A PAIR of Worcester entrepreneurs have joined forces to show off the best British independent brands.

Betsy Vickery has co-founded "Hope and Story" - a new e-commerce marketplace showcasing independent brands with sustainability and quality a key focus.

She said: "When I found myself in lockdown, I wanted to support British brands, buying locally made products rather than those that have been imported.

"I was immediately astonished at the number of websites that misled me into thinking I was buying a British made product when in fact that was not the case.

"I started to look much more closely at the products I was buying and their origin.

"As I had surplus time, I spent time researching which brands actually manufactured in the UK and I was delighted to find so many great quality products and amazing brands that shared my values.

"The stories behind the brands were also amazing and I thought how wonderful it would be to have a department store that showcased them and their fantastic products all in one place; thus the idea of Hope and Story was born."

Hope and Story was originally inspired in 2020 when Mrs Vickery spent weeks searching online for 100% British-made gifts for her 7-year-old daughter’s birthday, and found there was no e-Commerce marketplace that offered ethical, sustainable, and truly British brands.

Enlisting the help of her childhood friends Alison Larnder and Lizzy Waterhouse, they set to work in developing the virtual British-made marketplace and managed to hit their two-year target in six months.

In buying through Hope and Story, customers are encouraged to support British brands and responsible manufacture.

Mrs Vickery said: "By buying a British made product you are supporting the UK economy by helping to create business, jobs and careers and enabling the vast array of creative skills we have here.

"You are also supporting the ethical values that we carry in this country and the drive to be more sustainable.

"There are a growing number of ‘conscious consumers’ who are looking to shop more ethically and sustainably and who are particularly keen to buy from and support genuine British brands."

For more information, go to www.hopeandstory.com