunicii, The Flaky Walnut, New Yorkshire Emporium, Mama Vil’s Bakery and Nutcessity but there are so many out there !

You can also buy drinks from small businesses too from cordials, spirits, beer, tea, coffee and everything in between! I particularly love Crafty Distillery and Time for Me Teas

I’m actually going to be hosting a Food and Drink market on Friday 4th June so if this sounds like it will float your boat be sure to sign up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out!

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Clothing is still something that the vast majority of us think of as a big brand business … however there are a lot of brands emerging who sell beautiful handmade or more sustainably made clothing. It may be more expensive than the likes of Primark and alike but you’ll know that the companies haven’t exploited factory workers, paid them next to nothing or contributed to obscene amounts of wastage. There are a few businesses that I have been following and love but I completely understand if they are out of budget … maybe think about buying from independent run second hand shops, vintage shops and, although not small businesses, places like charity shops, depop and ebay!
Afrayed Upcycling is taking old garments that have been discarded to make cool patchwork clothing. Kemi Telford makes bold and beautiful pieces to stand out! Mutha Hood works really hard to produce sustainable and empowering clothing! And also Love ur Look Clothing makes sustainable vintage style clothing!

Plants are something that have grown (no pun intended) hugely in popularity, be that house plants or outside plants! And you don’t just have to buy them from garden centres, there are so many independent shops but also online stores selling plants. I love PrickLDN and The Succa Plant Shop for house plants … so many amazing cacti, succulents and more !

There are so many amazing products you buy from small businesses, much more than art work and jewellery ! So why not look at the products you use each day and see if you can switch them for a small brand alternative ? I think you’ll be surprised at the businesses you’ll discover out there … and the way you’ll feel when you make the swap!