Islington Mill has launched its Christmas market, only this year it is all virtual.
The Salford-based creative space is giving customers the opportunity to purchase unique Christmas gifts from its artists via an online shop.
Speaking about the decision to adapt in response to the pandemic, Jess Coulson, Project Coordinator at Islington Mill, said:
“We made the decision in October, we had hoped that we would be able do something socially distanced in real life, but after Tier 3 restrictions came in we decided that we had to plan for the worst.
“In some ways it was a difficult decision because ‘Christmas at the Mill’ is a bit of a tradition here and we felt like it would be beneficial for the emotional health of our community, but we always have to prioritise people’s physical wellbeing.”
There are currently 12 artists taking part in the online market this year, with more joining this week. All of whom have studio space throughout the year at the mill.
Islington Mill has been involved in the launch of over 1,500 artists and makers since opening its doors in 2000.
This year more than ever, they are working hard to encourage buyers to support local businesses and creators.
Jess Coulson spoke of three positive effects of shopping locally: “The money that is spent on our Salford-based businesses will get put back into the Greater Manchester community because smaller businesses spend locally.
“You are also directly ensuring that a person can keep trading and working in the local area, you’re helping a local mother pay her bills rather than a CEO take home a multifigure bonus.”
“It is also a much greener choice,” she added, “huge amounts of products on Amazon, etc, are shipped all over the world at great cost to the environment.
“A lot of our traders are selling handmade goods and these are made and posted out of Salford.”
The mill is active on Instagram, where they frequently post information about each of their artists and makers.
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Christmas at the Mill is ready to view here, right up until the New Year.
So, to quote their website, this year you are free to “stick Wham on and get browsing,” all from the comfort of your own home.