Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Fair Traders Co-operative's First Birthday celebrations!

The Fair Traders Co-operative celebrates its first birthday during Holmfirth Arts Festival
If you like a good party, support fair trade or just enjoy piano music and cake, then you won’t want to miss The Fair Traders Co-operative’s first birthday party celebrations. These will be taking place as just one of the wide variety of fantastic events planned for Holmfirth Arts Festival’s Street Pianos project. Do come along and join in!

Holmfirth Street Pianos is an absolute must see event, running throughout the Arts Festival from 11th – 26th June 2011. In fact it’s not just about ‘seeing’, it’s about listening, discovering and getting involved. For the duration of the Arts Festival, five upright pianos will be placed around the streets of Holmfirth for anyone to play. As well as impromptu performances by the passing public, there will be organised events around each piano, from teddy bears’ picnics for tots, to pensioners playing the golden oldies; and from rock dads, to partying fair traders!
Each piano will be ‘themed’ to draw attention to the benefits of fair trade and sustainable living, and plenty of information will be available for people to find out more about the issues behind the themes. The ‘cotton piano’ will be decorated with vintage cotton patches and will be used to highlight the way conventional trade leaves millions of cotton farmers in poverty around the world. The ‘banana piano’ - and accompanying gorilla - will be difficult to miss, and will draw attention to the plight of struggling banana farmers. The ‘coffee piano’ will emphasize the scale of child labour involved in conventional coffee production and the ‘recycle piano’ may look like a pile of old junk, but will aim to make people think about the impact of our ‘disposable’ lifestyles.
And of course, the ‘party piano’, to be placed outside The Fair Traders Co-operative, will be festooned with balloons and bunting and will be the hub of the party – with plenty of fair trade cake and local beer available for those who like to indulge while they celebrate!

The Fair Traders Co-operative started trading a year ago as a result of investments from individuals, community groups, businesses and other co-operatives both locally and from further afield (our most distant investors are from a fair-trade banana farming community in the Caribbean). We sell fairly traded, ethical and sustainable products from the local area and producer groups across the world. The business now has nearly 500 members, an online store has been launched, and there is an ongoing programme of workshops and events held in the shop’s stone vaulted Community Room.
The focus of the birthday celebrations will be on Sunday 12th June; exactly one year after The Fair Traders Co-operative first opened its doors to the public. The party will be in full swing from 1pm to 4pm, complete with street entertainers, presents and music from local jazz band New Orleans Wiggle. And to tie in with the celebrations and with Holmfirth Arts Festival, there will also be a unique ‘living window display’ on 12th June in The Fair Traders Co-operative’s large window on Huddersfield Road.
Holmfirth Street Pianos is a partnership event between Holmfirth Arts Festival 2011 and The Fair Traders Co-operative. If you are interested in getting involved there are weekend workshops dedicated to decorating the pianos and generating interest, commitment and enthusiasm. Or else just come along and give us a tune during the festival fortnight. Find out more on our events calendar or on the Holmfirth Street Pianos facebook page.

Friday, 4 March 2011

March 2011

Well we’ve been a bit busy to update our blog but we thought it was time to share what has been happening with you all.

It’s been a long winter but this has meant our cosy velvet and cord have been hot sellers all through the cold winter months.

The country has gone bunting crazy for Fairtrade Fortnight and our beautiful handloom has been winging its way to schools and community groups all over the country, all taking part in the Fairtrade Foundation’s campaign to create the world’s longest string!!

Our fashion show kits have been especially popular this year and they are currently out on tour – look out for an event near you and a chance to see the clothes in the flesh – and maybe even try them on!

Now at last spring is coming and with the focus on Fairtrade cotton our SpringCollection is, as we speak on its way from India and will be in our shops next week. The colours this year are vibrant greens, purples and turquoises inspired by the lovely colours on the Island of Crete – have a look and see what takes your fancy!

We are continuing our programme of updating our shops, the Totnes shop has recently been repainted in our new smart cream and grey livery – if you are on holiday in the area why not pop in and pay a visit and say hello to Karen our manager there.

She can even offer you a place to stay in her newly opened, green bed and breakfast – Birds Rest - you even get to sleep under our beautiful organic cotton duvet covers!

Finally and sadly we are having to close our Malmesbury shop – we are all disappointed at this – but there is still time to pick up some fantastic bargains before we close the doors at the end of March.

We’ll try and be back with more regular updates – so come back and have a look soon!