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5 ways to shop independent makers this Christmas

Many of us have vowed to support small businesses this Christmas – here's how

christmas craft fairs
Hannah Bould

With many of the physical fairs and markets cancelled this year, it’s all too easy to wholly surrender to the Amazonification of Christmas – yet our independent makers need us more than ever. Here are five places to shop for something special online, from craft fairs gone digital to graduate shows.

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1 Hepworth Wakefield’s Online Christmas Fair
christmas craft fairs
Hilary Grant

The-once dreaded gallery gift shop is now the first port of call for carefully curated prints, textiles and all kinds of arty paraphernalia. The Hepworth Wakefield has one of the best, so this online edition of their popular Christmas maker fair is not to be missed. Head over to Instagram to shop the virtual stalls. 4-6 December, hepworthwakefield.org; @hepworthwakefield

Gift this: lambswool blankets designed in Orkney by Hilary Grant (pictured) and tactile tableware from St Ives studio Kneeboneware.

2 Future Edit at the Crafts Council
christmas craft fairs
Eva Herzog

This graduate showcase will highlight the hottest new design talent, hand-picked by the discerning eyes over at the Crafts Council. Snap up a one-off and support a craft maker at the start of their career while you’re at it – some of the pieces on offer are sure to be future collectibles. From 3 December, craftscouncil.org.uk

Gift this: conversation-starting ceramics from Tal Porat (pictured) and Katie Moore.

3 Garden Museum’s Beautiful & Useful Online Craft Fair
christmas craft fairs
Knitlux Studio

Named for the famous William Morris quote – ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ – this craft fair more than lives up to its moniker. There’s a hint of the horticultural to many of the twenty makers taking part: think stylish steam-bent trugs and textiles coloured with natural botanical dyes. 4-6 December, garden museum.org.uk

Gift this: graphic, sustainable scarves from British studio Knitluxe (pictured) and hand-marked monochrome tableware by Hannah Bould.

4 Aeand’s The Art of Living Pop-Up
christmas craft fairs

These personal appointments, hosted via Instagram or Zoom, are surely the antithesis of Christmas Eve shopping chaos. Peruse an edit of ‘considered, unique and mindfully made items’ from some of Aeand owner Alessandra’s favourite brands, including Kana London and House of Quinn, or book a physical shopping slot if you’re local to the Hove showroom space. aeand.com

Gift this: Aeand’s homewares are all handmadewe love the generous cut out-style cushions (pictured) and linen wallhangings.

5 Cockpit Arts Makers’ Market
christmas craft fairs
Michele Oberdieck

Any other year, craft incubator Cockpit Arts would be welcoming us to meet the makers at their Winter Open Studios. Instead, they’ve launched an online emporium, which they hope will dispel the idea that high-end craft calls for deep pockets. For a peek at the process, join one of 16 virtual artists’ studio tours. From 26 November, cockpitarts.com

Gift this: covetable collectibles, like Michèle Oberdieck’s coloured glassware, and kintsugi incense holders by Ya Wen Chou Studio.

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