Time to shop small
By Alex Cole
An array of funky themed pots and dishes. If you don't want any of the existing pots, you can get your pet made into one and who wouldn't want that?
Bits And Boobs
A fabulous shop that sells pots, plates and trinket dishes that promote body positivity for men and women! Started as a creative way of celebrating feminisim, these little treasures have raised money for breast cancer awareness and during December, universal period healthcare.
Hillside Animal Sanctuary
This animal charity rescue mistreated animals and provide them a home and food at their farm in Norfolk. Whilst they sell cards, calendars and other products, you can also adopt animals and donate to help buy food and shelter. Although you might not get an actual gift, you can donate in someone's name.
Mary Benson offers quirky and sustainable designs made from material that would be thrown away. Her products are covered in glitter and velvet and if that doesn't say christmas, what does?
Boys get sad too
Boys get sad too is a brilliant brand that promotes mental health awareness, in particular, male mental health. They have a range of clothing that is comfortable, stylish and the proceeds go towards the charity CALM.
The Best Damn Pet Shop
If you also enjoy all things The Simpsons, you have to look at this shop. From t shirts to art work, 'The Best Damn Pet Shop' is INCREDIBLE. But if you want something you'll have to buy it quick, there are lots of people who snap up the products as soon as they become available.
These are some of the best vases I've ever seen! From cats to badgers, these homewares are a little more expensive, but they're handmade and everyone needs a bear plate to put their biscuits on.
Ambers Wick Candles
These candles are truly stunning. How many times can you describe a candle like that? There are a lot of body shaped candles in shops right now, but these are stylish, individual and there are endless colours to chose from!
The Scent Loft Co
A lovely new company that offers wax melts and gift sets. Made with complete dedication and care, these little wax melts come in a range of scents and are vegan! The profit from the sales also go towards amazing causes such as Woking Hospice.
Although I don't need anymore mugs (no seriously, I have far too many), I was searching for a Christmas mug to add to my collection. They do amazingly festive enamel and china mugs, alongside home decorations depending on the time of year.
This Christmas one of the kindest things you can do is to shop small. Most of the time, those who start their own business, have a passion that brings them joy. Unfortunately many small shop owners will be struggling due to the pandemic this year. It's an extremely uncertain time for those who dedicate their time to creating unique and one of a kind products. By buying from independent companies, not only will you be supporting a small business, but this little act could make someones day so much brighter. Now I'm not going to pretend like I shop completely local or independent, but I try to research artists, beauty companies and other creative brands as much as possible.
So if you're thinking about shopping small this Christmas, here are some amazing brands that you should be following: