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.

Welcome to Labour and Wait. Established in 2000 in the heart of East London's market district, we offer an evolving range of timeless, functional products for everyday life.

For the past twenty years we have searched out specialist makers from around the world, many of whom manufacture their goods in the traditional way and to their original designs.

At Labour and Wait we believe in a simple, honest approach to design, where quality and utility are intrinsic.

From hardware to clothing we offer products that celebrate functional design and are therefore appropriate in a traditional or contemporary environment.

We have sourced a collection of everyday classics which will not date, but which will mellow and improve with age, and which are destined to become favourites.

The inspiration for Labour and Wait came from owners Rachel Wythe-Moran and Simon Watkins, both designers with menswear backgrounds who grew frustrated at having to redesign products and ranges every season.

There was no time allowed for products to mature and establish themselves and, in time, become classics themselves. The demands of seasonal retail trends had become more important than the products being sold.

To counter this, Rachel and Simon envisioned a place where functional, well designed, timeless products would always be available. Taking inspiration from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s exhortation to ‘Learn to Labour and to Wait’, they set up shop in 2000 in the old Victorian terrace of Cheshire Street, in the heart of East London’s market district. Here, they gradually sourced all the products that fitted their ethos of functionality, quality and honesty, and slowly established themselves as one of the leading independent shops in London.

In 2010, requiring more space, Labour and Wait moved to Redchurch Street, to an old Truman Brewery pub called the Dolphin. Here, we continue our search for products that work alongside their current range and which are destined to become future classics.

We have also enjoyed a longstanding association with Japan over many years, and have several concessions there in different cities with Bshop. In 2017, a standalone shop was opened in the Sendagaya area of Tokyo; a culmination of a close relationship with BShop and the intense interest our Japanese customers have affected us over the years. 

In Spring 2021, twenty-one years after our first shop in Cheshire Street, East London, we were excited to open a second London shop in the West End. Our Marylebone shop at 48 Dorset Street contains the Labour and Wait classics we have sold over the last two decades, with some exclusive clothing items.

Labour and Wait is also available from Dover Street Market in London.

For further press enquiries, please email