Brand Stories

London Independent Christmas Shopping Guide 2017


Independent Makers Markets and shopping events have flourished all across London over the past years and Christmas offers a real opportunity to not only shop locally and buy unique and often handmade gifts, but also to support the capitals creative community in the process.

Our Guide is based on our creative curiosity, which has brought us to visit and often review  many London Markets throughout the year (see for example our Review of the 2015 Christmas Markets at  but this list is by no means exhaustive.

If we have missed your favourite event please do let us know by email at and we will update the list.

Our suggestions to make the most of your independent shopping this Christmas Season are as follows:

  1. Engage the designers and makers in a conversation – personally we love to learn about other creatives’ process

  2. Bring cash – most traders will offer card payments but any small business prefers not to pay the card fee

  3. Share your finds – exposure is appreciated

We have listed the events in chronological order of weekends with the exception of the Crafty Fox Marketslisted at the bottom as they have multiple events in multiple locations. You can also find links to all the events in the credits below.


The BUST Christmas Craftacular

The BUST Craftacular events have become a well established classic, known for their greatatmosphere fueled by great people, music and drinks.

This year’s event, organized by the fierce and feminist magazine BUST,  has over 100 designer-makers represented, across 70 stalls. Plus the usual Craftacular festive mix of workshops, Drink Shop & Do cafe, DJs, activities, raffle and demos!

Where: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PJ
When: Sunday December 3rd
Entry: £3, some workshops included (free goodie bags offered to the first 100 visitors)

The London Illustration Fair 2017

One of our personal yearly highlights, the London Illustration Fair is a must visit if you like Illustration and/or have someone on your gift list that loves a good print.
Back in residence on London’s Southbank, Bargehouse will once again play host to four floors of the most exciting illustration, printmaking and design from emerging talent to firm favourites, with over 50 illustrators exhibiting there is something for everyone.

Where: Bargehouse, Oxo tower wharf,  Southbank
When: Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd December, Fri: 11-8   Sat: 11-8   Sun: 11-6
Tickets: from £8 for single entry

Design Museum Christmas Market

Now in its second year, the Christmas Market offers a good excuse to visit the Design Museum and the opportunity to meet new designers, find out more about their work, and view, buy or commission items. The collaboration with Design Junction and Designer/Makers promises a good selection of traders and choice of products.

Where: Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG
When: Friday 1 December 12:00 – 20.00, Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 December 10:00-18:00
Free Entry

New Entry: The Garmhaus Christmas Popup Vintage Market

After great success over the last year in Leeds, The Garmhaus is coming to the capital for the first time, taking over Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in Shoreditch for a festive pop-up, showcasing according to the event webstie  fresh seasonal collections from some of the best clothing vendors around and upcoming Independent Brands from all over the UK

Where: Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 2-4  Hoxton Square  N1 6NU
When: Sunday 3rd of December 13:00 – 21.00
Free Entry

New Entry: The #InstaGift Market at Old Spitalfields

This one-off Christmas market will see 50 independents using Instagram to start or grow their business under one roof at the Old Spitalfields Market. True to its Platform, the Market Name is itsself a Hashtag.
The market opens at 10am and is free to attend, with the first 2,500 attendees getting their hands on a coveted Instagram tote bag.

Where: Old Spitalfields Market, Liverpool Street
When: Saturday 2nd of December 10:00-19:00
Free Entry


The London Renegade Craft Fair

Founded in Chicago in 2003, the Renegade Craft Fair promotes ittself as the worlds largest showcase of independent craft and design with 300.000 attendees annually across multiple events. Their events stand out because they are an international showcase with a combination of local traders and makers and designers travelling in from all around the word including the United States. It is great to see that they have also been offering a platform in the US to UK Designers, and we know of quite a few that first exhibited at the London Fair and then went to events in New York or other US cities.

Where: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane
When: Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th of December 10:00-19:00
Free Entry

Urban Makers East

Defined by a great community spirit, this local market showcases over 50 designer markers taking part on each of the two days, a different lineup for the Saturday and the Sunday. Most traders are local, showcasing some of the best what the East London creatives have to offer.  We have been positively surpirsed to see that their markets have turned into a year round small business support scheme- with pop up shops and markets all over East London.

Where: Ecology Pavilion, Mile End Park, Haverfield Road off Grove Road, London E3 5TWe
When: Saturday December 9th and Sunday December 10tg 11:00 – 17:00
Free Entry


The Crafty Fox Markets have become an institution between Designers and Makers, guaranteeing a fun vibe in cool location and an excellent selection of traders. If you are looking for a specifc trader make sure you check not only the location but also the date because due to high demand, the markets have different traders each day. We suggest to start in the Un-covered Section to discover and support new and emerging talent.

Where: Dogstar Brixton
When: Saturday 2st – Sunday 3rd December  11:00-17:00
Free entry

Where: CLF Art Cafe Peckham
When: Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th December  11:00-17:00
Free entry

Where: Christmas Night Market – Geffrye Museum in Hoxton
When: Thursday 14th December  16:00-21:00
Free entry

Where: Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant & Castle
When: Saturday 16th  December  11:00-17:00
Free entry

For more information about the events visit: Bust Christmas CraftacularRenegade Craft LondonThe London Illustration Fair, Design Musem Christmas MarketCrafty Fox Christmas MarketsGarmhaus Christmas Popup Vintage Market, Insta Gift Market,  Urban Makers East

@Shimeji Creatives