Collaboration Over Competition: Our Indie Brand Guide!

Collaboration Over Competition: Our Indie Brand Guide!

We've always been about collaboration over competition here at Lucy & Yak - no business or person is an island and we all need each other! We wrote a blog a few months ago about our favourite indie sustainable and ethical brands we love, but the message of supporting small businesses is even more important now!

The companies we love and the ideas we believe in can only keep doing the wonderful things they are if we all continue to support and champion each other, especially at testing times like these.

It's a great time for all of us to think about what kind of businesses we want to continue to thrive and who we choose to invest in. With your help, we’ve put together a list of independent companies and individuals that we think are doing amazing things! There are so many creatives and companies we would love to champion, so this is will be a growing list. To kick start it, here are a few of our favourites we think you will also love...

 

Food & Drink 

 

Bird & Blend 

A Brighton based independent, award-winning tea company on a mission to spread happiness and reimagine tea! Set up by the lovely Krisi and Mike, they started packing tea in their bedroom and three years later have stores across the country, and an online shop that makes all your tea dreams come true!

 

 

True Start Coffee

An independent and family run ethical coffee business, determined on putting people and plant first. Their Cold Brew Coffee is from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms which means that the coffee is sourced from sustainable farming while respecting the rights of local communities and indigenous people. A winning coffee cuppa! 

 

The Clean Kilo 

Based in Digbeth, Birmingham city centre, The Clean Kilo is UK’s largest zero waste supermarket. Their ethos is to sell plastic-free products, source as local as possible and reduce food waste. 

 

Hisbe

Standing for ‘How it Should Be’, HISBE is a Brighton based local and independent supermarket pioneering the way in the ethical and sustainable food industry. They source their products from small, local producers and brands that trade responsibly, fairly and sustainable, plus all suppliers get a fair price. 

 

The Beeswax Wraps

Award-winning, British made beeswax wraps, this indie produces the people and planet friendly alternative to cling film and tin foil. They are B Corp certified and are also currently giving 10% of their profits to NHS charities.

 

Lemon Aid

Organic soft drink company that makes delicious fruit based Fair-Trade certified beverages in recyclable glass bottles. With every bottle purchased, Lemonaid aims to help people and communities to help themselves. Focusing on parts of the world frequently disadvantaged in the global economy, they want to support local initiatives which work to improve social, economic and ecological structures and so far they have raised over £4 million for social projects in these regions.

 

 

 

Beauty & Skincare 

 

Wow You 

On a mission to help you love your skin and champion skin positivity, because we all deserve to feel happy and confident in our own skin. Wow You is a naturally powered skincare brand, all products are cruelty free, designed for all skin types and made in the UK. And for every £5 you spend, they will plant a mangrove tree in Madagascar to help restore habitats and offset carbon emissions - a win win scenario in our book! 

 

UpCircle Beauty  

In recent years we have seen the rise of natural, then organic, then vegan and cruelty-free beauty, but UpCircle believe circular / by-product beauty will be the next step, and are proudly pioneering the movement. They aim to leave the world better than they found it, by transforming ingredients that would otherwise be discarded such as coffee grounds and fruit oils into natural, organic beauty products – better for you, better for the world. They make competitively priced, high performing and beautifully branded products from upcycled ingredients in eco friendly packaging, demonstrating that the beauty industry can be a lot less wasteful! 

 

OHNE 

Founded by friends Nikki Michelsen and Leah Remry-Peploe, in part to remove the stigmas and taboos surrounding periods, OHNE is a 100% organic cotton UK monthly subscription service for period products, where you can build your very own personalised box. They have also partnered with social enterprise School Club Zambia, who run a programme fighting period poverty in rural Zambia with education, sustainability and empowerment at its heart. They also have their wonderful Fem Space where they talk all things hormones, periods, sex, and wellbeing - with the ultimate aim to empower and educate everyone about their cycle.

 

 

 

AS Apothecary 

A lovely skincare brand based in Lewes and the Isle of Harris, they have a small batch distillery making natural scents, creams, and balms from natural ingredients. They're all about plants, community, environment and an appreciation of the inter-connectedness of us all. Treat yourself, keep it natural and support a lovely small business all in one!

 

Ffern

A UK based independent perfumery making small batch, organic and seasonal scents. They blend their artisan perfumes only four times per year to ensure that the commitment to the process and ingredient quality is not compromised. 


