What we're diggin!

pearl grace sale

Gossip

Gossip worth spreading

pearl grace saleAs you know we have a beyond awesome sale happening right now.

That’s right, people, it’s going on right now!

If you didn’t already now, well now you know.

There’s no excuses to why you can’t get your hands on some incredible gifts that are kind to people and the planet… Oh and everything is available at insanely affordable prices.

With a whopping 30% off kitchenware, soft furnishing, bags and more, I’m practically giving this stuff away. I know, you might think I’ve gone crazy but I’ve not, I just love you so damn much!

We are selling out fast but you can still get your hands on a jute bag or basket. Both are made using traditional weaving techniques and sustainable natural fibres. The perfect accompaniment for your shopping trips and a stylish remedy for your storage needs.

Check out the selection here

A while back, I wrote a post about the benefits of journaling. If you’re looking to adopt a healthy habit into your routine this year then journaling is well worth considering. The health benefits are incredible.

Please take a few minutes to read the post here and discover the 7 key benefits to journaling

Go on, tell your neighbour, tell your friends, tell that person waiting in-line with you at Starbucks. They’ll love you for it.

Trust me this is hot gossip worth spreading.

Till next time,

All my love

Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of www.tots100.co.uk and content image by fitdollsukblog.wordpress.com 

Share Button
Pearl Grace mega sale

Pearl Grace Sale

Mega Sale

Pearl Grace January SaleI know the January sales are over but we’re an online shop with a difference bringing you a spectacular sale in February.

You’re probably wondering why we would be so crazy. And the answer is simple… because we can and because you deserve to get your hands on an ethical treat or two in the month of love.

It’s our biggest sale to date with a whopping 30% off all existing lines. You simply won’t believe your eyes.

So here’s the juicy stuff you’re gonna wanna know:

  1. If you’re looking to refresh your living room this year then our beautiful collection of handmade throws might be just the Moss Stitch Throws A_23131ticket. Our artisans adopt traditional styles of weaving to craft these bespoke throws. You can choose from three distinctive and stunning styles in a wonderful range of colours to choose from. Check them out here 
  2. Right, moving on to our gorgeous cushions because, let’s face it chairs can feel a bit lonely without a cushion for companyYou’ll find that many of our cushions – like the intricate moss stitch and lambswool cushions – partner up fabulously with their matching throws. But, we also have a delightful range of ethically sourced cushions from Ghana and these are sure to add an instant splash of colour to any room. Discover the range here
  3. If hosting more dinner parties and entertaining friends is high on your agenda for 2016 then why not wow your guests with a stunning and stylish selection of kitchenware.  Our mango wood salad bowls and dishes have a soft grain and smooth texture providing both practicality and instant glamour to any dining table.  Go on, see for yourself
  4. No dining experience will be complete without a cup of something hot and steamy before your bid your guests farewell and Valentines Day Zola Candlesticks
    our Mali mugs and jugs are just the ticket. Two-toned with contrasting textures give them a real earthy and natural feel. They are dishwasher safe too making them a perfectly practical addition to your coffee cup rack.  See why they’re our best-sellers.
  5. Our hand sewn and beautifully bound journals are also on sale. You can choose from a cherry-picked selection of styles and fabrics and most are available in two different sizes to meet your various scribing needs. Our journals are made using acid-free and organic cotton paper, which is both kind to people and the planet. Discover more here.
  6. And finally – in case you need another reason to check out our mega sale – our FSC certified candlesticks are stunning and beautifully handmade in India.  They will adorn any mantlepiece in fine style.  And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, why not fill your home with a sensuous touch of warm inviting aromas? And our hand-poured soy candles will help to create the perfect romantic atmosphere too.

So, honeys, knock yourselves out. Grab yourself a bargain, while stocks last.

Happy shopping and all the very best for 2016

Nat x

 

Title image courtesy of toppixgallery.com

Share Button
How to be an ethical shopper

Be an ethical shopper

How to be an ethical shopper

Hey beautiful people,

It’s been a while since my last post but I’m back with a flurry of awesome bloggy treats for you to enjoy, embrace and share.

