Campaign Shop Independent - Christmas 2021

After more than 18 months of pandemic, we knew that Christmas 2021 was going to be especially tough for small businesses. There were thousands of hard working, brave and brilliant people whose livelihoods were at stake and we didn’t want to let that happen. So we shouted from the rooftops to encourage the nation to shop thoughtfully, independently and colourfully at Christmas. That meant shining a light on the magnificent colour and creativity that independent businesses bring to the UK and asking everyone to swap some of their usual Christmas spend to support small businesses instead.

We wanted everyone’s gift lists to be full of original finds, and for the brilliant businesses behind them to get the recognition and support they deserve. So we created plenty of exciting ways to get involved and spread the good word.

With thanks to our passionate small business supporters

CSI 2021 sponsors


On 8th November 2021, we launched Colour Friday as an exciting new annual alternative to Black Friday on 26th November, to support the nation’s small businesses. And it’s fair to say that thanks to this incredible community, it was a roaring success. 

People got involved in the most colourful and creative ways. Your artwork and the special advert we made went viral, thousands of you shared it, and the day was even mentioned on the BBC news. So this is just the start. From here on in, we will continue to work hard year-round to change the way the nation shops for the better, so that Black Friday will one day become a thing of the past and conscious consumerism and happy shopping will be our future.


You can support the campaign in lots of colourful ways.

Colourful Campaign Support Kit


We created this specifically to support small businesses as part of our campaign. It contained a wealth of exclusive marketing materials, from our Colour Friday advert and readymade assets to share on social channels, to free insight and advice. It also included lots of tried and tested tips from the community of the best ways to not just survive but thrive at Christmas.

The Independent Awards 2021


Launched in 2020, The Independent Awards has become a key date in the small business calendar. It’s held in early December and is our favourite night of the year because we give away the largest prize fund EVER to the community (£100,000) and share it out between the winners and runners-up to recognise their talent, skill and hard work.

Instagram LIVES


Our special #CampaignShopIndependent Instagram Lives provided founders with a forum to ask questions, share advice, meet like-minded souls, get inspired and generally just let off steam together. Every Monday (10-11am), Holly was joined by brilliant guests including RUDE art and a breathwork coach.

Plus, our Roving Reporters showcased what their local area was doing to get behind the campaign to shop colourfully at Christmas.

Make some noise


We reached out to our impressively well-connected community to encourage them to tell the world and its dog about the benefits of supporting small — and doing things differently (and more colourfully) on Black Friday. By joining together, we could better amplify the message so we asked them to:

  • Tell five friends why they should buy at least one gift from a small business at Christmas
  • Join the conversation by sharing our campaign artwork 
  • Use #CampaignShopIndependent so others could discover brilliant independent businesses

Calling Campaign Shop Independent Marketeers


We went out to the community to help us spread the word to encourage everybody to shop colourfully and support small at Christmas, and become our campaign marketeers. The response was unbelievable. Out of all the applicants, we chose 250 to display our exclusive campaign posters (designed by our friends at RUDE no less), in the most colourful places they could think of. We expected good things but were absolutely bowled over by the imagination each independent showed. Instagram became awash with colour and creativity as well as support for the campaign — we couldn’t be happier with the results in fact.

Previous campaigns

We’ve been passionately campaigning on behalf of small UK businesses every Christmas for the past five years. 

We know how vital it is to encourage people to vote with their money year-round, so we’ve even added a summer campaign in now, too.

With thanks to our small business supporters


Colour Friday sources: 1.) SiteScore 2.) Finder Christmas spending stats