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A successful long week with our main clothing supplier to design a new range of plus sized fair trade clothing in sizes 16-28.  Expected to arrive in April it is very exciting to have a range of clothing unique to us in sizes more suitable to the European market.  Working directly with the manufacturers means we can ensure our items are unique, well made and fairly traded from source to customer.  On our trip we also discovered a fair trade hemp hat supplier and a new source of ethical bags and patches.  

A few hats to choose from

Read more: Nepal

Once again we travelled to India with friends to explore new and existing supplier however this time we also flew over to Nepal for the first time in 5 years.  It was wonderful to meet up in Kathmandu with one of our suppliers who we haven’t met face to face for so long and found out that the company she was working for she has now bought out and owns herself.  Whilst it is often looked strangely upon in India for a women to run her own business, in Nepal it is more common.  We spent a large amount of time sightseeing, meeting old friends and making new ones.  For those travelling over there we can highly recommend the K2 restaurant for the best steaks we’ve ever eaten!  The Hemp Store is a great place to find hemp bags and belts at very reasonable prices.

At the invitation of some friends I travelled to India for almost 3 weeks in January on a sightseeing, fact finding and stock buying mission.  India is unlike any other place I have visited before – smelly, dirty, historic, noisy, busy, frantic, colourful.  It was quite a culture shock to begin with.  We stayed in Delhi for a week to visit tourist sites as well as to meet suppliers and discuss designs for new stock.  The second week was spent in Pushkar – an extremely beautiful and holy Hindu city by a lake.  Pushkar was the complete opposite from Delhi – no cars allowed in the city so far quieter; the air was cleaner and locals all fly kites from roof tops – very pretty.  In Pushkar we met a lovely family business who make and sell clothing made from recycled sari silk.  We also got to know two brothers who make and sell Rajasthani design embroidered bags.  After a peaceful week it was back to Delhi to finish off and fly home.  India has left a lasting impression and we will be back having made friends out there with some lovely people.

Above: Inspecting new stock and meeting suppliers in Pushkar

Above: Meeting a lovely Indian man who makes hand made wooden keyrings and magnets.

Above: Sunset over Pushkar Lake

Above: The Barbers Tomb, Delhi

In 2011 we extended our range of goods to include items from Mexico and Peru.  As a honeymoon we decided to visit Mexico and also see where the Jergas and woven cotton bags we sell are made.  We travelled around the Yucatan Peninsula visiting Merida and their large market.  We also visited dozens of Mayan ruins and cenotes (flooded sink holes/caves).  We found the carved ruins very inspiring for our own future clothing range.

Above: Chitchen Itsa

In 2010 we decided we should visit some of the location where our stock was produced in order to see the culture, people, working condition and meet the people who actually make our items.  At Easter we travelled to Kathmandu, in Nepal, for a week of sightseeing and stock hunting.  We met some amazing people and saw some stunning places.  Below is a brief selection of the photos.

 

 

Above: Supplier in Thamel, Kathmandu

After a week we flew to Lhasa in Chinese occupied Tibet.  We spent the next week travelling overland in 4x4’s back to Kathmandu via the high altitude mountain passes of the Himalayas.  A breathtakingly beautiful and heart wrenching trip, to meet people with so few possession and so scared of free speech but very welcoming to foreigners interested in their way of life and history. 

Above: The Potala Palace in Lhasa

Above: Gold statues atop the Jokhang Temple, Lhasa

Above: Engraved animal horn on the side of the road in Tibet

Above: Yamdrok Lake – it really is that blue!

Above: The road back to Nepal.  Hundreds of miles of barren, empty but beautiful landscape. Very remote.

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