Support Bristol independents amid the Black Friday frenzy

Support Bristol independents amid the Black Friday frenzy

Posted on: 29 Nov 2019

It's more important than ever to keep your money in your community as another Black Friday looms.


Black Friday is great on the face of it; all your favourite gadgets, clothes, furniture and more on offer just before the stores start gearing up for a busy Christmas period.


But, while you're rushing to fit through the door of Sports Direct this Friday, or buying hundreds of pounds worth of stuff on Amazon, there's an independent shop around the corner from you whose livelihood depends on the support of local people.

Support Local Artists at Co.Lab.

Chances are you'll be paying a little over the odds if you're buying from an independent, but you can do so in the knowledge that your money is going into the pocket of someone from your area, someone who lives in your community and who's trying to make ends meet, rather than a company run by someone whose net worth has surpassed $100 billion.


With the biggest shopping day of the year on the horizon and Christmas coming up, check out this quick guide to our favourite Bristol independents. We reckon at least one of the spots listed below will stock what you're after.


Bristol Co.Lab | 123 Gloucester Rd, Bristol BS7 8AX


Co.Lab is one of our absolute favourite independents in Bristol, let alone Gloucester Road and the surrounding area.


They proudly stock a wide range of products lovingly made by Bristol-based artists, from clothes to posters, homeware, jewellery, music and everything in between.

Inside Bristol Co.Lab on Gloucester Road.

Sobey's Vintage Clothing | Unit 6-7, The Arcade, Bristol BS1 3DR // 24 Park St, Bristol BS1 5JA


Sobey's specialise in reworked and retro clothing, and have carved out a reputation as one of Bristol's leading second-hand and vintage clothes sellers.


Operating from inside The Arcade as well as their flagship store on Park Street, Sobey's is full of rare, one-of-a-kind pieces, unique jewellery, vintage brands and more.

Inside Sobey's on Park Street.

The Little Shop | 125 Cheltenham Rd, Bristol BS2 8UB


The aptly-named Little Shop sits just at the top of Stokes Croft, away from the bustle of the clubs and takeaways but totally in keeping with the artistic environment of the area.


Stepping into the cosy store almost feels like you've come through a bit of a rabbit hole, and inside you'll find an extensive range of products made by Bristol artists, including posters, cards, jewellery and homeware.

Outside The Little Shop on Stokes Croft.

Idle Hands Records | 32a City Rd, Bristol BS2 8TP


If it's music you're after, look no further than Bristol institution Idle Hands. Another spot located just off of Stokes Croft, the shelves at the City Road store are full to the brim with the biggest and best releases from artists around the world. 


Of course, Idle Hands proudly stock the very best new music coming out of Bristol year-round, and the team are always on hand to make recommendations while you're browsing.

Inside the Idle Hands store on City Road.

Upfest Gallery | 198 North St, Bristol BS3 1JF


Upfest is one of the biggest events on Bristol's cultural calendar, attracting thousands of visitors to the city every year for a celebration of street art. 


While the festival itself is only on for one weekend a year, the Upfest Gallery is open year-round, offering locals the chance to check out a wide variety of art and buy originals, prints and clothing produced by local street artists. 

Inside the Upfest Gallery on North Street.

Blaze Studios | 84 Colston St, Bristol BS1 5BB


Blaze is an artists co-op and gift shop located in the heart of the city centre.


They proudly support local artists and fellow independent stores, and inside their Colston Street store, you'll find the usual selection of craft bits, jewellery, pins and badges, prints, posters and much more.

Blaze Studio on Colston Street.

Beware of the Leopard Books | St Nick's Market, St Nicholas St, Bristol BS1 1LJ


As Bristol's longest-running second-hand book store and one of the oldest in the South West, Beware of the Leopard stocks over 25,000 books at any given time and covers a huge range of topics including fiction, academics, biography and more.


A special mention also goes to Hydra Books, who ran a community-driven store on Old Market until its closure in early 2019, and are now operating out of Cafe Kino on Stokes Croft while they look for a new permanent location.
Beware of the Leopard Books in St Nick's Market.

The Arcade | Bristol Broadmead


Home to the aforementioned Sobey's Vintage Clothing store, The Arcade is arguably Bristol's biggest hub for independent stores and businesses.


Boasting 20 independents in one place, at The Arcade you're sure to find whatever you need this Christmas, whether it's gifts and cards for loved ones, hair and beauty, gadget repair or just a coffee to fuel the rest of the Christmas shop.

The Arcade in Broadmead.

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Article by:

Matt Robson

Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt graduated from UWE with a degree in Journalism in 2018. He's keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends gigs and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at