We have been absorbing a lot of cool new trends lately, firstly in our trip to the US and more recently at the (just as glamorous) Spring Fair trade expo at the NEC in Birmingham. In LA we based ourselves in Echo Park, a cool neighbourhood with loads of interesting boutiques. It was interesting to see that "fair trade" as a concept didn't seem that familiar to our American cousins, outside of specialist chains like 10,000 Villages. Nevertheless, many of the shops we visited had projects which we would see as complementary to what we do at Eighteen Rabbit.
The groovily-named Dustmuffin was very cool, with lots of interesting lines, including Giving Keys, a project helping people out of homelessness in LA (we have never seen such large homeless communities as we did on our trip to LA).
The closest UK comparison to Lassens would probably be Whole Foods Market, and like WFM they had a great range of sustainable and ethical goods, mostly food but also skincare and beauty products, many of which were fair trade. They also did incredible sandwiches!
Back here in the UK we were delighted to speak to Dan and Paul from rCups, a great new range of reusable coffee cups, made from old disposable cups. Fantastic circular design. Look out for the cups at the end of the month.
Coming in the next two weeks we have an incredible new sock range from Ballonet - fabulous designs all with the Ecocert label.
These are the first step we've taken following our customer survey to expand our range to include more ethical products which are produced responsibly without necessarily having an obvious "fair trade" label. This does not mean we are moving away from fair trade at all - rather, we hope an expanded range will encourage more customers to visit, which in turn will make our support of the fair trade projects we work with sustainable into the future. Let us know what you think!