ABOUT US

Established in 2007, we are a quaint little gift shop full of beautifully hand crafted gifts and artwork made from eco-friendly, sustainable and recycled materials.

We stock a wide range of Fair Trade and Ethical products as well as the fabulous work of over 40 local crafters and artists, who also use the shop for regular demonstrations and workshops.

We work very closely with the local Primary School, helping them with their Fair Trade projects.  We also supply their school tuck shop with Fair Trade sweets and treats.

We work very hard to ensure that as many of our products as possible are hand made from eco-friendly, sustainable and recycled materials, sourcing our Fair Trade items through reputable and well-established UK importers who are registered with the World Fair Trade Association (WFTO) or the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS).
Our packaging is recycled too.  We re-use as much as we can, so don't be surprised if your purchase arrives with you wrapped in pre-used packaging.

What is Fair Trade?

It means improving the livelihood of disadvantaged people in our World's poorest countries.  It means paying a fair wage.  Fair Trade producers ensure their artisans are working in a safe environment, with proper heating, ventilation, light and safety measures - things we take for granted.  Most Fair Trade items are individually hand made from sustainable or recycled products that have been ethically sourced.  Many people think of Fair Trade as being coffee, tea, flowers or bohemian style clothes; and it is.  But there is also a whole wealth of fantastic individual gifts, toys, musical instruments and household and garden items too.  Not all of our items have been Fairly Traded.  In order to offer the diverse range that we do, some of our items are Ethically Traded and some are hand crafted by local artisans.  To put this in perspective:

99% of our items have been hand made or hand finished

60% of our items are Fair Trade or Ethical Trade

39% of our items are hand made by local crafters

1% of our items (namely our body jewellery) is mass-produced

What is Ethically Sourced?

It means the materials have come from managed sources and have a traceable history.

What is Ethically Traded?

It is a voluntary agreement between the producer and the buyer which emulates the same health and safety measures, working conditions and practices that are imposed on official Fair Trade organisations.  This initiative is not a recognised movement, however some of our biggest retailers are committed to ensuring their products are produced ethically and go to great lengths to support and encourage their suppliers to source and make their products as ethically as possible.

Our News page tells of the latest products, events and more which are happening in our Huntly shop.  Our Events page has a calendar of all the events we have planned.  All our prize draws raise much needed funds for local charities.  Check out these pages to see what's on in our shop.  There are Facts and Puzzles pages too!  All our news, events, facts, puzzles and competitions are published on our facebook and twitter pages as well.

If you would like to receive text or email alerts about our latest products and events, ask us to add you to our mailing list or our text list.

We are also a member of Art Craft Finder where you will also see our latest events listed.


Used Postage Stamps

If you are looking for a place to take your used postage stamps - bring them to us - we collect used postage stamps and send them off to be used for various Fair Trade charities endorsed by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

 



 

ABOUT OUR LOGO

We wantcopy of ethicalgiftshoplogoed our logo to say something about us and we believe it does exactly that!  We wanted it to be bright, bold and visually striking so we asked long-term friend and local professional artist, Rachel Ashton, to design it for us.  The design is based around the Fair Trade logo and features a mythical multi-coloured bird carrying a lovingly wrapped present.  This represents the multi-coloured personalities, faiths, cultures and diversity of the crafters and artists who work together to produce our wonderful items.




 



A BIT ABOUT THE BOSS AND HER ASSISTANT!

 

copy of bits 141mr cuteWe are a husband and wife team.
Ellie is the manager of the shop and is responsible for keeping it stocked, arranging events, updating Facebook and keeping track of the accounts!  Ellie has a background in secretarial, office management and event organisation from a varied and interesting 19 year career in the Civil Service.  She is also a qualified and registered carer and works full time in a local nursing home looking after elderly people with dementia.
Martyn runs his own garden design and maintenance business but looks after the shop on the days when Ellie is working at the nursing home.  He spent 22 years in the RAF and has a background in economics.

 


About our Producers, Local Crafters and the Materials used


Aspiration International - Fair Trade Organisation

Based in New Delhi, Aspiration International helps artists from all over India out of poverty and improves economic and social welfare with fair wages.

Asha Handicrafts - Fair Trade Organisation

"Asha" in Sanskrit means "hope".  The Asha Handicrafts Association has been practicing Fair Trade since 1975 and is dedicated to helping craftsmen financially and ecologically through welfare centres and interrelated programmes, helping to support sustainable industries and improve the livelihood of Asha workers.

Bezalila, Madegascar - Fair Trade Organisation

Founded in 1994, Bezalila provides Fair Trade employment to impoverished artisans, in particular those who make models from recycled cans.  This craft is called "Kapoaka".  With their profits, the Kapoaka artisans have built houses, bought rice fields and established a pig-breeding farm.

Divine Chocolate - Fair Trade Organisation

This chocolate is made entirely by the Ghanaian farmers (Kuapa Kokoo) who also own the company.  Established in 1997, the farmers not only receive a fair trade premium for the cocoa they produce, they can also share their company profits too, giving them more to invest in their families, farms and communities.