Today, I’m sharing some ideas with you on how to become a more conscious and ethical shopper.

I know you care about people and the planet. How do I know this? Because you wouldn’t be scrolling up and down the pages of this little site dedicated to all things fair trade and ethical if you didn’t.

But I also know that it’s not always easy to make the “quote-unquote right choices” when you hit the shops.

Many of us are torn between the choices we really want to make and the money in our pocket. Not to mention fact that we lead busy and demanding lives and sometimes we choose convenience over doing what we know deep down to be right.

Hey, I’m not preaching, I’m in the same boat which is why I’ve put together 5 super simple tips that you can start implementing in your life today.

It’s always worth remembering that little changes over a long enough period of time can result in massive transformation in the end. After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If all of us made little changes in the way we shopped we could seriously change the world. But it starts by making the decision to be a more ethical shopper.

So, let’s dive right in. 5 ways to a become a more ethical shopper.

1. Buy Fair trade
Pearl Grace ethical shoppingNow, I know that you know this already but it’s still worth featuring on this list.

When you go shopping there’s only one way you can guarantee that you are genuinely helping the grower, manufacturer, designer etc, and that is to buy fair trade.

When you buy fair trade you are helping to ensure that the person responsible for the thing you are about to enjoy receives a fair wage for their work.

And, when people get paid a fair wage they don’t need charity. I know that sounds blunt but it’s the truth.

The more we make fair trade choices at the shops the more we support and encourage the growth of the worlds economy in a fair and sustainable way.

And doing this is such a doddle to do… the next time you stop in at Starbucks ask for your hot brew to be made using a selection of their fair trade beans. Or the next time your in the supermarket add a bunch of fair trade bananas or tea to your basket.

2. Give gifts twice

Pearl Grace ethical shopping

Giving gifts that pay it forward is fast becoming a growing trend.

It’s no longer an “absurd” idea to give someone a cow through Heifer International (yep, that’s right a cow) or to support entrepreneur women all over the world through organisations like Kiva.

In fact there are tons of non-profit organisations and charities that offer consumers the opportunity to give gifts that pay it forward. Go check ’em out and give someone you love a truly life changing gift that they’ll never forget.

3. Shop locally

Now, this is something that I’ve messed up on several times over the years. But since moving to a small market town I’ve become a lot more community focused.

It’s so important that we support local business and do our bit to help them to thrive and prosper.

Not only does this benefit your local community but it helps to attract more people to the area because people want to see places that are brimming with activity, unique character, charm and a sense of regional pride.

Here’s the thing, you can’t complain about your local bookshop or clothes boutique closing down if you buy all your books on Amazon and if your wardrobe looks like a Primark bargain bucket.

Being a more ethical shopper starts with becoming more conscious and more aware of the choices you make everyday. And I can’t think of a better place to start than in your own community – effectively in your own back yard.

4. Become a farmers market cheerleader

Pear Grace ethical shopping

If you are lucky enough to have a farmers market near you then don’t dilly dally, get your little toosh down there asap.

The great thing about farmers markets is that the produce is grown locally.

Plus, if your market offers organic ranges then you truly are on to a winner.

Grabbing your grub from farmers markets will often save you money at the till and the quality of the produce is arguably better than you’ll find in the local supermarket.

This is because it hasn’t been travelling for hours around the globe before it lands on your plate.

So, this little tip is both ethical and environmentally friendly too. Win-Win, baby.

5. You are what you wear

Pearl Grace ethical shopping

And finally, yep, you guessed it, apparel.

It will come as no surprise that ethical fashion makes an appearance on this list.

I won’t harp on about the sad and immoral life stories that are woven into the fabric of most clothing brands on the high street.

But the truth is unless a brand states that their clothes are ethically made and they have certification to prove it then you cannot be sure that the artisans are being treated with respect and are receiving a fair wage.

