East End Trades Guild

 Video from Youtube (ToFailisArt)


Who are the East End Trades Guild?

Gardners' belongs to an alliance with hundreds of businesses spread across the East End, fighting for the interests of small and independent traders which preserve London's identity.

"In short, the East End Trades Guild is a fellowship comprised of more than 300 small independent businesses and the self employed. As well as offering goods and services our members provide social spaces, sustaining relationships between neighbours and making our streets safer and better places to be.

Vital both to the local economy and to the life of the community, it is the infinite variety of small traders that make the East End such an appealing destination, adding value to property and attracting other business.

In the past, these truths have been ignored and exploited by landlords, their agents, big business and government. Speaking in unity, we demand recognition for small traders, asserting their central importance to the economy and advocating their interests to achieve a better deal for our members."


Gardners' Bags and the Guild

You can find out more about how the Guild started here. The launch was notably featured in the Hackney Citizen and The Guardian.

'The alliance formed from the work of Krisse Nicolson who, in 2012, was studying for her Masters in Community Organising at Queen Mary University. She happened to see an article about Paul Gardner of Gardners bags on the Spitalfields Life blog by the Gentle Author that explained that this venerable family business (which had traded on the premises since 1870, selling paper bags and similar items for stall holders) was under threat because of the landlord wishing to make a large increase in his rent.

Nicolson was spurred on by reading this article to meet with Paul Gardner, so that she could start putting the relationship-building skills she was learning at university into use. She was very impressed by him and his historic business and he introduced her to a lot of other small businesses in the area. ‘It was a collective thing’.

Nicolson soon found out that most of these other businesses were facing similar problems due to rising rental prices in the area. They had a general meeting and decided that their priorities were rents, rates and planning.'

This led quickly to the formation of the Guild, which now is formed of more than 300 members strong, and fights for transparency and fairness on areas including rents and business rates, giving a voice to those who would otherwise be ignored.


How to Join

To find out more, see their website here. To directly join the Guild, use the following link. For more general enquires about the alliance, contact the Guild's organiser Krissie Nicolson:

M: 07910966738

E: krissie@eastendtradesguild.org.uk

 Video from Youtube (ToFailisArt)