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, they continue their search for products that work alongside their current range and which are destined to become future classics.

Labour and Wait is also available from Dover Street Market in London, where we have a concession on the fourth floor.

We also have a number of concessions in Bshop in Japan, including two in Kobe, three in Osaka and six in Tokyo.

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