This is a sponsored article on behalf of Atelier100.
We're spoiled for choice when it comes to places to spend our money these days, but west London's new shopping hotspot is doing things differently.
Atelier100 opened in June, with a focus on keeping things local. All its products are made using locally sourced materials, by manufacturers based within 100km of central London — Trafalgar Square, to be precise. By Londoners, for Londoners, is the ethos here.
At a time when the environmental effects of fast fashion are in the spotlight, Atelier100 is hoping to inspire a much-needed hyper-local approach to high street retail. Right now, products available in-store are all from London-based small businesses. Some of these take inspiration from the capital itself — like Brick Sixty, a King's Cross-based company which designs items in the shape of a London brick. You'll find their soap in-store at Atelier100.
Other products currently available in-store include avante-garde earrings by Folde, a beautifully scented plant oil candle by CYRE, and some very jazzy tights and catsuits by Celia Calderon Asensio.
You can also browse and buy from Victoria Park-based Been London, which recycles discarded leather trimmings into premium full-grain leather, and landfill-bound plastics into silky linings and zips.
The sustainability ethos doesn't just apply to the products — many of the fixtures and fittings at Atelier100, including lighting, shelving and mirrors, have been repurposed from locations like Topshop's former flagship address on Oxford Street. When it came to designing Atelier100, focus was put on creating not just a shop, but an ever-evolving exhibition-style space where talks, workshops and events will be held.
Back in April, before the doors even opened, Atelier100 put out a call for creatives, makers and manufacturers living within 100km of central London to share their innovative product ideas. Those chosen have become part of the Atelier100 funding and mentorship programme, receiving up to £10,000 to bring their ideas to life.
These products will be available in store at Atelier100 from autumn 2022, though exactly what will be on offer remains a closely guarded secret for now. We can tell you, however, that the line-up includes treasures by the likes of Alison Cooke, who uses clay unearthed from sites of historic and geological interest — including ones in London — in her work.
Other creatives in the spotlight come autumn include jewellery designers GUM LDN and potato printing illustrator James O'Brien.
So while the project's narrow geographical focus is great for the environment, it's also a way of making sure that the creatives involved can comfortably work together during the prototype phase, and retain those relationships to build successful and sustainable businesses together in the future.
Local it may be, but Atelier100 has the know-how of some big high street names behind it. It's a joint effort between Swedish brands H&M and Inkga Group (the largest IKEA franchisee), who really know what they're doing.
So next time you're looking for a unique gift, or to treat yourself, head to Atelier100 for clothing, homewares and jewellery that support local businesses and independent designers, and are made in an eco-conscious way. You don't get that on every high street.
Atelier100 is at Livat Hammersmith, King Street, W6 9HW. It's open 10am-7pm (Monday-Saturday), 11am-5pm (Sunday).