Archive for Fairtrade
I’ve taken a mini blog break recently and have been updating the Owls and Pears Facebook page instead. (You can follow the news, and owlish or pearish finds, here.)
All the while I’ve been desperately trying to cram owl and pear bloggage material back into my brain – there’s loads out there, including a long-planned pear giveaway (watch this space!).
So when I opened my email this afternoon and checked out the brand new People Tree autumn collection, I simultaneously fell off my chair with excitement, and was kicked into action. Two of my favourite brands, combined to create the owl dress of my dreams. In short, the most perfectly retro owl pattern fabric, printed in the nowest-of-now autumnal colour way and fashioned into a flattering fifties style dress. This is exactly the kind of owl news I love to blog about.
I’d like to imagine myself leaning nonchalantly against the piano wearing my dress (yes, sigh, I have bought myself one; I bet you there’s a discount code in the post tomorrow but hey ho). It’s probably more likely I’ll be sitting at the laptop of an evening, wiping off half-chewed banana from the bodice and grinning from ear to ear as I admire the pattern and type up another blog post (while the bubbas catch up on sleep, obviously). Here’s hoping…
ps – if you’ve also succumbed to the allure of this dress, feel free to let me know and/or send in a picture: I’d love to hear how you wear it and what you team it with!
Just got home to find the brand new People Tree catalogue on the door mat. Love that time of the year. Having marked a few pages of gorgeousness for later closer perusal, I was delighted to see the wonderful owls, as featured as a print and pattern on the new kids clothes at the back of the catalogue.
This boy’s t-shirt is made in India by Assisi – one of the very first groups that People Tree worked with. It was set up by Franciscan nuns, and provides training and employment for deaf, mute and poor women. It’s great to know that Assisi offers a haven for these women to live in, as well as a “safe and supportive working environment. They are paid a fair wage and a lump sum paid after five years of employment to start a home and often their own tailoring business.”
I love the owl design of these t-shirts – perfect for boys, girls, and any owl addict out there. It’s reassuring that in the pursuit of all things stylishly owlish, you can also be part of something really exciting. Like it says on the People Tree website: “For every beautiful garment People Tree makes, there’s an equally beautiful change happening somewhere in the world.”
These t-shirts are indeed beautiful, and they are also practical and stylish too. And even more inspiring to know, they are made from organic cotton that has been Soil Association certified to boot. In fact, People Tree’s close partnership with Assisi Garments has enabled it to become the first ever company to achieve the Soil Association mark for clothing produced in the developing world.
It’s hard not to love all the products in this season’s catalogue, but before I finish this post and start on the mammoth task that is clearing the debris from a toddler’s couscous dinner, let me leave you with a link to this divine People Tree knitted patchwork tunic – definitely on my list of things to covet this Autumn.
It feels like the last few posts have been vaguely baby-related, so I’m going with the flow and adding one more post of small person-related niceness before reverting to some serious pear indulgence for larger people (watch this space). Anyhow, back to owls, and toys. Ahem.
I am very drawn to this first owl on today’s agenda. I mean, come on, it’s perched in a tree for starters, and look at its lovely printed cloth tummy (which is vintage William Morris fabric, stuffed with sheep’s wool) and fold-down beak. This owl is sold out on Etsy, but maybe Simmy Bains will sew up some new fledgling owlets in the future. In the meantime, check out her blog Echoes of a Dream, and cross your claws.
Next up is illustrator and picture book author Chris Haughton‘s owl toy. He designs lovely bags for one of my all-time fave fair trade fashion outlets, People Tree – woop. But if you need further proof of his niceness, then check out his blog post about Mahaguthi, who produce gorgeous fair trade handicrafts from Nepal. Chris (@chrishaughton) has written and illustrated a children’s book ‘A Bit Lost’ (which has just been published – you can grab yourself a copy here) and wanted to design a small fair trade soft toy to sell with the book that could be made by the women at Mahaguthi.
The result is the gorgeous owl toy above “made entirely from raw cotton, using all the traditional cottage industry techniques that Gandhi made famous. It is hand-spun into yarn, dyed, hand-woven and finally sewn all by the women at Mahaguthi.” Here’s hoping Chris’ publishers will agree to make this toy available to sell with his book – check out his blog post above for updates on that front.
To round things off, I couldn’t resist including this wonderful crocheted owl plushie by US-based delightful designer Ana Paula Rimoli (@anapaulaoli), who has a plethora of knitted lovlies for sale via her Etsy shop – Seriously Cute Crochet. Not much needs to be said: it’s seriously cute, it’s an owl, it’s crocheted. And bingo – it also comes in the form of a bag, which can only be a very good thing.