Shopping London | Labour and Wait | A Continuous Lean.

Shopping London | Labour and Wait

Jul 25th, 2011 | Categories: London, Shopping | by Michael Williams

There’s little doubt in my mind that Labour and Wait is my favorite store on earth. There are a few stores in Tokyo that are a close second, but no one combines as unique of a concept with such good product and unparallelled visual merchandising. Those are some pretty bold statements I know, but after visiting the company’s new and improved London shop I reaffirmed my love of the quirky purveyor of English home goods and departed with a paper bag full of simple treasures.

Normally when visiting a store like this I would ask to take photos of the space, but to be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to ask. It was a rare occasion where I was too embarrassed to say that “I have a blog” and I’d like to be one of those obnoxious people that go into stores unannounced and pillage for content. Part of me feels that Labour and Wait is too great for me to walk around talking pictures like an asshole. So I bought my things and left the store staff in peace.

If you like simple and classic items, take some time to make your way to East London and visit Labour and Wait. You won’t regret it. [Labour and Wait | 85 Redchurch Street, London, E2]

Comments: 20

20 Comments to “Shopping London | Labour and Wait”

  1. Max
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 12:57 PM

    Just across the road from me!

  2. kenyan
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 1:18 PM

    I second that…! ( Labor&Wait Rulez..! )


  3. That's Not My Age
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 2:57 PM

    It’s where I buy my soap and tea towels.

  4. Tulio
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 3:09 PM

    Just wondering; what’s the card with your initials for?

  5. Michael Williams
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 3:16 PM

    Those cards are post cards actually.

  6. Ramalhoni
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 5:04 PM

    I didn’t know of the existence if this store!. it has lots of portuguese products… And made right here at my home town Oporto….

  7. Oscar Udeshi
    on Jul 25th, 2011
    @ 9:47 PM

    I hate shopping but have made the five mile detour. I see we bought the same measuring cup. Did you see the machined aluminium pencil sharpener?
    It is expensive for what it is, but I had to have it.

    I felt so sorry for the poor guy behind the till. I kept finding things, he had to ring me up three times. The one flaw, if it is a flaw, they didn’t have the st James French fisherman shirts but some more expensive generic knock off.

    Have a look at the sailing supply shop in Coventry Garden. You can buy rope by the yard, st James woollen caps at USD $16 instead of the rip off price jcrew charge.

  8. Labour and Wait
    on Jul 26th, 2011
    @ 6:03 AM

    Hello Michael, thanks for the kind words and the lovely pictures – you’re right, we get a lot of bloggers and photographers but we’re always happy to say hello. Thanks to the others who have said nice things too.

    I’d just like to make one small correction to a comment – our Armorlux breton shirts and jumpers are at least as old and as original as the St James ones, from a very traditional French company, and we believe they are a superior shirt.

    I’d just like to clear that up as we’d hate anyone to think we sell expensive and generic knock offs.

    Great blog too – thanks Michael.

  9. Bradley Thompson
    on Jul 26th, 2011
    @ 12:49 PM

    So glad to see L&W getting coverage here! I wonder how they compare to Brook Farm General Store or Manufactum; the aesthetic seems similar. That enamelware looks top notch.

  10. JohnP
    on Jul 26th, 2011
    @ 5:17 PM

    Great shop, always worth a look for unusual home items and yes, Armorlux make great Breton shirts .

  11. Oscar Udeshi
    on Jul 26th, 2011
    @ 7:11 PM

    The Amorlux shirts, if my memory serves me correctly, were softer and finer. The St James is the go to brand, just like Gilette is for razors. They are better known. I think my problems was that I view the breton shirts as utility wear and imagine fishermen still using them, and the shorter than average sleeve length is a design feature so the sleeves don’t get completely soaked when pulling the nets up. As I view it as utility wear, I expect them to be durable and not expensive. The Amorlux items weren’t that cheap nor that durable. Saying that I have the St James wool knit caps and they feel like sandpaper, but then they cost about as much. Nice that Labour & Wait offer an alternative. I am not a fisherman nor French, so I don’t know which one of the two is the true original. My 5 pennies.

    I do think the store is great and if there was one closer to the west end I would go every two weeks and have a kitchen full of their wares. I still love the aluminium pencil sharpener and will get a second one, just in case I ever misplace the first one.

  12. Smith&Ratliff
    on Jul 27th, 2011
    @ 7:55 PM

    This shop looks amazing. Adding it to my list.

  13. andrea
    on Jul 28th, 2011
    @ 11:47 PM

    Their nice web site led me to Spitalfields Life ( which looks to be a wonderful site–daily chronicles of East London.

  14. Bertie
    on Jul 29th, 2011
    @ 10:12 AM

    L&W was a disappointment to be honest. I love the whole plain old-fashioned simply designed ethos, but it seemed as though they just had the same bits you see everywhere else and not very excitingly presented. OK, now I know they were sort of the first to revive this look and everyone else has copied them, but I feel like other people have actually done it better at this point. The shop felt really dull, but not good dull as it should be.

  15. Disneyrollergirl
    on Jul 29th, 2011
    @ 2:10 PM

    LOVE Labour & Wait, I buy my almond-scented glue there and also have the initial post card. I’d say it’s on a par with Manufactum. I think the merchandising is beautiful but would like to know the names of these other stores who ‘do it better’ … Would love to visit!

  16. stefano
    on Jul 29th, 2011
    @ 5:47 PM


  17. Kit Mitchell
    on Jul 30th, 2011
    @ 8:37 PM

    LOVE Labour & Wait and your whole sensibility too!
    It all makes me feel good!
    Thanks for bringing attention to superlative brands and merchandising!
    Cheers, kit

  18. Philippe Herbet
    on Jul 31st, 2011
    @ 10:29 AM

    I absolutely love Labour & Wait !
    I suggest you to try when you are in Germany, Köln, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin… Something like that… but much more bigger and German.

  19. gabriel
    on Aug 1st, 2011
    @ 8:33 PM

    the scale of Labour and Wait is perfect just like a corner shop, one of my favorite places to see when Im visiting London, is very authentic and whit out pretensions.

  20. Matt
    on Aug 21st, 2011
    @ 5:48 PM

    What is that font type?!?!