Ok, this is our effort at being slightly with the times. Only the other day an old colleague was berating us for not being clap-happy about the social media thing. I confess I do not like business operating in social media and I refuse to be drawn into the twitterverse, or whatever it’s called (however lovely and unique is our message). That’s ok, though, isn’t it? I mean your world will not be impoverished for not having us tweet inanely, will it? Just think of all the other things you could be doing etc..
Anyway, as a sort-of compromise, we’ve been persuaded to join the ‘click and collect’ revolution instead, courtesy of Street Hub. The idea is to use technology to help bring people to their local independent shops. Now that, I think, is a good idea.
Users click on their chosen neighbourhood and can then browse the independent shops, on the device of their choice. They can then reserve the product via Street Hub, then actually come to our real bricks and mortar shop to pick it up – magic!
Anything that helps people explore their local independent shops, is ok with us, however virtual the pathway. Technology eh? Sometimes it really can be useful.
For more information check out Street Hub
Yes, it’s true; almost too true to believe, we know. In the run up to Christmas, we have a sale on our range of luxury Yonjai Spa cold-pressed soaps, salt scrubs and lip balms (because we can!)
They are the same boxes of gorgeousness, containing as they do all things good and natural and bursting with essential oils. The lemon grass and basil soap is, strangely enough, bursting with real lemon grass and basil and utterly gorgeous – this is not us being in the least bit biased, you understand. But just to say that they come in handmade boxes and feature a selection of 2 and 3 soaps and we have discovered that they make delightful gifts. Even better, they are made by a women’s co-operative in Bangkok.
And due to a bulk buy, we can pile them high and sell them at a bargain price.
Check them out here
This year we thought we’d have a party down at the wharf. The date is Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July (because we like to party hard) and, you’re all invited. It’s a celebration of independents, at the glorious republic of Gabriel’s Wharf.
There will be some interesting food stalls for the occasion, as well as the wharfie regulars with their fine pies etc..
And there’ll be entertainment galore with music including lute, harp, guitar, singing and djs and comedy and magic too.
There might even be a few special offers at Ganesha and the other quirky independents of the wharf. Come on down to the sizzling Southbank and join the party.
We are now stocking a terrific range of olive oil soaps – from Aleppo, Syria.
The soaps are made from organic olive oil, and are available in a lovely big plain block, or blended with black cumin, or jasmine oil. The jasmine smells divine. They are made by a family firm in Aleppo.
And beyond that, there is no good news to tell. Because Aleppo is in the midst of war. I asked how they are coping and was told that anyone who can, has left Aleppo. Only the poor, the old, the ill and the young remain. Many of the workers have died in the conflict, and production has stopped. We don’t know if production will be possible anytime soon, or if any stock could leave Syria.
So this is not the most sustainable product we are selling, but possibly the most noteworthy, which is why we thought we’d flag it up here.
You can see them
Come on down to the wharf for a chocolate egg hunt this Easter. The shops are choc full (excuse the pun!) of hidden little eggs, just waiting to be discovered - by you! And when you find them, they are yours to munch. Since we've bought in about a tonne, you mustn't leave them all for us, ohno.
Gabriel's Wharf is in the heart of the Southbank and is a terrific place to chill, even when the sun shines, which as we know, isn't very often these days.
The wharf is also stuffed full of quirky independent shops - the quirkiest, most
independent of all the quirky and independent shoppy places in London. Come on over and eat chocolate eggs with us, we don't bite (unless you are a chocolate egg).
From 23 March - 7 April 2013
To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 and in anticipation of spring (hopefully some time soon bbrrr!) we are introducing a new range of chocolate goodies.
As Easter is on its way too, we couldn’t resist the chocolate bunny lollies and flower lollies for starters. And then we couldn’t resist the giant chocolate cupcake either – a novel take on the traditional egg.
We’re starting these off gently in the shop and will see what sort of response they get. And then they might make it to the website.
The chocolate is delicious by the way and comes to you from the fair trade Choc Affair company. What better excuse to celebrate the coming of spring?
This year, to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight we will be going local and pitching up at Charlton House SE7, for a night of global entertainment.
There’ll be music! Dancing! Poetry! Even an open mic if you’re so-inclined. And some lovely fair trade stuff from Ganesha. The only thing that’s missing is you!
The event is free and organised by Global Fusion Music and Arts. Expect a lively night. The action kicks off at 7.30. See you there!
22 Feb, Charlton House, SE7 7.30 – 9.30 Global Fusion Music and Arts celebrates Fairtrade Fortnight 2013.
All the Thursdays in December we will be open til 8. We hope you will come and join us on these nights as we will also crack open the wine and chai and Indian nibbles.
