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Seven Dials Unlocked: Shopping With Purpose with Alice Levine
Seven Dials Unlocked: Shopping With Purpose with Alice Levine

Radio and television presenter, Alice Levine, unlocks some of the best sustainable shopping destinations in Seven Dials

Seven Dials Unlocked: Shopping With Purpose with Alice Levine

When Seven Dials reached out to me to collaborate on this project, it was an easy decision to say yes. Sustainability is so important and showcasing brands that care and execute this in the way they source and produce is an exciting opportunity for me.

Shopping is something we all do regularly, some more than others (guilty!) but it is unavoidable. Whether it is for clothes, accessories or homeware, there are simple steps we can all take to look after the planet and play our part in ensuring a better world for future generations.

I realise it can be difficult to avoid – sustainable clothing can be sometimes be more expensive, but there is a reason for it – the quality tends to be a lot better and it’s usually manufactured in an ethical way that doesn’t involve people being taken advantage of. Shopping with purpose requires a shift in mentality and lifestyle, but shopping less often for better products can be a far more gratifying experience.

We’re living in an age where fast fashion is everywhere. It’s more accessible than ever before – a few swipes and you can have a load of affordable, yet poorly-made items on your doorstep within a couple of days.

That’s why now is the time for brands to think about the howwhy, and where when it comes to their products. Countless brands create huge collections each season and they’re all designed to go out of fashion – it’s a vicious cycle and it’s easy to get caught up in.

It isn’t just on the brands though. We as consumers all have a part to play too. And shopping for quality items from brands with an eye on sustainability is a great place to start.

Seven Dials is one of the first places I visited in London, way back before I lived here. So it has also held a sentimental place in my heart. Even now I love leaving a bit of extra time before work to cycle through and make a stop here and there – it has loads of beautiful, sustainable, independent brands. but even more than that, it has a really special feel, it just doesn’t feel like you are right in the heart of the West End. It’s not like anywhere else in the city.

No matter what you’re looking for, or whether you’re thinking about dipping your toe into shopping with purpose, Seven Dials is home to some of London’s most unique brands, many with sustainability at the heart of everything they do. So, if you’re wanting to change the way you shop and are not quite sure where to start, check out my guide to sustainable shopping in Seven Dials!

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the @7dialslondon Instagram channel to check out my IGTV video, and for all the latest Seven Dials news – hit the subscribe button to sign up to their newsletter

Fresh Cosmetics, Monmouth Street

Not only does Fresh have a wonderful array of products to enjoy, ‘Forever Fresh’ is their commitment to working responsibly with communities where they source their hero ingredients. leaving the future generation with a world that is forever fresh.

They celebrated their 30th anniversary with 30 commitments focused on the planet, people, and their products. Their goal is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, while ensuring 100% of their packaging is made with recycled material or is at least recyclable by 2025.

Their best-selling Spring Sets are completely sustainable, in recyclable packaging, and include the ‘Soothe, Smooth and Sleep’ Mask set, ‘Anti-Pollution Skincare’ Set and ‘Day to Night Lip Treatment Kit.

Miller Harris, Monmouth Street

Not only has Miller Harris been helping people find their own signature scent, but they’ve also been doing it sustainably too.

Their products are 100% recyclable, vegan, palm oil-free – and their aim is to gently nudge consumers to re-use their containers and bottles for other things once they’ve finished the product.

All of the natural ingredients in their fragrances have been sustainably sourced and they’ve won industry-leading awards for their commitment to impacting nature and society though their responsible production.

Their new fragrance Rêverie de Bergamote contains natural Calabrian Bergamot and natural tangerine, while their all-new sustainable bath and body range is an ode to their efforts in this space. This range has been reworked, reformulated, and repackaged with sustainability at its core so make sure you check it out!

Experimental Perfume Club, Monmouth Street

The first of its kind in the UK, Experimental Perfume Club is renowned for its perfumery training academy, specialised courses, and workshops.

Experimental Perfume Club is part of an (unfortunately) exclusive club of perfume brands that offer refillable bottles to consumers. This is at the heart of their message and how they view perfumery, they even have their own refill fountain in-store so customers can come back and get their bottles refilled for up to 50% off the original price. They also manufacture everything locally and create all their fragrances in-house, meaning production is minimal.

Neal's Yard Remedies, Neal's Yard

Found in one of the prettiest places in London, Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the most well-known shops in Seven Dials. Based in Neal’s Yard it is home to a huge range of gorgeous smelling soaps, creams, oils, and bath salts. All of their natural ingredients are sustainably sourced and packaged with the environment in mind, and they offer refills for their best-sellers, the Bee Lovely Bath & Shower Gel and Geranium and Orange Hand wash.

