We all know where to buy a vegetarian sandwich or a bar of fairtrade chocolate... but what about an organic cardie or vegan shoes?
In an era of heightened awareness about the origins of our purchases, the clothes on our back are just as important as the food on our plate for those concerned about ethical shopping choices.
The emergence of shops like Dandelion and Ginger in Tollcross is the result of growing demand for gifts and clothing with a conscience. The shop opened four years ago, when its popular predecessor Joolz (now located next door) decided to move away from fashion to focus on jewellery.
Having worked at Joolz for a number of years, owners Kerrie Doris and Gill Hall were already accustomed to sourcing and selling sustainable and recyclable products.
Their business model for Dandelion and Ginger was “fairtrade, organic, handmade and beautiful”. They now support a number of home-grown and far-flung artisans and local community projects
“What we sell here is the opposite of fast fashion; it’s for those who don’t want their style dictated by high street trends,” says Gill, the ginger of the partnership. “From clothes to candles, everything has its own story. We know exactly where it has come from, who made it and in what conditions.”
Along with organic clothing, produced from cotton and bamboo fabrics, their best-sellers include vegan shoes and handbags. Made entirely from man-made materials, the range is “original and funky”, if they do say so themselves.
The success of the venture is part of a retail renaissance in the area, home to a growing number of independents.
“Where people used to pass us by on the way to Bruntsfield or Morningside, they are now making a point of coming to Tollcross,” adds Gill.
Dandelion and Ginger, Leven Street, 0131 228 8564. Mon-Sat, 10am–6pm; Sun,12–5pm.