london, uk: cafes & shops

Cafe: Turl Street Kitchen- Oxford, UK

During my time in London, I took a day trip to Oxford to visit my friend, Will. Will and I went to Maryland together, lived in San Francisco at the same time and then he moved to Oxford for school. It was so much fun being shown around by a local and learning more about the campus and the University! 

Our first stop was breakfast at Turl Street Kitchen. I love this place! The aesthetic and design was beautiful with tiled floors/walls and mismatched wooden chairs. Plus the food was amazing! Great vegetarian options and local produce. The moment I walked in, I was greeted by chalkboard walls detailing the mission: "healthy, fresh, seasonal, affordable food. all profits go to oxford hub (student-powered change in action across 10 UK universities that creates career paths for students who care). Essentially, the profits go to students' social action initiatives!!! 

Some of their projects include Jacari (tutoring for children whose first language is not English), and People & Planet (variety of sub-projects- ie fair trade, labor laws, clean energy). 

Check them out here!! : and

As someone who was involved with social impact initiatives during university and connected with Enactus (students taking entrepreneurial action to make the world a better place), it is so amazing to see incredible impact like this first-hand in other places!

Shops: Mary's Living and Giving, Oxfam & Traid

The next day, I visited one of my favorite neighborhoods, Notting Hill. I love the rainbow colors of all of the houses. Seems to be a reoccurring theme :) As I strolled, I continuously came across purpose-driven retail stores. In such a commercially-focused area, it was so incredible to see much good! 

From left:

1. Mary's Living and Giving (@marys_living_and_giving): I love this red door! The sign outside is calling for volunteers in the community to help work in the store :). 100% of all store profits go to Save the Children and everything sold has been donated by locals or brands. This is run for and by the community and gives back directly! With nearly 20 stores in London, each location has its unique boutique vibe depending on the neighborhood. You can shop fun and eccentric pieces while contributing to children's rights and needs.

2. Oxfam (@oxfaminternational & @oxfamfestshop): an incredibly well-known international group of NGO's working to end poverty. Under the beautiful art in the window, it says "grows vegetables, fills classrooms, empowers women, fights poverty." Not only can you purchase ethical goods, but your purchase gives back to help those in need around the world.

3. Traid (@traid)- whose logo colors the "Tr" in green to point out "aid" in white, is a "charity working to end exploitation in the global textile supply chain by collecting unwanted clothes for reuse in the UK." Second-hand at its finest! Triad funds a variety of projects to help clean up the fashion manufacturing world. The last photo shows the tag from the sweater I purchased. It notes its mission of reducing waste/carbon emissions while improving working conditions and stopping child labor.

All three of these stores enable enjoyment of shopping, new clothes, new shoes, etc. all while doing good for people and the environment!!! Global + Local Impact!! 

Lauren WittigComment