When news broke that Zara has been stealing/copying artwork from small business and indie designers and using it on their products, I got really, really annoyed. Annoyed at their response to Tuesday Bassen, annoyed that I couldn't really do more other than raise awareness through my social media platforms and vow never to shop in Zara again. I know it isn't exactly a new concept, high-street stores create replicas of designer items all the time (I own pieces that could be considered direct copies or actual knock-offs), so that might come across a bit rich; but I also think there's something far more sinister in blatantly copying artwork or designs from indie brands and small businesses that can't defend themselves legally because they physically cannot afford to.
How gross is that?
So in what I'm hoping will become a semi-regular feature, I'm sharing my current favourite small businesses, and I encourage you to support them all. <3
apparel / accessories
An indie accessories brand run by Elena of Brave Mermaid, stocking handmade pieces inspired by magical creatures. So far, it's flower and seashell crowns, but I know for a fact there are some really fun, imaginative pieces on the way. If you're worried that your floral headpieces from fast fashion stores are going to break on you, or are looking for quirky bits and pieces to add that extra summin' summin' to an outfit, then you need to check Spook & Siren out.
flowercrown: spook & siren
'such a lot of world to see' print: lilyroseco
stationery / stickers / prints
dorkface - etsy
Fun, colourful prints and stickers in Jemma's unique style, ranging from cartoony portraits to beautiful watercolour prints. The 'Shine bright like a diamond' print is from dorkface - it's yet to be framed but I'm so happy with it's minimalist layout, like so many of her others. It's a beautiful addition to my very white themed bedroom. You can also request custom orders if you're looking for something super special to gift to people!
lace & whimsy - shop
Kathy has such gorgeous sticker designs I try not to browse her shop too much because I end up wanting everything. Legitimately e v e r y t h i n g. Again, they designs are quite cartoony in style, but I think that makes them absolutely perfect for gifts at every age. I think my favourites are the fall fawn and mystical moon sheets, but it's so hard to choose. If you're looking for cute stickers to add to your planner or projects definitely give lace & whimsy a look!
sweet allure - etsy
If you're looking for somewhere to get beautiful (and I really do mean beautiful) watercolour prints to suit a range of fandoms, moods, or wallspaces that need a little extra, I definitely recommend Sweet Allure. I adore the unique outline style of the disney prints, and if you're looking for some Harry Potter representation, you've got everything from minimal to the house shields.
a bit of everything
A brand I was introduced to at The Girl Gang event in Manchester by the way of goodie bags and this gorgeous gold foil print. It sings to my wanderlusting side; yet to find a frame to put it in. LilyRose co has a large range of products that are all pretty darned beautiful, from wall prints like this one, to textiles, homeware, and jewellery, at stunningly affordable prices. Do go and have a browse ;3
lizjowen - society6
With some really current pieces (the can u not prints and tees are my fave) lizjowen stocks a range of products at a range of prices with 'very millenial' (quote from dad) slogans. All the prints are available on all items, so if your budget doesn't stretch for everything, you can pick up your favourite print just as a print (framed if you like).
'shine bright like a diamond' print - dorkface
It's really important to support indie brands in the face of an increasingly global (and corporate) world. So many unique items get passed over in favour of trends, and those that start trends often get snapped up and ousted by larger businesses.
If you have any small or indie brand recommendations I'd love to hear them!