I’m not a big fan of shopping malls, one tends to blend into another and you don’t know if you’re in Brent Cross, Lakeside, Watford, Guildford or Cambridge. The usual suspects are always there, the same clothes shops, cafes, music and video stores line the walkways trying to make their 300 square metres somehow different from everyone elses. I can’t count the times I have followed my better half into a clothes store and once inside, have had no idea which store I’m in.
So the Unchained London website (thanks Plummet Onions!) is a breath of fresh air – a directory of independent shops in London owned by real people who have a real interest in their wares. It is a little frustrating to navigate as you have to enter a location AND shop name or description instead of just being able to browse shops in a particular area. But it can be forgiven for now as a great effort to get people to see past the usual mall and high street stores.
Unchained London also reminds me of a post by Ben from Noisy Decent Graphics, where he discovered a shop run by the company Unpackaged where all the products (where possible) are sold without packaging. A great idea I think, taking things back to basics.