Please note that our shops and Workroom will be closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd of June. Additionally, our website will be down for maintenance from the evening of Wednesday 1st June until the evening of Thursday 2nd June.

12 November, 2021

Our man Ben gets in a strop about shaving. Products old and new, a fine example of how to make things last longer, reduce waste and get the best out of your products.

  • See more: 2021, Shop Talk

  • 05 November, 2021

    Our man Ben is spending the afternoon in our space at Dover Street Market on Haymarket, Central London. Why not pop by and say hello!

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  • 13 October, 2021

    Our man Ben gets tooled up with a cantilevered Trusco toolbox... the Rolls Royce of toolboxes!

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  • 09 October, 2021

    Our man Ben gets his thermals out for the latest Shop Talk... some fascinating examples of vacuum flasks throughout the decades.

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  • 21 September, 2021

    Our man Ben meets Corinne Mynatt, author of 'Tools for Food' and the owner of all the incredible tools for food featured in our concurrent exhibitions in Shoreditch and Marylebone. Ben and Corinne talk French items in this episode.

  • See more: 2021, Shop Talk, Tools for Food

  • 17 September, 2021

    Our man Ben returns with carrying trout on his mind... and with what better than a Brady fishing bag.

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  • 28 August, 2021

    Our man Ben on an institutional cover-up... The Labour and Wait apron! An institution in coffee shops, workshops, and the like.

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  • 25 August, 2021

    Our man Ben on the only thing between gravity and your trousers– the bridle leather belt, a Labour and Wait staple.

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  • 20 August, 2021

    Our man Ben lathers on leather, with shoe grease, a cleaning cloth and other useful products and tips.

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  • 18 August, 2021

    Our man Ben giving it some stick: The Italian paper glue that continues to beguile to this day.

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  • 10 August, 2021

    Our man Ben locks into smocks. In particular, the Labour and Wait smock. Designed and manufactured in England.

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  • 08 August, 2021

    Our man Ben underlines his sharp choices for mark-making. As an illustrator outside of Labour and Wait, he knows his onions.

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  • 06 August, 2021

    Our man Ben on his favourite steamy boiler. The Storm Kettle, providing cups of tea outdoors for decades!

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  • 27 July, 2021

    Our man Ben on his favourite 'tipple concealer'! The Coloral Water Bottle, reissued and updated from the original 1940s design.

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  • 25 July, 2021

    Our man Ben on one of his passions – penknives. He would like to add that the mariner's knife is legal to carry in the UK, should you be wondering!

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  • 23 July, 2021

    Our man Ben, assistant manager of our shops at Labour and Wait, has a keen eye and a full brain when it comes to discerning good, timeless products. Listening to him extoll the virtues of a Guernsey sweater or a Riess enamel milk pot have become part of the fabric of walking into our shops. But with many not able to make it to Shoreditch or Marylebone either due to the pandemic or simply just living in London, we have put together some short videos on our Instagram page of Ben talking thoroughly about a product or topic, sure to beguile you!

  • See more: 2021, Shop Talk

  • 01 December, 2020

    Brown paper packages, rubber stamps and the paraphernalia of the post office have an enduring appeal. This pillar of the community supports another side of LABOUR AND WAIT: our mail order service. During the busy months of November and December, we all rely on this venerable institution to make sure Christmas is delivered on time.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 November, 2020

    Packed to the rafters with all manner of bits and bobs, haberdashery shops are endlessly beguiling. The raw materials for many craft projects can be found here, as well as customers deep in thought... so many decisions to be made! The ultimate goal could be a simple repair, or even the realisation of a dream to create something totally unique. ‘Make do and mend’ has never seemed so appealing!

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 October, 2020

    The chemist has always held a certain fascination.The dispensary has air of alchemy; a repository of all sorts of potions and lotions, suggesting that here is a cure for all ailments. The pharmacist is a master of discretion – both trusted and respected. At the first hint of a sniffle, the dispensary can prove indispensable.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 September, 2020

    We have always had a ‘thing’ for stationery. A true staple of the high street, the stationer’s can often be the catalyst for many a creative endeavour. Who can resist those pots of pencils, boxes of rubbers, and neatly ordered stacks of sketchbooks? We all remember the excitement of fresh exercise books and geometry sets at the beginning of a new school term.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 August, 2020

    The gaudy colours of a sweet shop are something of an assault on the senses! The visual ‘noise’ created by the packaging and colours of different brands is all but deafening. The neat rows of pick ‘n’ mix sweets in jars create some order amidst the chaos. The smell of a traditional sweet shop can sometimes evoke a Proustian moment!

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 July, 2020

    Though not strictly speaking a shop, most people need a garage at some point. There are certain tasks where only an expert will do. The mechanics themselves are often only half visible, plunging head first into an engine or disappearing under a chassis. The distinctive aroma of fuel, oil and rubber divides opinion, but we love it!

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 June, 2020

    A visit to a good fishmonger can be like a lesson in marine biology! Who knew what extraordinary creatures lived under the sea? They are fascinating (and sometimes terrifying), to contemplate.The fishmonger’s is a wet and chilly world, where rubber aprons and boots offer some protection from the icy produce.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 May, 2020

    How much more appealing to browse the shelves of a good grocer’s, than to be faced with the bland, generic interior of a supermarket. Tried and tested brands are stocked, together with a selection of local produce. The goods on offer will often have a seasonal bias, inspiring recipes and ensuring variety. A good grocer’s can make food shopping a pastime rather than a chore.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 April, 2020

    Grow your own! A garden shop can be the gateway to horticultural heaven.The green-fingered amongst us will feel at home here, but even the enthusiastic beginner will find everything they need to bring nature that bit closer to home. From houseplants to allotments, we all need a bit more green in our lives, don’t we?

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 March, 2020

    Although not to everyone’s taste, the skill of a highly trained butcher amounts to an art. In a classic striped apron and wielding a panoply of terrifying tools, a knowledgeable butcher will advise on the best cuts for specific recipes, then prepare them with finesse.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 February, 2020

    The smell of freshly baked bread is hard to beat, evoking contentment and warmth. Few can resist the lure of a good baker’s shop, with its tempting array of bread and cakes. The bakers have been hard at work for hours by the time we arrive to survey the fruits of their labour. How could we survive without our daily bread?

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 01 January, 2020

    Ironmonger’s and hardware shops were really the starting point for LABOUR AND WAIT. We have always been fascinated by the variety of practical goods on offer: kitchen gadgets, tools and of course brushes! This type of shop is very close to our heart with its wealth of functional products for every domestic chore.

  • See more: 2020, Calendar, Shop Talk

  • 26 June, 2019

    In what will be our twentieth year, the LABOUR AND WAIT calendar is a clarion call for the salvation of traditional high street shops and services. These unpretentious businesses were the original inspiration behind LABOUR AND WAIT, where quality goods are for sale, and interaction with the shopkeeper is a part of the retail experience.

    As the months progress, our 2020 calendar is a tribute to these shops, their owners and to the wealth of products and expertise they offer. We hope that small independents can somehow weather the storm to reclaim their rightful place as pillars of their local communities.

    Our 2020 calendar is available to purchase now, and will be posted out in July. In the meantime, here are some behind the scenes images of the making of 'Shop Talk':


  • See more: 2019, Calendar, Shop Talk