Mitra Bali - Fair Trade Organisation

The Mitra Bali Foundation was established in 1993 and is based in Bali, Indonesia.  A member of IFAT and a non-governmental and non-profit organisation they act as a market and export facilitator for small craft producers.  Mitra Bali work within a framework of approximately 100 producer groups employing over 1000 artisans with access to a free Design Centre facility for producers which provides a library of books, current magazines and monthly workshops focusing on new trends, technical aspects of production, health and safety and th use of envionmentally sustainable resources.

Noah's Ark - Fair Trade Organisation

Founded before the concept of Fair Trade existed in Moradabad, India.  Their objective is to eliminate exporters taking advantage of artisans and their crafts.  They provide regular employment to 300 people, run evening schools for children in remote villages and help artisans to build and establish their own workshops.

Tara Projects - Fair Trade Organisation

Tara (Trade Alternative Reform Action) Projects began in the 1960s and works to improve the lives of its crafters and their communities.  Tara works in the Northern Indian States and actively campaigns against child labour.  Tara Projects funds informal and vocational schoold and adult literacy centres and constantly campaigns for Fair Trade within the handicraft sector.  It also helps to develop strategies for using natural resources and encourages planting initiatives.

Women's Skills Development Project, Nepal - Fair Trade Organisation

The WSDP provides vital opportunities to the most unfortunate local women from the town of Pokhara in the Annapurna region of Nepal.  Their objective is to provide handicraft related skills training so that they may become self-supportive.  Many of the 200 employees come from rural villages and are widowed, divorced, disabled and abused.  At the WSDP they are trained in material cutting, sewing, weaving, dying and business management.  There are also classes in ealth awareness and English language which is provided by local and foreign volunteers.  To help with family commitments, the wormen are able to take ready-dyed materials and work from home.

Deborah Leslie - Local Author

Deborah is a celebrated local author, children's storeyteller and after-dinner speaker.  Based in Inverurie, Scotland, Deborah has recently (2016) produced a fabulous range of greetings cards written in Doric - the wonerful dialect spoken here in North East Scotland.  Visit her websitewww.deborahleslie.co.uk to see what she has been up to!
 

Dealan-de Designs - Local Hand Made Children's Clothing

Based in Glass, near Huntly, Tracey designs and hand makes all of her children's clothing.  Her designs are fun and funky.  Most of her work is made from felt which is not only warm and cosy but very durable too!  Each item of clothing is a one-off unique piece.

Ellie Turner - Ethical Gift Shop Owner, Crafter & Artist

Ellie (that's me!) is the co-owner of this business along with her husband, Martyn.  They have spent many years building it up to what it is today.  Ellie is also a compulsive crafter and can always be found in her shop making something!  Ellie is also an artist and exhibits her work in local exhibitions as well as her shop.  Ellie has also produced several handouts to explain what Fair Trade is, primarily for school children in conjunction with local teachers to help with their school projects.   Ellie also works as a full-time carer in a local nursing home, looking after old folk with dementia.  She also helps husband Martyn with his gardening business.  Check out her crafting facebook page to see her latest crafty makes and her facebook art page to see her latest paintings.

Jan Holm - Local Photographer

Jan is a professional photographer specialising in nature and landscapes.  Based in the Scottish Highlands, he runs workshops in various locations and can also teach one-to-one.  Jan is currently the Scottish Forestry Commission's official photographer producing the images for their websites etc..  His images have also been used in various magazines, books and publications.  Here is a link to his website.

Judith McPhun - Local Artist

Judith is a self-taught watercolourist specialising in the most fabulous paintings of flowers.  Married to a professional gardener, she too is a great gardener.  Their gardens are open to the public as part of the "Scotland's Gardens" scheme which showcases some really beautifully landscaped gardens and raises money for charities too.  Her paintings are inspired by the wonderful array of flowers in her stunning gardens.  Judith and her husband, Simon organise regular local art events for local artists to showcase their work.  She is also a volunteer at the local Red Cross shop.  Judith comes into the shop on a regular basis to paint - look out for her visits which are posted on our facebook page.

Rachel Ashton - Local Artist

Rachel was brought up in the North-East of Scotland.  She moved to Fife in 2000 opening Northern Eye Studio and Gallery in October 2002 with her husband, artist Charlie Roy.  In 2007 Rachel and her family returned to the North East.
Her landscapes are bright and contemporary and have gained considerable popularity since 1998.  She is primarily concerned with portraying the effects of dramatic light, and breaking up the land to create, often abstract, shapes and patterns.  She works principally in oil and acrylic.
Rachel has enjoyed considerable success in Moray, Fife, Perth, Bridge of Allan, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Oxford.  She has also had her work featured in various magazines and on National TV.
Her work can be viewed online at www.rachelbrideashton.com

Mulderie Wood - Local Hand Poured Candles

Based in Keith, Morayshire, Mulderie wood makes candles inspired by the scents of Mulderie Wood.  They use ecosoya which is 100% pure soy oil derived from sustainably grown soybeans and is free from pesticides, genetically modified materials and herbicides.  Click here for more information from their website.

