Over the years we’ve been lucky enough to find our incredibly talented producers across India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Each dedicated to the principles of Fair Trade in their own ways, they’re a truly inspirational bunch!

We try to visit each of the organisations as often as we can, and Claire took these photos during our trips.

Our Journal & Photo Album Producer

Our beautiful sari and leather journals and photo albums are handmade by a small family business we’ve worked with since our beginnings in 2001. Over the years we’ve formed a truly special bond and consider the producers and their families real friends. We design our products together and value their insight into the mixture of traditional and contemporary techniques that can be used to create the stunning details.

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We’re incredibly proud that together we’re able to provide people living in rural villages surrounding Rajasthan fairly paid work that would have otherwise been difficult to find, following Fair Trade guidelines. When we first began, the business employed 3 artisans to create our products. Over 20 years later they’re now able to employ over 35 artisans exclusively creating products for us, including home workers in local villages.

The recycled cotton paper in each book is handcrafted by a charity they work with in Rajasthan using traditional techniques. Through their work, the charity aims to promote women’s education and social development in rural villages. For more information about the sustainable materials used, take a look at the product pages.

Conserve India

Employing and training hundreds of people from Delhi’s most disadvantaged communities, Conserve India are an NGO that create beautifully unique leather products, and put the profits back into the same communities to improve education and welfare.

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Born out of a desire to reduce India’s mountain of waste, they recycle and repurpose materials in their designs wherever possible. The leather used for their bags and accessories is salvaged from the waste of their local meat industry, and they’ve even developed a patented technique of upcycling plastic waste.

Their ongoing research into the use of new recycled fibre blends, eco-friendly farming techniques, and community engagement make them a truly fantastic Fair Trade producer.

TARA Projects

As a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and a founding member of Fair Trade Forum India, TARA Projects (Trade Alternative Reform Action) are a fantastic business that we’re proud to work with. TARA began in the early 1970’s and they have been dedicated to creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged, home-based artisans in Delhi ever since. Over the years the project has extended its work into the adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

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The project provides services to enable the production and marketing of handicrafts following Fair Trade principles, as well as providing the education and support to empower grassroots artisans. The heart of their work is their dedication to eradicating poverty, by fighting against exploitation and illiteracy amongst their producers and their communities. They also contribute towards the funding of local schools and employ and train women as part of their drive to support marginalised groups.

Asha Handicrafts Association

Founded in 1975, Asha Handicrafts Association are a Fair Trade certified organisation that directly support over 800 artisans. Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of traditional Indian handicrafts, they use locally sourced materials to produce our recycled cotton throws.

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As a social enterprise, their profits are put back into the social welfare of the artisans and their families, giving them the opportunity to improve their standard of living while uplifting their communities with medical aid and education.

Barefoot College

Our colourful rugs and bell totas are handmade in partnership with the fantastic Barefoot College. Established in 1972, the organisation was formed with the goal of helping rural communities become self-sufficient and sustainable.

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Working within the areas of solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, communication, female empowerment, and wasteland development, they’ve certainly achieved their goal! We’ve seen for ourselves the incredible work they’re doing and are truly inspired by their organisation. And we’re not the only ones – the Dalai Lama paid a visit too!

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark is an incredible group of producers that create many of our Fair Trade homewares from sustainable materials like mango wood, and even recycled glass and metal. As a member of both the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and Fair Trade Forum India, the organisation works with around 49 talented producer groups, representing a total of over 500 artisans collectively working towards the eradication of poverty.

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Committing themselves and the producer groups they work with to Fair Trade principles, their ultimate goal is to change the lives of grassroots artisans. Their focus on education and capacity building enables the people they support to learn about fair working conditions and the importance of protecting the environment, in order to promote the value, cultural heritage, and beauty of their handmade products. Their founder Samuel is a truly inspirational man, and we are so proud to have worked with the organisation for many years.

Handicraft Villa

Many of our leather products are handcrafted by the incredibly talented artisans at Handicraft Villa in Rajasthan, India. As members of Sedex, one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, they ensure their working conditions meet a high standard and offer their staff continual training and development opportunities. We’re fortunate enough to be able to visit as often as we can to ensure they continue to conform to Fair Trade principles.

Get Paper Industries (GPI)

Our beautiful gift wrap is handmade by the fantastic socially aware Fair Trade cooperative Get Paper Industries (GPI). Dedicated to social efforts, the charity work they do in the local area has earnt them many awards. This includes providing support to those affected by HIV and Aids, as well as establishing and maintaining schools to support the education of underprivileged children in the local area.

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Milan, a founding member, is a man with an amazing passion for life, and he and his team are making a huge difference to their community. We’ve been fortunate enough to see their impact with our own eyes, and as our own small contribution to their work we sponsor 17 girls to attend one of their schools.

The vibrant gift wrap they create for us is coloured with natural dyes from Lokta shrub, a sustainable, fast-growing plant. Each shrub they use is replanted to minimise their impact on the environment.

Our Woollen Hats & Socks Producer

Our woollen hats and socks are hand crocheted by a Fair Trade organisation based in Nepal. Actively promoting the training and employment of marginalised groups, they pay a fair wage and offer the opportunity to live a stable, happier life. Using sustainable 100% wool fibres sourced from New Zealand and Australia’s abundant supply, only natural dyes are used to create the bright designs.

Aaha Felt

Our colourful felt products are handmade by one of the leading and most inspiring felt producers in Nepal, Aaha felt. As a Fair Trade company, they provide training and work for women within some of the poorest communities in Nepal.

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To date, the company has empowered over 100 women, training them in traditional crafts and forming their own community where they sing and dance while creating the beautiful designs. Committed to being as eco-conscious as possible, they use only raw materials and natural dyes for their crafting process, carried out entirely by hand using traditional methods. They also use solar energy to power their operations.

Maximus Elephant Conservation Trust

The ultimate in recycling, our producer Maximus’ paper starts life inside an elephant. The elephant dung is collected and (thoroughly!) sterilised before the paper-making process begins. Each piece of paper is as unique as the animal that helped to produce it, with differences in shade and texture depending on the diet of the elephant.

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Dedicated to improving the outlook for the majestic elephants of Sri Lanka, Maximus have their workshop in the grounds of the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF). MEF are a wonderful small charity that provides care for sick, old, and disabled elephants. The foundation also works towards resolving the critical conflict between the elephants and the local farming communities, as the elephants’ turn to eating the farmers crops as their habitats are destroyed.

Working with initiatives like Maximus, they’re able to show the mutually beneficial relationship the communities can have, with jobs provided to improve the local economy, and the elephants receiving the care they deserve.

Trickledown

Founded in 1993, Trickledown started as a manufacturer of recycled paper products. Today, they use a whole range of sustainable materials in their work, including paddy husk, banana, pineapple, and elephant dung (working with our other elephant dung producer Maximus!).

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With the core value of empowering their artisans through the development and support of their crafts, the largely female team provide fairly paid opportunities to improve the lives of their workers and their communities.

Earthbound Creations

Our bestselling, brilliantly colourful recycled newspaper range is handmade by the artisans at Earthbound Creations. The Sri Lanka based social enterprise aim to minimise the environmental damage caused by the overuse and unsustainability of plastics traditionally used in the creation of homewares, by using only recycled paper to create their products.

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Committed to helping their community, they’ve helped over 250 families and have directly contributed to a reduction in the need for female labourers to migrate into larger towns. By employing homeworking artisans, they allow mothers, those with disabilities, and the elderly to provide for themselves and their families.