Lisburn artisan in important UK sustainability initiative


Alice McIlhagger from Brambleberry Jams in Lisburn will be exhibiting at the UK’s Original Sustainable Department Store in Shoreditch, London alongside 45 other British businesses.


Brambleberry jams will be showcasing Sea Salted Caramel Sauce and other homemade jams and Christmas relishes inspired by Alice’s home cooking.


The store, organised by social enterprise and ethical business collective Blue Patch, is lighting up a Shoreditch high street for just one week, enabling visitors to buy directly from the finest British brands, join creative workshops, be pampered, solve burning environmental issues and get social.


Mrs McIlhagger, commenting on the initiative, said: “I am thrilled to be involved in this immensely important initiative to promote sustainability. It’s a tremendous showcase for the company and our portfolio of homemade products.”


The store will feature 45 brands and runs from 11th to the 16th of December at the Espacio Gallery, nestled in the heart of London’s East End and a stone’s throw from Brick Lane. In true department store style there will be something for everyone. Ethical shopping made simple – and just in time for Christmas!


Blue Patch founder and chief executive Jane Langley said: “Our members are some of the best designers and producers in the country. However, because they won’t compromise quality and utilise every second of the day making, artisans and local manufacturers have little resources available to get to customers. Listening to the issues led us to develop our concept department store so that our ethical collective of 350+ members can showcase their products, reach their customers and get to know each other too.”


“With social enterprises and co-ops creating alternative business models that put people and planet first, the retail market is getting a well needed boost.

Shoppers will also be invited to join free workshops run by members throughout the week.


“Encountering enthusiastic experts with ‘can do’ fixes for the climate crisis in a store sparkling with beautiful products plus the chance to meet the makers, sets the scene for a new kind of high street store, one that’s social, entrepreneurial and sustainable too. It’s the power of positive shopping, Blue Patch style!


Blue Patch is a curated ethical marketplace for sustainable, local and heritage products from the British Isles and beyond, including furniture, clothing, gifts, beauty and services such as ethical banks, electric car hire and sustainable printers. Launched in 2014 by Jane Langley, Blue Patch provides a collaborative business network for SMEs and sole traders. A triple bottom line social enterprise, 100% of Blue Patch’s income supports members and every penny of the (eventual) surplus will fund renewable energy, conservation and community programmes.


Brambleberry Jams homemade hand cooked products will be available all week.