Last-minute local love
This article is from 2009.
We round up ways to support local businesses while you do your Christmas shop.
Alright, the search is over. You’re looking for somewhere you can go to get away from the city centre crowds, still, miraculously, get all your Christmas shopping done, whilst somehow also supporting local artisans and Scottish independent designers? Glasgow’s Merchant Market, my friends. No, you don’t have to thank us.
On Sunday 20 December, Merchant Square and the whole of Bell Street will fill up with over fifty local crafters, designers, jewellery shops, deli stalls, food specialists and artists. It’s really a one-stop shop for your Christmas needs, and you can get an extra glow knowing you’re not lining the pockets of any nasty big corporations. Stallholders include Rhonda MacLeod jewellery, Kim Flower children’s accessories, Berits and Brown Delis, Lymekilns Cheese Co. and the Isle of Skye Candle Company, and there will be cookery demonstrations and street entertainers on the go.
Over in the East: a star! Ahem. And also, the annual Edinburgh Ethical Christmas Fair is still on the go until Sunday 20 December. It’s an equally cuddly way to get your shopping done, with the added guarantee that all of the products for sale are Fair Trade, too.
Finally, if you’re looking for gifts for that special hipster in your life, take a wander to the upper level of De Courcy’s Arcade in Glasgow’s Cresswell Lane. The lower floor is, as ever, clogged up with yummy mummy trinkets, but the upper floor, which has been closed off to the public for far too long, had been given a second lease of life with three brilliant new indies popping up just in time for Christmas. As well as the widely-publicised perma-craft retro hideout Made In The Shade Maisonette, the permanent home of the occasional retro craft market, with a lovely range of original homewares, there’s also an excellent choice of vintage clothing in Not Now Cato! (best shop name ever?) and some seriously slinky pre-owned designer fashion at Just....For You. There’s a great atmosphere up there, too. Go browse.
Merchant’s Market, Merchant Square, Glasgow, Sun 20 Dec. Edinburgh Ethical Christmas Fair, Castle Street, Edinburgh, until Sun 20 Dec. For more De Courcy’s info, check out www.wearemadeintheshade.com