A Short Guide to Solidarity Purchasing

Discover these BESIDE retailers and support our local economies.


BESIDE would simply not exist without an invaluable network of North American independent retailers. Several of these local companies—which produce clothing, coffee, books, organic products, and hand-made objects—are keeping their operations running, whatever the cost, through online sales and local deliveries. We want to showcase these entrepreneurs, whose services are more vital than ever in these times of quarantine.

Please note: We will continue to update this guide throughout the pandemic to include more of our retailers choosing to move online. We will eventually convert it into a permanent database to encourage local purchases—a BESIDE-style business inventory. In the meantime, you can also check out our list of francophone retailers, which are just as inspiring.


— East Coast —

Drawn and Quarterly


What: Book publisher
Where: Montréal, QC

Montreal’s most famous independent bookstore and internationally renowned publisher of the world’s best cartoonists, Drawn & Quarterly has moved both its bookstores to an online shop for the duration of the quarantine. D&Q is also organizing virtual readings and book launches.

McNally Jackson


What: Bookstore
Where: New York City & Brooklyn, USA

Mcnally Jackson is a wonderful independent bookseller, bringing together books (check out the staff picks to browse its vast selection), independent magazines from around the world, literary events, a bustling café, and a print-on-demand press. They also run a sister store, Goods for the Study, which sells office supplies and stationary. During the pandemic, its (reduced) staff runs the online store, which offers discounts on shipping on orders over 50 USD.



What: Clothing store
Where: Toronto, ON, Canada

Since 2009, Muttonhead has been promoting slow design through North-American made products. In addition to its unisex clothing collection, the store sells home goods and accessories, all sourced through fair trade. During the pandemic, Muttonhead is working with a reduced team but is still filling online orders. To thank its community, everything in the store is currently 25% off.

Surf the Greats


What: Store, community, and coffee shop
Where: Toronto, ON, Canada

Surf the Greats is a community that celebrates coldwater surfing, from coast to coast—and every river and lake in between. Based in Toronto, the company also operates a store with women’s, men’s, and youth clothing, surf gear and publications, and organizes community events, such as beach cleanups. During the pandemic, Surf the Greats is keeping its online store open. Its founder, Brazilian surfer Antonio Lennert, is also giving an online series of free daily mindfulness meditation sessions as well as free weekly tidal flow yoga classes.

The Made in Canada Store


What: Canadian-made products store
Where: Dundas, ON, Canada

The Made in Canada Store features Canadian-made art, design, and fashion products.. Operated by visual artist Alli Boddy and musician Andrew Dawson, the store focuses on nature-inspired, sustainable, and handmade products. When the two owners aren’t managing their business, they can be found chasing waves on the Great Lakes and spreading the word about the awesome things being made by Canadian artisans.

— West Coast —

Armchair Books


What: Bookstore
Where: Whistler, BC, Canada

This family-owned bookstore has everything from new Canadian fiction, Indigenous literature, children’s books, cookbooks, and guidemaps. They are currently offering free delivery as well as pick-up service for Whistler and Squamish residents.

Hennessey + Ingalls


What: Bookstore
Where: Los Angeles, USA

Hennessey + Ingalls is the largest art bookstore in the Western United States. The store offers a vast selection of books and magazines in visual art and art history, architecture, photography, interior design, graphic design, architecture, and landscaping. While their physical store is closed, they are still taking online orders and selling gift certificates to stay afloat.

Skylight Books


What: Bookstore
Where: Los Angeles, USA

Located near Griffith Park and its iconic observatory, Skylight Books serves an eclectic clientele, which includes local artists, musicians, writers, and scholars. The bookstore provides cutting-edge cultural content: literary fiction, books on music, art, film and theatre, and regional culture and history, graphic literature, children’s books, and books on political theory. Their online store is up and running.

***Please note that the businesses mentioned in this article are responsible for answering questions about their promos, which are subject to change.

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