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Karisha: An apprenticeship journey

I started my NVQ Level 3 Retail Apprenticeship with Just Fair Trade in October 2013. I wanted to do an apprenticeship for the hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. I enjoy working in retail and wanted to improve my skills and gain new experience by doing my apprenticeship at Just Fair Trade. Doing a Level 3 apprenticeship enabled me to progress from being a retail assistant to being a supervisor, something I felt would benefit my career development as I’d like to run my own store one day. During my apprenticeship I had

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Hogla Gardeners Baskets

These strong wire-framed baskets, produced in Bangladesh for Traidcraft, have been handwoven from hardwearing hogla fibre, and are great for jobs around the garden all year round. They are produced by the Jute Works, established in 1973 to rehabilitate the war-widowed and war-affected poor, rural women of Bangladesh. The aim was to provide these women with work at home, producing handicraft items made from locally available jute. Over the last 30 years Traidcraft has transformed many, many lives and our commitment to long-term relationships with producer groups makes a real difference. For many women this means clean water, education and

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April Showers Necklace

As you know, here at Just Fair Trade we have a particular soft spot for anything a bit quirky and unusual, and what could be more quirky than this textured brass necklace, produced in Tamil Nadu by the Flowering Desert Project?! We also have matching earring (either a pair of clouds, raindrops or umbrellas) in stock! The project offers training and fairly paid employment opportunities to women, enabling them to increase their skills and future work possibilities. Just Trade partner with the project: We work collaboratively on the design of all our products with the artisans who make them. By teaching

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Jodie Hart Showerproof Poncho

We’re loving this poncho, not least because of its classic, Hepburn-esque style! And if the last few days are anything to go by, you’ll get plenty of wear out of it this summer! It can be folded away in its self-contained bag when the sun makes an appearance and it’s even good for the environment as it’s made from 100% recycled PET, more usually found in plastic food and drink packaging! We love Braintree’s commitment to sustainability! All of their products – and we have lots of them at Just Fair Trade! – are made ‘thoughtfully’, using classic designs that

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Elephant Paper Aqua Notebook

When we say elephant paper, what we really mean is elephant poo paper!! It’s collected, boiled, dried and disinfected and then pulped together to make a soft-touch fibrous paper. Then it's transformed into an amazing range of notebooks, photo albums and frames. Not only are these products fairly traded, they're also great for the environment and for the elephants themselves. The Maximus paper company at the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle at the foothills of Sri Lanka’s beautiful central mountainous region works to conserve the Sri Lanka elephant (Elephus Maximus), help create a sustainable local economy and to address the conflict

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Felt Flower Bouquet

Paper High have become great friends of Just Fair Trade over the last few years! We love their sari notebooks and their handcrafted paper, but we think this everlasting bouquet of felt flowers made from merino wool is the perfect Mothers Day present! The flowers are created in Nepal by women from some of the poorest communities. 'The felt is handmade using traditional methods. Instead of weaving the wool, felt is created by applying heat, moisture and pressure to the wool to entangle the fibres and create a beautiful end result.' Of their approach, Paper High say: We only work with small

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Grey Cameo Owl Grab Bag

Manumit's range of beautifully crafted bags and accessories have become firm favourites over the last few years, and this owl range has been particularly popular - we're not sure what it is about owls, but any products featuring them seem to - ahem - fly off the shelves! These bags are made from cotton needlecord and are embellished with an embroidered owl. Other products in the range include a keyring, purse and handbag. Manumit works with disadvantaged communities in Vietnam, primarily farmers and women. Farmers who retrain as tailors are better placed to earn a good standard of living, send their children to school

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We’re getting ready for a cracking Easter!

Chocolate has always played a massive role in the life of Just and we love the fact that twice a year we can really indulge our passion for all things cocoa-based by piling the shop sky high with an amazing range of products! Over the last couple of years the Real Easter Eggs produced by the Meaningful Chocolate Company have become firm favourites with Just customers! They’ve been a particular hit with local churches who have appreciated the option these eggs offer of marking Easter in a way that doesn’t undermine the place or significance of the Easter story of

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Good neighbours become good friends!

