Shopping in London is like no other city in the world. New stores and concepts are constantly popping up and there’s never a shortage of places to indulge in some retail therapy.
Boutiques along Regent Street and legendary department stores such as Harrods are worth a visit, but you’ll also discover a rich mix of stores proving that environmentally conscious shopping can be a chic and luxurious affair, too.
Here’s where to go for mindful holiday shopping in London this winter.
The Shop at Bluebird
With high ceilings and wrap-around balconies, this former coach house in Covent Garden feels more like an art gallery than a concept store. The entire experience lends itself to discovery with clothing, accessories, homewares and art all cleverly curated. You’ll find big-ticket designers alongside niche brands you may have never heard of.
Look out for Mother of Pearl, a luxury sustainable womenswear brand hailing from London that celebrates individuality. Its beautifully tailored coats, printed silks and statement dresses show that chic clothing doesn’t have to come at a cost to the planet.
Know The Origin and Lucy & Yak
For cotton staples that make great stocking fillers, head to Old Street Station, where these two ethical clothing businesses have come together to launch a pop-up store. Open through December 21, this Shoreditch shop sits alongside a row of cool, independent businesses that are also worth checking out.
It’s not often you see a sustainable brand on the same stretch of pavement as luxury heavyweights such as Burberry, but this futuristic Regent Street concept fits right in. Not only is the label known for its unique bags created from upcycled materials such as bottle tops (hence the boutique’s name) from Kenya and certified zero deforestation leather, it’s also the world’s first 3D-printed store, a space made from recycled plastic waste.
A quirky department store in a Tudor-looking building off Regent Street, Liberty is already renowned for its high-end finds and branded fabric line. You’ll also come across an avant-garde selection of brands here, but one in particular worth seeking out is by TiMo. The Norwegian company creates romantic, timeless dresses without compromising on values, ensuring every pair of hands that touches these garments is looked after and paid fairly.
This boutique on Chelsea’s Elizabeth Street was founded on a vision to support formerly trafficked and at-risk women and empower them through employment. The gorgeous store is the place to find a party dress, and the brand’s heart-emblazoned wool and bold silk scarves make wonderful gifts, too.
Wild by Tart
Pick up some homemade preserves for the foodie in your life at this restaurant, deli and store in Eccleston Yards. While you’re here, browse local artisan Fiona Walker’s adorable handmade felt Christmas decorations, which are created by an all-female workforce from 100 percent organic lamb’s wool.
The cult L.A. brand has found a home in Notting Hill’s Westbourne Grove, meaning Londoners can now get their fix of vintage-inspired designs. The store recently partnered with ethical jeweler Tada & Toy to stock a capsule collection of delicate, stackable pieces designed in collaboration with model and British royal Lady Amelia Windsor. The earrings are great gifts, and 5 percent of sales go to U.K. wildlife charity the Aspinall Foundation.
Lark & Berry
To peruse more ethical jewelry, head to this Marylebone boutique. The shop’s diamonds are conflict-free and environmentally friendly — they are lab-grown instead of mined. For every item sold, the brand donates five trees in partnership with One Tree Planted. Statement pieces such as the Veto Multi Colored Necklace make for an unforgettable present.
Content Beauty & Wellbeing
On a quaint little street just off Marylebone, this trendy stop stocking all-natural, cruelty-free products is a treasure trove for beauty lovers.Here, you’ll encounter London-born Liha Beauty, an organic skincare line celebrating West African ingredients (like shea and coconut) in homage to the founders’ Nigerian roots. The Idan (Yoruba for “magic”) oil is just that.
This ceramics brand is known for its distinctive stoneware and perfectly imperfect pieces. The light-filled studio in East London is open to visitors so you can drop by and scoop up some handcrafted, one-off tableware like bowls, mugs and serving dishes. If you have time and want to give a personalized gift, book a pottery session and craft your own creation.
While this Jaipur-based shop doesn’t have a permanent London store just yet, you can browse its handmade wares at a pop-up in Putney through January 6. The womenswear brand inspired by India’s rich cultural and textile history works with local weavers and printers to create gorgeous patterned nightwear and summer dresses that you won’t see anywhere else.
This small menswear boutique on Portobello Road (other locations can be found at Islington, Piccadilly and King’s Road) started out selling ethical boxer shorts from a market stall. The brand upcycles surplus and organic fabrics to create its contemporary pieces. Opt for one of the gift boxes for a ready-made Christmas ensemble.
The Shoreditch shop is one of the city’s best-loved destinations for eco fashion. Launched in 2012 by four sisters, it’s an excellent place to discover sustainable brands such as sneaker company Veja and environmentally conscious activewear label Girlfriend Collective.