Ethical clothes are made to last because the artisans are given sufficient time to create the work and in most cases they use better quality materials.

In many cases ethical clothing brands tend to adopt fair trade principles in their manufacturing processes as well and they often take into consideration additional factors such as sustainability and eco-friendly approaches. Check out this fantastic video with actress Emma Watson.

This tip might seem like a massive undertaking and by no means am I suggesting you empty out your wardrobe and start fresh today (well, not unless you want to).

Just start small. Seek out ethical and fair trade local businesses or brands online the next time you need a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans.

Like I said at the top, start by making small choices everyday and see how you feel. Trust me it’s far less daunting than it may seem.

So, there you have it, Nat’s 5 tips on how to become an ethical shopper.

If you’ve got any suggestions of your own on how we can live life in a more conscious savvy way then let me know by sharing your ideas in the comments below.

Till next time,

Love Nat x

 

 

Big up: www.theguardian.comwww.dailymail.co.ukwww.heifer.orgwww.celebritychef.tv & bethevansramos.wordpress.com for images. Pearl Grace does not claim to own the copyright of the images used.

Share Button
Pearl Grace Poo Time post

Poo Time

Poo Time

Yep, that’s right, I said it, Poo Time, baby. 

I wanna talk about poo. Yep, I’m serious… Poo.

Today’s PG love goes out to POOPOOPAPER who design stationery, journals, notepads, greeting cards, albums and other gifts that are creatively designed with fun and playful artwork.

What makes their brand so unique is the fact they make their products from recycled animal poo. This comes from various types of grass eating herbivores like elephants, cows, horses, moose, donkeys, pandas and other fiber-eating creatures.

How awesome is that!

I also love their ethical values.  They are committed implementing fairtrade principles into the fabric of their company by ensuring that their staff – of which 95% are women – can work from home when they wish so they can tend to their domestic responsibilities as well during their working day.

The process of transforming a natural waste product into practical and attractive product that people can enjoy for years afterwards exemplifies POOPOOPAPER’s commitment to values such as sustainability, recycling and upcycling.

It’s also remarkable that they only use water in the manufacturing process. With true omission of harsh chemicals such as chlorine and bleach ensures they can maintain an eco-friendly production process.

Their paper is also completely tree-free and is coloured using toxic free natural inks.

It’s clear that POOPOOPAPER has built their brand on a solid foundation where social awareness and civic responsibility lie at the core of what they do and believe in. I love that!

Continue reading

Share Button
Pearl Grace embroidered cushion

Little details

The little details

As you know we moved house last summer and we’ve been slowly doing up our new humble abode.

For the most part it’s been a fun project and with the bulk of the work now completed I’m really starting to love living in the countryside.

So, I’m starting to think about how I’d like to decorate my office. I’m thinking of going with a French retro and chic inspired style; some spring pastels shades, soft and delicate fabrics, furniture with feminine curves, minimalist, elegant but effortless.

The other day I was sitting at my desk thinking of ideas and I saw a picture of the Pearl Grace Embroidered cushion.

Not only did it offer further inspiration for my office but it got me thinking about the little details that we often miss.

The cushion is nice but the hand stitched embroidered panel on the front accentuates the French inspired look that the designer intended. This little detail gives the cushion an extra touch of style and class.

The same can be said for the embroidered travelling bag.

The process of brainstorming ideas for my office has brought to my attention that sometimes it’s not the big statement pieces that make a space feel special but the finishing touches and the little details.

Pearl Grace distressed bowlsThis reminds me of our Asanta Carved Bowl that has been distressed by hand, to provide additional character and charm. Without these little touches they would look very different.

And then there’s the lavender fragranced hearts that have been finished with a cotton tape loop and an engraved imitation pearl button. It’s the little details on this that makes them a beautiful accessory for any home.

Just thought I’d share what’s been on my mind this week – occasionally it’s wonderful when life and work cross over.