Here at Just we like to think of ourselves as good, if slightly nosey, neighbours! Having been part of the little retail community in St Martin’s Square for five years, we’re always keen to keep up with the comings and goings of the shops moving in and out. Imagine, then, our delight when we discovered, back in the autumn, that Gelato Village were heading to the Square! We spent many weeks trying to peer through the window to see the magic unfolding inside (to no avail, it should be pointed out!) and when they finally opened in October we decided

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Our Toy Shop – Christmas 2014

It goes without saying that at Just Fair Trade we love all our products, but if we're honest, we have to admit to having some favourites; pretty near the top of the list sit the beautiful toys we stock from the marvellous Lanka Kade. We've stocked toys for several years, but in 2013 we took the big and fairly scary step of opening a pop-up toy shop for November and December. The gamble paid off and the shop was a massive success! The obvious next step was to do the same thing in 2014 and this time we managed to secure

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Fairtrade Fortnight 2015

We're big fans of Fairtrade Fortnight here at Just Fair Trade! It gives us a great opportunity to boost our day-to-day commitment to fair trade with some fun events, promotions and activities. We also love the opportunity it gives us to both support the bigger picture work of the Fairtrade Foundation and enable local groups to engage with the challenge of promoting fair trade. So what's going on this year? The Fairtrade Foundation have launched a 'back-to-basics' campaign focusing on tea, sugar and cocoa with the aim of highlighting the fact that while a huge 78% of the UK public now recognise

Sarah and Kerry’s trip to Rwanda

Cards From Africa have been supplying Just Fair Trade with amazing handmade cards for several years, and in February 2014 Kerry and Sarah were invited to visit Rwanda to meet their card makers. While visiting Africa was a new experience for Kerry, for Sarah it was an opportunity to return to a part of the world which has had a significant impact on the lives of her and her family, having lived in Tanzania in the early 1990s. Rwanda is small, extremely hilly and lush, and densely populated. The capital, Kigali, is surprisingly clean with smart roads and pavements, well-tended

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One Village Paradise Garden cushion cover

One Village began in 1979 as an organisation providing marketing support for craftmakers  co-operatives in Asia and Africa, before 'fair trade' as we recognise it today really existed. Today, they retain this commitment to producers but with a focus on making their beautiful products available to consumers. Of the Paradise Garden cushion cover, they say: A glimpse of paradise in an organized garden of a four cornered pool with pathways, flowers, trees and joyful birds. It is the style commonly associated with Islamic imagery in garden design. The origins of this heavenly vision are symbolic and really ancient, probably going

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Cafe Direct One Acre Uganda Bushenyi Hills Tea

Café Direct was one of the early fair trade pioneers, born out of a coffee crisis in 1989. They were the first coffee brand in the UK to carry the fair trade mark when it was launched in 1994 and today they continue to innovate and promote sustainable, positive approaches to business. This commitment to innovation has included diversifying into tea production, and Uganda Bushenyi Hills tea is one of a range of three hand-picked teas sourced from small African tea gardens. You can find all three teas - Uganda Bushenyi Hills, Great Rift Valley Tanzanian and Mount Kenya Misty Morning

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Clean and Fair lemon and lime multi-surface cleaner

Palm oil is one of those products that’s become a little controversial. Often grown in places where it’s not indigenous, its production on huge plantations has been blamed for the destruction of whole ecosystems. However, Traidcraft, working with the Serendipalm co-operative in Ghana, has produced a fair trade, organic palm oil, grown on small-holder farms, combined it with fair trade coconut oil from India and produced a brilliant range of cleaning products. The lemon and lime surface cleaner does the same job as your normal, chemical cleaner but in way that’s fairer for the producers and better for the environment –

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Chocolate Week 2014

It will come as no surprise to hear that when, in 2013, we discovered there’s a whole week dedicated to chocolate, we decided we had to be a part of it! Having caught on a bit late in the day last year, we were much more organised second time round, starting our planning over the summer, liaising with some of our favourite suppliers and coming up with great deals across our chocolate ranges. For one week only we had an unprecedented buy-one-get-one-free on Divine 100g bars and 2-for-1 on Traidcraft More Than Just… chocolate. But the highlight of the week

The height of fashion!

It’s been a couple of years since Just hosted a fashion show, so when we decided, back in the summer, that it was time to revisit a familiar event we wanted to make sure it would be an evening to remember! So on Saturday 11 October, around a hundred and fifty people converged on St Martin’s House for an evening of ethical, eco and fairly traded fashion, complete with a market place filled to the gunnels with some of our favourite clothing companies! Braintree, Nomads, Earth Squared, Traidcraft, Manumit, Shared Earth and Pachamama Knitwear all found their way down the