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Purchase with purpose: 11 stylish eco-friendly and ethical homewares stores you need now

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Georgina Wilson-Powell

20 September 2017

With a raft of new eco-friendly and ethically minded homewares and accessories stores opening up online, we thought it was about time we shared our favourite spots to shop green, give back and support local businesses and social enterprises. This is eco-chic and conscious consumerism at its finest.

Aerende

Aerende (meaning ‘care’ in Olde English) is a place for ‘life improving homewares’ and we don’t just mean your life. All of its beautiful, ethical products are made in the UK by people facing social challenges. This is socially valuable shopping and slow living that you just can’t do anywhere else.

Aerende has become known for its natural wool blankets and its pottery, it stocks soap from social enterprise The Soap Co, crafts from surplus Scottish wood and embroidered items from Fine Cell Work who teach prisoners how to sew and quilt.

Treat yourself: Get a good night's sleep on the Natural Linen Striped Pillowcase which which is non-toxic and pesticide free, made from sustainably grown flax and hand sewn in London.

House of Kind

House of Kind is an online boutique selling beautiful and kind products, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free. Set up by two friends who wanted to create a vegan business that enabled customers to use their purchasing power for good, by spreading kindness with every order. Spoil yourself, your home and your loved ones to high end, luxe gifts covering everything from cushions, candles, bath salts and jewellery.  Every item they sell clearly tells you why it's kind: many are kind to the environment, using sustainable materials and without the use of harsh chemicals; others give artisans and their families a much-needed source of income or donate a percentage of profits to charity. And as being kind to yourself is just as important, some are kind to the mind, body and soul. 

Treat yourself: Try out a tenate, a traditional Mexican hand-woven basketmade from palm leaves. Use them as a zero waste way to wrap gifts for Christmas or use for beautiful storage.

The Maker Place

Looking for an antidote to mass supermarket-like shopping? The Maker Place is the right way to go. It brings together the UK’s most skilled makers and offers stylish, thoughtfully chosen, handmade gifts and objects for your home. Every product is made in a sustainable way, produced small scale and is ordered directly from the maker through the website. From hand thrown ceramics to furniture and art prints, there is something to suit every home.

Treat yourself: Grab a Peg-it-all pegboards. Made from heavy-duty birch plywood with sturdy holes and pegs, perfect to organise your own space creatively. The pegboards are painted in ‘eico’ paints that are manufactured in Iceland and Sweden, using 100% geothermal or hydropower energy.

Thought Clothing

Secrets of Green

Living in a concrete jungle, as so many of us do now, Secrets of Green strives to reclaim nature, bringing it back into our homes and integrate it into our lives. The online platform provides products for urbanists who love to surround themselves with nature, ranging from quality stationery, natural beauty, home decor, accessories and a curated selection of art. Secrets of Green also brings together environmentally conscious and nature-loving businesses to help shoppers who want to fill their homes with all things green.

Treat yourself: Soak it out with some organic bath salts from Mélusine - they come infused with lavender, mandarin and bergamot and blended with spirulina, epsom salts and French salt which has natural mineral clay, they're guaranteed to inspire some green thoughts.

Salty Folk Supply Co.

Do you love the ocean? Are you a ‘cause conscious beach babe’? Then take a look at Salt Folk Supply Co., which searches the globe for eco-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan products for ocean lovers and adventures seekers. 1% of its total sales is dedicated to ocean conservation efforts and you choose which charity your money goes to. There’s surf inspired jewellery to silicone, BPA free beach friendly ‘unbreakable’ wine glasses. Even if you’re not by the sea you’ll feel a little better about the ocean.

Treat yourself: The Nomadix Baja Pink Towel is made from 100% recycled materials and is perfect for slinging into any bag for any adventure, large or small.

Be Good.Shop.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Shopping for good but where do you start? Be Good.Shop. has pulled together artisans, makers and crafters from all over the world, many of whom use recycled materials, to create a store full of amazing gifts, from recycled wool throws to bamboo watches. Be Good.Shop. also works with its suppliers to ensure all workers are fairly treated and compensated and most of its suppliers are Fairtrade registered.

Read Be Good. Shop.'s five reasons to shop ethically here.

Treat yourself: Autumn is coming so treat the birds instead with the Bird Cake Kit, by Ashortwalk. They make inexpensive bird feeders made out of yoghurt pots designed and produced in the UK.

Aveda

Ethical.Market

Disrupt the never-ending cycle of high-street shopping and take a tour of how stuff is really made with Ethical.Market. Transparency is a fundamental requirement for every brand curated by the Ethical.Market – only through clarity and openness can the preconceptions of ethical shopping be discarded. It’s the largest ethical market in the UK and offers everything from clothes to stationery (including some very cute cards).

Treat yourself: The Milk Bottle Vase by Helen Rebecca Ceramics is a delicate landscape-printed vase casted on a vintage milk bottle. Each vase is signed and individual, made with lead-free glazes.

Buy Me Once

Fed up of buying yet another T-shirt or saucepan? Mass consumption has shortened the lifespan of our products but Buy Me Once is self explanatory. It’s a platform where the products have been curated and rigorously tested for their durability and longevity, taking the idea of buying less and buying better and building a beautiful shop round it.

There are over 1,000 products from pens to umbrellas which you should only have to buy once. Throw less away, waste less and consume less, makes sense to us!

Treat yourself: We love the name of these reusable stainless steel pint cups - Glogg. Pick up one of a set of up to 36 and picnics will never be plastic again.

The Future Kept

Sometimes it’s hard to find out about people who create sustainable products; they tend to not make a fuss about what they do. But everyone on The Future Kept is worth making a fuss about. Think Scandi-minimalist homewares, rustic ceramics and stunning planters, candles and gifts that would suit anyone interested in sustainable ideas, traditional crafts or just things to cherish and keep. Everything is created by artisans and small companies who care about the environment, both locally and globally and curated by a Sussex couple who love the slow life.

Treat yourself: We love this simple ritual incense holder which is hand thrown in the UK and comes with a match striker.

Lusophile

It can be hard trying to find the perfect present when shopping online. There are so many stores to choose from. Pick a country instead then. Lusophile rounds up the best artisan and eco-friendly products from Portugal and wraps them up in a delicious looking website. Emily Hedges, Lusophile's founder realised there were hundreds of tiny Portuguese businesses who embody slow, sustainable values who weren't reaching a wider audience. From rugs to clothes, accessories and even cook books channel some Portuguese chic and support eco-friendly brands.

Treat yourself: We love these eco-friendly egg cups which combine Portugal's clever use of cork and its ceramics expertise to keep your dippy eggs the perfect temperature.

La Juniper

Conscious consumerism is at the heart of La Juniper which is a sustainable and ethical store for gifts and homewares. There's a definite slant towards British made goods but the team here also support stories and items from further abroad that promote artisans working ecologically. Items range from kitchenware to candles and cards plus plenty of gift sets that are perfect with Christmas around the corner.

Treat yourself: These geometric silk cushions combine British design with an ancient Indian silk weaving craft, made with khadi cotton in India by a fairtrade company.

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