By Kelly Wickham
Three businesses have moved into vacant shops in the city centre over the festive period.
Winter’s Moon and Gnarly Tree are sharing a shop and next door is The City Grocer.
Julie from Winter’s Moon sells bespoke homeware and furniture, Gnarly Tree sells organic garments and the City Grocer is selling local produce.
Jonny Schofield started Gnarly Tree because he wanted to see the outdoor clothing industry better represent the life he leads with good design and great quality garments as he says – surfing in the UK rarely involves bikinis and sunshine.
He said: “I decided if I was going to pursue a clothing business I wanted to make sure that those producing it weren’t being exploited and that the products were as sustainable as possible.
“Organic cotton production doesn’t involve polluting pesticides or fertilisers and uses less water in production. The cotton is also alternated with food crops, giving farmers more diverse income while improving food security within the local community. Organic cotton isn’t a luxury but a necessity if the industry is to be sustainable.
“I think everyone is increasingly aware of the impact cheap clothing has on workers and the environment, our mission is to encourage consumers to find garments they love, that is of a quality that will last and is made in a way which pays workers a fair wage and reduces the environmental impact as much as possible.
“Cheap clothing presents the consumer with an attractive offer but often hides the greater cost of fast fashion.”
The three businesses opened their shops in North Street on Saturday, which coincided with the Christmas lights switch-on event.
Jonny continued: “Our opening weekend was incredible! We were blown away by the number of visitors we had and the enthusiastic response to seeing small local independents present in the high-street again.
“We feel incredibly lucky to have such an prominent position in such a beautiful building – our landlord, John, has been very supportive. He’s local and cares about Chichester and we’re so grateful he’s open to pop-up shops like ours. The high-street is obviously in decline and I think people are bored of what’s on offer in Chichester.”