Homes: Shop mindfully with Cambridge brand Oren
New to Cambridge Market, the Oren stall is the place to go for pieces which are beautiful, useful and kind to both people and planet
Built on a desire to “pave the way for a slower and meaningful lifestyle”, new online homestore Oren pledges to replace “fast-paced trends and throw-away mentalities” with truly timeless pieces. Sourced directly from artists and makers, all items on sale are sustainably and ethically handcrafted - and they’re all beautiful, too.
“Our business model is based on a one-degree of separation from the maker - handcrafted pieces that come straight from our makers and directly to you,” explains Annie James, who founded Oren - Welsh for orange - while locked down in her native West Wales early this year.
Having time and space, says Annie, allowed her to develop a long-held idea: to build a slow and sustainable homeware brand that is both responsible and aesthetically pleasing.
Piecing together stories and memories of her upbringing in the countryside, “where communities lived off the land and skilled craftsmen and women produced timeless and sustainable products using locally sourced materials”, so Oren's brand identity took shape and its webshop shelves started to fill - with hand-woven baskets, hand-poured candles, hand-carved wooden platters, boards and utensils. . .
Moving to Cambridge over summer, Annie has swiftly become a familiar face at artisan markets, such as Histon’s Smokestalls, and as of this month she will be a regular trader at Cambridge’s main Sunday market.
Star buys for autumn are, she says, the signature Oren paddle serving boards (made exclusively ‘Steve the Joiner’ in West Wales, they’re perfect for charcuterie platters); hogla storage baskets (woven by female artisans supported by fair-trade social enterprise Maison Bengal, they’re ideal for everything from foraging to storage); and Brickett Davda tableware (‘conscious crockery’ mould-pressed in Brighton, it’s glazed in colours inspired by the misty Sussex coast and arrives with Oren end of September).
“Now more than ever, as the world still struggles with the devastating impact of the pandemic and global warming, we can discover the many ways of supporting the more vulnerable communities on the planet we all share, and importantly cut down on our commercial carbon footprint,” adds Annie.
“By purchasing from Oren, you are actively supporting creativity, cultural tradition, innovation, independent businesses and ways of living in both regional and global craft communities.”
To celebrate Oren’s arrival in Cambridge, Annie is currently offering free delivery in the city and environs - plus an additional 10% off at checkout with the code CAMBS10. See and shop the full collection at orenhomeware.com and follow @orenhomeware on Instagram for updates, including pop-up and market announcements.
Read moreHomes and Gardens
More by this authorAlice Ryan