Shop Vegan UK is a collaborative project by Vegan.London that aims to promote small independent vegan product designers/makers by hosting shared shop space, pop-up events, and an annual showcase.
They have just announced an exciting new event happening at their themed vegan shop named “Residences” in London, UK. The first theme of the event is going to be “T-Shirts & Totes” and the shop has invited a number of independent vegan designers/makers to showcase their products in the Friendship Vegan Shoes shop in Hackney, London.
The shop will be collaborating with four to five small vegan makers every month and giving them space to show their products in their London shop. On the first day of an event there will be vegan food and drinks for the makers who are attending and then afterwards the products will be available to buy in the shop or online.
All of the money that is made from these events goes directly to the makers in order to help the ones who don’t have a retail outlet. Some of the designers participating in this event so far are Jade Green Vegan, KASIA Ethical Ware, and others who will be announced soon.
In close proximity to many vegan restaurants, Shop Vegan UK is one of the few vegan clothing and accessories shops in the area. They spent just over a year developing their shoes and in this time they felt that a showroom/shop would be a good expense for their business. They believed people would enjoy trying the shoes on before they buy them and as a new brand they wanted to have a physical presence.
The Costs Involved
The shows/festivals are difficult to do for a shoe company because you have to carry a lot of stock for each shoe design and size. Also, space rentals at some festivals is very costly so opening a shop made perfect sense for Shop Vegan UK. Since they are making shoes using a very traditional British method, the cost is very high, so seeing them in person makes all the difference. Since they understand the cost of retail space in London is very expensive to open a shop in, especially for new companies, they willingly provide a space in their shop to help other vegan product designers like themselves.
How It All Came Together
Steve Honest (Advisor at Friendship Vegan Shoes) and Caroline contacted Rob Sheppard, a software developer, small-business investor and longtime vegan and asked him to introduce them to other small vegan product makers. These makers were then offered space in their shop in Shoreditch for free. This means that they didn’t charge anything for the space or take anything from the sales. They began to uncover lots and lots of vegan accessory makers; not just clothing. With Rob’s help, they divided them up into sections and are planning to run an event that last four weeks at a time. They will have up to four or five brands at a time join together and build community in the offering.
What Does This Mean For Vegans?
For vegans, this means that you will come to one location and see these brands you know from online, but get to touch and feel the product. On the launch days, you will also get to meet the actual makers themselves, ask them questions, and find out more about the clothes you are buying.
The Goals Of This Event
Steve, Caroline and Rob feel that by doing this event, they are supporting young vegan companies to become better known, make more sales, and develop trust with the customer.