South London-based social enterprise Blue Patch is taking over Dulwich Village High Street with the country’s first pop-up sustainable department store, showcasing the best of Britain’s ethical small businesses.
On 1st October, the ‘Blue Patch Department Store’ will open its doors to the public for one day only, giving customers the opportunity to browse a selection of innovative, sustainable and quality creations from some of Britain’s best designers and producers, who will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss their handiwork.
All of the companies with products at the store are part of the Blue Patch collective, a social enterprise that curates and sells the best produce online from small to medium British manufacturers and independent workshops that are committed to continually improving their sustainable practices and to providing exceptional service to their customers.
In true department store fashion, there will be something for everyone on the day, from delicious chocolate, handmade rugs and bespoke cabinetry, to organic beauty products, hand built bikes and even cutting edge renewable technology in the form of a Tesla Power Wall. Blue Patch will also be running a hub throughout the day offering advice to small businesses, designers, makers and sole traders; with HR specialists, apprenticeship advisors, green energy, marketing and social enterprise experts all on hand to support people to make their creative ideas a reality.
Customers are also invited to ‘join the conversation’ in the afternoon as the store hosts guest speakers from the New Economics Foundation, Ecotricity, REconomy and the Transition Network, as well as makers, shoppers and shopkeepers who will come together for a discussion on what the ‘High Streets of the Future’ might look and feel like. The conversations will be chaired by Helen Hayes , MP for Dulwich and West Norwood.
Founder Jane Langley hopes that the success of the day will lead to greater opportunities in the future: “With issues like climate change and resource depletion growing concerns for the British public, sustainable enterprises like Blue Patch are more important than ever and we’re anticipating lots of interest in our ethical department store.”
“Everyone I speak to recognises the importance of supporting small, local businesses to safeguard jobs and create taxable income. We hope that the enthusiasm for the department store will lead to doing more in future – we’d really like to work with landlords to host longer pop-ups in disused shop and department store buildings.”
“Our intention with Blue Patch is to help to create a new, principled economy, supporting sustainable British business, increasing money spent in local communities and bringing jobs and opportunities for everybody.”
If you can’t make it down to the department store for the 1st October, you can find out more about Blue Patch and the connect directly with the businesses online at bluepatch.org
October 1st from 10 am – 6 pm at St Barnabas Parish Hall, 23 Dulwich Village. London SE21 7BT