With bricks-and-mortar debuts, new product launches, B Corp status achievements and social media success stories, this year has been a triumph for many up-and-coming retailers. As 2023 draws to a close, Retail Week picks the top brands to keep your eye on as the calendar flips to 2024.
Founded in 2015 with a mission of creating quality jewellery at affordable price points, Abbott Lyon is the go-to destination for young people looking for personalised designer-inspired jewellery to wear every day.
Having onboarded new celebrity ambassadors, including actor Maisie Smith and Lioness Alex Greenwood, the brand has not only continued to resonate with a wider audience, but has continued to prove a hit on social media, showing shoppers how to style and stack their pieces.
This rising star brand also opened the doors to its debut bricks-and-mortar store in London’s Westfield, White City, earlier this year, offering a “design-forward interactive destination” for customers to shop its personalised offering.
Chair Gareth Jones told Retail Week last month that while Abbott Lyon will always remain a predominantly ecommerce brand and play to its strengths, stores are “definitely going to be part of the mix going forward.”
With that in mind, and the brand on track for 50% growth year-on-year to reach around £50m, there are no signs of its growth slowing down any time soon.
AYM may not yet be a frontrunner in the competitive world of fashion, but it is certainly making its mark in the slow fashion sphere. Having launched its tall and petite dress lengths, boosting its already broad size range which runs from two extra-small to three extra-large, this brand has become more inclusive than ever.
Specialising in ethical women’s fashion and founded by Alie Mackintosh in 2012, AYM has been on a slow and steady upward trajectory. All products are handmade in the UK.
With its range of tops, bottoms and dresses, AYM certainly ticks boxes when it comes to sustainability and value – a top priority for many consumers as the cost-of-living crisis continues to take its toll on spend.
In 2023, AYM announced a new partnership with online tailoring and repairs platform Sojo, to offer bespoke tailoring to London shoppers living in zones 1 to 4, demonstrating its commitment to both fit and longevity of its clothing.
While many fashion brands, including fast-fashion giants Shein and Boohoo, continuing to battle criticism over the ethics and quality of their business and products alike, AYM is likely to win the hearts of ethically-conscious shoppers as it continues to grow in 2024.
Men’s personal care brand Dr Squatch is raising the bar when it comes to all-natural soap and self-care items for men, a sector that still isn’t widely catered for in the broader market.
With its quirky Instagram content and proud B-Corp status, this American brand was founded in a garage ten years ago, but has since come a long way.
This year, it teamed up with huge names, including Marvel and Warner Brothers, to launch limited-edition Avengers and Harry Potter collections. Its huge emphasis on expanding its audience using podcasts and social media marketing means themed soaps are unlikely to be the last of its product innovations as we head into 2024.
A sportswear retailer founded in 2020 by strength training coach Krissy Cela, Oner Active aims to empower women to feel “exceptional and powerful” as they work towards becoming the best version of themselves.
Having amassed a total of 646k followers to date, the fitness brand has gone global this year, having launched its second pop-up in LA in September in celebration of the brand’s third birthday.
With a continuous evolution of its product ranges and a wide variety of colours to ensure all skin tones “genuinely radiate” in the brand’s products, the sky seems to be the limit for Oner when it comes to product evolution.
Despite being in competition with sportswear giants, including Gymshark and TALA, Oner’s influencer engagement is at an all-time high for the brand. With famous faces like Stacey Solomon promoting its products, you’ll be sure to hear the name Oner increasingly next year.
Founded in 2018 by Paige Louise and entering the new year with more than 2.5 million Tik Tok and 1.6 million Instagram followers respectively, P.Louise is available to shop online at Tik Tok Shop, eBay, Amazon and B Perfect Cosmetics.
From a browse on Instagram’s ‘For You’ page, it is clear that P.Louise has topped the algorithm of millions this year, with ‘get ready with me’ style makeup tutorials and unboxing videos showcasing the palettes in all their glory.
With a seemingly never ending array of colours and products being added to the mix and a rising popularity on social media, celebrity collaborations and new ranges would not be unexpected for this brand in 2024.
Refy has been a rising star ever since it was first founded in 2020 by Jess Hunt and prides itself on setting out to “simplify” beauty. In a highly competitive market, it is stocked in both Sephora and Selfridges alongside the likes of big names Fenty and Charlotte Tilbury – Hunt’s brand has certainly marked its territory this year.
Having opened its debut London pop-up in Soho in July, the brand has tapped into a whole new selling channel via its bricks-and-mortar trial, which saw queues of shoppers eager to add to their collections.
With user-generated content leading the charge on social media, Refy’s consistent social media efforts support the many ‘how to’ style makeup tutorials Refy fans post on Instagram and TikTok regularly. The Refy ‘wipe clean’ makeup bag stole the show this year, trending across TikTok and Instagram.
Founded in 2014 as the Tartan Blanket Company, co-founders Emma and Fergus Macdonald wanted to create a business that had a positive impact on the planet but was both stylish and sustainable.
Although TBCo became well-known for gifting scarves and blankets, this year it has made huge strides to expand its product range into home and lifestyle, plus collaborations with influencers, which it hopes will earn it a bumper 2024.
Available to shop online and in-store in the likes of Nordstrom and Liberty, TBCo’s offering now includes pyjamas, babywear and home accessories. The brand has recorded up to 40% year-on-year growth over the past few years.
With 50% of sales now coming from outside the UK, and huge interest from the US, the brand is set to continue making waves across the pond and beyond.
This female-founded, luxury British eco childrenswear brand came on the scene in 2014 and has been another slow but steady burner in its bid to conquer the childrenswear market sustainably.
With new collections of raincoats, onesies and puffer jackets launching each season, as well as the preloved offer to “find new homes for barely worn samples or gently loved pieces”, Toastie Kids is another brand with the perfect product for all budgets and necessities.
Having made it onto the glossy pages of British Vogue this year, as well as stocking seasonal collections in both Harrods and Selfridges and launching a Notting Hill based pop-up of its own earlier in the year, Toastie Kids is a name that is becoming increasingly familiar.
Upon achieving its B-Corp status in 2022, the brand told its Instagram followers that this has been its most fulfilling milestone to date – of which there are likely to be many more next year.