The Bee Lovely set is a range crafted using fairtrade bee products such as honey and beeswax, with everything from body butter to hand wash. Purchasing from the collection supports bee-friendly charities, aiding to protect the species. To date, they have raised a total of over £250,000 for bee-friendly organisations, helping to protect biodiversity in the UK and helping to save one of Britain’s rarest bumblebees, the shrill carder bumblebee.

Their newest range, the Wild Rose Skincare, is made and hand-poured in their factory in Dorset. Neal’s Yard Remedies sustainably source their wild rose-hips from the hillsides of Serbia. A hundred members of the local community harvest and collect the rosehips before cold pressing the seeds to produce their certified organic rosehip seed oil.

Finisterre, Earlham Street

Finisterre is a B Corps certified sustainable outdoor brand – essentially, they’re legit and you can rest easy knowing that anything you buy from them is manufactured with the utmost care.

Since the early 2000s,  Finisterre has been committed to making exceptional products in a more responsible and transparent way – this includes renewable and recyclable textiles as well as biodegradable natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, and wool.

Their swimwear is Econyl, a fabric that converts discarded fishing nets and other waste material into swimwear. It reduces the global warming impact of using nylon by up to 80% compared with the material from oil, which is absolutely amazing if you ask me.

So Just Shop, Monmouth Street

So Just Shop incredibly sources all of their product from women-led artisans throughout the world.

They work closely with small-scale artisan groups to ensure they have the funds, materials, and training to produce each collection and will only work with bigger suppliers who are developing educational programmes to extend training for ‘male-dominated skills, such as silver-smithing and gold-smithing’, to be delivered to women.

The gorgeous product range includes accessories and homeware hand-crafted by women living in these marginalised communities and up to 80% of each sale from their homeware, jewellery, and accessories in their collection goes back to the artisans’ groups that they work with.

Make sure you visit and discover their unique and beautiful clothing, accessories, and homeware.

L'Estrange, Earlham Street

Designed in London and crafted in their European factories, L’Estrange has reimagined every stage of the clothing lifecycle to conserve resources and improve the longevity and lifespan of each piece they create. They only use renewable and recycled materials like organic cotton and offer free repairs on any purchases.

They believe simplicity is key and their modular clothing system comprises season-less, versatile pieces designed to be worn for any type of occasion. They live by the mantra that fewer items, as well as decisions, will not only benefit the planet, but it will also benefit you. That’s something we could all do with remembering!

Away, Earlham Street

Away’s polycarbonate and aluminium material suitcases are guaranteed for life. That’s right, for life!

Their key ambition is to be socially and environmentally conscious in everything they do and they’re acutely aware that each product they make has an impact on the planet. They collaborate with brands that share values that line up with their own – a commitment to human rights, environmental responsibility whilst also transparency, accountability, and sustainability.

 

Tatty Devine, Monmouth Street

Tatty Devine probably has some of the cutest and quirkiest jewellery collections around. What makes them even cooler is how sustainability is increasingly becoming a focus for the brand.

None of their plastic is single-use and they aim to follow the UN’s guidance and principles. By 2030, they pledge to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.

Goldsmith Vintage, Neal Street

Looking for one-of-a-kind pieces from yesteryear? Of course you are, not sure why I asked!

Goldsmith Vintage is packed to the brim with incredible retro clothing options and probably one of the most fun shops you can browse in.

The best part about shopping vintage is the element of surprise, you can be looking through and find an absolute gem that you know no one else will have. It’s a gratifying experience and will stop you from spending money on fast fashion that you’ll end up disposing of!

Vivobarefoot, Neal Street

Vivobarefoot follows principles that have sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Their philosophy is to create shoes that help us reconnect with ourselves, as well as nature. Rather beautifully, they follow the theories shared by Ehrenfeld in Sustainability By Design – this proposes that there are only two justifiable reasons for filling the world with products:

To help us connect to nature.

To make us feel more human.

They embrace environmental sustainability and use lifecycles to look for new ways to design and create their incredible shoes.

Guest Writer

Alice Levine

Presenter, DJ
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Biography

Alice is most known for her BBC Radio 1 show. She joined the station in the much-coveted late-night John Peel slot, later moving to weekends before teaming up with Dev Griffin hosting every Friday – Sunday 1-4pm. More recently Alice co-hosted “Museum of Curiosity” with John Lloyd on Radio 4.

Alice has presented The BRIT Awards, and presented the red-carpet for the past 4 years, official coverage of the BAFTAs TV Awards and BAFTA Craft Awards as well as the Women in Music Awards which she has hosted for the last 5 years.

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