Why we’re ditching Black Friday for Museum Shop Sunday

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, we look ahead to Museum Shop Sunday – a local, ethical way to do your Christmas shopping. Here are the best reasons to ditch the Highstreet this year in favour of independent stores (including the museum’s beautiful Cart Lodge shop + café!)

1. You will find something unique and handmade
Independent shops are treasure troves filled with one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones. The museum’s Cart Lodge Shop is expertly curated by Jen Ogilvie (pictured), who handpicks items by local, independent makers. Local shops are perfect at this time of year when we’re all on the hunt for unique gifts that the recipient doesn’t already have!

2. You will receive good advice from a friendly face
You can’t beat the personal touch of a local owner who knows their products inside out, and our lovely staff and volunteers are always happy to help with your purchase. It’s also worth remembering that local shops stock an inventory based on their own customer’s choices rather than national trends, so they are really finding what you want to buy rather than what they want to sell to you.

3. You will support the museum
Our shop keeps the museum alive! All profits go straight back into running the museum, so you are helping a charity when you shop with us. Even by buying a cup of coffee you are putting money back into the museum and this supports us in everything we do, from maintaining our collection to cleaning the museum.

4. Your spending will boost the local economy
Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. This is simply because the makers who are in our shop will then put that money back into the local community, thus circulating the money and enabling the community to thrive. From jewellery to dinner plates, we have work from a number of local makers, like Sussex ceramicist Lucy Ogden (below).

5. You can get a good deal
Shopping local needn’t mean spending more money. There are often deals to be had, for instance at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft you can become a member of the museum from as little as £20, which entitles you to free museum entry and 10% off in the shop. Even better, if you generously give your time to the museum as a volunteer you will receive a 20% discount in the shop!

6. It’s good for the planet
Buying from a local shop that works with independent suppliers reduces the use of fossil fuels as goods are not transported across the country. In fact, our Natural Dye seeds are harvested in the museum’s garden and sold in the shop so have a zero carbon footprint!

Once again, we will be taking part in this year’s Museum Shop Sunday where you can buy beautiful and original books, cards and handmade gifts in a ‘feel-good’ shopping alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There will be tastings from the café, a free canvas shopping bag with all purchases over £50, 20% discount off our new range of merchandise designed in collaboration with Cambridge Imprint and a Creative Christmas Craft workshop for families.

Do all your Christmas shopping whilst supporting your local artists and makers. You do not need to pay museum entry fees to come into the Cart Lodge shop + café, and we are open 6 days a week (Tues – Sun).