Published on November 11, 2013 | by Jenny Long1
Five subscription services you need to try nowSubscription boxes have been around for a few years and are now more popular than ever. The idea is to deliver a monthly bag or box, filled with items selected around a theme, ranging from make up, to snacks, lifestyle and even more eccentric choices coming up every day.
Subscription box services are designed to work in the same way as a magazine subscription. Sign up and you’re set to go.
While some of these services ask for a survey to be completed first to assemble a custom-fit selection to the subscriber based on his answers, most of them deliver the same items to every one.
The growing demand from the UK market has had a notable effect on these kinds of companies, with US-based monthly beauty Birchbox now being distributed in the UK. These days you may find a box for everything: dogs (Poochpack, Bark Box), new parents (Kiwi Crate), couples (Boink Box, Dejamor) and even – yes – Irish people (My Ireland Box).
Here’s our selection of a few to try out:
Not Another Bill – £17.50/month
Not Another Bill aims to help you discover new artists and designers by sending you an arts filled box every month. Their collaborations with up and coming brands add an edge to the concept. Past boxes include DIY Lomography camera kit, Sally Leonard-Morgan stationery and Tatty Devine’s jewellery. A monthly subscription starts from £18. Alternatively, you can look up their online shop for products to buy individually.
Crafty Creatives – £12.95/month
Crafty Creatives is a subscription service for “people who like to make stuff”. Their boxes include craft goodies, a craft kit, and craft samples. The kits contain everything to make an end product and more, from needles to fabric glue. Crafters can also look on their websites to get inspiration for the other materials that are included. The box are designed with a monthly themed. Past themes included floral, nautical and oriental to create different products like necklaces and bath bombs.
Birchbox – £10/month
Proving very popular in the States, Birchbox started shipping their beauty boxes to the UK in 2011. Birchbox has access to up and coming brands, delivering the newest products and introducing potential handbag favourites. Every month a selection of four or five customised trial sized (sometimes full sized) products are delivered for only £10.The October box had products from brands such as Laura Mercier, KMS California and Dr. Lipp. The boxes contain beauty tips and tricks and discount to buy the full sized products.
Flowbox – £21.95/month
Co-founded by ex-LCF student Anna Szanto, Flowbox focus on being eco-friendly, and is one of the newest boxes on the scene. The boxes contain eight to ten eco-friendly products, each organised around a theme. These recyclable box are assembled with handpicked goods, including different household, beauty and food products. Their aim is to “build a bridge between ethical companies and a community of eco-loving customers.” Flowbox offers a monthly subscription as well as a three or six month one-off payment plan. Customers can also vote for a charity to receive one per cent of Flowbox’s net profits.
Use discount code ‘GOFLOW13‘ at the checkout page to get £5 off December’s box.
Stack Magazine – £18/month
Stack is a subscription service delivering an independent magazine straight to your door each month. These magazines have been sourced from all over the world, and are all written in English. Stack says they offer “an intelligent, alternative view of films, music, art and whatever else crosses their page”, making a change from the magazines that are on the shelf of newsagents. Along with the magazine, Stack also sends zines, newspapers and any other interesting piece of print they find.
A subscription starts from £18 for 3 issues but Stack have kindly given ALN a discount code, type ARTSLONDON into the checkout page for 10 per cent off. This offer lasts until Christmas.
With these subscription services, there’s always a chance that there will be products that might not be used, so keep in mind some of your friends might like them, give them away as birthday or Christmas presents or donate to charity.