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Discover the under-the-radar female makers setting next season's biggest trends

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Helen Booth
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Every discerning shopper knows the satisfaction of discovering a beautiful brand or product that feels relatively unknown; there’s the thrill of finding something new and exciting, the chance to support an up-and-coming small business, and of course, the smug certainty that very few other people will own the same thing.

Yet shopping on the high street can often blunt that feeling of discovery – and it’s likely to be short-lived if you later learn that everyone else on Instagram came home with the exact same shopping haul (we’re looking at you, Topshop blazers, Zara boots and Mango trousers).

In fashion, trend forecasters look towards the catwalk for inspiration, but for interiors, beauty and accessories, there’s another trick.



Here’s the secret: if you want to discover the next big trends and brands before anyone else, look to the independent makers who are dedicating their careers or side hustles to designing the products they love.

Websites like Etsy, Folksy, Tictail and Not On The High Street are brimming with beautiful handcrafted items from under-the-radar female makers, while Instagram is filled with makers whose products will give you those discovery goosebumps – just take a look at hashtags such as #makersmovement, #wemakecollective and #ukcreatives.

Offline, makers’ markets are a great place to spot new trends. From north (Scotland’s Tea Green Events and Urban Market, Northern Craft in Leeds) to south (Crafty Fox, Renegade and BUST Craftacular in London, Native Makers in Devon), cool craft fairs are on the rise. At each of these events, a carefully curated selection of inspiring stallholders and products is now the norm.

To get you started on your handmade journey, we’ve rounded up the latest emerging trends across interiors, beauty and fashion, as signalled by the independent brands you need to know. Simply scroll down to start shopping.

  • Indie beauty and wellness

    Thanks to the booming wellness industry and growing demand for vegan and eco-friendly products, independent beauty brands are on the rise. Products made in small batches are particularly popular, as they allow environmentally conscious shoppers to choose products which focus on natural ingredients and recyclable packaging.

    Sweet almond & shea sugar scrub, from £6.50, created by Preyanka Clark Prakash of Bloomtown Botanicals

  • Indie beauty and wellness

    Candle gift box, £36, created by Sophie Kemp of Hopscotch London

  • Indie beauty and wellness

    Linen eye pillow, £15, created by Lo Blästa of Blästa Henriët

  • Indie beauty and wellness

    Nourishing shampoo, £14, created by Jayne Rutland of Hairy Jayne

  • Pampered plants

    Following hot on the heels of the millennial house plant obsession comes the interior, fashion and beauty buys inspired by the trend – specifically handmade plant pots and other holders, as well as luscious leafy prints and flora-inspired wall art.

    Circle hanging plant holder, £45, created by Vic Butt of Clunstuff

  • Pampered plants

    White dalmatian plant pot, £25, created by Ella Hookway

  • Pampered plants

    Plant print cosmetic case, £18, created by Jacqueline Colley

  • Pampered plants

    Mini orange & teal planter, £25, created by Milo Liren of Milo Made

  • Threads, knots and weaves

    Tactile crafts are back and ready to claim the space they deserve. Look out for embroidered brooches, patches and homewares with a modern edge, giant knits made into blankets, pillows and pouffes, and accessories artfully knotted from bold lengths of wool.

    ‘Nasty Feminist’ brooch, £15, created by Sojung Kim McCarthy of Do A Little Dance

  • Threads, knots and weaves

    Knotted Mary necklace, £25, created by Beth Pegler

  • Threads, knots and weaves

    Embroidered terrarium garden, £22.99, created by Helen Wilde of Ovo Bloom

  • Threads, knots and weaves

    Chunky knit footstool in coral, £210, created by Lauren Aston Designs

  • Threads, knots and weaves

    Buren scarf in black and white, £89, created by Giannina Capitani

  • Contemporary ceramics

    No longer the preserve of your eccentric great aunt, handmade ceramics are going mainstream. Cheer up your working day with a unique statement mug, and get ready to embrace hand-dipped tumblers – soon to be your new favourite wine vessel.

    Pair of tumblers in tawny brown and white, £34, created by Alice Duck of Duck Ceramics

  • Contemporary ceramics

    Sgraffito ring dish in grey, £21, created by Hilda Carr Pottery
     

  • Contemporary ceramics

    Angled handle mug, £25, created by Saskia Pomeroy
     

  • Contemporary ceramics

    Espresso cups, £25, created by Fiona Chappelle of FICH Ceramics

  • Contemporary ceramics

    Set of four handmade ceramic tea spoons, £24, by Kara Leigh Ford Ceramics

  • Stained glass and tinted mirrors

    The ancient craft of stained glass has received a millennial revival. Following last year’s trend for terrariums (where clear glass is soldered together with foil to make a holder for air plants or candles), talented makers are now introducing beautiful cuts of coloured glass and mirrors into art and homeware.

    Geometric tealight holder, £28, created by Fiona Thompson of Glasshouse UK

  • Stained glass and tinted mirrors

    Little Mountain, £15, created by Morgan Megannety of loveandpane.com

  • Stained glass and tinted mirrors

    Geometric glass art, £43, created by Sarah Stockdale of Glass Jackal

  • Stained glass and tinted mirrors

    Prism mirror in bronze and silver, £49.95, created by Haidee Drew

  • Investment leather bags

    While beautifully handcrafted leather bags have long been a wardrobe staple, shoppers are becoming more aware of the advantages of buying directly from an independent maker. Designers running their own micro business are often able to customise a product to suit a buyer’s needs – for example, changing a strap detail, adding monogramming or using a different colourway. With this approach, you can finally make the dream bag you designed in your head a reality.

    Pioneer midi shoulder bag in tan, £245, created by Becky Cocker of CARV London

  • Investment leather bags

    Charlotte backpack in black, £270, created by Kaysha Omole of Kay K Goods

  • Investment leather bags

    Moss green suede duffle, £120, created by Rosie Drake Knight

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Author

Helen Booth

Helen Booth is a London-based writer, digital editor and part-time maker who loves interiors, crafts and keeping tabs on trends. She also co-founded the weekly newsletter Lunch Hour Links.

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