There will also be some special offers to tempt you, and, some of our neighbours in Gabriel’s Wharf and Oxo Tower will be open too – lots of lovely independents with unique products; it’s about as far as you can get from the high street.
Hopefully this will help to make your Christmas shopping a pleasure – it could also be a lucky shop if you choose to do the Christmas Crawl – see below!
Come on down to the lovely Southbank this Xmas and see how terrific we all are, we dare you. We're not just daring you though, hopefully we're tempting you too. Because lots of us have come together to make a giant goody bag that you, yes you, could win.
All you need to do is pick up a flyer (from any participants) and collect a stamp/signature from each of the shops listed, then fill in your details and drop back to Lagom (6 Gabriel's Wharf) by 23 Dec. You will be entered in a draw for the goody bag, and the winner will be notified in January.
And, if you happen to make it on any Thursday in December, Ganesha will be full of Xmas cheer, with wine and Indian nibbles from 6-8!
24 November is an excellent time to head to the Southbank, because apart from all the usual shops in the wharf open for business, there will be a fashion show and Xmas market at neighbouring Barge House. The event will showcase some of the designer makers in Gabriel's Wharf and Oxo Tower and will feature clothes, jewellery and accessories. We will be there from 4-8. There will also be hot pies and heritage beers -can you resist?
Xmas is looking cheery already!
Some people would rather not spend their precious weekend time shopping, they would prefer to squeeze it in after work during the week. Makes perfect sense, really, doesn’t it?
So, we have decided to stay open late on Thursday nights from now. Thursday night is for late night shopping, and you can now shop at Ganesha til 8pm (May-Sep).
Thursday late night shopping is not just for Christmas by the way. This is a new permanent feature of our hours (the other days of the week will open and close as usual: 11.30 – 19.00hrs).
We are hoping that in December at least, some of our neighbours in Gabriel’s Wharf will keep us company. For those who might not know, Gabriel’s Wharf and neighbouring Oxo Tower are crammed full of unique independent retailers (and makers) making it one of the most unique and special shopping neighbourhoods in London.
We’ll get back shortly with some plans re Xmas shopping and offers..
As summer slips away we are consoling ourselves with the cheery presence of some new laptop and Ipad cases here at Ganesha. They are made from some very retro-inspired fabrics (think 1960s tea cosies, 1970s aprons) and are worked with the traditional Bengali straight-line kanther stitch in contrasting colours.
You might question whether your great aunt’s parlour has been raided; however, they come straight to you from those seriously talented (and seriously cheery) talents at Motif, Dhaka. Thank you Jackie and the crew!
The small advance order is selling fast and so we’ll be stocking up on these for Xmas. What merrier present to give the geek in your life –or of course yourself. Gowan gowan gowan, you know you want to!
Click here to see more of them
If you are looking for some products to help you celebrate the Jubilee, then check out our Jubilee Jamboree range.
We have some very vibrant
union flag embroidered purses, pencil cases and glasses cases, all hand embroidered with kanther-stitch, by some very talented ladies in Bangladesh.
To mark the special Thames-themed celebration, we have also commissioned a special river pageant cushion -again in traditional kanther stitch, in red white and blue -coming soon!
And for any celebrations, have a look at our special
upcycled jubilee bunting - perfect for alfresco parties (that's if it is not snowing!) This is the latest limited edition in our upcycled bunting range - a bestseller in the shop. They are hand made in Cambodia by a group of disabled artisans, and will add a colourful and vibrant accent to any garden.
Finally, make your red, white and blue party green -with our super
bestselling leaf plates!
Happy Fairtrade Fortnight to one and all, we hope everyone is stepping out in FT style this spring. At Ganesha we have been going kanther crazy. Kanther is the lovely straight line embroidery stitch so characteristic of the east coast of India and Bangladesh - a very Bengali stitch. For centuries this stitch has been used to help layer fabrics together and to help breath new life into old pieces of material.
Old sarees are often layered together to be reborn, to live again, as a quilt. This is not only an excellent and very efficient use of (often) scarce resources, but of course the individual creativity of the maker comes into play. And so it is today with the kanther products at Ganesha.
Our new ranges of kanther quilts / washbags / bags /are made from cotton sarees layered and stitched together by the talented ladies at
Motif, Bangladesh, in the time-honoured fashion. These 'upcycled' items have unique characters from piece to piece, reflecting the individual workwomanship of their makers.
We love these items as they are colourful and vibrant and are perfect as we emerge from winter. We hope you'll like them too and choose to step out in fair trade style with them.
