But what DOES shopping sustainably really look like? We thought NOT shopping was the answer to that? Well, “The Good Store” has opened to explore exactly this issue. Our intrepid sustainably-minded writer Gemma Metheringham (@the_elephant_in_my_wardrobe) went to find out in Central London recently and brought us back this dispatch!

"According to the Good Store's research, many of us want to buy more environmentally friendly products but don't have the time, energy or expertise to hunt down better options. So that’s their mission, to take practical action to fill the gap between our intentions and our purchases.

Therefore, it seems very appropriate that this pioneering retail concept is situated in the site of the original Browns Store. Did Joan Burstein, aka Mrs B, and her husband Sidney know that when they opened the first Browns store just over 50 years ago they were making fashion history? Their impeccably curated, multi-brand boutique changed the way we see luxury fashion, encouraging and sponsoring countless new design talents and inspired generations of would-be creatives. Now Groundwork, the pioneering charity behind The Good Store, wants to take sustainable retail from the conceptual to a realistic format they can roll out on high streets around the country. And it all starts here on South Moulton Street.

The Good Store is on a mission to get us repairing and reusing things. Groundwork already run  projects to support people into employment, training them to repair and refurbish white goods and furniture. Expect to find lots of great secondhand and refurbished pieces here. We loved Traid's eclectic vintage and secondhand fashion, who says authentic unworn lederhosen won’t be the next big trend?  We’re lusting after the statement furniture from Jay & Co, the wonderful Jay Blade from The Repair Shop fame's slow furniture brand. Pop by and you can order a refurbished fridge freezer or simply walk away with White Weft's wonderful up-cycled and patched jeans or a beautifully crafted bag made from defunct fire hoses by Elvis and Kresse.

Step into the basement and once you've stopped admiring the spectacular flowery carpet enjoy perusing the new or secondhand books from Awesome books. For every book you buy they'll give one away to someone who needs it. Or if, like me, you're trying to expunge plastic packaging from your life, stock up on Wild refillable deodorants and next-gen eco cleaning products from Homethings. There are lots of brands to discover here with great stories to tell.

As I was leaving, I looked back to the upstairs window display. Am I imagining it but did I see echoes of the 80's and Brown's groundbreaking heritage? Possibly? In fifty years time, when shopping sustainably is all we do, will we look back and say it all started here? I hope so….

Tags: Retail