When Napoleon described England as ‘a nation of shopkeepers’, he likely meant it as an insult.
Two hundred years later, it’s a moniker we should be proud of. Throughout the UK, thousands of small businesses retail their wares and with 21st-century technology, it’s easier than ever to buy from them.
Thanks to campaigns such as Small Business Saturday, taking place this weekend, it’s also easier than ever to discover indie brands.
This year’s event is also a great way to find eco swaps because, as its director Michelle Ovens CBE explains: ‘Small Business Saturday is particularly highlighting sustainably conscious small firms, to demonstrate the huge potential and passion amongst the UK’s small businesses to combat climate change. All of the small firms represented in the campaign’s “SmallBiz100” this year have made great strides towards sustainability.’
Here are three examples from SmallBiz100 that can help you switch to greener goods.
Caribe Coffee Co.
Honduran-born Wilmer Carcamo could cope with the Northumbrian weather, but not the coffee, when he moved to be near wife Elle’s family.
The couple created Caribe Coffee and work directly with producers in Honduras to source ethically and sustainably grown coffee beans.
Prices start at £7.25 from Caribe Coffee Co
York Gin’s six spirits have won multiple awards including the accolade England Gin Distillery of the Year 2021 — and the great taste is matched by great ethics.
The whole operation runs on renewable power and its plastic-free packaging comes from within Yorkshire.
Prices start at £5 from York Gin
The Social Supermarket
The Social Supermarket offers more than 1,500 products from 100 ethical brands. Shop by values: charitable contributions, eco conscious, economic empowerment, female-led business, handmade, repurposed, vegan.
Right now, it stocks Christmas hampers at a range of price points.
Prices start at £1.75 at Social Supermarket
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through one of these links but this never influences our experts’ opinions. Products are tested and reviewed independently of commercial initiatives.
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