See the kanther washbags here. Quilts coming online soon! We have lots of other new products just in also -for an overview click here
OK, so this one was short and sweet (due to the freezing weather) but you get the idea. And it's a sentiment all of us here at Ganesha subscribe to.
Happily, despite the freezing weather we did a brisk trade in hearts -only the foil ones, you understand!
Riverside London is a free new mobile phone app that tells you everything you could possibly need to know about the cultural heart of the capital: South Bank, Bankside and London Bridge.
It is a what’s on guide and map that lists where to eat, drink, shop and stay with contact details and map locations.
The app covers the area from Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge, and includes all the iconic attractions such as Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, as well as brilliant and more off-beat locations, such as Gabriel's Wharf!
For anyone planning a trip to the Southbank in 2012, we think this is the perfect guide. You can download it here. At the moment this is just for Iphone -Android is in development.
The pop-up shop in Covent Garden is now closed, after 4 years of trading. There are plans for the building to be redeveloped by a big company soon and by the time of the Olympics will probably house a luxury brand. We made a lot of friends in Covent Garden -particularly the street artists - so are sad to leave them behind; but on the other hand, it's lovely to decamp back to the Southbank and be with old friends again.
We've spent the last week squeezing 2 shops into 1, and the shop now looks slightly cranky with stock, so we are having a sale til the end of January. We very rarely have a sale so it is an excellent time to treat yourself to something. There is 20% off scarves and wraps, 30% off knitted wool hats, several special offers on leather bags and end of range bags, 20% off leather purses and wallets..and loads of other special offers in the shop. Sorry this is not online. But please do call us and see if what you are interested in online is in the sale and I'm sure we can work something out.
Happy 2012 and happy shopping!
Now the chill is setting in, we think it’s only right and proper to tell you all about the things that have recently arrived to take the edge off winter.
First up is the newly arrived range of wool stoles, hot from the Punjab in north India. These are hand woven and come in a lovely range of warming colours such as reds and pinks and fawns; sure to ward off winter chills.
Click here to go to the page
Now something for the boys (we do try, really!) A new range of upcycled cement bags has been a hot seller in the shops over the last few weeks (purchased almost exclusively by the male of the species!) and now these bags are available online: Kampot messengers and laptop bags. They are strong and weatherproof, made as they are from industrial cement sacks. They have an abundance of pockets and features such as hand carved wood buckles and toggles. From those talents at Coral Seed working in partnership with producer groups in Cambodia.
See them here
Finally, we really think you should know that we stock a range of amazing cold-pressed soaps made by Yonjai Spa - a women’s co-op in Thailand. They are hand made from natural ingredients and are a total treat –either for yourself, or perfect as gifts, as they are packaged so nicely in hand made boxes.
We have recently increased the range to include salt scrubs (see below) – these come in a hand thrown clay pot with a little coconut spoon. The fragrances include jasmine and coconut, vanilla honey and ginger, and the Ganesha favourite of lemongrass and basil. These are a delight to use and are sure to make winter better! Click here to see them
Retro pop references aside, we just wanted to draw attention to a couple of new lines this summer that are doing brilliant things in the shops, and they are now available online too.
These glorious wraps are made from waste silk so each one is unique in its stripiness. They are hand woven on a little river island in Cambodia. Their loveliness is also in the story: the purchase of these scarves supports the very traditional Cambodian industry of silk weaving and helps stem urban migration. For more information, click here
After a successful mini launch last year, we are now stocking a very funky range of upcycled rice sack bags in arrange of designs from sunrays to the union flag. These have been hand patchworked and appliquéd by 2 different producer groups in Cambodia. One is an inner city NGO for disabled artisans and the other is a project for the rural poor. For more information click here
Both of these ranges are down to the talented team at Coral Seed. Thank you Alan, Brenda + Pat.
Summer is looking good!
To help celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight this year, we have made a string of bunting appliquéd with the message: LOVE FAIR TRADE. This is on display in the window of our South Bank shop, as shown in the photo. This will move to the window of Covent Garden during the second week of FT Fortnight.
The bunting is made of vintage saree silk, from Calcutta Rescue (we sell the bunting –
And the message was designed and appliquéd by hand in-house at Ganesha, by the talented Kirstie, to be precise. Some of the letters have been dyed with natural dyes such as madder –this is Kirstie’s passion. Thank you Kirstie!
At the end of the Fortnight we are *supposed* to send it to the Fairtrade Foundation, so they can make the longest bunting in the world. But we might just have to keep it!
Anyway, the message is LOVE FAIR TRADE from all of us at Ganesha. Happy Fairtrade Fortnight 11.
