True Fair Trade stories to warm your heart

Fair Trade goods are much more than merely stylish and contemporary, attractive and practical. As well as wonderful gifts for every occasion, genuine fair trade goods are produced without exploiting people, animals or the environment. Here are a few heart-warming stories behind some of today’s most popular and well-loved ethical gifts.

Take vinyl coasters, fabulously funky products made from genuine old vinyl records. Unplayable and otherwise useless, they’ve been collected and recycled in the UK to create an excellent and thoughtful gift to grace any living room or kitchen, presented in recycled cardboard packaging. Or choose an amazing vinyl bowl, 29cm diameter and 8cm deep, created from an old twelve inch album or single.

You’ll love the Cocoa Loco collection of chocolates, made from chocolate that’s certified organic by the Soil Association, the UK’s most recognisable organic trademark and one of the highest organic standards on the planet. They’re created in West Sussex, by hand, by a company that’s dedicated to minimising their environmental impact, cutting landfill waste to the bone and buying their electricity from Ecotricity.

The Sranrom range of body products are designed and made in Thailand to ancient recipes that bring Thailand's rich, diverse herbs and spices into play. Packed with essential oils and ingredients chosen for their therapeutic properties, Sranrom only use natural ingredients with no Parabens, propylene glycol, petroleum derivatives, silicone, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrances or animal ingredients. The people who make the products know how to live in harmony with their surroundings and all follow the ‘Middle Way' – the path of moderation – in all their thoughts and actions.

The Manyara photo frame collection is made by Nkuku, a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops. They’re known for paying their suppliers a decent wage and they visit regularly to ensure safe working conditions, good health and safety standards and no child exploitation. BAFTS also maintains a close personal relationship with the artisans themselves. The wood used is Sheesham wood, from government approved sustainable forests in the exotic east of India.

The Organic Pet Food Company has researched pet food in depth, consulting vets and nutritionists to develop its range of pet foods. The ingredients are rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, fortified with naturally occurring essential vitamins and minerals. They’re made in Britain and certified organic by The Organic Food Federation.

If you love traditional wooden toys, you’ll adore Bajo toys. They’re made by hand in Poland from four types of sustainable wood, taken from properly-managed state forests and orchards close to the small village where they’re made.

Bambu is a company that’s totally committed to fair treatment for workers, happy communities and looking after the environment. The Bambu range is hand made by families in rural Vietnam, and supplements the workers’ farming income. Because bamboo grows so quickly, it’s an incredibly sustainable resource, and thrives perfectly naturally without the need for pesticides or fertilizers. It also absorbs greenhouse gases.

There’s every imaginable eco gift available from sustainable, fair trade sources these days, so fill your boots and enjoy feeling 100% good about shopping!

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