Fashion

Wolf & Badger Is My New Favorite Website for Holiday Shopping

Not unlike the proper pronunciation of the word vermeil (vurrr-may) or various shortcuts on Microsoft Excel, London-based retailer Wolf & Badger falls into the category of wonderful things I regret being years late to discover. Founded by brothers George and Henry Graham back in 2010 as a website to connect consumers to independent designers, Wolf & Badger has grown to carry over 1,000 designers from 56 countries. A stunning three-story flagship in London and outpost in NYC have propped up in the past four years as well.

Even more impressive—and why I’m keen to do the bulk of my holiday shopping on their meticulously curated site—is the fact that Wolf & Badger only carries ethical labels and how they are transparent in showcasing what makes each brand sustainable. Just like price point and color, shoppers can filter searches by selecting sustainability statuses. (Happy workers, non-toxic dyes, cruelty-free and vegan are just a few examples.) Each designer also has a profile where verified ethical attributes are badged with symbols, similar to how restaurants note what’s gluten-free on their menu. The platform made recent efforts to amplify BIPOC-owned businesses are noteworthy as well, unveiling an entire section of its site dedicated to Independent Black Designers in October.

Given the massive blow that COVID-19 has dealt small businesses and artists all over the world, discovering that this platform even exists has felt like a saving grace. For anyone else who misses traveling and the joy of discovering small brands by chance (or those who simply just wants to support small businesses), Wolf & Badger is a means to do so from your couch, phone, bathroom, etc. It’s never been more important to support creatives and small businesses, so ahead, I’ve rounded up just a few of the brands I’ve fallen in love with on Wolf & Badger.

Yaa Yaa London

There’s an endless amount of Indie-skewing jewelry to covet on Wolf & Badger. For something bold and fun, Yaa Yaa London is a line offering drool-worthy pieces made from semi-precious gemstones. The brand offers earrings, necklaces, cuffs and more, but it’s their cocktail rings that steal the show. (If you’re unsure of a loved one’s size, note that most rings are adjustable, which makes them a particularly savvy gift idea.) Yvonne Asare, a former legal PA, founded and runs the line from London.

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Caribbean Craft

With a mission to support Haitian artists and empower Haitian women, Caribbean Craft exudes vibrancy in their paper maché sculptures and dedication to social responsibility. Run by Magalie Noel Dresse, the brand supports Haitian artisans with fair wages, health and accident insurance, a pension system and interest free loans to assist them when crises strike.

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The number of ways Caribbean Craft supports its workers is staggering, but one striking example is how they partnered with World Vision in 2010 to train and give 3 months work to 1,300 artisans recruited from 16 refugee camps around Port-au-Prince. Oprah, Conan O’Brien, fans in several famous figures who’ve visited Caribbean Craft’s studio over the years.

The Tartan Blanket Co.

Created by co-founders and co-parents Emma and Furgus Macdonald, The Tartan Blanket Co. is inspired by Scottish traditions. The brand’s Colsie Collection, for example, takes root in the old Scot word for cosy, which means finding comfort and warmth in life’s simple pleasures. The Tartan Blanket Co. uses recycled materials and earlier this year launched their 1% for the planet, 1% for the people commitment, where 2% of all revenue will go toward helping to protect the planet and supporting people in need.

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Nappa Dori

Founded by Gautam Sinha in Delhi, leather goods line Nappa Dori has grown to amass a huge fanbase around the world. There’s now even a storefront in London. For the uninitiated, Nappa Dori’s creations are inspired by minimalism and detail-oriented craftsmanship. Among the brand’s most covetable creations are their leather handbags and, for gifting, their DIY kits. The latter will give loved ones a chance to intimately experience the brand and enjoy a brief distraction from 2020.

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And Jacob

Based in Mexico City, And Jacob is focused on crafts inspired by Mexican heritage and an ideal environment where object and space coexist in harmony. Beautifully minimalist, the brand (whose creations are often made by hand) is committed to supporting the artisan families that work alongside founders Jadoco Muñoz and Alexander Brucilovsky.

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Atelier Yto

Sourced from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, each ingredient in Atelier Yto‘s clean, vegan skincare and haircare line is ancient, rare, and 100% natural. The brand’s cold-pressed oils are all certified by Ecocert, USDA, and fair trade organizations as well. The majority of Atelier Yto’s offerings can be used with multi-purposes, but hero products tackle hydration for the face, eyes, body, hair and beard.

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Komodo

Founded in 1988, womenswear and menswear label Komodo was decades early to being sustainable, having cared about transparency in their materials (all of which all are organic, by the way) and ensuring all factory employees are paid fair living wages since the beginning. The UK-based brand has supported numerous projects and charities over the years. To list just a few, the brand has helped raise awareness and funds for reforestation in East Bali through the East Bali Poverty Project, the Sunrise Orphanage in Kathmundo and the Sumatran Orangutan Society.

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Candle Brands: Little Karma Co., Cancelled Plans, Chelsea Candle + Festina Lente Home

Editor’s note: It’s extremely hard to pick a favorite candle line on Wolf & Badger’s site as they carry so many good ones. For a spicier vibe (in terms of scent and aesthetics), British brand Little Karma Co. is offering a trio its popular Post Dinner Nap candle with packaging that reads Up Yours Corona. For each individual candle sold, the brand is donating £1 to Mind, a mental health charity.

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Bougie candle lovers can expect to swoon over Milan-based label Festina Lente Home‘s creations, especially the label’s CASA candle. Think notes of lemon flowers and white rose with a white musk base. For something with less fragrance, British brand Chelsea Candle‘s Sea Salt and Woodage candle is truly divine. (My boyfriend and I have been burning this the last few weeks and have already ordered another to have on hand.) Seattle-based candle line Cancelled Plans is another aesthetically and sensorily pleasing choice and its cleverly named candles (take for example ‘French Exit’ or ‘Social Anxiety’) make for failsafe gift ideas.

Laetly

Founded by New York-based friends Joe Losardo, Vanessa Bailey and Michael Castellano, Laetly is a unisex accessories line. If you’re after a timeless luxe-feeling gift that’s under $100, turn to the brand’s scarves. They’re sustainably made from 100% extra fine Italian Merino wool and knitted through zero waste-responsible manufacturing right in NYC.

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Seyahan

Founded by couple Laura Parker and Matthias Weimer, Seyahan is a jewelry brand inspired by Turkish craftsmanship with a small boutique outpost in Charleston, South Carolina. Laura and Matthias’s love for Anatolian jewelry traditions not only runs deep through their jewelry, but in their relationship as well. (The pair met first met while they were both living in Istanbul after their Turkish instructor introduced them.) In addition to working with women-owned workshops in Turkey, the couple donates 50% of all proceeds from their Charleston Love bracelet (available on Seyahan’s website) to One80 Place, a local organization dedicated to helping the city’s homeless community.

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