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london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

London makers: local businesses making beautiful things in the city

Shopping locally is easier than you think

By Isabelle Aron
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From gin made in Ealing to bean-to-bar chocolate crafted in Bermondsey, creative Londoners are making wonderful things all over the city. Whether you’re looking for gifts, original homeware, or artisanal produce to stock up your kitchen cupboards, you’d be surprised what you can find if you’re keen to shop locally. Give big businesses a swerve and support these local gems instead.

King Kong Kimchi
King Kong Kimchi
Andy Parsons

Kim Kong Kimchi

Jim Read makde his first jar of raw unpasteurised kimchi in Harringay  back in 2016. Now his Kim Kong Kimchi is beloved by sandwich lord Max Halley. Unlike the traditional dish, it's not made using fish, meaning it's vegan as well as being full of probiotics.

Urban Renegade
Urban Renegade
Photo: Andy Parsons

Renegade Urban Winery

Wine making doesn't just happen in balmy French vinyards, and Renegade Urban Winery is proof of that. It makes vino right here in London, ranging from a chardonnay using Essex -grown grapes to its Bethnal Bubbles 2.1 (pictured), a hopped sparkling wine.

Bethnal Bubbles (£27) available for same-day delivery here.

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wine wax candles
wine wax candles
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Wax/Wine

Magali Bellego has always liked the aesthetics of natural wine labels. In Lockdown One, she launched Wax/Wine – soy-wax candles in funky wine bottles that she collects from east London bars and restaurants. Sustainable and chic. Available on Etsy or at The White Building Market at Crate Brewery. £24.

london makers, epping good honey
london makers, epping good honey
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Epping Good Honey

Artisan beekeepers Ian and Clare Nichols make seasonal small-batch honey in Leytonstone. The other ‘makers’ behind Epping Good Honey are their bees, which forage in Epping Forest (duh!). They sell spring, summer and autumn varieties. Sweet!

 

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gin, the heath distillery
gin, the heath distillery
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The Heath Distillery

Can you guess which green space inspired The Heath Distillery? (It’s Hampstead Heath, okay?). Based in Highgate, the distillery makes gin from ingredients you’d find on the heath, including dandelion, rose and sorrel. The Heath Superior London Dry Gin is £38. 

london makers, selfmade candle
london makers, selfmade candle
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Selfmade Candle

Launched in Lockdown 1 by Elephant and Castle-based Ricki Lawal, Selfmade Candle produces hand-poured candles with eco credentials. The labels are ‘seeded’, so you can plant them in the jar when the candle’s done burning. From £24

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kankan, london makers
kankan, london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

KanKan

Soap in a can? You betcha. East London-based KanKan makes chic toiletries with eco-packaging, including cans and refillable ‘forever bottles’. This month, snap up its limited-edition collaboration with London designer Supermundane. The Super Starter, £36. 

my first pandemic zine, jenni sparks
my first pandemic zine, jenni sparks
Photograph: Andy Parsons

My First Pandemic zine

Struggling to make sense of this year? East London-based illustrator Jenni Sparks’s My First Pandemic zine might help. It’s filled with witty illustrations from her quarantine diary and it comes with a free ‘2020 Can Fuck Off’ sticker. My First Pandemic zine. £8. 

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hopt, hot sauce, london makers
hopt, hot sauce, london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Hop’t

Inspired by NYC’s breweries and bodegas while living there, Londoner Sammi Marwan started making hot sauce using hops. Back in London, he launched Hop’t from a Kilburn kitchen where he makes it in small batches. From £4.99.

lucocoa chocolate, london makers
lucocoa chocolate, london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Lucocoa Chocolate

In 2015, Amarachi Clarke taught herself to make chocolate in her north London flat. Now, Lucocoa Chocolate produces bean-to-bar creations in its Bermondsey factory, including this solid 125g brick made of 70 percent dark chocolate. Lucocoa x Bricksixty solid London brick. £12.50.

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london makers, pre-mixed cocktails, asterley bros
london makers, pre-mixed cocktails, asterley bros
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Asterley Bros

Making spirits started as a passion project for brothers Rob and Jim. Now, Asterley Bros is a fulltime business which sees them make English vermouth and amaro in a workshop in Forest Hill. You can sample the fruits of their labour in their newly launched cocktail pouches. Cocktail pouches from £23.95.

london makers, bespoke binny
london makers, bespoke binny
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Bespoke Binny

When Natalie Manima founded homeware brand Bespoke Binny, she was inspired by the West African cloth that featured in her home growing up. She makes cushions, blankets and these oven mitts, which will look great in your kitchen even if you can’t (or won’t) cook. African fabric oven mitts. £24.99. 

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ealing gin
ealing gin
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Ealing Gin

There are no prizes for guessing where Ealing Gin is made. It’s created with 11 botanicals (including mint and rose) and the bottle’s art deco design is inspired by Ealing’s Hoover Building. Plus, 20 percent of the profits go to charities tackling loneliness in the city. £44.50.

neighbourhood botanicals, london makers
neighbourhood botanicals, london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Neighbourhood Botanicals

Is the city’s pollution messing with your skin? Almost definitely. Enter east London-based Neighbourhood Botanicals, which creates natural skincare with cool packaging. Try The Daily Glow facial oil or Face Off cleanser to help you combat the smog. From £27.

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dogs of london tea towel
dogs of london tea towel
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Garudio Studiage

Ever noticed how many pit bulls there are in Peckham? That was the inspiration behind New Cross collective Garudio Studiage’s Dogs of London tea towel. On it, you’ll find Hackney, Islington, Richmond and more represented through pooches. That’s one way to liven up doing the dishes. £10.

wonderground coasters, london makers
wonderground coasters, london makers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Loris & Livia

If you’ve ever looked at the floor of a tube carriage and thought: Wow, my best china would look amazing on that, you’re in luck. East London-based designers Loris & Livia have used the speckled flooring of Victoria and Piccadilly line trains as inspiration for these surprisingly stylish rubber coasters. £8.50.

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montamonta, london makers
montamonta, london makers
Photograph: Time Out

MontaMonta

Necking espressos might not be great for anxiety, but spent coffee grounds can do great things for your skin. That’s the thinking behind MontaMonta’s Sage + Coffee Body Scrub. The east London-based company collects used grounds from local cafés to make this luxe scrub that’s good for you and the planet. £17 for 200g.  

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