The benefits of shopping local and independent are much-vaunted. And yet, with megastores and conglomerates still dominating the high street and, often, offering lower price points, unearthing these smaller gems can be more challenging than we might wish. There has, however, never been a more important moment to support alternative stores. The pandemic has been hugely testing for retail as a whole, even for many of the larger brands; what it has done to indie clothing retailers has constituted a truly gruelling and often existential crisis. Many have not survived.

So why should we opt for indie clothing stores? Firstly, they’re not run by faceless companies who are only in it for the profit. Rather, these stores are typically labours of love for skilled artisans or small business folk who work incredibly hard for their brand to compete against the retail giants. Secondly, the nature of running a smaller business means that the clothes tend to be made ethically, and without accruing huge numbers of air miles in the process. And finally, they can offer alternative clothing to the often fairly homogenous offerings in chain stores.

At a point when, emerging from our third lockdown, many shops have been boarded up, now is the time – more than ever – to support small labels, both in recognition of the Herculean work they have done to stay afloat, and in the hope that a post-pandemic world will deliver lower rents and, therefore, the possibility that indie labels might just be in with a chance of reclaiming parts of the high street. Here’s hoping.

For now, you can support them by shopping in store or online. These are the indie clothing websites and that make our cut. If you’ve ever wondered where to buy indie clothing, don’t be without our guide.


Established in 2000, Collectif specialises in vintage-inspired clothes. Its mission is to recreate some of the past glories of the 1950s pin-up era and the golden age of Hollywood glamour. Having started life on Camden Market, it has grown exponentially since, gathering legions of fans who similarly yearn for a slice of the glamour of yesteryear. It creates seasonal collections of womenswear, menswear, shoes and even bridal wear, all at reasonable price points (dresses typically come in under £70) and in sizes that go up to a 22 for women. We especially like the 1930s-style knitted polo shirts for men (ideal with high waisted trousers), the maxi dresses and – the reason so many people flock to this label – the nipped-in waists and flared, full skirts of the 1950s-style frocks. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:


This menswear indie clothing store can be found on Hoxton Street, right in the heart of east London, crucible of all that is cutting edge and cool. htown’s aesthetic is entirely in keeping with this. Its concise edits of some of the most exciting menswear labels include work from Martine Rose, Y/Project, Mowalola, Ahluwalia and Saul Nash. And that list is only set to expand, but only with designers who share the store’s core value of sustainability. If you want to buy online, a particular perk is that shipping is included in the prices listed. Shop the whole collection here.

Our pick:

Top Vintage

Another retro label, Top Vintage does precisely what it says on the tin. Categorised into eras, spanning the 1920s right through to the 1970s, you can shop the whole look, from dress to shoes to lingerie and beauty products, too. There is a ‘plus -size’ section, although most of the collection already goes up to a size 20. Most items come in at the more affordable end of the scale – think €60 for a frock – but some of the more elaborate pieces, especially the 1920s numbers with heavy beading, are over €200. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:


A luxury concept store, 50m was founded to support and showcase new and emerging fashion designer and artists. As a platform, it is intended not only to provide an arena through which to sell and present work, but also as a supportive community that designers can use and, essentially, grow up through. You can shop menswear and womenswear as well as ‘art and lifestyle’ (think homeware, objets and books). Expect avant garde pieces that you will not find anywhere near the high street. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:

Re:collection Store

This gorgeous store, along with its truly lovely website, was founded by Sarah, an ex-fashion PR who loved the industry but found herself increasingly at odds with the throwaway culture of fast fashion. When lockdown hit, she founded her business. Re:collection sells pre-loved items, all handpicked and edited ready to buy, from across vintage, designer and the high street; it helps that Sarah has an excellent eye. Through the work, she also tells the stories of the people behind the clothes, serving to underline that these are not simply items to be discarded on a whim; they have history. Each collection is named after the person who originally owned it. We love everything about Re:collection. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:

APOC Store

APOC exists solely online as a marketplace for a new generation of fashion designers, creatives and artists. The idea is to create a forum that is flexible and light on its feet, through which the designers offer their one-off pieces for sale and ship them direct to the customer from their studios, while APOC pays a fairer commission in order to help its fledgling brands to grow. There is womenswear, menswear, accessories and art available to buy through the platform. If you’re looking for indie clothing in the UK, this is a must-visit. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:

Wolf & Badger

‘We founded Wolf & Badger with the intention of disrupting a deteriorating high street, and solving the problems of physical retail in a digital world,’ say Henry and George Graham, the two brothers who founded Wolf & Badger. ‘We provide a platform which takes the effort out of finding and sourcing sustainably and ethically produced jewellery, fashion, accessories, homeware and beauty, without compromising on quality and design. We aim to foster all things innovative, from avant-garde fashion to store design to business practice to food.’ Their story began in 2010 with a boutique store selling women’s- and menswear, as well as beauty and interiors, in Notting Hill. Now it operates from a vast three-level space in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, as well as from a flagship store in Soho, New York. Wolf & Badger motivates its designers to manufacture sustainably thanks to its commitment to flagging up those brands on its site that have achieved certain standards in ethical production. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:


One of our older kids on the block, Rotik was founded in 1986 and has since recycled over a million tonnes of discarded clothes and accessories. The concept started life as a stall on Camden Market, with a focus on vintage denim sourced from American cowboys. Even back then, way before stores had an internet presence, the demand was so high that the founders moved into a permanent shop on the high street within just two weeks. Now there are stores in Brick Lane and Covent Garden, too. Unlike a lot of shops dedicated to vintage, you can forget that tell-tale musty smell; everything is laundered and pressed and transformed by the Rokit Recycled team. Men and women are catered for, and there is a Rockit Originals section to rifle through, as well as recycled military wear. Shop the whole collection here.

Our picks:

ASOS Marketplace

Most of us are familiar with ASOS – but how many know about its ASOS Marketplace arm? Home to close to a thousand small businesses – including vintage and indie brands – this is a brilliant resource for anyone looking for indie style clothing or cheap indie clothing. There’s everything under one roof, whether you like 90s grunge or cool graphic tees. It’s come a long way since it started in 2010 with just twenty sellers. Want to open your own indie or vintage boutique? This is a brilliant place to start. Shop the whole collection here.

Our pick:

ARTsy Clothing

‘That moment when the brush touches the fabric and the paint spreads out making dots into spots, layering shades and mixing colours... That moment I know that I've created one of a kind. And this is what you get when you order from ARTsy clothing. One of a kind.’ That’s according to Ruta, founder of the Brighton-based label, whose inspiration she cites as the town’s perennial holiday vibe, animals, David Lynch and the band Placebo. Everything is made-to-order. Nothing is mass-produced. Everything is simple and perfect. Shop the whole collection here.

Our pick:

Blue Banana

Blue Banana describes itself as the home of alternative fashion. Founded in 1997, it is the go-to place for emo, goth and punk clothing. Blue Banana. Whatever the look you’re going for, every element of it can be picked up here, from clothes to footwear (there is a whole section of the site dedicated to Dr Martens) to make-up and hair dye. One of the longest-serving indie clothing stores online. Shop the whole collection here.

Our pick:

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