Since visiting the Liverpool Slavery Museum a couple of years ago, Michele and I have near forbidden ourselves from buying any clothing that's not ethically and responsibly sourced. In that museum, our eyes were opened to modern day slavery and the part it plays in the fashion industry. A couple of weeks after making our decision to boycott the chain stores, we luckily happened upon a little shop called Sancho's Dress on Exeter's Fore Street. 

Sancho's Dress sells nothing but ethical clothing, homeware and gifts (their online store is brilliant too for those living outside of Devon). We popped in for a quick browse, ended up staying for an hour-long chat with Vidmantas, the guy who owns and runs the shop with his partner Kalkidan, and never looked back. Two years later, the majority of clothes I own come from their wonderful shop. Despite being a massive cheapskate when it comes to clothing (my disposable income is automatically earmarked for food, thank you very much), I have developed a pathology in which I cannot leave their shop without spending a good few Jane Austens. 

Unfortunately for my ability to pay rent, Sancho's just opened a brand new womenswear shop further up the road. And it is amazing.

This is Kalkidan, the awesome lady who owns and runs Sancho's with Vidmantas. She is easily one of the most brilliant people I've ever met, radiating intelligence, confidence, humility and kindness. I can barely manage a research project for one, let alone a successful local business yet the two of them have brought ethical and sustainable clothing to Exeter with a bang.

(Although they admittedly get by with a little help from their friends - here she is with Michele, who helped them build some of their new shop from scratch! I, um, painted a tiny partition wall...)

Their new-shop opening was last weekend and it was a roaring success, with 10% off everything and excellent goody-bags with every purchase, full of bamboo socks, tealights from Chelsea Candles and wonderful handmade soaps (plus prosecco on tap and Kalkidan's Mum's amazing homemade bread).

We popped by to congratulate one of our favourite couples on their success, browse the new lines and have a mooch to see how the new shop had turned out - it had basically been a building site when we left it a couple of days earlier! Here are some snippets from the new shop:

As well as stocking established ethical brands, luxe basics and locally-made products, they've also started building on their own lines of designs too, with Kalkidan designing lots of the jewellery you can buy in store and online. There will be more of this to come in the future too so keep your eyes peeled!

As always, I couldn't leave without spending a decent portion of my monthly income in the shop (eek!), treating myself to a jet black pair of jeans from Monkee Genes, the softest grey marl long-sleeve top from Stanley + Stella, a fun ruffled stripey top from Peopletree and a rather beautiful coat from Nomads. In fact, as I sit here writing this, I've realised that I am dressed head-to-toe in Sancho's clothing. I also grabbed one of the delicious Christmas candles from Chelsea Candles (mulled wine, it is sooo GOOD)  which is currently wafting scent at me despite it not having been lit for a couple of days.

In short, if you're interested in buying ethical clothing - go to Sancho's.
If you're interested in treating yourself to gorgeous new clothes - go to Sancho's.
If you need to kickstart your Christmas shopping - go to Sancho's.
If you're environmentally and socially conscious - go to Sancho's.

If you needed an extra excuse, they're donating 10% of their Black Friday profits to local food banks. Shopping with them is literally just donating to charity and getting awesome clothes in return.

Pretty much every time I visit the store, I introduce another friend to my favourite shop in the world. Now it's time to introduce all of you!

(P.s., I know this is a super gushy post but I promise, hand on heart, that it is all 100% honest and true and nobody asked me to write this. It's just genuinely an excellent shop owned by the nicest people and it is so worth checking out).