Shoreditch and the Flat White Economy

I am definitely far from any social or style trend in London. When in town, I spend most of the time in my cave in SE London or buying stuff at the local Mark & Spencer. Not a good place to learn about new trends. Yet I walk around, talk to Londoners, read media and books, drink (critical requirement within the British social culture) and, primarily, I observe. So here is my personal take on the Shoreditch thread.

Shoreditch had its days. Now it is clear mainstream and the trendy wave has moved somewhere else, not sure where, toward East. Though, it is an interesting place to visit. Packed with bars and independent shops (among them Roger Wade‘s brave experiment with his Boxpark and the temporary pop-up stores), it is defined on the map as a rough triangle made up by Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street.

It’s hipsterland. Or maybe it was, as the Guardian and other media state (I didn’t have this perception walking around the district today): “The idea of the hipster has been swallowed up by the mainstream”.

Nevertheless, the area has recently become popular with London-based web technology companies (Songkick, Secret Escapes, Hailo and other start-ups, in addition to Amazon, Cisco, FaceBook, Google) who base their head offices around Old Street. It’s the flat white economy, as defined by Douglas McWilliams in his latest book (written before getting accused of smocking crack and hitting prostitutes).

All in all: it’s just one of the many districts of London. Sure. Maybe more vibrant than others. Maybe attracting more young creativity and innovation than others (can you imagine creativity flourishing in boring Paddington district today?). But it’s just a place. A good place to live. If you are young and if the world is your oyster.


Also published on Medium.

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