For all those who can't make it to the shop for Valentine's Day, here is an image of the Covent Garden shop window. The ditty has been composed in-house at Ganesha, and painted onto the shop windows, complete with flowery accompaniment.
The ditty goes: Roses are red, Violets are blue, My Valentine is green, How about you?!
This is to help convey the message that we have a lot of eco / upcycled products at Ganesha. It is bringing people into the shop, so seems to be working a treat. Flushed with artistic success, we are now planning more arty windows for Fairtrade Fortnight!
We are delighted to be included in the Time Out Shopping Guide for London 2011, this year especially so, as it marks ten consecutive years of Ganesha's inclusion.
Dubbed the guide to the 'best shops in London,' the Time Out Guide is an independently compiled publication and updated every year.
We realise that we have been included in this shopping tome for ten years now - an achievement for which we should be proud - not least because London is a vast marketplace and we are jostling with big global brands and independent retailers of a very high calibre.
And we are enormously thankful - because a part of the equation is our hard work, and another part of the equation is you, our lovely customers, making it possible.
It is not an exaggeration to say that there would be no Ganesha without customers who come back time and time again, and we are hugely appreciative of your custom - as are the very many talented producers in India, Bangladesh and beyond, whose products you buy.
So please carry on shopping, and here is to the next ten years' inclusion. In these difficult times we say buy less, buy better, buy fair trade!
(and special offers!)
It is that time of year again when the reindeers come out to play. We have lots of lovely Christmas decorations coming in, and want to highlight a couple of ranges; tell the story behind them, as this makes them super special, we think.
Christmas would not be Christmas without these wowy beasts, and regulars to Ganesha will be familiar with them. This year we have a few additions to the range and some new colourways also. What you might not know, is that they are made by landmine survivors (really!) in Cambodia. Of course that is not the reason to buy them – these have been our number one seller because they are brilliantly made things and very charming. They will also last for years.
This year we are holding the price and also offering a discount on multiple purchases: £5.99 each, or any 4 for £20. They are bought to us by Fair Trade Interiors –profile coming soon.
To visit the silk beasts page,
These hand made felt decorations are new for Xmas 10. The range includes trees, boots, stars and hearts in vibrant colours and all are studded with sequins for a bit of sparkle.
They are made by the Nepal Leprosy Trust in Kathmandu, which provides medical, social and economic benefits by providing employment and support to those with leprosy. The Felt Industry project is run for women specifically. Once again, the story is nice to know, but foremost, the products are lovely in their own right.
Felt decorations are £2.99 each, or any 4 for £10. To visit the Felt decorations page,
Other decorations include
Felt snow leopardsand ibexes, by the Snow Leopard Trust.
Handloom silk stars, hearts, geese + robins, by Fair Trade Interiors.
Happy Xmas shopping!
We have given up our large, leaky, old warehouse and have taken a much more sensible course of action. Now, we have our products stored with, and distributed by Mail Out, a project of the Camden Society.
Based in Kentish Town, London, the Camden Society is a social enterprise that exists for disabled people to learn skills and gain qualifications in a variety of sectors.
Established in 1991 Mail Out works with a range of private, public and voluntary organisations to handle mailings and other associated services.
We are thrilled to have discovered this organisation, not just because it is a wonderful idea put into practice, but because the service they offer is an excellent one.
For us at Ganesha, our association with Mail Out has made a very positive difference –it has freed up more time for us to concentrate on running Ganesha better. Oh dear, that’s raising the stakes, isn’t it?
Please click on the link below to access their website:
if you think the Camden Society can help your business or organisation, big or small, please do contact them.
One of the things I love about my job is getting to see new work coming out of various producer groups; it never fails to excite or inspire. And there is possibly no more exciting an occasion than when a box of new samples arrives from Coral Seed. This time, fresh from Cambodia.
Alan Flux, the creative talent behind Coral Seed is a rare breed – a working designer who is used by Voluntary Service Overseas to help producer groups in the economically developing world do what they do better. His first posting to Bangladesh was so successful, and so inspiring for Alan, that he stayed there for several years, before VSO offered him a placement in Mongolia, and now, Cambodia.
Alan says of his new posting: ' when every day you meet people who seem to be born with a smile on their face, it’s easy to forget that the Kingdom of Cambodia is a country slowly emerging from trauma.
The unspeakable Khmer Rouge were only finally ousted a decade or so ago, leaving behind them a carpet of mines that almost daily kill or maim rural farmers; polio is still a major disabler, trafficking is rife, and the inner city poor abound. The good news however, is that training schemes are in place for those who need them, and traditional skills are being revived.'
Coral Seed concentrates on the use of sustainable local raw materials, and waste materials. Many intriguing upcycling opportunities present themselves.