Have an awesome week and till next time…

Love Nat x

Share Button
Pearl Grace International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Pearl Grace gender equalityCan I get real for a sec and speak some politics? (Bad slang intended!)

It’s not gonna read like your usual PG post but I think its a topic worth sharing.

Yesterday, women (and men) all over the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), March 8th.

There have been a lot of debate in recent years about whether or not International Women’s Day is still relevant in the modern world we live in and if its worth acknowledging.

After all, we’ve come a long way from 1909 when the first IWD happened in New York.

Back then the women’s role in the workplace was vastly different to the positions many women hold in the world today.

I mean, we didn’t even have the right to vote, so sure, progress has been made.

BUT – and it is a big But – the reality is that in many countries in the world, both in the developed nations and our developing cousins, women still don’t have equal pay to their male counterparts.

You movie buffs out there may have seen actress Patricia Arquette touch on this issue in her acceptance speech at the Oscars. Check it out HERE.

Here’s the naked truth, women are still responsible for 80% of domestic chores and we are the majority of victims in cases of domestic and sexual violence.

And I hasten to add that these are the stats for women in countries where men and women are considered equal.

Let me jump off the rant track for a sec to say, I’m not hating on men. I love men.

I’m just highlighting the fact that there remains a noticeable disparity between the sexes.

Right, back to the point… the wonderful thing about IWD is that it is a celebration of women all over the world. It’s an international affair.

It brings to the forefront women’s issues and social events that are taking place from Bosnia to Brazil, America to Angola and Italy to Indonesia.

And when it comes to women’s rights in countries beyond our borders we can all agree that in many cases the reality is pretty grim.

So, I’m curious, do you think International Women’s Day still deserves a day in the spotlight?

Here’s what I say… Absa-freaking-lutely!

Just like I believe in and support days devoted to championing causes on race equality, gay rights, fair treatment of the disabled and elderly people, animal right campaigns and environmental protests.

In my opinion they all matter. They are all important. They should be celebrated by those passionate souls that are committed to changing the world so its a better place for our kids and the generations to follow.

Like I said at the top of the post, I appreciate that this is a little different from your usual PG post but the issue of gender equality isn’t far from what we stand for here at Pearl Grace.

In our own special way Pearl Grace supports women (and men) in textiles, arts and crafts by showcasing gifts made by people all over the world based on the principles of fair and ethical trading.

So, yes, I think International Women’s Day is incredibly important and I think it’s message should span beyond just one day. It’s message should be shared and carried with us every day.

As mothers of daughters we should embrace and support our little girls dreams. We should encourage them to dream as big and as lofty as their hearts and imaginations will take them.

We should support their aspirations to be doctors, artists, athletes, chefs, entrepreneurs, scientists, musicians and even mothers (one of the most important jobs on the planet).

And we should do the same with our sons.

But I think as a mummy of wee lad its vitally important that we teach and show our sons to love and respect girls from a young age so they continue to do the same when they grow up.

After all the boys and girls of today will one day be the men and women of tomorrow.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2015  is #makeithappen. Why not do something special this year to make the girls and women in ‘your’ world feel like stars… because they are.

x

 

Title image:Taiyuan, ChinaWomen perform belly dancing Photograph: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Content image courtesy of wherewelive.cairinegreen.ca

Share Button
Fairtrade Fortnight Pearl Grace

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight

Artisan making potteryIt’s that wonderful time of year again guys where we celebrate and shine a light on the significant impact that the fairtrade industry is having on peoples lives.

Fairtrade fortnight (23rd Feb – 8th Mar) is here!

As you know Pearl Grace proudly showcases beautiful fairtrade products from around the world. But at this time of year we love to champion and support industries, brands and companies that endorse fairtrade schemes as well. (You’ll see examples of this on our blog and if you follow us on social media)

Fairtrade fortnight gives us all an opportunity to think more consciously about our shopping choices. From the bananas and coffee we enjoy to the clothes and the gifts we buy.