Austin Austin 

Founded by father and daughter duo Richard and Bessie, Austin Austin skincare products are produced in East Anglia and tested only on people. All products are vegan and certified Organic by the Soil Association and COSMOS. All packaging is made from 100% recycled material and they collaborate with wonderful artists on all their lovely packaging. 

 

Fashion 

 

Birdsong 

Birdsong is a great place to look for all your wardrobe staples and accessory needs, as well as their stunning new collection of dresses and blouses. Working with expert women makers who face barriers to employment – from artists and printmakers to seamstresses and painters – and paying them London living wage to bring designs to life, this up and coming brand is known for handmade accessories and statement-making tees!

 

Know the Origin 

Know The Origin is an online sustainable marketplace which brings together the very best sustainable clothing & conscious living brands. They are committed to 100% transparency in the supply chain of all the products they stock, so you can quite literally trace everything back to its origin. 

 

Madlug

Madlug is an award-winning bag brand based in Belfast that helps give dignity to children in care. Founder and youth worker Dave Linton was heartbroken to learn that most children in care, transport their worldly belongings in a bin bag. Dave set out to do something about it and with just £480 started Madlug and came up with a ‘Buy one Give one’ approach: with every bag you purchase, one will be given to a child in care. Their colourful backpacks and luggage bags look great and do great!

 

 

Ilk & Ernie 

Based in Brighton, ILK + ERNIE is an ethical, female-led brand that creates quality, comfortable and sustainable clothes from deadstock fabric.  With a vision to see every woman wearing clothes that not only turn heads but have a positive impact on the environment, they are passionate about girl power. Their new collection features a gorgeous colour palette and some very funky patterns!

 

Church of Antioch 

Founded by Jess Whitey and her partner Adam Lyduch, Church of Antioch is a sustainable sportswear brand with good intentions. Based in Hereford, all the pieces are designed and made in the UK, and named after the people who help create them. They launch their collection soon so stay tuned!

 

ETHCS

A UK based sustainable and vegan sportswear brand with PETA vegan and cruelty free certifications. All clothing is free from animal products and derivatives, using only vegan inks in printing which are 100% phthalate free and they only work with manufacturers and choose products that have ethical certifications. 

 

Elizabeth Whibley 

A Fashion textile print graduate, Elizabeth is now a freelance creator and designer with an online store bringing joy with fun, empowering and colourful jewellery, prints and clothing inspired by childhood and girlstyle, while also ensuring the designs have as little impact on the environment as possible. 


Hello Dodo 

A husband and wife team working from their little garden print studio in Worthing on the South coast of England, Jam and Ali create and screen-print all their own bright and bold clothing for both kids and adults. With puns galore and bold, eye-catching and colourful designs, they believe in the power of fun and laughter, and everything is driven by wanting to put a smile on people's faces, brightening up the good and bad days for everyone. 

View this post on Instagram

SOMEHOW yesterday we managed to get this lot packed up and off to the post office by lunchtime, did some hula hooping (see yesterday’s post!), did some experimental screenprinting (see @longlivethedodo’s post!) finished and packed some others orders AND finalised a design and burnt it to screen 🤪 Granted, it was gone 10pm when we finished 😴 I think we might have a slower day today! 🤪 Not all lockdown days have been this productive...in fact many of them have been the complete opposite! For ages it felt like there was this invisible barrier stopping us from doing anything creative. If that’s you right now, your creativity will come back, the barrier will disappear. I think we’ve got to the point now where making is keeping us sane. So so so unbelievably grateful for every order placed, we hope you all love your DODO goodies 🥰❤️💛💚💙

A post shared by hello DODO, clothing & prints (@hellohellododo) on

 

 

Wolf & Gypsy 

A carefully hand picked selection of vintage, new clothing and accessories from around the world. Whether you're after something special or just beautiful casual pieces/loungewear, Wolf & Gypsy brings together a beautiful and fun edit, making it difficult to leave empty handed.


Newt London

Newt turn recycled plastic bottles into colourful and funky skirts in wonderful patterns, transforming you into your weekend self, whatever day of the week it is! They're committed to making environmentally and socially conscious decisions in their supply chain: their shirts are printed and made in England, the buttons are made from biodegradable Corozo nuts, and all packaging is recyclable and/or recycled. They currently have 15% off for NHS staff and are selling face masks from sustainable TENCEL™, a biodegradable fabric in their iconic colourful prints!