'Colourful Vietnamese rice sacks have long been upcycled into a variety of products: but it is the small scraps that would otherwise be wasted that appeal to Coral Seed. These are worked into
rainbow stripes and innovative patchwork patterns to create strong useful shoppers, messengers, laptop and cosmetic bags.'
More coming soon:
See our Renbo range of bags here.
'The same techniques are applied to handloom silks and cottons; hand-woven silks glimmer everywhere, and are mostly sold as scarves; but small silk pieces too are salvaged, and sewn and knotted into necklaces and bracelets, available in a wide variety of colours.' See the silk beads here.
'Also in colourful supply are crochet items – purses, bags, hats, quirky toys and mascots – made by recent graduates whom polio has left severely disabled; both young men and women alike are happy to work in this medium, which becomes for them a social, therapeutic and financially rewarding activity.' See the crochet purses here.
We think that Alan's and Coral Seed's success lies in a process of dialogue with the producers, which results, as you can see, with some wonderful products, very much a part of the place and people who created them. Last words over to Alan:
'Cambodia is a land of potential; at the time of writing, Coral Seed is working with natural resin varnish to render woven country baskets waterproof; with hand-carved wooden tablewares and pendants; and on the upcycling front, with discarded vintage students’ oil paintings, which morph into fascinating one-off limited edition bags, and with rubber tyre off-cuts which combine with buffalo horn, wood and cow-bone to make memorable, multi-textured and wearable jewellery.
With such a plentiful supply of raw materials for inspiration, Coral Seed hopes to be able to help secure the livelihoods of Cambodia's very skilled producers for many seasons to come.' horn jewellery and palmleaf baskets
Feb/ Mar 10
Happy Fairtrade Fortnight to one and all. We are open as ever, for Fairtrade antics, which means this year, that the nation is being asked to swap their usual products for superior fairtrade ones, in the Big Swap. But of course, how can we disagree with such a notion?!
So just to remind you that our 2 shops in central London are open from 11.30 to 19.30hrs daily in Covent Garden, and Southbank: 12.00 to 18.00hrs Tues – Sun. We look forward to some serious swapping over the next week or so.
Also, we have lots and lots of new products in the shops, which are very slowly making their way onto the site. We apologise for being so slow (general over work, etc..) but here are the latest additions for your pleasure:
Pehli natural dye scarves
More felt bags
Vintage silk bunting
You will also see who made these products and you can click through to the stories behind them. And more products are on their way, so please come back soon. We hope that there are some things to tempt a swap or 2.
Happy Fairtrade Fortnight, and happy shopping!
Regular visitors to Ganesha.co.uk will probably have noticed a slight difference to the site. The old head banner has been replaced by a new one, and we have reorganised the site, to try and make it easier and quicker to use.
Surfers could always access any part of the website in just a couple of clicks, though as the site grew and we added information and products, the old design began to creak under its own weight, and surfers found they would have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see everything.
This was a particular problem with pages of the Ganesha shop. We realised that pages towards the bottom of long menu choices weren’t getting seen as much as they should. It was the virtual equivalent of having the curtains drawn on your shop window, making it hard for customers to see the products within.
Now we have reorganised Ganesha shop into product types such as accessories, gifts, house, smellies etc… right on the homepage. So when these are clicked, smaller menu choices appear on the left, and in pictures you can directly click on, too. No more excessive scrolling!
All the old information about how we trade, and our producer partners’ profiles is still there, as ever, of course. The site is just a little neater, rationalised, and refreshed.
But have we succeeded? You tell us in your feedback that on the whole, we have. But there is always room for improvement also, so the coming weeks will see a little more tinkering..
Thank you to all of you who gave us your time and responded to our questionnaire, we really appreciate it, as this site is not made by a web design company, but hand fashioned by us ourselves (Jo + Purnendu). So, if it seems a bit hand made and irregular, in the spirit of hand fashioned things, that’s because it is.
The winner of the draw for a £20 Ganesha voucher has been notified, thank you to everyone.
We were touched that someone actually went to the trouble to nominate us in the category Best Green Business (someone other than our mums, that is).
And we were very pleased to have been able to demonstrate to the judges, via a lengthy questionnaire, how we put sustainability at the very heart of what we do.
Competition was tough with Ganesha pitched against some very large companies. Out of the 6 businesses nominated in each category we lost out to Solar Century, who went on to be the overall winner of Best Lambeth Business 2009.
As we never put ourselves forward for awards, it was a nice surprise and outcome, and we will try our hardest to minimise our impact further.
To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2009
(23 Feb -8 March) we thought we’d run a little competition.
