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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.

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.

Is your packiaging eco-friendly?

Yes.  All our packaging is eco-friendly.
Our bags are made from recycled paper and are biodegradable.  You can pop them into the recycling or into your compost.
Our tissue wrap, which we use at our shop counter, is also recycled.
The cardboard boxes that we use are purchased as recycled.  They can in turn be recycled or used in your compost.  Most of the boxes we use aren't new - they are the boxes that we receive our goodies in; we reuse them!
The packaging nuggets that we use are made from water soluble corn starch.  They will dissolve when wet.  Or you can put them into your compost where they will naturally degrade and the starch will provide much needed nourishment to your plants!

Our clear bags are made from cellophane.  This is derived from plant based materials and, although it's not recyclable, you can put it in your compost bin as it will naturally biodegrade.
The take away cups we use are made from biodegradable potato starch.  The sleeves and the carriers are made from recycled cardboard and the lids are made from recycled plastic.
Our liquid refill products come in recycled plastic containers.  When these are empty, they are returned to our supplier who thoroughly cleans them, refills them with fresh product and sends them back out to us.
Our loose food products again come in recycled plastic.  We decant the contents into our glass jars.  When a loose food product is purchased from us, we can refill your own containers or weigh it into one of our recycled paper bags.  Loose food that is ordered online for postage is placed into a cellophane bag, which can be composted when empty.

Are your products eco-friendly?

We reckon around 90% of our products are eco-friendly.
Our Fairtrade products are absolutely 100% eco-friendly.  Fairtrade producers have to abide by 10 fundamental principles; one of which is "Respect for the environment".  Fairtrade producers mainly use recycled and sustainable materials which have a traceable history.  They use traditional techniques which have been handed down through the generations, which often mean their crafts are hand made.  All dyes and paints used are plant based and natural.  Drying is done outside in the sunshine instead of by expensive, energy guzzling machines.  And, most items are shipped by sea as it's less expensive and more environmentally friendly than using air freight.  Most Fairtrade producers and suppliers, share containers to maximise the use of space and minimise costs.
Our food items are produced by Fairtrade farmers, to which the fairtrade principles also apply.  We buy organic whenever this is possible, and we buy locally produced food too.
We ask our local crafters and artists to use natural and eco-friendly products as far as is practicable for them but we do understand that this isn't always possible.  Our general rule for local crafters is that they use as much recycled or eco-friendly materials that they can.
Some of our health and beauty ranges are made in the UK.  These generally come in recycled or recyclable packaging and bottles.
We work very hard to ensure the majority of our gift items are hand made from eco-friendly materials.  But we do make exceptions from time-to-time.