It all started after watching a TED talk by Lauren Singer, a pioneer for zero waste living. The talk made friends Imogen and Edward want to shop more consciously, but it wasn’t until they struggled to find the many UK conscious brands that the idea for Wearth London came about. Edward explains,
“We wanted to create an online department store which makes it easier for people to discover ethical and sustainable brands, all in one place,”
The founders launched their store last October, having spent six months researching brands prior to their launch, they now stock over 30 brands across the board. They make sure their brand partners fit “a general criteria around being made in a fair and eco-friendly way but we also have a criteria for each department.” For instance, for their beauty department they look for products that have been made in small batches in the UK, they have completely natural ingredients and all packaging used is either glass or metal. They use similar criteria when working with jewellery designers, Edward explains,“We work with jewellery designers who make their jewellery in the UK using recycled silver, as newly mined silver can have a significant negative impact on the environment.”
Over all, the store favours British-based brands. Edwards says, “It is one of most important values.” In this, Wearth are doing their part to keep their carbon footprint as low as possible by 80% of their brands products are produced in the UK. Alongside the eco-friendly focus, all of their products are vegan-friendly, and if plastic is used, it is kept to a minimum. If you are looking for gifts, check out their well-curated vegan gift guide.
In order to make their website as transparent as possible, they have created what they call ‘visual value tags’ to help customers obtain product information. Edward explains,
“The visual tags include plastic-free, made in the UK, natural ingredients, recycled materials and social contribution. Customers know exactly what they are getting – from the ingredients to the packaging, they are well-informed.”
And, where do conscious department store owners shop, apart from their own store? we ask. Edward and Imogen buy pre-loved clothes, try and shop locally when it comes to groceries and if they do go to the supermarkets, they do try and buy loose and package-free when possible.
From the start, the co-founders are doing their part by starting a business that is driven by aiding conscious shoppers to shop under one roof. Their motto ‘The world is worth it.’ But when asked if mainstream stores are doing their part too, Edwards believes that “they are currently making the situation worse, however, we hope that in time, as consumers demand more, stores will start to react in more positive ways.” He also thinks people are expecting more transparency from brands, and want their products to be made in an ethical and sustainable way. Edward states,
“People are becoming increasingly aware as they are starting to better understand the impact of what they do and consume – be it positive or negative.”
With a refreshing new take, Wearth London are certainly heading in the right direction, paving the way for more stores of its kind to challenge the mainstream by offering the possibility to ‘shop by values’. Reactions so far have their exceeded expectations. Ethical gifting has been an early success, with a very positive first Christmas for the store. Edward says that although they were counting mainly on millennials as their main customers, they have been nicely surprised to find that a range of ages are shopping on site.
Don’t miss out. wearthlondon.com
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