Fair trade products often have interesting stories attached to them - we think it is what helps make them a little bit special. Here at Ganesha we have a particular passion for fair trade products made from recycled, reclaimed or vintage materials, making the stories doubly interesting; the products even more special!
And so, we thought we’d make a competition with these stories in mind. There are 3 questions about 3 products each made from recycled materials. You have to guess what the product once was in its previous life. All the information you need to answer these questions is on our website –somewhere!
So without further ado: oh. We need to tell you what the winner receives. We will pick 4 winners randomly, at the end of Fairtrade Fortnight. One will win a £30 Ganesha gift voucher, the other 3 will win one of the 3 items listed below that inspire the competition questions.
this lovely vintage silk scarf was once:
this funky heart keyring was once:
this bowl is made from:
The competition is now closed and the winners have been notified
Good luck and happy Fairtrade Fortnight!
We won't pass your details on or use them for marketing.
There are lovely stories behind each of our hearty products, making Valentine's Day even more of an occasion to celebrate.
The leather heart keyrings, Disco Deewana boxes and foil hearts are
made by Motif, supporting marginalised producers in Bangladesh. The heart soaps are made by the Suanplu Women's Co-operative in
Bangkok, and the 'I was a flip-flop' keyring was once washed up on the
African shoreline, making a nuisance of itself to the locals (that's human and marine life) in its former incarnation.
It much prefers to be adored as a little heart on the end of chain, keeping your
keys safe. Thank those lovely people at Silverchilli for bringing these to our attention. The silk heart decorations meanwhile, are produced by landmine survivors in Cambodia.
Tell us when you order that you are buying a valentine's gift and we will wrap it in bright hot pink tissue at no extra cost. We will also include one of our unique paper bags.
see our hearty little gift page here
Happy Valentine's Day!
Profuse apologies for not managing to make a gift guide this year! So very briefly here are our picks for a very merry + sustainable Christmas.
Beautiful silk reindeer, robins, hearts and stars in a riot of colour
to see them, click here
vintage silk scarves click here
handloom silk + natural dye wraps here
felt bags click here
rubber bags click here
more recycled bags click here
Hearty stocking fillers
Lovely little inexpensive gifts with a heart theme, from soaps to keyrings to boxes see them here
Wola Nani fishy bowls
New consignment of bowls made by the South African women’s group just in, many in oh-so-fashionable reds see them here
Luxury cold pressed soaps made by the Suanplu Women's Co-operative in Bangkok view them here
Leaf party plates
The best party plates in the world, now in more sizes - making party green!
to see them, click here
and still we have handloom silk scarves with natural dyes + natural soaps to add!...so come back soon!
The leaf plates are a roaring success, and we are thrilled. It pleases us to think we are helping to ‘make party green.’ They also seem to be an increasingly popular choice for weddings of a greener kind.
The only thing, we have come to know, is that you want more! Well, let us never be accused of not listening to you and answering your call! So we are delighted to launch a range of plates in different sizes, including a small bowl.
We now stock 3 different sizes of plate: a regular dinner plate, a side plate, an extra large plate and a small bowl, ideal for dips and desserts.
You can see them here.
And apart from the fact they are sourced through fair trade organisations in east India, ten percent of the cover price goes back to forest conservation schemes in Orissa, east India, where the plates are made. We should have an update on this soon.
Happy green party!
The paint was barely dry and the products only just on the shelves when we launched our new Covent Garden shop with a party on March 7 –opening the doors after a ten day shopfit.
We were exhausted, but thrilled, as many friends and colleagues from the fair trade world turned out to toast the new shop. The wine (fair trade, of course!) flowed. Everyone commented on the amazing location and thought that the shop should thrive in such a bustling part of town. And indeed, business was brisk all evening.
The shop is just off the piazza in the beautiful and historic King Street. It is a very busy location and buzzes with people all day long. We are looking forward to selling them all our lovely fair trade accessories.
Reality check: we do want to put a dampener on the proceedings, but this is not forever, alas! This is a pop-up shop while the building awaits refurbishment. We are thrilled to go along for the ride, even though we don’t know how long we’ve got.
Nevertheless, the expansion into Covent Garden is an opportunity for us to increase the profile of fair trade in central London, and more importantly, to sell more products made by talented, marginalised producers in India, Bangladesh and beyond. Please come and see us soon!
We are thrilled to announce the opening of another Ganesha shop, in the heart of Covent Garden. The shop is located on the historic and beautiful King Street, just off the iconic piazza.
We aim to expand on our success on the Southbank and bring a quality selection of home and personal accessories to a wider London
audience, sourced from talented, marginalised producers in India, Bangladesh and beyond. In short, we are delighted at the prospect of taking our fair trade thing 'out there.'
