The festive season is upon us and the nation has sprung into gifting mode. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and who-knows-what-else-day sales plastered around our social channels in the run up to Christmas, it can be hard to ignore the huge discounts. Sustainability stalwarts are staying strong whilst others' eco-friendly efforts may be waning, understandably. Stepping in to make that temptation a little less tempting is the Shop Small initiative from Amex.

Launching this Saturday and running until the 15th, the initiative runs for the ninth time and encourages consumers to shop from independent British businesses. Reputable names in the fashion industry have joined in to help amplify the project, from fashion influencer Susie Bubble to designers Alexa Chung and Richard Quinn, the tastemakers have divulged their favourite small shops dotted around the city. Speaking to Richard on the importance of shopping small, the designer says, "I think its everyone’s responsibility to look locally and shop with the brilliant independent businesses in their area in the lead up to the festive season and for the remainder of the year." Running a small business himself, Richard sees the campaign as a way to give back and "highlight and celebrate the local businesses who have supported me and my team’s ongoing growth and success."

Giving us a glimpse into his favourite independent stores from the Shop Small’s Little Blue Book of Celebrations, which compiles all the recommendations, consider Shyness Space as your first stop. The experimental rental space in Old Street is a go-to for "unique, one-of-a-kind designs from new brands which have a really epic aesthetic and point of view." If you're shopping for someone who doesn't need a new garment, have a peruse of SAGE Flower's selection in Peckham for a bouquet fit for celebration. According to Richard, "Iona and her team are the absolute best at creating a maximalist yet subtle design that feels very inviting."

Shyness Space at 346 Old St, London EC1V 9NQ

Even if you don't have an Amex card (those who do get £5 back when they spend £15 at participating stores), you can still reap the benefits by getting a hold of the Shop Small’s Little Blue Book of Celebrations here and carry that knowledge into the new year!

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