 

 

Sand & Palm

Sand & Palm is a sustainable swimwear brand that uses fabrics made from regenerated ocean plastic. Hand-dyed and printed down in Newquay in small batches using eco-friendly dyes, the founder Vicki Jones uses the fabrics as a canvas for her artwork and illustrations, meaning each swimsuit is completely unique.

 

We Are Hairy People

WAHP is a hand painted clothing brand that celebrates imperfections – as they say “we are all hairy and that unites us!” They believe that fashion is an art form for everyone and not about trends - creating made-to-order, organic, ethically produced, plastic-free and peta-certified vegan clothing. Founded by the artist Sarah Caulfield, the Bristol based design studio and social enterprise also runs art therapy workshops for mental wellness with all profits going to this cause.

 

Creative Wardrobe

Launched by Charlie Collins in 2020, Creative Wardrobe is a mindful wardrobe service born from Charlie’s passion to help people build and maintain more joyful, functional and sustainable wardrobes with the philosophy to make space, then create. From personal appointments, to hosting vintage sales and learning how to create personal mood-boards, Creative Wardrobe helps you to focus on what truly brings you joy and how to buy less but better.

 

 

 

Jewellery & Accessories

 

Pala Eyewear

For every pair of sunglasses sold, Pale give back to eye-care programmes in Africa by providing grants to vision centres, dispensaries and screening. They work alongside a Ghanaian-based NGO to support weaving communities to make our protective sunglasses cases. Woven using traditional methods utilising otherwise wasted plastic, we provide a trade and an income to help them empower themselves whilst upholding tradition (and recycling as they go!). They offer recycled acetate (made using otherwise binned factory offcuts) and bio-based designs.

 

Rhimani

Rhimani today supports conservation and education in Kenya though beautiful colourful jewellery, intricately handmade in Nairobi, Kenya by Rhimani's female team. A portion of each and every purchase is put aside and we donate at LEAST 10% of our makings towards charities that focus on deprived communities in Kenya, and critical areas of African wildlife conservation.  

 

 

Misfit Makes

Beautiful laser cut and printed jewellery designed by Bex Ling, based in Norwich, UK - featuring creative, colourful and intricate tattoo style motifs, truly stand out accessories!

 

Home & Lifestyle 

 

Dowse Design 

An independent design studio founded by Susannah Dowse and based in Brighton, the shop and website is a beautiful showcase for many great independent small businesses & designers. Championing great quality, innovative and affordable design led gifts, jewellery, art prints and homewares, they support and promote the efforts of those designing and making their work themselves. 

 

 

Form Lifestyle

A Manchester based shop selling lots of beautiful handmade pieces and supporting independent makers, focusing on design, craftsmanship, and function, wonderfully curated with a focus on small-run products, slow-living and taking a thoughtful approach to buying – choosing to buy fewer, well-considered pieces. 

 

Folded Forest

Run by sisters Ruth and Sarah, this design studio produces screen printed products by hand in their small West Yorkshire Studio inspired by the natural world around Yorkshire; the woodlands, moorlands and nearby beaches of their home.

 

Hi Cacti

Hi Cacti sell beautiful, colourful concrete plant pots and all things cactus - wall art, homeware, accessories and wonderful succulents themselves. Inspired by Mexico but made with love in Brighton, they have a super cute Brighton Store but also sell online for you to get your prickly fix!

 

 

Ethical Gifting 

Ethical Gifting source wonderful sustainable and ethical products for created gift boxes you can send to loved ones (or treat yourself!) It's is about caring for yourself and others - burning a candle, drinking some tea, having a relaxing bath with essential oils and scrubs, using fragrant natural soaps or having a hot chocolate. We can make more conscious choices about the products we buy and still enjoy ‘the little things in life’. All gifts arrive to you in our beautiful, recycled gift boxes which can be reused to store your small, precious possessions. Products are nestled in recycled shredded paper and wrapped with love, care and attention

 

Cult Milk

Cult-Milk's all-female team specialises in curating playful and user friendly creative workshops for all levels of artistic talent. They love nothing more than seeing the therapeutic benefits of creative play in both adults and children, and are all about people feeling good about themselves, having fun and learning new skills and creating beautiful things! We've collaborated with them for a few events in our store and now have a series of virtual IGTV workshops with them. Their physical workshops are on hold at the moment but they have created wonderful doodle colouring sheets which are 'pay what you can' because everyone is facing a tough time right now!