My First Trip to India

Jen - Shared Earth Liverpool shop manager

“Never again,” I said to Jeremy (Shared Earth MD) after our trip to Bali. “It’s too far, I can’t cope with the heat.” I was adamant that me and trips abroad were a one-off. An experience of a lifetime, not to be sullied by excessive time spent in airport departure lounges with swollen ankles, and yet, here I am sitting in my hotel room in New Delhi, with the air conditioning blasting out, eternally grateful to be granted this experience once again.

Indian truck

I have never been to India. I’ve seen it on TV, I’ve heard other people’s accounts, I’ve read all our producer stories and yet nothing was quite enough to prepare me for what I was seeing first hand; it really is a different world.

 

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Caitlin Moves to York!

Caitlin

Hey I’m Caitliń-rose, you may recall my last post about Crystals.

Today I’m going to talk about a major life change I’ve undertaken… Moving to York!

I moved up from my hometown (the absolutely amazing Liverpool which I will always love) to the stunning city of York around the second week of September, my main reason for moving was to make the most of a brilliant opportunity offered to me by Shared Earth, to progress into a full time role, and also to satisfy my wanderlust, I adore travelling! Conveniently, the tenancy on my flat was coming to an end anyway so it seemed like it was just meant to be!

I worked in the Liverpool branch for over two years and I enjoyed every second, I met some of the best people around (co-workers and customers who soon became regulars too!) and they will always hold a special place in my heart… As my family are mainly based in Liverpool, I do get to visit a lot which I love doing and I always make sure to pop in to the Liverpool store to see how everyone is and catch up.

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A Visit to Meelarp Ceramics in Lampang

Christian - Designer

We didn’t see wild elephants today but there was a chance we might and on wildlife treks that is often as good as it gets.

We weren’t trekking to be fair, this is a business trip to Meelarp Ceramics in Lampang, 95km from Chiangmai. The road cuts through mountains and forest which make up one of Thailand’s nature reserves. Between them Chiangmai and Lampang have 13 nature reserves.

The heat was intense; without air-conditioning Jeremy and I would have made a good impression of chickens browning in a rotisserie.

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On a Buying Trip in Thailand – Chakuchat Market in Bangkok

Christian - Designer
Buying trips are nothing but hard, hard grind. Honestly. And the occasional wonderful meal … particularly in Thailand.

We spent two days at Chakuchat Market in Bangkok, remaking contact with existing producers and seeking out new contact and products.

Imagine pacing backwards and forwards in a 4 kilometre long sauna while pushing past 200,000 shoppers and a million different products and you will get the gist of it. The market is 1.1 square kilometres in size (27 acres for farmers out there) and contains 15,000 different stalls. Plants, t-shirts, incense, jewellery, art, dream catchers, lighting, cuddly toys, carvings, electrical products, kitchenware, pencils, candles … the list is endless.

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Christmas at Shared Earth – Getting the Windows Right

Jen - Shared Earth Liverpool shop manager

As you can imagine, Christmas is a super important time of year. Christmas sales are what drives you through into the next year and keeps you going during the quieter months. It’s also the time of year you don’t have to persuade people to part with money, they want to.. it’s just whether it’s in your store or not that is the issue. That is why shops go all out for their windows to be the best dressed Christmas windows around to drive people into their stores and Shared Earth is no exception.
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Shared Earth in top 40 exhibitors at Autumn Fair 2016, NEC Birmingham

Shared Earth picked by "Business & Industry Today" as one of the top 40 exhibitors from Autumn Fair this year!Shared Earth Wholesale is delighted to have been picked by Business and Industry Today as one of the top 40 exhibitors at the Autumn Fair at the NEC, Birmingham this year!

Business and Industry Today gave the following review:

“Shared Earth was one of the pioneers of Fair Trade in the UK, opening its first shop in York in 1986, and starting to wholesale to other retailers in 1992. Its founder Jeremy Piercy is also very concerned about environmental issues, and recycled and sustainable products are to the fore. These include not just recycled paper and glass, but many ranges unique to Shared Earth, such as best selling bicycle chain products from India, bags made from cement sacks from Cambodia, and recycled tin from Madagascar.

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Why Shared Earth reminds me of home

Lia - Liverpool

“Wow… I love everything in this shop!”

“…This shop makes me SO HAPPY!!!”

“…I wish I could spend all day, everyday in here..”

Those were my thoughts every time I’d come into Shared Earth. In fact, I was that customer that stays till 6pm, who you have to approach to say “just to let you know… we’re about to close…” every time I’d realise how long I’ve actually spent looking around the charming little shop, constantly finding more and more things that I like and that I would want my mum and friends to have. You see.. I have a soft spot for anything handmade. My appreciation, respect and admiration for anyone with the patience to create something beautiful and unique from scratch, whether mass produced or a one off, will never go away.

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Shared Earth celebrates 30 years of Fair Trade

Shared Earth celebrates 30 years of selling Shared Earth products

Shared Earth is celebrating a landmark anniversary, 30 years of selling Fair Trade products.

Rachael Maskell MP for York Central joined staff, guests and customers to mark the occasion in Shared Earth’s York shop.

Jeremy Piercy, who founded the business, said: “It’s a great feeling to know that you have kept a business going through many difficult years, when most of the shops around you have changed hands, often many times.

“This would not have been possible were it not for the wonderful support of our customers who obviously want to buy great handmade products, but they are also glad that their purchases are benefitting others and not just themselves.

“As a result of this call for a ‘fairer world’, many large chains and supermarkets have initiated ethical buying standards. These ensure that children are not exploited, artisans and factory workers have better working conditions, and raw materials are more sustainable. In this way Fair Trade has made a difference to millions of lives around the world, and I feel privileged to have been part of this process.”

Read The York Press article here.

For the love of crystals

Caitlin

Hey there!

My name is Caitliń and I work in the Liverpool store on the iconic Bold Street. I started over two years ago as a volunteer on a Saturday, and now I’ve been a paid member of staff since the end of October! Funnily enough, Saturday is now my set paid day! 🙂

I absolutely love everything that we sell here at Shared Earth, and especially the uniqueness of everything and how the hard working artisans who expertly handcraft our products are paid fairly for their work. But today I’m going to talk to you about what would have to be my favourite type of product we sell… Crystals!

Now, Crystals have many different uses, including (but not limited to) healing, protection, meditation, even for decoration and most commonly for people to make use of their mystical healing properties. I personally love to implement all of the uses, especially the metaphysical properties that each beautiful Crystals inhibits.

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The cost of carrier bags

Jen - Shared Earth Liverpool shop manager

According to the Government’s website, “In 2014 over 7.6 billion single-use bags were given to customers by major supermarkets in England”. That is an astronomical figure when you consider that’s more bags than there are people on this planet. They also say that figure was rising year on year despite the fact they estimated the average household already had 40 used bags sitting in their kitchen cupboards already. I think without meaning to we’ve become a ‘throw away’ society and here at Shared Earth, we believe in doing our bit to remedy this.

The government introduced the carrier bag levy last year and many supermarkets have reported up to an 80% cut in carrier bag use; this is phenomenal. Shared Earth introduced a carrier bag charge around 5 years prior to this and although we can’t claim an 80% reduction, we can claim a very positive swing towards not only a drastic cut in carrier bags being purchased but a noticeable rise in the amount of jute and cotton reusable bags being sold and we are over the moon about this.

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