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An independent guide to Birmingham

Birmingham is renowned for great shopping and it’s no surprise given that the Bullring is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, but our high street is just the tip of the iceberg! 

If you’re looking for something a little bit different and individual, you don’t have to look far to discover all the unique and wonderful independents across our creative city. Here’s a guide to some of our favourites.

Kin Home (Moseley)

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Kin is full of minimalist and beautifully stylish homeware and lifestyle pieces from the UK, Europe and beyond. Based just outside of the city centre, it’s well worth a visit if you’re looking for Scandi style stationary or décor for your students digs.

Liquor Store (Colmore Row, City Centre)

Based in the business district, Liquor Store is known for their quality and variety of unique brands, from locally handmade leather goods to Scandinavian labels. And it’s no longer just one for the guys with their new homeware and women’s clothing lines too!

Bene Culture (Custard Factory, Digbeth)

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This progressive concept store based in the Custard Factory, aims to bring like-minded independent brands, art and music under one roof. Worth a visit if you like to take in an art exhibition while shopping for new clothes.

People (Kings Heath)

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Voted Birmingham’s best independent store, the creative duo behind the People shop make, source and style all their products themselves. All items on sale are limited and handcrafted for total authenticity, so if you want a truly independent shopping experience, People is the place to go.

Honest Skin Care (City Centre and Kings Heath)

For a real treat, head to Honest in the Great Western Arcade or Kings Heath where their hand made skin care products are made from 100 per cent natural ingredients and smell incredible! Plus, to help look after the planet they’re all for minimal waste and testing on people not animals.

Isherwood & Co (Stirchley)

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Because everyone needs some greenery in their life - Isherwood & Co are a small independent florists specialising in locally sourced alternative flowers and house plants, perfect for helping make your student halls feel like home. To top it off, they aim for zero waste and are based in Caneat Café, which if you’re into good grub, is another MUST try Birmingham independent.

The Clean Kilo (Custard Factory, Digbeth)

Located in the Custard Factory is newbie, The Clean Kilo. For a unique and conscientious shopping experience head to Birmingham’s first ever zero waste shop. Just remember to take your own containers along for any purchases!

Swordfish Records (City Centre)

Swordfish have been selling a huge selection of new and used vinyl and CD’s since 1979 (known as ‘Rockers’ back then). Some of their more well-known customers have included Dave Grohl and The Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Neil Diamond and Jamie Cullen, so you’ll be in good company shall we say?

Spectacle Emporium (Kings Heath)

For all the glasses wearers out there, this UK award winning specs stylists have a vision for the future of independent eyewear, and it’s pretty unique. So if you’re looking to upgrade your frames we suggest heading to Kings Heath high street, or if you don’t need specs but don’t want to miss out on the funky eyewear, they do some pretty hip shades too.

Minima (Jewellery Quarter)

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Minima is all about amazing design (hence why they’ve exhibited our student’s work). With an incredible interior selection, some of the larger furniture pieces might be little out of price range for a student budget, but the stylish accessories are definitely affordable, and who doesn’t want a natural beech wood, horse hair computer brush to keep their keyboard clean?

Projekt21 (City Centre)

If skating is your thing, Project21 is a premium street and skate-wear store full of cool and quality products - you’ll find them in the Great Western Arcade.

Ikon Bookstore (City Centre)

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Ikon is Birmingham’s only specialist art bookshop. Based in the internationally acclaimed art gallery in the City Centre, it stocks a huge range of books, cards, art, magazines and gifts.

For discounts and to check out more amazing independents, head over to Independent Birmingham.

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Open Days

The best way to explore what's on offer is to attend an Open Day. Our events provide the perfect opportunity to chat to our staff and students and check out our state-of-the-art facilities.