isle20.com – a new shopping site showcasing unique, high-quality products from the Scottish islands – is taking the Christmas gift market by storm.
Bespoke bags made in Lewis? Cocktail sauces from Lismore or gin from Jura? Incredible art from Muck and exquisite knitwear from Barra? From Orkney to Arran, there’s something for everyone. You can even take an island tour with our interactive map!
Filled with one-off pieces, sustainable products, and formed as a social enterprise, it’s the perfect place to browse for presents and support small island businesses at the same time. With a product catalogue as rich as the landscapes that inspired it, this is a shopping site with a heart, a conscience, and purpose.
A destination like no other, the Scottish islands capture hearts and minds in an instant. But these beautiful places have struggled this year. Increasingly reliant on tourism, their economies are as fragile as the beautiful ecosystems they exist in.
When covid-19 reached our shores, it wasn’t long before the implications for these holiday destinations became clear. As lockdown began, many of us resigned ourselves to losing the summer season – and by implication the best part of a year’s earnings.
It’s deceptive, when gazed at through the lens of an empty view, but our islands aren’t just sand and sea, turquoise in summer and dramatic in winter; they are home to communities of resilient folks, well used to crops failing, boats sinking, ferries being delayed, power being cut and tragedy striking.
Traditionally, island life was one of make do and mend, using what you had to solve a problem. Crofters and fishing folks thrived because they knew how to do more than just survive.
This year, where there had been tourist footfall in previous years, we needed digital footfall – more than ever before. So we took what we had and started to build.
For every beautiful view, there is a talented maker. For every must-see sight, there is a young family selling great products. For every empty photo there is a skilled community growing their businesses. And so we listed them in a web directory and started driving traffic. The island holiday destination became virtual.
isle20.com invited people on digital wanders to visit their favourite Scottish island and tour the shops. That business community grew and developed until we now have almost 500 businesses listed, and a thriving shop, selling thousands of products from the islands.
Each business represents a community member and every pound spent goes back into the pockets of hard working folks.
Now, with Christmas coming, our businesses have pulled out all the stops to showcase their wares. For the first time, incredible products from artisans, makers and producers in the islands are available all in one place. Browse the listings and shop from the comfort of your sofa – you’re guaranteed to find unique gifts that your family and friends will love.