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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. We believe in a simple, honest approach to design, where longevity 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.

For the past twenty three 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.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. The demands of seasonal retail trends had become more important than the products being sold.


To counter this, they 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 Cheshire Street, in the heart of East London’s market district. Here, they gradually sourced the products that fitted their ethos of functionality, quality and honesty, quickly building a reputation as one of the leading independent shops in London.


In 2010, requiring more space, Labour and Wait moved to 85 Redchurch Street, a former Truman Brewery pub. Here, we continue our search for products that work alongside the current ranges and further enhance our brand values.


Labour and Wait has enjoyed an association with Japan over many years. We have several concessions throughout the country within branches of Bshop. In 2017, a standalone Labour and Wait shop was opened in the Sendagaya area of Tokyo; the culmination of our close relationship with BShop and the intense interest our Japanese customers have shown us over the years. 


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

Labour and Wait also has a space within Dover Street Market in London.

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