It's Valentines Day next Friday and if you're looking for a gift that keeps on giving, we have plenty of fairly traded ideas. How about one of these unusual tin heart-shaped mirrors from Mexico, something from our exquisite range of Carousel jewellery (resplendent with a Swarovski crystal), or a sumptuous bar of fair trade chocolate for those in love.
Also check out our Mexican greetings cards for a Valentine's card with a difference!
We're back in the shop after an incredible trip to Cuba. A really remarkable place, and without adding to the cliches, a "land of contradictions." The country seemed to be teetering on a see-saw balanced between left and right. Friends we've spoken to who have visited previously tell us it has changed a huge amount over the past decade, and I've no doubt the next ten years will see that change continue. At its heart though the story of the revolutionary struggle was quite remarkable to see played out in reality.
Now that we're getting back into the swing of things we have big plans for 2014. We want to increase the diverse range of products we're stocking to reach as many potential customers as possible. We hope to grow our online audience so that customers outside of Hay can still join in the fun - if there is anyone you can recommend us to we would really appreciate it!
We are also planning an exciting event for the spring - Hay Green Fair, a celebration of all that's great about green Britain. We'll have inspiring speakers, great stalls, activities and fun for all the family. More news on that soon.
Thanks for choosing to shop fair trade in 2014 - you are making a real difference.
It's been a great year at Eighteen Rabbit, and we want to thank everyone for their support during 2013. We've tried to reward our loyal online customers during the year by offering discounts and special offers via our newsletter (sign up here), our Facebook page or on Twitter. It's always nice to pick up a bargain!
For Christmas we wanted to do something a bit different. That's why, instead of offering discounts or giveaways in the run up to the big day, we're going to donate 10% of the value of all of our online sales to Oxfam to help their fight against poverty. We'll make a note on each order of how much we'll be giving on your behalf.
It's nice to get something for nothing - but how much nicer to know you're making a real difference with each purchase you make?
Thank you from all of us at Eighteen Rabbit, and a very happy Christmas to you and your nearest and dearest.
"Black Friday" is one of those strange American traditions which is gradually seeping into the UK (they'll have us celebrating Independence Day next!). Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In the US it's a feeding frenzy of 5am openings, crazy deals, mad consumerism and the start of the Christmas rush.
Doesn't sound like there would be a lot in common with the ethics and ideals of fair trade, does it? We try to run our business in a way that encourages our customers to think about the people behind their purchases, and a mad supermarket sweep doesn't quite fit with that approach. Nevertheless, as a retailer we have to see Black Friday as an opportunity to spread our message that fair trade is a better way of doing business.
We are always clear to our customers that we are not a charity - we are not here with a begging bowl looking for donations. We are simply a platform that allows incredibly talented artists, producers and creatives from around the world to sell their products at a price that makes sense for them. The producers we represent aren't necessarily poor souls who need our help - they're entrepreneurs, business people, the future of their nations. They don't want a free pass - they just want a level playing field.
By choosing fair trade products this Christmas you can help make life fairer and more equitable for people around the world. Better than another electric toothbrush, right?!
Meet Mary - the latest addition to our fair trade gnome family. Her pal Norman has packed his bag for the winter and Mary will be taking is place during the festive season. Made in Vietnam, Mary is just one of our range of amazing ceramics made in the far east in fair trade factories which guarantee workers rights, pay and conditions. A perfect addition to any Christmas scene!