24 December, 2019

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Labour and Wait.

We are now closed for the Christmas period. Thank you for another year of your support and custom.

See you in 2020, our 20th anniversary year. Keep an eye on our news section for celebratory events and projects.

Our Redchurch Street shop reopens at 11.00am on 2nd January and our Workroom reopens at 11.00am on 6th January, 2020.

  • See more: 2019

  • 04 December, 2019

    As we approach the big day at the end of the year, please order by 1.00pm GMT on the following dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery...

    United Kingdom ... 19th December
    European Union ... 17th December
    North America ... 15th December
    Rest of World ... 13th December

    Please note that we close down for Christmas and New Year between the dates of 23rd December and 6th of January, during which time our mail order department is away. Our Redchurch Street shop reopens from the break on 2nd January, 2020.

  • See more: 2019, Mail Order

  • 02 December, 2019

    We're very pleased to say that, thanks to our customers' response to the CRISIS AT CHRISTMAS Black Friday alternative, we will be donating £1000 this winter, to help homeless people throughout the United Kingdom.

    If you want to donate or help homeless people this Christmas, visit Crisis this Christmas.

  • See more: 2019, Black Friday

  • 28 November, 2019

    If you too are interested in donating separately, visit:

  • See more: 2019, Black Friday

  • 09 November, 2019

    We have worked with Lavenham of Suffolk to create a garment which demonstrates our commitment to functional products and timeless design; a set of values shared by both brands.

    Lavenham takes its name from the Suffolk village in which it was founded. The company was established in 1969 when they began manufacturing the world's first nylon quilted horse rugs. They quickly expanded into outerwear and were the first brand to make and sell a quilted gilet.

    A service provided by Lavenham is the supply of a foal-sized horse rug to a breeder within 24 hours of the foal being born; an important and necessary swaddling tool in the first few weeks of a horse's life.

    Lavenham predominantly work with British cloth manufacturers, renowned for their durability and quality, and the same is true of the wadding they use in the quilting, which comes from the North of England and is made of 65% recycled fibres.

    Our gilet is an unfussy expression of the heritage of Lavenham with the timeless utilitarian aesthetic of classic workwear.The product is practical, functional and modest – inspired by the type of garment worn by the bucolic labourer.

    This unisex gilet is reversible. One side is a robust canvas with corduroy trim and large utility pockets; the other is a two inch diamond quilt with subtle patch pockets, typical of the Lavenham tradition.

    Like all Lavenham garments, our gilet is proudly made in Suffolk, England.

    Available to purchase on Thursday 14th November.

  • See more: 2019, Lavenham

  • 08 November, 2019

    We are very pleased to announce that our Japanese online shop is now open for business. Please visit them here:

  • See more: 2019

  • 05 September, 2019

    In the Tour de France of the 1940s and 1950s, competitors wouldn't be seen without a metal 'bidon', the container that riders used to carry water.

    The most recognisable bidon was Coloral, a fluted alloy bottle with a cork stopper and tooled cap signed off with a scripted logo. Riders didn’t just reserve them for bottling water, but also to preserve a simple blend of milk and sugar that kept energy levels high during competitions, and even wine when celebrating victories.

    An original Coloral bottle

    Despite its cult status, Coloral’s production dwindled and ceased completely in the mid-1950s due to manufacturing pressures.

    For London Design Festival 2019 we are celebrating the reintroduction of this handsome, timeless icon. The reengineered Coloral bottle is upgraded using brushed, food-grade stainless steel. Its robust design is lightweight and compact, and its dimensions slightly tweaked to fit modern bottle cages.

    It's a perfectly satisfying vessel for those not on two wheels, too- it has been vacuum insulated to keep cold drinks cool and your hot drinks piping hot, and there’s no plastic used in the flask or its packaging.

    To celebrate this classic reborn, we have worked with Coloral to produce a limited edition of 100 bottles with a red seal, and will provide a free musette style bag with every bottle purchase. These will be available for the duration of London Design Festival, alongside a small exhibition of Coloral collateral in our Redchurch Street shop. 

