I came across Objects of Use about five years ago when I returned to live in Oxford after a round the world trip. It seems a very old fashioned and almost Scandinavian in style shop and is tucked away in the back streets of Oxford, behind the popular Covered Market. I revisited the shop yesterday with a friend and we both remarked that it was the kind of shop where you could buy a gift for a person who has everything.
There is a beautiful wooden canoe hanging from the ceiling and a range of items that require thorough investigation to work out exactly what they do!
I was particularly taken with the beautiful Underhand Storm Lantern with sells for a very reasonable £20(both pictured)
What’s great about the shop is that it was done away with silly modern packaging and all the products are laid out on wooden tables or hung on the walls so you can pick think up and get a feel for them. All of the products have lovely type-written labels which make the shop feel very old fashioned and traditional.
The shop (as may be rather obvious from it’s name) aims to ‘provide a source of enduring household tools and functional items.’
It also places importance on objects that have been made in the same way, by the same people, for a long time. In my mind that seems to be a great philosophy, because this surely means they are products that work well. The shop’s ethos extends to environmental requirements, stating on its website that:
‘We are ‘against throwawayism’, aiming to minimise the environmental impact of our products by offering objects that are built to last (and improve with age), using low-impact production methods and natural materials. We aim to source our products as locally as possible, with the majority of our products being manufactured in the UK or Europe.’
You can find more about the shop by visiting their website here or by visiting the shop on Market Street, Oxford.