Ad | Press event. I often get asked if I miss anything from Sweden. There are a couple of things and one of them is all the independent shops. In Sweden the word independent doesn’t really exist because most shops are. Of course we have H&M and other chain/high street shops but every city will have shops you won’t find anywhere else. That’s why it’s fun going to new cities exploring their shopping offering. Here in the UK, you know exactly which stores you’ll come across, no matter which city you go to. Enter Clicks and Mortar*.
Clicks and Mortar is a campaign by Enterprise Nation, in partnership with Amazon, to fill empty high street venues with small and independent businesses. The Leeds store, located in Trinity Shopping Centre, is the fifth across the UK, with another five locations and stores to open. So far, the Leeds store is the smallest one with four businesses but so far the only one with a brand theme: sustainable outdoor and fitness products. At the moment you’ll find Primal Europe, ROKA London, Shole and OC Gear here.
I love this concept! We need more independent shops but many won’t be able to afford setting up their own shop in shopping centres like this. When joining together, the possibility is there. The brands get an opportunity to show their products to us consumers in real life, but also meet other independent businesses that are in the same situation. For us consumers, we get to discover brands we might not otherwise come across and what better feeling than to support a small brand and buy something not everyone else owns as well. Win, win really.
Brands in Clicks and Mortar in Leeds
Primal Europe is a fitness brand focusing on cycling and triathlon gear. I love how colourful and eye popping their products are. Everything from cycling shorts to arm warmers. Their socks particularly caught my eye but I only really wear ankle socks, I feel trapped in anything else.
ROKA London make and sell backpacks. They’ve got a big range of different models, all which come in three sizes: small, medium and large. All bags are made using plastic bottles (12-15 each). It’s unbelievable to think what you can make with plastic waste. All backpacks are durable, lightweight, vegan and come in plenty of colours so there’s one for everyone’s taste.
Shole design and sell reusable water bottles, cups, lunch boxes, soup containers etc. with the aim to reduce the amount of plastic that we dump in the oceans. Everything has a sleek and minimalist design with a subtle logo and message: #wedontdoplastic. All their packaging is of course recyclable.
OC Gear is an activewear brand with all clothes and accessories in black and white – my favourite! I tried on their leggings and they’re the comfiest gym leggings I’ve ever worn, hands down. They’re super comfy with a great high waste fit. Sadly too long in the legs but I’ve ordered a pair of 3/4 which they’ll customise for me. Another fab perk shopping with small independent businesses. All their activewear is made of recycled plastic and organic materials and 50% of their profits is donated to charities.
What do you think about when shopping? Do you look for sustainable brands and independent businesses? Do you know where to find them? If you like this concept, definitely pop into Clicks and Mortar next time you’re in Leeds city centre, or any other city where they’re based.
*Clicks and Mortar kindly invited me down to their Leeds store for an evening learning more about the independent businesses they’re showcasing. I was also gifted a lovely goody bag (ROKA backpack, Shole water bottle and OC Gear has donated £10 to charity in my name). All views and images are my own.