    Saturday 14th - Sunday 22nd September

  • See more: 2019, London Design Festival

  • 27 August, 2019

    Finally! For years customers have asked us whether we either stock a wall clock or if we ever will. After a long and unfruitful search, we have specified our own. Our wall clock is made by a company who specialise in clocks for industry, including schools, laboratories and swimming pools. We have worked closely with them to create this clock which, in terms of quality, harks back to their products from earlier times; a real glass lens, printed metal face, and metal hands and case. The clock of course features our favourite Gill Sans typeface.

    Find it here.

  • See more: 2019

  • 02 August, 2019

    We are pleased to reveal the opening of a pop-up LABOUR AND WAIT space within the Bermondsey premises of respected architectural salvage company LASSCO. A short walk from London Bridge and the ambrosial Bermondsey Street, the space is set within a railway arch and opens onto The Ropewalk, a narrow Victorian thoroughfare beside the railway.The Ropewalk is named in reference to eighteenth century eccentric Robert Rich, who made rope in the area, and the passage was marked thus on John Roques' map of 1746. Since 2010, the Ropewalk has become the venue for a lively and popular weekend food market, with vendors selling their produce from stalls along its length, and includes a handful of restaurants and bars within the railway arches. Equally as beguiling to us, there's even a timber yard, so we certainly feel at home!

    We at LABOUR AND WAIT have always felt an affinity to the vibrant atmosphere created around a market; our very first shop being situated in the heart of Brick Lane.Our pop up space showcases a selection of our quality, functional products, alongside the quirky and interesting salvage of LASSCO.

    Lassco, Ropewalk
    37 Maltby Street,
    London, SE1 3PA

    9.00am – 5.00pm
    10.00am – 5.00pm
    11.00am – 5.00pm

    020 7394 8061

  • See more: 2019, Lassco

  • 27 June, 2019

    We're very pleased to announce a new selection of specials for our Dover Street Market spaces in London and New York.

    You'll find our traditional Guernsey sweater in black for the first time, alongside a black leather tool case, black felt coaster and placemat, black indoor watering can, black cotton drill pinafore dress and black hurricane lamp. We're also pleased to announce a very welcome return to our classic Folio Bag in, you guessed it! Black canvas.

    These specials are available on Friday 12th July exclusively in Dover Street Market London and New York (pinafore only available in London).

  • See more: 2019, Dover Street Market

  • 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

  • 11 June, 2019

    We are extremely pleased to show off one of our latest products, this recycled coffee grounds reusable cup

    Following the familiar paper/plastic form usually found discarded and in an untenable abundance, this cup is made from coffee grounds collected from local coffee shops in Berlin. The grounds are compressed and combined with a natural and biodegradable polymer to create this eco-friendly cup, which has quickly become the conscientious commuter companion of many staff at Labour and Wait.

    This cup is available to purchase from our shop at 85 Redchurch Street in Shoreditch and online.

    Here's to a good, responsible brew!!

  • See more: 2019, Eco-Friendly

  • 10 June, 2019

    Out in the Pacific Northwest, there are some of our bib aprons working very hard for the premier cocktail company in Portland, Public Provisions.

    Founded by Melaney Schmidt and Malia Myers, Public Provisions provide beautiful and culinary-driven cocktails for special events. Their menus are driven by the seasons and integrate ingredients that highlight the distinct flavours of this part of the world. 

    But why choose aprons from 5,000 miles away?

    "We love these aprons because their look is striking but also understated and professional. When the guests and clients we serve notice the apron, we know they're taking note of all of our intentional details including our choice in workwear. The aprons are durable and well-constructed, perfectly holding up to the demands of bartending whether we're inside serving a seated dinner of 60 or outside in a forest, serving a wedding party of 300.

    "When working, we are usually building stunning, complex cocktails that require many steps to complete, and we are repeatedly reaching for tools and ingredients within a small 3 foot radius. This type of dance behind a bar requires us to be able to move swiftly. The construction of the apron is conducive to that mobility while also maintaining its constructed integrity, a perfect balance for our needs. That said, our choice in apron hardly ever goes unnoticed and we always enthusiastically refer inquisitors to Labour and Wait!"