There are so many incredible life changing reasons to look for the fairtrade logo when you buy your groceries or your hot cup of Joe.

The video below highlights some of them but you can enjoy the full length video (which I recommend seeing) over on the Fairtrade website. HERE.

The truth is, what might seem like a small choice to us like, what tea to buy?, could potentially make a huge impact on the life of the tea farmer who picked the leaves.

My request this week is for us to try our hardest to support this amazing cause. Not only for the next few days but as much as possible through all the small and seemingly insignificant choices that we make every single day.

Here’s an awesome list of the brands that are embracing fairtrade farmers and artisans. If you shop at any of these places then Fairtrade Fortnight Pearl Graceyou can do your bit as well. See the list HERE.

I sincerely believe that we are all connected regardless of the seas and language barriers that ‘supposedly’ divide us.

I believe it’s programmed in our DNA as human beings to be compassionate and supportive. To love each other and serve the world in a way that enables all of us to thrive.

I know that if you’re reading this then you have a kind and loving heart. After all you wouldn’t be on a fairtrade and ethical online gift shop if you didn’t care about people and the planet.

Therefore, I know I can ask this favour of you… Let’s rally behind the fairtrade farmers and the fairtrade artisans.

Then next time we enjoy our hot cup of tea with a slice of banana cake (mmm, I actually really fancy that now…) we can really savour the taste and enjoy it 100% safe in the knowledge that we have made a significant difference in the quality and stability of another person’s life.

Buying fairtade versus not buying fairtrade could essentially mean that a father can feed and provide shelter for his family or not.

That an expectant mother can give birth in a safe and secure environment with sufficient medical equipment or not.

That children can go to school and thrive in classrooms that have modern technology or not.

The simple decision to buy fairtrade could effectively transform an entire village by reducing the risk of serious illnesses, such as malaria, through the instalment of fresh and clean water systems.

It may sound dramatic but honestly, buying fairtrade could save someone’s life. Fact.

That’s why it’s seems like a no-brainer to me to support fairtrade wherever possible.  I hope you agree.

Happy fairtrade shopping! x

 

Title image courtesy of www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk

Content image courtesy of Nkuku

Share Button
Pearl Grace Jute bags

Jute bags

Jute bags and baskets

Charu BasketAs the title suggests, this week we’re giving props to the wonderful world of jute and it’s amazing qualities.

Wanna learn some interesting facts about our jute bags? Then let me hear you shout, Jute me up, baby!”

Let’s dive right in.

Here at Pearl Grace we’re proud to showcase a couple of amazing jute products and today we’re shining the spotlight on our fair trade Charu baskets and our Bansi bags.

The jute fibres used to create our range derives from Rajasthan, which is home to a growing group of phenomenal weavers.

These artisans are passionate about weaving and are committed to preserving their special weaving heritage.

In celebration of their craft they adopt traditional techniques that have been passed down through their families for generations to skilfully hand weave these magnificent gifts.

The weavers spin the fibres into large coarse threads and masterfully weave them to ensure the basket and bags are strong and durable.

The thick sturdy handles ensure they are comfortable to use as well.

When it comes to manufacturing goods that are kind to the planet, jute is a fabulous choice.

It’s eco-friendly as it originates from natural rain fed vegetable fibres.

Jute doesn’t require many pesticides or fertiliser (if any at all) to grow and thrive, which is awesome news for our planet.

Plus it’s biodegradable and sustainable so if you were looking for a way to strut your stuff without harming the planet then you can relax safe in the knowledge that our jute bags and baskets tick all the right boxes.

Interested in how they can be used?

Well, they are extremely versatile.

They are large enough to use to store the wee ones toys or logs for the fire.

They are sturdy which makes them perfect for running errands like doing the grocery shop. Not to mention they beat using plastic carrier bags!

I love that they have been thoughtfully designed to ensure the base stands flat when full – that’s a clever touch.

Basically the production of these jute bags is quite simply an extraordinary story of culture, creativity, style and sustainability.

