Updated: Jul 14, 2021
A guide to shopping small and sustainable in Winchester.
It is Independent Retailers Month across the UK and I felt this was a great opportunity to find out more about the businesses and services here in Winchester that are small and independently owned.
We are lucky to have a wealth of independently run businesses but of course, I'm putting a sustainable and earth-friendly twist on what our city has to offer. Shopping small and local has huge benefits for us all wherever you choose to go, but here I've honed in on ways you can protect our local high street and our planet together.
Why shop local and small?
Independent Retailers Month was set up as a celebration of the impact that small businesses have on the economy of their community, but supporting these businesses is important all year round. There are some interesting benefits to having more independent and small businesses in your area rather than larger chain stores and big brands.
Here are a few of the ways that indies give back to the communities that they value:
Money spent with an independent business stays with the community:
According to research from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies for every £1 spent at a local business, between 50p and 70p of it stays in circulation in the local economy. Compare this to corporations and online stores, where only 5p stays local, and it really goes to show that spending with an independent business helps everyone to thrive.
Independent businesses help to create more job opportunities:
Since 1990 big businesses have cut 4 million jobs, compared to small businesses which have created 8 million opportunities in that time. Small businesses also employ a massive 16.3 million people in the UK, which is over half of the job market. (1)
Strengthening community well-being and creating ownership:
Independent businesses are more likely to listen to and act on customer feedback, which means you are directly shaping your community with your shopping choices. Independent businesses are also more likely to create events, such as wine tasting and book clubs, or support local causes such as food banks. They help to bring people together in a web of relationships and support services that is unique to the community they're in. Studies have also shown a decrease in crime rates and an increase in entrepreneurial spirit in the young from having a more independently owned high street. (2)
They're better for the environment:
A thriving high street has been shown to contribute to more sustainable development by preventing urban sprawl and maintaining a walkable town center that reduces reliance on car travel. Independent businesses also tend to use local suppliers or artisans, helping to reduce the miles travelled for their produce and further contribute to the local economy.
Shop sustainably in Winchester:
We're fortunate to have a growing number of sustainable shopping options on our high street, which I'm proud to be part of with Earthian. In this blog, I really wanted to share other places you can find sustainable, local or artisanal products in Winchester. I believe that the more options there are for sustainable shopping, making it the norm on our high streets, means that we all thrive together.
I've tried to be comprehensive with this list, I'm sorry if I've missed anyone off. Drop me a message and I'll add you in!
Re:Dress (Romsey Road)
You can find some treasured second-hand clothing for sale. Mostly new or recent fashion and well-known labels that is being sold on behalf of local people. You'll find a personal service with great advice and support for re-styling and wardrobe decluttering.
Eclectic Hound (The Square)
A mixture of classic and unique menswear, womenswear, accessories and home. Eclectic Hound specifically work with suppliers that put the planet before profits and a number of local artisans.
The Consortium (Jewry Street)
Giving new life to homeware, furnishings, gifts, jewellery and a myriad of other things. The Consortium offers an ever-changing selection of antique, retro and vintage goods.
Cytronex (Bridge Street)
If you're looking to start using the car less and cycle to work, Cytronex can help you to convert your bike into an electric bike for assisted cycling. With their system you can reduce your carbon emissions and have an easy, enjoyable commute.
99 Vintage (The Brooks Shopping Centre)
Specializing in original 80s, 90s and early 2000s clothing, accessories and homewares. You can trade and sell your unwanted items with 99 Vintage, or go and buy something retro and unique.
Open House Deli (Middle Brook Street)
As well as wonderful healthy food, you can come to Open House Deli for a selection of eco-friendly products and waste-free solutions. You can also find British grown cut flowers for order from Stem and Green here.
Reads of Winchester (High Street)
Making, mending and repurposing fabrics is an important part of a sustainable home. At Reads of Winchester you can take an old sewing machine for repair or pick up a new/refurbished machine. You can also take in your clothing for repair and alterations.
Projects (Middle Brook Street)
Home to antique and vintage goods for home and garden, plus over 30 independent local makers and their unique goods. Project Zero also stocks plastic free and sustainable home and personal care, alongside their refills.
Sew Fit (Parchment Street)
Providing alterations and repairs for clothing and accessories. Don't give items away if there is a chance you can get more enjoyment and life from them with a little repair work.
P & G Wells (Kingsgate Village)
You can find some real treasures here, including books by local authors. You can also find book binding and repairs, if you have well-loved books that need a bit of TLC don't throw them away!
Stardust Years Vintage Fashion (Upper High Street)
For something really unique, you can find original clothing from the 1890s to 1990s with Stardust Years. These items have lasted the test of time and are still in amazing condition to be worn and enjoyed today.
Earthian (Parchment Street)
I'd be remiss if I didn't include my own shop in the list! Of course, Earthian is all about sustainable shopping choices with a range of plastic free and low waste products, refillable cleaning and personal care liquids, packaging free organic food and refillable Oat Mylk.
Sustainable services in and around Winchester:
There are also a range of services from independent businesses available in Winchester and the surrounding areas. Here is a short list of what is available and what they offer.
Sharpening services for home and garden tools, such as knives, scissors and clippers. On Point will help you to keep tools working well for longer so you can get the best from them and prevent them from being wasted.
A mobile hairdresser that has sustainability and waste reduction at it's heart. By using products that are natural, vegan and as low waste as possible they ensure that your hair cut and pamper is good for the planet too. They also plant trees and take measures to reduce water consumption.
The Bike Hub (Middle Brook Street)
The biggest thing to consider when you're getting out on your bike more is safety. You can take your bike in for check ups and repairs to keep it in tip top condition, but the Bike Hub also offers guided rides, routes and cycle training to ensure you're safe as well as planet-friendly.
Earth-friendly eating and drinking in Winchester:
We have some amazing eateries in Winchester, here is a selection of the ones that are sourcing locally or have a sustainable edge to their menu.
Rawberry (St Georges Street)
If you're looking for a vegetarian menu, with options for healthy gluten free and vegan food too, then look no further. They also offer local delivery of fruit and vegetable boxes and coffee locally sourced from Winchester-based River Coffee Roasters.
Kyoto Kitchen (Parchment Street)
An amazing authentic Japanese restaurant which is reducing waste be recycling old takeaway containers. Bring your clean, dry containers to the restaurant and they'll be recycled at a family run plant in Eastleigh and made into new useable materials.
Open House Deli and Projects, which are both located on Middle Brook Street, also offer fantastic options for eating and drinking as well as the sustainable shopping mentioned above. Projects hosts 4th Street Kitchen, which uses seasonal and locally sourced food in it's menu. Open House Deli offers vegan treats and salads made on site in their kitchen, and deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetable boxes.
The General Store (The Square)
A huge focus on local producers, bakers, vineyards and growers at The General Store means you can find lots of food and drink from independent businesses here in Hampshire. The General Store also offers refills of cows milk in glass bottles.
Proudfoot & Co. (St Thomas Street)
As well as providing unique non-alcoholic drinks that have been made using traditional methods of aging and fermenting, Proudfoot & Co. also run foraging courses to help you to get in touch with local nature and to stay safe with what you can and can't pick/eat.
I hope that this list has been a helpful guide to some of what's available. The more I looked into it, the more amazing things I found our independent businesses doing for the city and for our planet. I'd urge you all to get out there and show your support. Studies have shown that spending as little as £5 a week locally can mean an extra £13.5 billion for the UK economy. (3)
Take care and see you all soon,