    Follow Public Provisions on Instagram: @publicprovisions

    Public Provisions

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 03 June, 2019
    Neuton Hair Salon opened its doors in Newington Green, North London, in 2016. The business was started by Dani, originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, whose ambition was to open a place to call her own.
    Newington Green was first known as 'Neutone', from its record in the Domesday survey of 1086. This is from where Neuton takes its name. Later, in the 17th century, Samuel Pepys wandered the area to benefit from the fresh air. It was not recorded as to whether he was also looking for a haircut.
    Neuton use our bib aprons, which, as is evident, are especially useful when colouring hair: "We love everything about our aprons and have been using them since Neuton opened 3 years ago. We really love the fact that the older they get the better they look! We love that craft look and wear them pretty much every day. They look just great!"
    Neuton Hair Salon
    117 Newington Green Road
    London, N1 4QY
    Instagram: @neutonhair

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 27 May, 2019

    Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is a non-profit organisation, where proceeds are donated to the 'Ministry of Stories', a writing and mentoring charity based in East London for those aged between eight and 18. Through a variety of programmes, the Ministry of Stories help children find and realise their creative potential.

    This shop is strictly for monsters, so visits by humans can be risky business. There's an invisible cat that could trip you up, and various options of tinned fear stacked frightfully high. Such names as Zadie Smith and Charlie Higson helped select some of the finest tinned fear you'll find on the market.

    To avoid any mishaps and keep customers safe, there are helpful staff on hand, wearing our bib aprons to keep them clean, should there be any unfortunate accidents.

    On the aprons, Monster Supplies say that "when we opened we looked around for a stylish and sturdy shopkeeper apron that could handle occasional spillages, for example when customers paid by human sacrifice, and could clean up easily. The council eventually cracked down on alternative payment methods and we've found tidier ways to serve up AB and Type O+ that don't lead to as many mishaps, but we have kept the aprons because we love them. Please consider making these in XXXXXXXXXL as our monster customers would love to purchase!"

    Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
    159 Hoxton Street,
    London, N1 6PJ
    Instagram: @monstersupplies

    All photographs by David Rowswell

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 20 May, 2019

    Melody Park is a fine artist and children's book illustrator based in Seoul, South Korea, who is no stranger to our bib apron...

    "If I remember right, I bought the apron in the Labour and Wait London shop in 2013. At that time I did all the long legwork of buying the perfect working clothes for me, and I found it in Shoreditch Labour and Wait shop. When I found the shop and the green tiles, I felt intuitively I could buy something here.

    "After 2013, my studio location has moved from Kingston, Glasgow, Nürnberg and to Seoul now. I have always worn the apron in the studio, whichever the city. The apron is perfectly made with width, depth and height so I can wear it tightly, with a good feeling. This is very important, because when I paint I move rapidly and energetically. The apron is a very suitable working clothes for me as a painter."

    Follow Melody Park on Instagram: @melodypark_

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 16 May, 2019

    Andrew Moran has been the LABOUR AND WAIT photographer since the company was founded in 2000. In this role, he has taken the still life shots for the company’s calendars for the years 2012 -2018. For Photo London, the annual photography event in the capital, he presents an edited selection of these timeless images in book form.

    The resulting slim volume forms part of a series of photographic journals published by the Silverhill Press, a small independent publisher based in Hastings.

    These books are available exclusively at our Dover Street Market London space for a limited time, alongside a small selection of reproduced images to view.

    Photo London runs from 16th to the 19th of May, 2019.

    Dover Street Market London
    18-22 Haymarket,
    London SW1Y 4DG

    Mon – Sat: 11:00am – 7:00pm
    Sun: 12:00pm – 6:00pm

    See more of Andrew's work on his website:

  • See more: 2019, Calendar, Dover Street Market, Photo London

  • 13 May, 2019

    Established in 2005 by Oliver Shute, The Wild Fork is an event bar and kitchen based in rural West Berkshire. 

