It’s official. We’re well and truly in the thick of Black Friday weekend and whilst there are many deals to be had (and undeniable benefits to considered purchases at this time), I much prefer spotlighting the brands people are less familiar with during this period. I changed the way I shop a decade ago and whilst I do dabble in high street shopping when I find quality pieces, around 80% of my new acquirements are purchased either pre-loved or from independent brands and mulled over for a prolonged period.
I’m not the only one who has changed their shopping habits either. The ever-diversifying fashion industry is allowing niche labels to come to the fore, with many customers preferring to invest in original designs and lesser-known styles, especially when it comes to gift-giving season.
The choices are aplenty when it comes to independent brands. I could have easily written a series on the many I adore but alas I have whittled it down to make it somewhat digestible. I spent the best part of 2023 keeping note of the pieces that caught my attention, so you’ve come to the right place if you’re interested in discovering new names. Call this article the antithesis of Black Friday, if you may agree that it's a special feeling knowing that whilst buying from small brands, you’re supporting artisans, makers and small businesses.
Many of these brands are also treating us to generous discounts, whether you're looking for a fashion-based pick-me-up to add to your collection or a gift for a loved one. Keep scrolling to see and shop some unique pieces. You’ll find something to cater to every corner of the home and wardrobe, whether you're a homeware fanatic, a dress lover or a person with a penchant for bags.
Shop My Independent Brand Edit:
My heart skipped many beats when I first stumbled upon Guénolée Courcoux's sculptures. Crafted from a grainy terracotta her designs evoke femininity and a handful of moods. My favourite is Woman in Her Thoughts — pensive and beautifully vulnerable.
My eyes are firmly set on Been's limited edition Lowell clutch. It'll make the perfect party bag and disrupt the unusual sequined contenders. As with most of Been's styles, it's crafted from deadstock bovine leather which is donated by Nest. This particular style is also available in a rich tan hue.
It'll come as no surprise that I'm championing Ninety Percent as an independent brand. I find it to be one of the most directional sustainable brands on the market. From the backing of charitable causes to the extended sizing and limited but intentional capsule, the brand is a cut above the rest.
A huge part of sustainably is garment care and it's safe to say that Steamery is spearheading the clothing care sphere. I've done a fair bit of steaming in my life and its steamers are some of the best I've used. Their arsenal also includes detergent, lint rollers, fabric shavers and cashmere combs. Pilling, be gone.
Keeping Baukjen under wraps is a disservice to lovers of fashion, so allow me to kindly introduce you. Baukjen is a sustainable brand with plenty of fashion-forward (though timeless, of course) silhouettes. This ruched mini is a prime example, it's refined and sexy.
Albie & Pearl's curation of goods includes vintage furniture, glassware and one-of-a-kind artwork. Put simply, I'm in awe of the artistry behind the glass knotted stem detail.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.