Top Drawer: Ethical Retail


Top Drawer is the UK’s leading retail trade event for creative lifestyle buyers. Celebrating the UK’s top talent, the event showcases 1,500 top international retailers, creating a platform for brands which are out of the ordinary.

This year’s event highlighted the growing importance of sustainable and ethical retail, with countless companies exhibiting their innovative uses of materials in the battle to reduce the usage of plastic and non-recyclable materials.

This comes at a time when 88% of consumers want brands to help them become more environmentally friendly and ethical in their daily life. In addition to this, a study carried out by Retail Week and DWF showed that 44.5% of UK consumers admit they are more concerned about their impact on the environment than they were this time last year, as well as 29% opting to shop with more ethical and sustainable retailers.

Modern Retail had the pleasure of meeting these three inspirational brands, each of which is making headway in ethical retail.


Kabloom has designed the Seedbom; the eco-friendly product which is revolutionising gardening. When watered, Seedboms split open upon impact with the ground. Filled with organic peat-free compost and wildflower or herb seeds, these grow without the need for planting, helping to sustain bee, butterfly and insect populations. They are made from a starch and natural fibre-based Paperform shell, using non-GMO seeds as well as 100% recycled and recyclable glue-free cardboard packaging. Biodegrading into the environment, they leave only plants behind.

Driver’s Pickles

Driver’s Pickles are a family-run business dating back to the 19th century. More than 100 years on, the business has continued to thrive, looking to leave a positive impact on the environment, as well as their customers. Driver’s Pickles sourced lids specifically to make sure their entire product is recyclable, overcoming a commonly found obstacle in retail; lids which contain other materials and therefore cannot be recycled.


Goodeehoo specialise in beautifully designed, affordable and vegan friendly stationery and gifts. The brand focuses on providing premium packaging without harming the environment, using eco-friendly craft bags which are recyclable and soy-based ink and acid-free tissue which is FSC Certified. Using PU to create the ‘leather look’, rather than PVC, this is a greener alternative in both production and after-care as the material can be both reused and recycled when disposed of correctly.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as Modern Retail feature some of the most innovative, sustainable and exciting retailers who attended Top Drawer 2019.