The video below explains in detail the benefits to using jute. From it’s eco and environmental benefits to the positive impact that jute production is having on the local population.

It’s a pretty in depth look at jute so check it out.

You can find out more about our bansi bags HERE and our charu baskets HERE, including our colour and size options to suit your personal needs and requirements.

Share Button
Pearl Grace, chopping board, fair trade kitchenware and gifts

Chopping Boards

Fair trade Chopping boards: Chop till you drop

Pearl Grace fair trade kitchenware gifts and accessoriesWhether you’re entertaining or just treating yourself to a tasty home cooked meal, one of the most treasured, most used and often most under appreciated items in your kitchen is your chopping board.

This week we’re paying respect and showing some much needed love to the chopping board.

So, here at Pearl Grace, courtesy of the amazing artisans in India, comes a delightful choice of fair trade chopping boards.

First up, our Abeba chopping board. It’s compact and light-weight. This makes it perfect for preparing snacks and smaller meals and for seasoning meats and fish prior to cooking.

It’s the ideal size for storing away in a cupboard but it also sports a neat leather tie to offer you a hanging option if you so desire.

In fact this little beauty would adorn your kitchen wall beautifully and look equally awesome above your aga or stove.

Our second chopping board can be considered as a kitchen worktop staple. What do I mean by this?

Well, basically the chunni chopping board is significantly larger than the abeba and could reside on your worktop all the time if you’re looking for a permanent chopping fixture.

Pearl Grace Fair trade Chunni Square Chopping It’s truly stunning and is the perfect size to use as your everyday, all-purpose chopping board.

It will provide you with enough space on which to chop multiple ingredients at the same time.

So, what makes our fair trade chopping boards so special? 

Well, not only are they handmade by local people in India as part of a fair trade scheme, resulting in every individual board having a sense of uniqueness.

But – and if that wasn’t enough – they are made using sustainable mango wood farmed locally from the region.

And, if that still isn’t enough reason to ooh and ahh, then the added bonus is that they are absolutely stunning! The grain of the wood is incredibly soft and the finish is smooth and delicate.

Having said that, mango wood is extremely durable and long lasting. So, they look great, are practical and hard-wearing – what more could you ask for!   

If you were to find the boards simply too irresistible to strike with a blade then it would please you to know that they double up brilliantly as platters as well.

They would work perfectly for serving up tapas, bread and other culinary delights.

So, what you waiting for… grab yourself one of our fair trade chopping boards and chop till you drop.

Share Button

A touch of romance

Candlesticks: A touch of romance

Zola Candlesticks unlitWhen it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere there are few things in life that provide a touch of romance more than entering a warm sweet smelling room where the lights are dimmed down low and in the corner somewhere a flicker of a candle light is dancing away.

Well, maybe the soft shrills of Marvin Gaye flowing from a speaker could help to set the mood just right too… 

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d shine a light on our fair trade zola candlesticks.

They are beautifully crafted by hand using FSC certified sustainable mango wood from India.

If you’ve ever wondered who the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are and what they do then check out this lovely video.

So, FSC certified gifts are a pretty special. I’m really proud to be supporting such a worthwhile council and for sharing their message with you here at Pearl Grace.

Now, back to the candlesticks…

Local artisans use the wood from mango trees in the region that have stopped bearing fruit.

After the tree is cut down a new one is planted in its place making this production system both sustainable and kind to the planet.

Our candlesticks have a subtle gothic style design and the white distressed appearance lends itself beautifully to any setting where a touch of glamour and elegance is desired.

They come as a set of 3 so you could decorate your home in various ways and however you wish.

For instance, you could create a warm and inviting space by positioning them around your home in the rooms where people will be hanging out.

Or you could choose to use them as a centre piece on your dining table to create a bold and striking statement.

You certainly won’t fail in adding a touch of romance to the proceedings this Valentine’s Day when you get your hands on these little gems.

Grab them HERE 

Share Button