This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get asked. This is particularly so at fairs and the Christmas Market I attended. It’s not always easy sourcing ethical products but it’s so worth it.
Initially people are drawn to the look of the goods but when they hear the story behind the products they are hooked. Ethical products are cool (I’m of the age when I think cool is cool) in themselves but they can also be aesthetically beautiful at the same time.
…so where do we find all these ethical products?
Well there’s no one answer to that but there’s a few places. Firstly trade fairs, not just the big ones but smaller design led ones too. I tend to be very picky about what trade fairs I attend and I also make sure I look for smaller stands and if there’s a new designer section I head straight for it! I also find products on social media, I check out etsy and look for producers/suppliers there.
I also check out local shops and boutiques as they are great for ideas. Suppliers are also a mine of information and I often ask them if they can recommend suppliers of products to compliment their own.
At My Own Den we try and buy local but we do buy for all over the world and deal with lots of different nationalities and languages in our bid for beautiful and ethical products.
…what criteria do you use to access ethical products?
First and foremost everything we sell has to be pleasing the eye and something we’d have in our own home. Our customers are not going to buy something ugly and poorly made and nor would we.
Secondly, it has to be ethically produced. In some cases this is very easy to establish. Werkhaus who make the wonderful desk top tidies are an ethical company. They make all their products in Germany and use a multi cultural workforce, including people with disabilities.
In other cases, it’s about talking to the wholesalers and asking where and how their products are made.
Each product has it’s own special story and I believe that this what makes My Own Den special.
It’s the first blog of 2016. I hope you had a good Festive Break and wish you every happiness from this windy afternoon in the Den in Cambridge UK.