News | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade


The World comes to Hay on Wye

by Andrew Williams | May 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

It's that time of year when the good people of Hay brace themselves for the imminent arrival of several thousand culture vultures eager to swoop down on the literary delights of the Hay Festival. This is our first year as full time residents and business owners in Hay and while we're sympathetic to those who moan about parking, queues in the cafes and empty cashpoints, we have to say we're hugely excited about the 10 days ahead. As a business we hope to meet lots of visitors who are interested in the cool fair trade items we sell, but as residents we feel totally spoiled to have such amazing delights on our doorstep. 

Everyone will have different highlights, but here are just a few of mine. Top of my list is a recital and talk from renowned composer and pianist Philip Glass. Let's hope it's not too windy in the big tent for his solo performance. Continuing the music theme I have several other sessions featuring rock heroes - Sarfraz Manzoor talking about Bruce Springsteen, and then later interviewing New Order legend Peter Hook. There's also a special screening of "Good Vibrations," the new film charting the rise of the Undertones and others in Northern Ireland, followed by a Q&A with the directors. 

I'm going to several sessions looking at sustainability and associated issues around trade and the environment, a subject which is naturally close to our hearts. I'm particularly excited to see Andrew Simms talk about his new book "Cancel the Apocalypse" which is essential reading for anyone who thinks there must be a better way to run our little planet. BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders will be giving us an inside view on the current financial climate, and Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Towns network will be giving another perspective on local alternatives. 

Then there are the events which focus on our relationship with Hay on Wye's twin town, Timbuktu in Mali. As well as musical performances from Amadou & Mariam, Rokia Traore and Terakaft, there's also a special session led by Hay 2 Timbuktu analysing the current situation in the troubled north African town. 

And these are just the sessions that we're going to! And I haven't even mentioned the excellent How the Light Gets In festival at the Globe, where such delights as Stealing Sheep, Tom Rosenthal and Andrew Weatherall await us. 

It's almost too much to take in, but we feel truly honoured to have such a line up on our doorstep. Come 3rd of June we hope to be tired, exhilarated and uplifted, hopefully with a lot less stock, but just as importantly with a lot of new friends and some amazing memories of 10 days of cultural overload.     

Tagged: 2013, hay festival, hay on wye

Fairtrade Fortnight

by Andrew Williams | March 02, 2013 | 0 Comments

We're now halfway through Fairtrade Fortnight, an annual chance to celebrate the opportunities we have to buy fairly. There are great products available from a range of retailers, some of which (like coffee and tea) you'll be very familiar with, and others which are a bit more unusual. For some items it's easy to spot if they are fair trade - you can look for the Fairtrade logo when you're in the supermarket. For others, like a lot of the products we stock, it's more complicated. You may well ask why we don't insist that all of our products carry the Fairtrade logo, and we've tried to answer that here. 

For us, the key criteria is transparency. The people you buy from should be open and honest about where their products come from, and should be able to answer questions you have about how the people who created them are remunerated and treated. We have a detailed list of standards we apply to the products we buy, and also have a questionnaire we send to all prospective suppliers. 

We like to think this is going "beyond the logo" and building up a genuine, ongoing relationship with the artisans and craftspeople we are buying from. We have already visited some of our suppliers in person in Mexico and hope to meet more over the year ahead as time allows. Coming soon we have more exclusive lines from Argentina, Colombia and India. If you have any questions about any of the products we stock, please get in touch and we can tell you all we know. 

Tagged: 2013, fair trade, fairtrade fortnight

Quest for the pole

by Andrew Williams | January 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

With the weather currently taking a wintry turn it's worth sparing a thought for an intrepid gang for whom our current blizzards are like a balmy summer's day.

Legendary adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is leading a team of explorers to conquer the last great polar challenge: crossing Antarctica in winter. Their aiming to raise $10m for Seeing is Believing and provide crucial scientific data. We know so little about this part of the world that it really is the last great frontier. 

Here at Eighteen Rabbit we're shivering at the very thought of it, but we do have a small link to the project via our fantastic T-Shirt suppliers at Rapanui. The cool gang down on the Isle of Wight are providing some specially-made Rapanui baselayers and fleeces for use in the caboose where the exploration team sleep and rest. You can see more on their blog to keep up to date with the news.

We'll have more great Rapanui t-shirts coming soon including the first batch of their incredible new spring & summer designs. Meanwhile you can see the range of guys and girls tees on the site now. 


Tagged: 2013, antarctica, apparel, rapanui, sir ranulph fiennes

Coming soon...

by Andrew Williams | January 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

It's a bit chilly at the moment up at Hay Castle, so don't forget we currently have up to a third off all our knitwear. There may be snow on the way so stay warm out there! We're taking the opportunity during the quieter weeks at the start of the year to look for loads more interesting and unusual items to stock in time for Spring. We've already got some really beautiful new mango wood pieces which we'll have up on the website soon. Also on the way we have...

...more incredible jewellery from Cambodia, as well as more of our ever popular Elephant Cement accessories;
...more stock from our friends in Mexico - rugs, mirrors, and our spooky yet stylish black clay skulls!
...more clothes including a range of womenswear which will be perfect for the summer;
...Nepalese arts and crafts including some incredible copper pieces;
...some kids toys and playthings to keep our younger ethical superheroes contented. 

We hope to add all of these items online as soon as we get them. And we'll have more offers and discounts for customers, so if you haven't signed up to our mailing list yet, why not join us? Or if you're more socially minded you can like us on Facebook at

Tagged: 2013, apparel, cambodia, copper, fair trade, hay castle, hay on wye, jewellery, kids, knitwear, mexico, nepal, spring, toys

Thank You and Merry Christmas!

by Andrew Williams | December 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

Well, here we are at Christmas Eve. We have had a fantastic few weeks getting the shop up and running in Hay on Wye and of course on our website. We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to pop in and say hello, look us up online, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. The support we've had has been truly encouraging and even though it is still very early days we are looking forward to 2013 with excitement. We have now confirmed with the great people at Hay Castle that we'll be here for the next few months. We hope to have lots more stock, different ranges and suppliers, and more stories to tell you about the people behind our products. 

In the meantime we wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a relaxing New Year. Our shop is closed from the 25th - 28th December and during January and February we'll only be open Wednesday - Sunday. However we are here every day online!

Thank you all. xx

Tagged: 2013, Christmas, hay castle, hay on wye, pop up shop, website