Common Market to launch in time for an ethical Christmas

Scottish small businesses could get boost from new ethical project

A NEW project to help Scottish small businesses grow and consumers buy ethically, is set to launch in time for Christmas shopping.

Common Market, a project initiated by the leftwing pro-independence think tank Common Weal in collaboration with independent businesses across Scotland, will launch on 14 November in time for the Christmas shopping spree.

The project hopes to encourage investment in local economies, support independent non-corporate enterprises and provide shoppers with a platform where they can shop ethically.

Small businesses can get in touch with the project by emailing market@common.scot

Daniel Young, project coordinator for Common Market said: “With Common Market, we are trying to boost Scottish businesses and producers by providing them access to a market that, up until now, was under-served.  We have identified that individuals in Scotland wish to purchase products from local businesses, producers and manufacturers but have no single access point to the wide variety of products available.  Common Market provides a platform for these products.”

Common Weal will promote the non-profit trading platform in order to both promote Scottish small business and demonstrate the viability of alternative and ethical business models.

One Common Market participant, artist Stewart Bremner, said that it will be superior to any of the corporate platforms he has used to sell his work so far.

Stewart Bremner

He said: “I’ve been a supporter of Common Weal since its launch. As an independent artist I’m really excited about Common Market, their new venture. In the decade or so that I’ve sold my work online, I’ve used a number of platforms and while each has merits, they’re essentially faceless global corporations.

“Common Market is totally different – not only is it local, it supports an incredibly important institution. I have a wide selection of my work in Common Market – from prints to cards, calendars, bags and books – and I hope that both Common Weal and myself will benefit from this exciting collaboration!”

Lucy Donell, a maker of luxury knitwear, said: “I produce a range of luxury lambswool knitted accessories inspired by the West Coast of Scotland.  From scarves to hot water bottles, each product features vibrant colours drawn from Scottish harbours and seascapes. Every item is carefully and ethically sourced, with all knitting carried out by an expert team in the Scottish Borders. Scotland has a strong history, skills base and international reputation for quality knitwear, and it’s great for me to be able to support this industry as well as take advantage of it.

“Scotland also has a wealth of design talent and many independent businesses producing beautiful contemporary craft.  In my experience this industry is friendly and supportive, and together we help to boost the profile of quality Scottish products.  Having the opportunity to show off and sell our work through quality platforms is really beneficial and I look forward to being part of The Common Market.  

“My full range of scarves, snoods, head bands, fingerless mitts, cushions and hotties will be available to buy on The Common Market.”

Sophie Unwin, who was nominated for social entrepreneur of the year for her work on the Edinburgh Remakery, said the project would be good for local economies across Scotland.

Sophie Unwin

“If each of us put £100 a year into local businesses instead of chain stores, it would put an extra £3million a year into the economy and create 1,000s more jobs for local people.

The Edinburgh Remakery has been open at 125 Leith Walk since the end of May and the support of the local community has meant that business has got off to a good start. We love Leith!

Rest assured that everything you buy from us is helping save goods going to landfill and boost the local economy and will go back to paying our overheads and keeping our free weekly repair surgery going. It also keeps our partner CHAI’s supply of free furniture to vulnerable people around Edinburgh alive. So it’s shopping that’s good for the conscience, as well as for your pocket.”

Carole Inglis, who runs the Isle of Skye Fudge Company, said that the origins of food were important for the future of Scottish society.

Carole Inglis

“I worked alongside local Producers in Skye and Lochalsh for over ten years before setting up Skye Fudge as a full time business. The provenance of food is very important to me, in social economic and environmental terms.

She added: “Tablet is a traditional Scottish product, and Common Market will be a great platform to promote the brilliant range of producers across Scotland who care about the food they produce.”

Common Market will be established as the trading arm of Common Weal, which is a publically limited company, for businesses which produce in Scotland.

Small businesses can get in touch with the project by emailing market@common.scot.

Picture courtesy of Nathan Reading

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.

Comments

Fiona Grahame

Sat, 11/05/2016 - 10:18

This is a great article and so important to many small businesses in Scotland. I have sent an e:mail to 'Common Market' for more information..

I have had a response as they don't work weekends. But I'm still interested, I can wait

Fiona McOwan

Sun, 11/06/2016 - 12:17

What a fabulous idea from Common Weal. I love it and can't wait to shop for my nearest and dearest who deserve ethically made products!

CommonSpace journalism is completely free from the influence of advertisers and is only possible with your continued support. Please contribute a monthly amount towards our costs. Build the Scotland you want to live in - support our new media.