The shop will open its doors on March 7, just in time to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 08 and will launch with a party in shop in the evening.
If anyone would like to attend, please RSVP.
Our leaf plates might just become even more popular when people find out we are giving 10% of profits back to forest conservation projects in Orissa, east India – the very forest from where the leaves originate.
We are delighted to be teaming up with MASS –an Orissa-based NGO, to help support local forest protection schemes in Sambalpur district. Our twice yearly donations will go towards capacity building of the community forest protection committees and also in gap filling of the forests with a nursery support in the first year, and an extension of activities envisaged for the second year.
Leaf plate making is a traditional industry in the villages of Orissa and depends upon the availability of siali (
Bauhinia spp.) and sal ( Shorea ) leaves from local forest. It is a widespread activity in the region, employing thousands of workers. Many are organised as 'self-help' groups:
these are often women or adivasi (tribal)-focused. Leaf plates made in Orissa are used throughout India for festivals and weddings, it is a largescale cottage industry.
The plates race out of our shop and online store, partly because it really is a fantastic product – they are not just lovely to look at and use, but are low-impact, and compostable. They have also attracted lots of media interest, with editorial features in publications such as The Observer newspaper and the London Evening Standard. We are thrilled to have sold a job lot to Oxfam and Amnesty International also.
Our leaf plates are sourced through fair trade organisations in east India, so together with our forest protection partnership, it’s good to know that both people and forest will continue to benefit from this age-old industry. That’s as good a reason as any for a party!
Leaf plates are available in packets of 20 for £4.99 click here
Photo-essay about leaf plate making here: click here
When Amazon invites you to open up shop on the most gargantuan of shopping sites, how can you refuse? We are therefore delighted to announce the opening of a Ganesha concession at Amazon.co.uk.
People can find us by clicking on different product types such as purses, wallets and bags, and other key words such as fair trade.
As you will see, prices on both sites are exactly the same. Over the next few weeks we’ll be adding more products, when we have found our feet.
We are very excited at this development, and feel that this is the right way forward -taking fair trade out there to a wider audience. Please stop by and check us out there.
The Fair Trade Organisation Mark (FTO) banner and various fair traders
pitched up at Ganesha this afternoon (11 May) after touring around London
in a red bus, marking the latest leg of the Global Journey.
The London leg of the Global Journey follows a worldwide voyage of 3 years,
47 countries and thousands of participants, as the banner stops by all
the fair trade organisations and businesses on its way. At each stop,
the banner with its distinctive logo is welcomed, paraded, and photographed,
before travelling on.
The Global Journey is promoting the FTO logo of The International Fair
Trade Association (IFAT) and the global network of fair traders. The mark
is given to organisations and businesses that have met ten fair trade
standards and who have poverty reduction at the heart of what they do.
It was a busy day for the Global Journey. The day kicked off with a photocall
at Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank, with London's fair trade community
in attendance. The bus then toured around iconic sites of London and various
fair trade organisations, before stopping off at Ganesha to say hi.
Its destination and conclusion is an IFAT conference in Brussels, mid
UNICEF were looking for a gorgeous bag they could give to their sponsors
running the London Marathon, so naturally, they came to us.
We sorted them out with our lovely shop bags, made from waste Bengali
newspaper -you can tell it's post-consumer as some of them have half
filled-out crosswords in Bengali and doodles (we like these the best!)
They seem to like them as much as we do, so we are pleased. UNICEF are
using them as goody bags.
Good luck to all the UNICEF runners.
We are now a free distribution point for the new look, handbag (and manbag!)
sized New Consumer Magazine.
Still glossy + good looking, (are we talking magazines or show ponies?!)
it's just a bit smaller, but still packed full of fascinating stuff for
the discerning consumer.
You will find them prominently displayed
in both Ganesha shops, so next time you come in for a browse please take
And even better, it is absolutely free, so
what are you waiting for?
We've made the site more interactive and joined up, to make browsing between
the shop pages and the information pages easier. We have long made a point of listing the
name of the producer next to their products for sale in the shop pages.
Then we compiled producer profiles, all nicely arranged in the trading
Now, in not too big a leap of logic, we've joined them up with a link.
As you browse the shop pages, you can click on the name of the producer,
highlighted in pale purple, and this will take you to their profile. You
can get back by the regular right hand mouse click or back button in the
browser -with no ill effects to your shopping.
So if you want to know more about who made that lovely bag as you put
it in your basket, now you can. A couple of stragglers are still to come,
but most are there.
Happy shopping and browsing!
