All of our products are fair trade imports from India, Nepal and Thailand. For us, this means that the production practices must be socially responsible and environmentally sound. We try to guarantee a safe work environment and a living wage to crafts people who would otherwise be living in poverty. No forced or child labour is used to produce any of our goods. We support women’s co-operatives, village collectives and small family businesses.
All of our woolen socks, mittens and gloves are hand knit by a Women’s Co-Op. We have been working with these women for over 20 years. The wool comes from New Zealand due to a lack of suitable wool in Nepal or India. The women receive the raw wool and clean, card, spin and dye the wool. The wool is then knit into socks, hats, gloves, mitts, scarves and sweaters. These export quality products are correctly sized and designed for western tastes. The garments are machine washable in cool or warm water, and dried flat (not in dryer).
Our hand-made paper is made in both India and Nepal. The paper from India is 100% recycled rag paper, which is smooth and strong and acid-free. Silk, linen and hemp rag is often added to the cotton base. Hand-made paper from Nepal is mashed in large vats, sun-dried and made from the branches of the Daphne bush, locally known as “lokta”. The partial harvesting of the plant does not harm the plant, and some of the Daphne bushes have been supplying fiber for 200 years. The Tibetan family, that makes this paper, has been producing traditional paper for generations. The compound is near Boudha and 10% of their income is donated to help new refugees. The paper is acid-free, soft, long lasting, non-tearing and insect proof (used by the Nepalese government to keep valuable records). Our handmade paper is not sold on the website. Please call us for a catalogue & more information.
Our essential oils come from a family business that has been distilling oils in Northern India since the 1800’s. The business is now run by two brothers, one of whom is world famous for his “nose”, (the ability to identify and grade oil and perfume scents). The essential oils are absolutely pure and of the highest quality, used in Ayurvedic medicine. They are steam-distilled from organically grown flowers, fruits, roots, herbs and spices in copper stills. The flower petals are picked before sunrise and processed immediately in order to capture the most powerful essence. The roots, fruits and bark used are also harvested carefully and distilled quickly. These oils are not cut with synthetic substances or vegetable oil. Our oils are not sold on the website. Please call us for a catalogue & more information. (Our incense comes from the same family business).
The hand-pounded polished brass singing bowls come from a family, who have been making the bowls for 3-4 generations. The quality is outstanding.
The prayer flags are made by a small business in Kalimpong, India. They are printed on cotton for the export market. The cotton is thicker, the printing is clearer and they last longer than the traditional synthetic flags. The company is run by three brothers, who have great market sense. They make sure that their products are attractive and do interesting variations on the basic prayer flags.
We carry a lovely line of light cotton clothing made in their homes by 5 fabulous women in Bangkok, Thailand. These shirts and tunic/dresses are feminine, flattering, comfortable and easy care.