Acacia Wood

A fast growing durable hard wood of which there are around 1300 species mainly found in the Far Ease, Africa, Southern Asia, Australia and South America.  The varied colour shades give it a warm appearance.  Valued for its hard, strong and durable timber, it is also used for fuel and as green foliage for cattle.  Various species of acacia yield gum.  True Gum Arabic is the product of Acacia Senegal, abundant in dry tropical West Africa.  The bark of various Australian species, known as wattle, is very rich in tannin and is an important export.  Acacia Seyal is thought to be the Bible's "Shittah Tree" from which shittim wood is said to have been used to construct the Ark of the Covenant.  As a spiritual icon, acacia is one of the most powerful symbols in freemasonry, representing the eternal soul.  Some species are used for perfumes and medicines.  South Americans roast acacia seeds for snuff.  In Burma the shoots are used in soups and curries.  And honey can be produced from its flowers.

Albesia Wood

One of the fastest growing trees in the World, Albesia can grow up to 7m a year.  They are shallow rooted and are coppiced in managed plantations on an 8 year cycle.  The wood is very lightweight, brittle and difficult to shape.  Albesia trees are widely planted as fast growing timber trees for reforestation and as shade for tea, coffee and banana plantations.  Common in South East Asia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, the Pacific Islands and Hawaii.

Bamboo

A much favoured material it can be used for many things such as furniture, utensils, ornaments, wind chimes, musical instruments, flooring, roofing etc.. This very fast growing wood makes it easily sustainable.

Coconut

The shell is used in a variety of decorative items.  Also used for utensils and musical items.


Indian Mango Wood

Used to make some lovely hand carved boxes and furniture.  These trees are only used when they are no longer viable as fruit trees.

Thai Mango Wood

Traditionally used for animal carvings and pots.  These trees are only cut down and used when their fruiting life is over.  Thai mango wood is darker in colour than Indian mango wood.

Olive Wood 

The olive tree legend found its roots in Greek mythology.  When Greeks were looking for a God to protect their town, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom made an olive tree grow from the ground.  The Greeks were so pleased by this everlasting tree which provided food and oil, they called their new capital Athens.  The olive tree now signifies peace, wisdom, eternity and continual rebirth.

Parasite Wood

Formed by a parasitic mushroom like growth which embeds itself into the bark of th Chinaberry tree and feeds from its sap.  The growths are hard and dense and don't decay.  When the tree is dead it leaves interestingly shaped pieces of wood which are then exquisitely carved.  The Chinaberry tree is native to Asia and Australasia.  Also known as the Pride of India, the Umbrella tree and the Persial Lilac it is fast growing up to 50 feet tall.

Sawdust

Traditionally hand crafted and painted in Northern Thailand.  Sawdust is mixed with natural rubber sap before being moulded then painted when it's dry.

Shesham Wood

Shesham (or sheesham) is a fast growing wood native to India.  Also known as Indian Rosewood, it is a tough hardwood which can be waxed to give a beautiful lustre.  It is obtained from governmet managed plantations which ensures the wood is replenished and sustainable.  Shesham grows to around 15metres is 10 years.

Soap Stone

There are many different types of soap stone with many different colours.  Traditionally hand carved, mainly in India it is so soft it can be shaped with a knife and is often used to produce extremely intricate carved work.

Suar Wood

Suar is the product of the Rain Tree a fast growing hard wood native to South America now dispersed throughout the tropics.  It is evnironmentally grown and managed making it easily sustainable.  It is easy to carve because of its straight grain and can be stained or left natural.

Thuya Wood

The Thuya Tree (pronounced tweeya) is a shrubby conifer indigenous to Southern Morocco.  Both the root which provides the stunning burrs, and the lighter coloured trunk are used.  Polishing with Shellac will produce a very high shine with considerable depth.  Mentioned in the Old Testament and prized since ancient times, oil from the wood is still valued for medicinal uses.

Felt

One of the oldest materials known to man - makes a variety of pretty and warm clothes, bags and accessories.

Gourds

This versatile vegetable can be dried, carved and painted into wonderful ornaments and musical instruments.

Papier Mache

A good way to recycle old paper.  It's easy to make and mould into anything.

Tin Cans

Our producer from Madegascar uses old tin cans and makes replica models of cars, bikes, boats, planes etc - a brilliant and fun way to recycle old tins!

Crisp Packets

Make excellent waterproof shopping bags!

Rice Sacks

Make very strong and durable bags, wallets and purses.

Sari Silk

Recycling old saris is a brilliant way to cover boxes, make bags, purses, clothing, accessories, cushion covers, bedspreads and hangings and lots more.

Cotton Waste

Our wrapping paper is made from 100% cotton rag waste.  It is 100% paper free.  Cotton waste makes a lovely thick soft paper which produces a luxurious wrapping fabric.

Elephant Dung

Some of our paper is hand made from recycled cotton waste mixed with elephant dung.  This produces a very hard paper which is perfect for gift bags.  Leftover dung is reused as fertilizer.

Newspaper

Our famous newspaper and magazine bags are made by Ellie.  They are a brilliant way to reuse old newspapers and magazines.  Ellie also turns papers and mags into fabulous jewellery too!