    "We specialise in creative, contemporary food and providing a bespoke service for all occasions in locations across the United Kingdom, from treasured Grade 1 listed buildings to historic castles, garden marquee weddings, boardrooms, shoot lodges and pop-up restaurants."

    "These hard-working brown canvas aprons, a Labour and Wait classic, have become an essential work wear favourite at The Wild Fork. Desirable but practical, robust and comfortable, we haven’t found a better performing apron for our waiting staff and bartenders. Our head chef has also claimed one of his own for the kitchen.  And the classic, vintage style always catches the eyes of our guests.  Who knew wearing an apron could give so much pleasure! They’ll be out in force at our Waterfront Enclosure during Henley Royal Regatta this summer."

    Follow The Wild Fork's food stories on Instagram: @thewildfork01

    Images by Jamie Dunn Photography

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 29 April, 2019

    Darcy's Kaffe is a recently opened coffee shop in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    "I started back in November, doing pop ups and events and then moving into a basement in Nørrebro just as the weather got too cold. My friend Jacques, who started Ofr Copenhagen (the original shop is in Paris) moved in with me in December with his beautiful selection of books, magazines and art and together we are slowly developing something special."

    "My girlfriend, Scarlett, who is an architect and has her studio based in a room at the back of the shop, bought me my Labour and Wait apron as a congratulation/good luck present for opening my own place, and I have worn it with pride every day since (literally - I’m open every day at the moment!) I find the pockets useful for pens, matches, bits of coffee kit and receipts, and the size is perfect for a busy day making drinks and food."

    "I look forward to many more days behind my espresso machine and seeing how the apron ages over time."

    We look forward to seeing it, too!

    Follow Darcy's Kaffe on Instagram: @darcyskaffe

    Darcy's Kaffe
    Blågårdsgade 49
    2200 København

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 05 April, 2019
    From an early age, Jack Lowe had an interest in photography. He was given a Kodak Instamatic camera at the age of 8 by his grandmother, which developed his passion into a career in photography. Jack's other passions are lifeboats and the sea, but how to combine all three? This is how the Lifeboat Station Project was born.
    Working from a decommissioned ambulance, recommissioned as a mobile darkroom, Jack set out to photograph all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations and the volunteers, using Victorian glass plate equipment. He is currently just over half way through the project.
    But how did Jack come to wear a Labour and Wait bib apron?

    "I first became aware of the Labour and Wait bib apron back in 2014. I popped in to visit a friend who runs an independent coffee company.

    He stopped work for a moment to say hello. While we chatted, I realised he was wearing a splendid looking apron. It looked perfect for my needs, just the thing I’d been looking for to protect me from the rigours of working with such an old photographic process as wet plate collodion. It had a lovely traditional feel too, that would suit my work down to the ground.

    I asked him about it.

    “You haven’t heard of Labour and Wait?” he said.

    It was true, I hadn’t, but I got onto the website and ordered one straight away. A few years down the line, who’d have thought that it would become such a ‘famous’ item in its own right, even ending up as a museum exhibit!
    I’m wearing the apron in just about every photograph of me working on the The Lifeboat Station Project. My followers love the #LSPthrowdown hashtag on Instagram, which I use at the end of my photographic missions.

    I find a good spot to lay the apron down for a photograph, perhaps on a lifeboat deck or slipway to signify the end of another great few weeks on the coast.

    Over time, it’s become really splashed and stained with silver nitrate, culminating in this final ’throwdown’ at the halfway point in Dover after four years’ work (above).

    Now Labour and Wait have kindly donated a new apron to the project for the second half. I wonder which one will end up being the dirtier of the two…!"

    Jack is currently exhibiting his work at Poole Museum until 22nd April, 2019, where you'll also find his original bib apron proudly displayed.

