1. Testing on animals
We are passionate about gifts, but much more about animals. We condemn any act of cruelty, for that reason:
No Product we stock has been tested on animals. However it is virtually impossible for any company to claim that all the basic ingredients that go in to a product have never* been tested on animals. It is simply impossible to make such a claim.
What we can state however is that as far as possible we use natural, pure ingredients, we use only reputable suppliers who hold similar principles to ourselves, and who endeavour to produce entirely cruelty free product.
* It is probably accurate that no basic ingredient has been tested on animals since 1967.
2. Child labour in developing nations
We always do our best to ascertain whether a company is likely to be using child labour as cheap or slave labour and steer well clear. Of course these days no exporting company from India or the far east is likely to admit it, so a degree of common sense and a nose for such things is important.
Exported products usually command a higher price than the local market so there really is no commercial pressure on manufacturers to cut costs to such a degree at the risk of losing a lucrative export order. The deliberate systematic use of child labour is unnecessary and in our opinion an act of pure greed. However – and this is a tricky however, the reality is that culturally in small family businesses children are a part of the business.
In India for example a lot of components of craft work is produced by out-workers in the villages. There are over a million villages in India relying on farming and craft work as a means of income. A village will hand down particular craft skills from generation to generation and rely on this for extra income. Most villages still don’t have electricity or running water, but most children will attend a morning school.
In the afternoons children will help in what is essentially the family business.
3. Fair Trade
We spend up to six months a year traveling in India, Indonesia, Nepal and China seeking out new product lines and trying to fulfill our customers wish lists.
We visit suppliers not only to do deals but also to see for ourselves how well staff and subcontractors are treated. We have on more than one occasion had to cancel orders because it seemed staff were being exploited.
The way it works in India is that goods for export are priced higher than goods for domestic sale (in India) – which means that exporting companies should be able to provide better conditions and pay for their staff (and a better quality product).
We are happy to work within this system provided that we can see the benefits. This is our version of Fair Trade.
4. Ecological, Recyclable and sustainable products
We have a wide range of products, so it would be impossible to have only organic and recycled products, but we always give more value to these when it comes to introducing new products. We always seek, as a minimum, that raw materials are sustainable.
The idea is to give a small portion of each item sold here, directly back to the workers who make that same product. For example 10p of the sale of a package of incense in the UK, can go directly to the packager of this incense in Bangalore (India).
Thank you for supporting this initiative by buying our products