Who We Are
Fairness is at the very heart of our organisation. It’s why we started over thirty years ago and why we’re still here. It means putting people first, treating them with respect and giving them a chance in life. Our membership of BAFTS, an active network of fair trade shops and suppliers, means we can say, “we know the person who knows the person who made that!” Our products are borne out of longstanding collaborations across continents that change lives and benefit communities. Everything we sell has a story behind it: when you buy something from us, you’re part of that story too.
We’re passionate about the products we sell, selecting from over 30 UK based suppliers who work with producer groups worldwide. We love to try out a new and exciting range or trial our very own bespoke designs. You’ll find stylish and contemporary accessories, delightful toys, unusual gifts and homewares, and a range of the best quality foods, all packed into our little shop.
Fairness also means saving the one beautiful planet we live on. The farmers who grow our food and many of the artisans who make our products are already suffering from the effects of climate change. We are dedicated to reducing the impact we have: for them and for us. This means sustainable materials, handmade, shipping not flying, reducing plastics. It means beautiful things made from waste, it means products that are built to last.
What We Believe In
“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” Nelson Mandela
What is fair trade? It’s a worldwide movement that started with a simple idea: that everyone should be able to earn enough to pay for their basic needs and live with dignity. It’s about fair pay, good working conditions, helping communities to help themselves and being there to support them when things go wrong.
Why do we need fair trade? The people who make most of the things we buy in the UK, from our cups of coffee to our clothes, our phones to our footballs, work long hours and earn very little. There’s often no money left for medical bills or school fees, and sometimes children have to work to support the family instead of going to school. When things go wrong - a natural disaster, an illness or a pandemic, there is very little help available, and people can easily get into debt. When profit comes first, people suffer.
How does fair trade work? Fair trade organisations work with the people who most need help, whether skilled artisans and experienced farmers or a group with nothing but enthusiasm and the desire to work. Fair trade companies provide money upfront for materials, so workers don’t get into debt just to get started. They pay them on time for the goods rather than the usual two or three months later. They share expertise on everything from sustainable farming practices to design, so that products will sell well over here. And finally, they get the products into the shops where you can buy them, for a fair price.
We think all trade should be like this, don’t you?
Who picks and packs your order
We work with Henshaws Specialist College, part of their work experience is picking and packing your orders, and running our stock management system, which gives them valuable skills.
We couldn’t staff our shop without volunteers and we always welcome new people who share our vision and are enthusiastic about what we do. If you enjoy chatting to people and would be happy to help customers and even tell them a bit about fair trade, do get in touch. You don’t need to have worked in a shop before as we’ll give you training.
If you have specific skills we’d love to hear from you. From marketing and social media to storeroom organisation to serving on our board of trustees, there are many ways you can help us out.
BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK
HGFT is an active member of BAFTS Fair Trade Network, set up to bring Fair Trade shops and suppliers together. Members must show their commitment to the WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade and provide evidence that they’re working towards fair trade goals. This provides a structure of accountability to members and increases confidence amongst customers and producer groups.
BAFTS is also a support network and information hub, a way of finding new suppliers, hearing fair trade stories and sharing ideas, all of which we do with gusto at our annual conference.