News | Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade


Fair Trade Birthday Treats for the "Young at Heart."

by Andrew Williams | October 07, 2015 | 0 Comments

It's been a busy few weeks here at Rabbit HQ. As well as placing orders for exciting new stock to arrive in time for the busy Christmas season, we've also been busy on the home front. 

It's Andrew's Dad's 80th birthday this week, so we have been planning a few surprises for him as well as meeting up in Bristol over the past weekend. He is still going strong and both he and wife Diane have been big supporters of the shop during our development over the past three years. 

As he is 4/5ths of the way towards triple figures he is adamant that he doesn't need more "stuff" in his life, but we have still been thinking of interesting gifts that work for men of a certain age. Here are a few suggestions...

Do Story - now could be the perfect time for him to start putting his thoughts down on paper. This short guide will help you get started. 

Coffee Toffee chocolate - as it takes him a little longer to get going in the morning these days, this caffeine fix could be just the ticket!

Socks - everyone loves socks, and these new black designs are a great option if he feels he's outgrown some of our zanier designs. 

Enamel mug - perfect for the shed or to grab a coffee while he's mowing the lawn. 

Flip flop elephant - if this year has taught us anything, it's that EVERYONE, no matter what age, loves flip flop animals!

Here he is in all his glory - many happy returns, Paul!


Tagged: 80th birthday, eighteen rabbit, fair trade, hay on wye

Whose boots are those shoes?

by Louise Davies | October 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

We don't currently stock footwear, but we're always on the look out for cool ethical boots, shoes and trainers for our own wardrobes. If you've been to our shop in Hay, you'll know we have a penchant for orange so it will be no surprise that we're currently modelling the hottest orange trainers around!

The patterned trainers are from Vega, designed by supermodel, actress and ethical entrepreneur, Lily Cole. They're made from Brazilian organic cotton and Amazonian wild rubber. The rubber is tapped by local communities, and a premium is paid, encouraging them to protect the rainforest. They're available to buy at Lily's new online store.

The plain ones are from Ethletic, made from Fairtrade, organic cotton and natural rubber. I've lost count of the pairs of Converse style trainers that I've bought from this great brand - they're reliable, practical and will never go out of fashion. And now they make cool orange ones!

Even if you're not into orange, knowing you've bought fair and organic footwear will put a spring in your step!

Tagged: fair trade, trainers

What would get your "dislike" vote?

by Andrew Williams | September 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

News today that Facebook is planning to introduce a "dislike" function to go along with its "like" button. It can sometimes seem that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like have been with us forever, but in fact when Louise and I were in Mexico ten years ago none of them existed! Believe me you would have seen a lot more photos of me eating tacos if they had. 

Nevertheless, these social media platforms have taken a firm grip on our lives and it would be interesting now to see what would happen if for some reason Facebook ceased to exist. Mass panic? Long, handwritten letters asking our nearest and dearest what they had eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or a slow return to a less 24/7 way of life? Who knows. 

It's easy to pick a few things to "dislike" though. Half of the world's population live on less than $2.50 a day. Yet those 3.5+ billion people are collectively worth the same amount as the 85 richest people in the world, according to Oxfam. If that gives you pause for thought, here's another teaser to consider, from Robert Tressell's classic "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists:"

"The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?""

Once you stop to think it can seem like there is a lot to "dislike" about the way we do things at the moment. 

At Eighteen Rabbit we believe that fair trade is a small, but vital, part of the fight to make the world a better place. We won't change things overnight, but by fostering greater bonds and partnerships between people all over the world we believe that we can make this a better place to live. There's something to "like!"

Tagged: dislike, eighteen rabbit, facebook, fair trade, fairtrade, hay on wye, poverty

New men's shirts with a hidden twist

by Andrew Williams | September 09, 2015 | 0 Comments

We love the new season range from Mata Traders which arrived last week, stunning designs for autumn. However we can't let the guys feel unloved, and this week we have a great new supplier to tell you about who will make sure our dashing fair trade gens look suave and dapper.

Tobias Clothing produce shirts made in India from 100% cotton. As well as using a fair trade supply chain they also donate 10% of their profits to the Ankushka Foundation to support slum children in Munbai.

A first glance the shirts look like elegant, tailored items which you might find in any gentleman's outfitter. Look closer however and you'll spot the surprise - each shirt has a block printed design on the reverse of the sleeve, revealed if you roll the sleeves up in a more casual moment. We love them - the perfect blend of practical style and unusual fashion flair.    


Tagged: eighteen rabbit, fair trade, hay on wye, shirts, tobias clothing

Spending your way to happiness

by Louise Davies | August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

There was lots of shouting at the telly going on in our house last night, thanks to Anne Robinson’s documentary on Britain’s spending secrets. The programme showed a variety of people with different spending habits. One woman was repulsed at the thought of car boot sales and spent £100s on sunglasses and bags on a regular basis; another who, despite living in a small flat with little money for food, scoured discount and cheap clothing stores like Primark for bargains – only to add them to bin bags full of never worn clothing. Another more cautious shopper saved every penny, buying second-hand and from markets, but splashed out for weekly takeaways to appease her husband.

Then to the ‘ethical shopper’. This woman spent £2000 on curtains made of all natural materials which took her years to find. She very rarely bought new clothes, proudly declaring that she wore the same (painfully dull) top every day.

In their own ways perhaps they were spending their way to happiness. They certainly all seemed convinced their way was the best (except perhaps the Primark shopper who clearly had other problems). But what was frustrating about the show, was that it didn’t address the wider impact of some of this conspicuous consumption. The ethical shopper was provided for contrast, but that sort of rigid approach is never going to create much happiness! If only Anne could have spent five minutes talking to a fair trade fan. They would have been able to explain that YES, you can have lovely things and be ethical, YES, you can create happiness – and not just for yourself but for the hardworking producers of the things you buy.

Tagged: fair trade, spending habits