Continuing our Remarkable Women series, we got the chance to sit down with Emma Bonar, Owner of 69B Boutique.
69b Boutique has been a feature of East London's Broadway Market since 2011. The vision was: to bring designers who were socially and environmentally responsible together under one roof.
At Birdsong, we're constantly inspired by the work of Remarkable Women like Emma. We love 69B's commitment and diligence when it comes to supply chain transparency; if you want to have a peek, their eco-manifesto is a great summary of their commitment.
From Thursday 4th August to Sunday 7th August, we'll be popping up at 69B boutique for an exclusive offline archive sale. Expect a brand new artist collaboration with Judith P Raynault, our bestselling recycled gold and silver jewellery, soon-to-be-discontinued slogan tees and one of a kind discounted samples.
What's the best thing about running your business?
The lovely team and customers! Some of them have been shopping with us for more than a decade. They love the shop and its ethos. I’ve had so many great conversations about sustainability and I’ve learnt a lot from them. I also love having the opportunity to get involved and help the community, through fundraising initiatives and using our platform to raise the profile of local charities. Running my own business means if I want to donate all our profits from Black Friday to a charity I don't have to ask anyone's permission to do it!Tell us about what the main things you look for in brands to be stocked at 69B?
We’re always looking for new, exciting brands, and the main criteria is their approach to sustainability. We have a Brand Compliance Audit which we ask new brands to complete so we can understand how they source their products, as well as how and where they are manufactured, and how they manage their own carbon output and waste.What fills you with optimism?
The inspirational people behind our brands, who are doing such amazing creative and innovative things to produce beautiful clothes and accessories in a way that's people and planet friendly.What is the best professional advice you've been given?
You can’t know everything, but you can know people who do know something. Networks are everything! It’s been so helpful having a network of retail industry specialists who I can tap up for advice on everything from HR issues to planning permission applications.What do you love about Birdsong?
I love the Pre-Order concept. The demand-driven model is a really effective way of reducing fashion’s waste problem. It’s better for the planet, better for workers and it’s financially efficient too.How do you try to live and shop more sustainably in your personal lives?
I recently took part in Greenpeace’s Big Plastic Count, where I collected and counted all my plastic waste for a week. And it was absolutely terrifying! I thought because I use a reusable water bottle and shop locally for un-packaged fruit and veg I’d hardly have any waste - how wrong I was! So I’m having to take another look at everything I buy to see how I can reduce it. I also take part in Plastic Free Hackney’s monthly Pollution Picks (stomping around Hackney Marshes with a grabber and big rubber gloves) which is really fun!
Come down to our pop-up shop at 69B boutique on Broadway Market in Hackney for an exclusive offline archive sale. Featuring stock up to size UK 24, in sumptuous eco fabrics that have to be touched to be appreciated.
Samples only tried on once. The same ethical, quality items you love in perfect condition, for lower prices.
Prices start from £5.
69b Broadway Market, London E8 4PH
Unfortunately, our popup shop is on the lower ground floor so there there is a step at this venue at the front door followed by a staircase of around 15 steps to get to the basement.
Thursday 4th August 10:30am-6:30pm *Launch Party 6:30pm-8:30pm*
Friday 5th August 10:30am-6:30pm
Saturday 6th August 10am-6pm
Sunday 7th August 11am-6pm
Register your interest here.