Monday, 29 March 2010

Spring has Sprung

Spring is here and our Glastonbury team will be celebrating at the town's Greener Lifestyle Exhibition on April 10th in the Town Hall. Friends such as Green Fibres and the Soil Association will also be at the event, which includes stalls, films and demonstrations. It'll be a great opportunity to find out what else we can all do to get greener in our everyday lives, regardless of how far along the windy road to sustainability we already are!

Spring Window Display at the Glastonbury branch of Bishopston Trading Company

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Bishopston Trading on Facebook

Bishopston Trading Company now has a Facebook page, take a look at our photo galleries, become a fan and post any Fairtrade and organic thoughts you may have to our wall. Just search for us from your Facebook account.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


A month or two ago we were contacted by an interesting project called FairBags. FairBags is an education focused initiative and was enquiring about our unprinted Fairtrade organic cotton shopping bags. Here's what they have to say:

Did you know, an average UK family has 16 plastic bags in their household at any one time? Unfortunately most will end up in landfill. Cotton bags make a great, eco-friendly alternative, especially if they are Fairtrade and organic.

FairBags is a branch of young enterprise that sells uniquely designed Fairtrade and organic cotton bags. The Young Enterprise Company programme aims to teach students across the UK about the world of business through practical experience. Students set up and run their own company for a year, which involves designing their product or service and selling it to the general public.

As the FairBags team shares Bishopston Trading's passion for ethical and fair trading, we chose to make our entire product line Fairtrade, and sourced our bags from Bishopston. At the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, we've been pleased to play a small part in helping UK consumers see that every one of us has the power to make a difference by what we buy day to day.

The FairBags team: from left to right, Verity, Rachel and Frances of Idsall School in Shropshire.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Our Partners in K.V.Kuppam: Meena

Meena has worked in the jewellery and screen printing unit at K.V.Kuppam for about 4 years now and she really enjoys her work. Her son Srivarsan comes to work with her most days and spends the time in the creche with several other children his age.

When she is not making our jewellery or lovely batik scarves, Meena is part of the team that produces our organic cotton tea towels and cloth bags, printed to customers' own designs.

Meena is expecting her second baby this month. She intends to take her three months maternity leave and then return with both children to the job she loves.

Meena's son Srivarsan is a happy cheeky boy who seems to smile all-day everyday. He enjoys playing with the toys and other children. Most of the children in the creche seem to find a strange face a bit scary, but not this little chap!

Friday, 5 March 2010

World's Largest Fairtrade Tablecloth

The world's largest Fairtrade Tablecloth was presented outside the Senedd building in Cardiff this week.

The tablecloth was produced by 85 schools from across Wales using our organic Fairtrade cotton cloth. The unveiling of the giant tablecloth was followed by a speech from Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing. Assembly Members were then asked to swap at least one of their regular shopping items for the Fairtrade alternative as part of Fairtrade Fortnight's Big Swap. These pledges were written on pieces of Fairtrade cotton and added to the tablecloth. So far a third of all Assembly Members have made a Fairtrade swap pledge.

Jane Davidson said: "This event provided an excellent opportunity for promoting the importance of Fairtrade and I was particularly pleased to meet so many Fairtrade enthusiasts from local schools. By switching to Fairtrade we can all play our part in supporting some of the poorest farmers and producers in the world to trade their way out of poverty and it is really encouraging to see so many shoppers of the future supporting the Fairtrade priniciple."

Wales is the world's first Fairtrade country, further information can be found at

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Organic Fairtrade Cotton Handloom and Calico

The week before last we had a lovely big delivery which included boxes and boxes of beautiful organic Fairtrade cotton cloth. Our online selection now includes four handloom ginghams, white, unbleached and black in both handloom and calico. These fabrics are perfect for making your own Spring-time garments: have a look here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Invasion of the Fairtrade Tea Ladies

Dozens of tea ladies dressed in organic Fairtrade cotton aprons and headscarves invaded central London to highlight the Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign to swap Britain’s tea to Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight (22 February – 7 March).

The dancing tea ladies, a brigade of people made up of supporters, dancers and Fairtrade licensees plus a Fairtrade tea producer from India, made their way from London Bridge to Trafalgar Square, with a stop-off at the Houses of Parliament via Number 10 Downing Street where they met Sarah Brown.

The tea ladies were wearing Fairtrade organic cotton aprons and headscarves specially made by the Bishopston Trading Company, which has its headquarters in Bristol plus a shop on Gloucester Road.

The photocall with Bishopton outfits was a fun way to flag up a more serious message behind the campaign which aims to tackle the poverty facing more than 14 million people in the developing world who rely on tea for a living but who are suffering from unfair trade conditions.

Bishopston boss Carolyn Whitwell said: ‘We were delighted to supply the special aprons and headscarves to the Fairtrade Foundation to help take our message to London that Fairtrade cotton is beautiful and practical. This year, we are celebrating 25 years of business in Bristol and the West Country and seeing our aprons in Downing Street marks a really exciting start to the year for us.’

The aprons and headscarves were made in the village of K.V.Kuppam in Tamil Nadu, southern India, which has a unique link with Bishopston. All profits which are not used to grow the business in the UK are invested in the factory at K.V.Kuppam.

Fairtrade Fortnight is the annual nationwide campaign to promote awareness of Fairtrade and encourage people to buy products which carry the FAIRTRADE Mark. Fairtrade Fortnight unites Fairtrade supporters, bringing together retailers, manufacturers, producers and consumers.

This year, the Fairtrade Foundation is calling on tea-loving Brits to swap their favourite cuppa to Fairtrade for Fairtrade Fortnight and will be totting up these and other Fairtrade product swaps on a special online swap-o-meter. The Fairtrade Foundation is hoping to get people in Britain to make one million and one swaps over the two-week period and change the lives of millions of farmers in developing countries.