Edinburgh’s alternative Christmas market to showcase Scottish design

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IT will be a celebration of Scottish design in the heart of the Capital’s bustling Christmas festivities - without a frankfurter in sight.

A cohort of Scottish makers have hit back at the city’s sprawling ‘German’ festive market by launching their own alternative event dedicated to domestically-made goods.

James Donald of Concrete Wardrobe in Broughton Street, and organiser of GLOW market, who is not happy about the Council paying to promote foreign businesses (German Christmas Markets) at the expense of local traders such as himself

James Donald of Concrete Wardrobe in Broughton Street, and organiser of GLOW market, who is not happy about the Council paying to promote foreign businesses (German Christmas Markets) at the expense of local traders such as himself

The GLOW Scottish design fair aims to showcase makers from across the country at a special one-day only event at the Dovecot Gallery.

More than 20 designers and craftspeople will exhibit their products at the event, set up by weaver James Donald in reaction to a “lack of support” for local businesses from City of Edinburgh Council.

Mr Donald, 51, who also co-owns design boutique Concrete Wardrobe on Broughton Street, added he hopes the fair will convince capital residents to shop local when on the hunt for Christmas gifts.

He said: “We have these huge global events, in August during the festival and now during the German market, where there is a big international crowd, but there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount done to create a platform for local Scottish makers to showcase their works.

“I think there is a frustration at the the lack of events or Scottish makers to sell their work here in Scotland. Also there is a lack of opportunities for people in Edinburgh to buy Christmas gifts that were made locally, by hand, with both the recipient and the environment as the first thought.”

Mr Donald added: “And we didn’t cut a single tree down in the creation of this show.”

The event will provide a platform for a range of designers, including digital artists, illustrators and graphic designers to exhibit their work.

The best of handmade Scottish fashion, textiles and photography will also be represented at the fair.

Mr Donald said he hoped make the fair an annual event following the success of the CLOTH#18 fashion showcase at the same venue in August which helped to raise the profile of independent textile designers from across the UK.

Leith-based accessories designer Catherine Aitken, who has previously worked with Judy Murray on a specially designed collection, will also exhibit at the event and said she hoped the show would allow makers to open up their work to a wider audience.

She said: “I ship around half my products to Scandinavia and the United States, so obviously there is an international appeal there, but we are also popular with the home crowd.”

“I think local people understand that we work hard and there is a lot of love that goes into what we make.”

Catherine added: “There aren’t many opportunities for designers like myself to sell our products in this way, so hopefully this will allow us to open up local, handmade goods to an entirely new audience.”

The GLOW Scottish Market takes place at the Dovecot Gallery on Saturday December 8, from 10am-6pm.