    Follow Jack and the project on instagram: @lordlowe

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 02 April, 2019

    General Store is a neighbourhood grocery shop in Peckham, South London, who sell cheese, bread, coffee, wine, beer, seasonal fruit and vegetables, and lots of store cupboard essentials.

    Image from Monocle Magazine, 2013

    They are truly a shop after our own heart here at Labour and Wait, sharing not just aesthetic cues, but attitudinal ones too; they work with producers and suppliers who focus on the quality, integrity and provenance of their produce.

    We're also very pleased to say that not only are our aprons worn at General Store, but they sell them, too!

    Follow General Store on Instagram @general_store

    General Store
    172 Bellenden Road,
    Peckham, SE15 1BW 

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 18 March, 2019

    Monmouth Coffee Company started roasting and retailing coffee from 27 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, in 1978. For thirty years they roasted their coffee in their basement (a production location we’re all too familiar with here at Labour and Wait!) but since 2007 they have larger facilities in Bermondsey to accommodate production for their now two shops, the other being at 2 Park Street, next to Borough Market.

    Photograph by Trent McMinn

    Sourcing and roasting coffee from single farms, estates and cooperatives is important to Monmouth Coffee, and allows them to establish strong relationships with the growers and exporters to ensure quality and fairness.

    Photograph by Trent McMinn

    Monmouth were the first adopters of the Labour and Wait apron, outside of our own shop. Many customers came to us after the staff at Monmouth had kindly told them where the aprons were from. As Monmouth Coffee Company are leaders in their field, this is an association of which we are very proud. In the early days, the aprons weren’t even labelled, so we relied totally on word of mouth recommendations like this!

    Monmouth Coffee Company
    27 Monmouth Street,
    Covent Garden,
    London, WC2H 9EU

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 15 March, 2019

    Labour and Wait on Cheshire Street, 2002

    Our canvas aprons have become a Labour and Wait classic. We made the prototypes ourselves, as staff uniform, in the basement of our original shop on Cheshire Street in 2000. Soon customers were wanting to buy them, so we found a factory in the UK and started production.

    A classic Cheshire Street sight, 2005

    Cheshire Street, 2006

    Our aprons were inspired by traditional shop coats worn in ironmongers and warehouses, the likes of which ceased being produced many years ago. Since inception our aprons have been often imitated but never quite equalled. They are made from robust and hardwearing cotton duck fabric, with brass eyelets and herringbone tape ties.

    Redchurch Street 2016, by Alun Calender

    As standard, we only offer our aprons in one colour; a stoic, trusty brown. However, over the years we have partnered with others to give a different spin on our aprons. In 2014 we worked with Monocle magazine to produce a special limited run of dark olive aprons with ecru tape and gunmetal eyelets; and in 2017 we jointly produced a denim apron with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers in Walthamstow, which referenced jeans heritage by using copper hardware instead of brass.

    Limited edition Monocle apron, 2014

    The Tokyo shop team, extolling the virtues of our aprons! 2017

    From these humble beginnings, we now supply the classic brown apron to restaurants, coffee shops, artists and craftspeople worldwide. To celebrate our aprons and their users, throughout 2019 we will be featuring a variety of apron wearers in our series 'Covered'.

    Redchurch Street, 2010

  • See more: 2019, Covered

  • 13 February, 2019

    For London Fashion Week we have produced our Fisherman’s Smock in black. It will be exclusively available at Dover Street Market London from Friday 15th February, and available at Labour and Wait from March.

    This classic item of workwear has been an essential outer layer for British fishermen for over a century. It’s practical and utilitarian nature makes it equally popular with artists and craftspeople. Our smock is made in England and from 100% cotton canvas.

    You can find out more about the history of the Fisherman's Smock here.

  • See more: 2019, Dover Street Market

  • 15 January, 2019

    Every six months, Dover Street Market perform their 'Tachigari' metamorphosis, where they close down for a few days, and each resident in their Haymarket space transforms into the new season's collection. 'Tachigari' means 'beginning' in Japanese, the process of changing to the new season.

    Here is our new selection for the first half of 2019.

  • See more: 2019, Dover Street Market