Last week, I attended the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate. It’s a huge event, made up of many producers and even more retailers looking to add new lines to their sites, stores and stalls in the autumn.
As with previous events trade events I’ve attended, my goal was to seek out those makers with an eco, ethical or sustainable tale to tell. I thus set off on the organised ‘Eco Trail’ but I was defeated by the size of the show, covering only around two-thirds of it.
Even so, I met some awesome brands that I’m excited to tell you about!
Having realised how mammoth my earlier ethical round-up was, I decided to break this summary up somewhat. There are five parts, the first being beauty and skincare last night, plus a collated post on Saturday.
I hope that you find some new companies to consciously shop with. Let me know what purchases you make!
You can comment below or on social media. And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, then please do share – it really does make a huge difference!
Thank you for reading 🙂
Scarves, hats, gloves, bags, purses: Earth Squared offer them all under the slogan ‘fair trade and fabulous’. They certainly are both! A member of BAFTS (the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers), they work with fair trade accredited producers. Among their huge selection of products, there will be something for everyone but my personal favourites were the tweed purses, velvet scarves and knitted bobble hats – although I also have my eye on a navy wool sling bag 🙂
EnviroTrend sell a variety of bags that are designed to eliminate the use of plastic bags. They are all lightweight yet strong, and the SAKitToMe™ shopping bags fold up into a size that you can attach to your key-ring – so you never caught out at the checkout without a reusable bag again!
They have also created the INside OUT Umbrella™. This looks like a regular umbrella and opens the same, but will stand up on its own when down. It also turns inside out as it is closed, so that the water drains on the inside, meaning no more soaking the side of your leg when walking round with a used brolly!
RRP from £6.00 for the bags; the umbrella £25.00.
Mowgs founder Michal stumbled upon villagers making beautiful baskets while travelling around Myanmar. Locals produce them when the rainy season prevents farming, using generations old weaving techniques but plastic strapping recycled from used materials around them – meaning each one is unique. Michal now works closely with the same villagers, bringing a limited number to the retail market. Unsurprisingly they sell out fast!
RRP from £19.99 to £45.99.
Scottish jewellery firm Two Skies source old pieces of the iconic blue-and-white willow pattern china and porcelain then upcycle the pottery into hand crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces. This includes rings, earrings and necklaces that feature either a bird, a bridge or another part of the classic scene.
Their publicity even tells the ancient love story behind the pattern:
‘A peasant boy and a princess were in love but her father, the king, would not let them marry. He built a large fence around the palace and arranged a suitable marriage with a duke. Arriving by boat, the Duke found that the couple had already escaped to an island where the gods had taken pity on them and transformed them into immortal doves’.
Starting at £24.50.