News | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade


Fair trade gifts from around the world

by Andrew Williams | August 26, 2013

We have a big map of the world in our shop in Hay on Wye and one of our favourite jobs is filling in new suppliers from around the world as another interesting delivery of unusual items arrives. So far this year we have added some amazing new lines to the shop, including:

Cana Flecha jewellery and clutches from Colombia;

Pachacuti Panama hats from Ecuador;

Intricate ceramic skulls from Mexico;

Delightful floating candles from Thailand;

Exclusive soft toys from Argentina. 

We are constantly on the look out for new suppliers who have interesting and inspiring stories. If you have a suggestion for a line you'd like to see us stocking, please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

Tagged: 2013, Argentina, colombia, Ecuador, eighteen rabbit, fair trade, fairtrade, mexico, Pachacuti, Panama hats, Thailand

Give your kids a fair trade summer holiday

by Andrew Williams | July 22, 2013

"I believe that children are our future," as the late, great Whitney sang. Kids today already learn a lot more about fair trade than they would have twenty years ago - and thanks to classroom projects up and down the land we are gradually turning Britain into a fair trade nation. We've pulled together a cool selection of kid-friendly bits and pieces to help your little ones stay occupied during the summer holidays...

First there's our new range of exclusive toys from Argentina. These are sure to be a hit with little (and big) kids of all ages, and are available in a wide number of animals. They're going fast, and while we hope to have more before Christmas, you may want to pick one up now to be on the safe side.

Then there's our firm favourites from Pebble, made by women's cooperatives in Bangladesh which offer flexible working and a self sufficient lifestyle for the people making them.

New from our designers in Holland is our Little Fair Bag, a cool plain bag complete with crayons your budding Leonardo can use to colour in and create their very own work of art.

We hope to have more clothes and products for teenagers in the next few months, so keep checking back to see what cool new items have been added. We also have a range of leaflets and cards explaining more about fair trade - if you'd like us to include some of these with your next order just let us know and we'll pop some in for you! 

Tagged: 2013, eighteen rabbit, hay on wye, kids

Stylish fair trade - what, why and how?

by Andrew Williams | July 20, 2013

We often describe the products we sell at Eighteen Rabbit as "fair trade with style," or "stylish fair trade designs" - but what do we mean and why is it important?

It's about combating a stereotype. While many households are used to buying fair trade tea, coffee or sugar, they may have preconception about what fair trade clothes, jewellery and home wares will look like. To be blunt, customers may think that they will be paying more for an inferior product, or that they'll be guilt-tripped into a purchase as some kind of charitable gesture. 

That's where we are trying to do something different. We hope that our customers buy our products first and foremost because they love them, and see their fair trade credentials as an extra bonus. This isn't about a donation, or a sympathy purchase. The artists and creators we represent don't see themselves as victims. Rather, they are entrepreneurs, who have taken a conscious decision to try to better their own position and provide security for their families by investing in their business. We support them by ensuring they are paid a fair price. 

How we do this is equally important. For some lines we source the products directly from the artists themselves - even bringing them back in our luggage on some occasions! Where we use wholesalers we cherry-pick products which fit not just our ethics, but also our sense of style and design. We're looking for items which reflect a design-led approach to contemporary ethical living. 

And why is that important? Why not just take a more traditional route with more items which might fit the stereotypes of a "fair trade shop?" The answer is that our aim is to make that definition redundant. Our goal is to create an economic environment where "fair trade" isn't a nice additional extra, but is the norm for how we do business around the world. It may sound a like a grand ambition, but the way we want to start is by showing that fair trade shouldn't be second best, or a compromise - it should represent the very best products that are available. We hope you'll agree!

Tagged: design, eighteen rabbit, fair trade, style

Cool new fair trade toys from Argentina

by Andrew Williams | July 16, 2013

We're really excited to be stocking an amazing new range of toys available exclusively in the UK at Eighteen Rabbit! They are made in Argentina by a small family business called Sopa de Principe and we think each one of them may be able to steal a small piece of your heart. Made by hand, the toys include cows, sheep, bears, rabbits (of course!) and even ant eaters. There are also mini monsters to collect, plus a "Build Your Own Monster" kit allowing you to assemble your very own soft and fluffy Frankenstein's Monster!

Before their debut at Eighteen Rabbit, the range of toys has already seen some pretty cool places, including an exhibition at MoMa in New York. In an age of computer games and downloads it's nice to have a connection with something truly authentic, hand made, and unique.

We're sure these guys wont last long so get them while you can. We hope to have another order before Christmas but supplies are very limited so don't delay! All the toys are hand made in cotton and stuffed with polyester, with soft felt eyes. They can be hand washed in cool water. 

Tagged: Argentina, eighteen rabbit, fair trade, hay castle, hay on wye, toys

Video killed the radio star

by Andrew Williams | February 14, 2013

We've been experimenting with videos to show more of what we're doing at Eighteen Rabbit. We hope to be able to bring you insights into the products we sell and the people who make them. Do you think video is a good way of sharing this information? Let us know! In the meantime, here's a short introduction...

Tagged: eighteen rabbit, hay on wye, video, website, youtube