Now- gift vouchers
You've been asking us for ages, we're happy to
oblige at last. Gift vouchers exclusive to Ganesha are now available to
buy in denominations of £5, £10, £20 + £50.
The vouchers have no expiry, can not be exchanged for money, but will
buy products from our shops + online shop to the face value of the coupons.
They are very easy to redeem online: when you have
finished shopping and
are checking out, there is a space to enter the vouchers' unique codes.
We think they look rather nice + feature lots of Ganeshas, as you might
expect. And we present them to you in an embroidered Calcutta Rescue card.
To buy them online click here.
Now- wedding list at Ganesha
We are delighted to announce the launch of a wedding list facility at
Ganesha, especially so, as this is something we have often been asked
It's easy to use:
click on the 'Ganesha shop online' logo on the top purple header then
click on the top left hand link to 'wedding list' to take you there. Or
else click here.
The happy couple sign in and go shopping for their list. Instead of proceeding
to the shopping basket to check out, they go back to the 'wedding list'
link and their choices are compiled, with photos, on a new page.
Friends and relatives can then sign in and browse or buy any items on
When an item is sold, a 'sold' sign will be added next to the product.
They check out and pay for the item, and we send the items out to the
It's that simple.
We hope to keep building on the range of products we offer, to make sure
you can get married in fabulous fair trade style.
So can some happy couples road-test our latest bit of programming please?
We'll add a present from Ganesha to the first 3 couples that sign-up.
Mass lobby for trade justice 2 Nov!
On Wednesday 2 November there will be a mass lobby at Westminster, when
thousands of people will come to parliament to lobby for trade justice,
not free trade. The more the merrier, so please try and come.
The plan is for an enormous gathering outside the House of Commons to
make a big 'moment' at 1pm, followed by an opportunity to meet your own
The UK Government has said that economic liberalisation should not be
forced on poor and economically developing countries. The Trade Justice
Movement (TJM) calls on the UK Government and its partners in the European
Union to follow this up with some hard policy making at the World Trade
Organisation talks in Hong Kong in December.
TJM is asking the Government to use its influence within the EU to allow
developing countries to shape trade policies to protect their vulnerable
farm sectors and promote their national industries, also, to allow
countries to choose the best policies for poor people and the environment
in services such as water, health and education.
What can you do?
Come and lobby! The event will allow thousands of people to lobby their
own MPs to sign the Trade Justice Early Day Motion 679 'Making Poverty
History through Trade Justice' which is like asking your MP to sign a
petition showing their support.
If you can't make it in person on the day, you can still take part in
writing: TJM is also appealing to people to lobby Trade and Industry Secretary
Alan Johnson to get the Government to use its influence within the EU
to address these issues.
And with a mere click of the mouse, you can email Tony Blair and let
him know you vote for trade justice:
email Tony Blair here
For more information:
Mass lobby 2 Nov
Trade Justice Movement
Make Poverty History
-in the top 3!
We've just been rated third best fair trade website, in a list of the
top 10, according to The Independent.
Pipped to the post by our good mates, Silverchilli and New
Consumer Magazine. Well done guys!
To see the list on the Independent's website, click
Our only comment is: third? We clearly have some work to do!
G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland
Group of Eight is an informal group of some of the world's most industrialised
nations: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US, Canada and Russia. They
come together once a year to try and take on global challenges. On the
agenda this year is climate change, Africa, and global trade.
The UK is in an unusually powerful position to influence negotiations
this year, as President of the European Union and the G8 meeting of world
Let's hope we are successful in bringing about some real change; rewriting
international trade rules in favour of economically developing countries
would be a grand start.
Explore the G8 + these issues for yourself:
Make Poverty History
Join the crowd to help make poverty history!
You are cordially invited to join thousands of others in a night of revelry
and vigil in London on 15 April, to help make global poverty history.
The night will kick off at Westminster Abbey at 10pm, with songs and
readings, and will continue through the night with a vigil (it's a vigil,
though not as we know it, um, Jim).
This vigil will be a non-stop carnival of music, art and protest along
Whitehall, and the event will culminate in a dawn procession.
For more information on this and other UK-wide events, check out:
Make Poverty History
Trade Justice Movement
We'll see you there!
Ganesha celebrates 10 years!
We are delighted to be celebrating 10 years of alternative business.
Over the last decade we have seen an incredible upswing in the fair trade
market - and are proud to be playing a part in this, though we'd like
to think this is just the beginning.
Pondering how to mark the occasion, we thought it would be a good opportunity
to spread the fair trade word some more, but not from ourselves, from
the people we buy from -the producers in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and
the other UK-based importers who are working in a similar way to ourselves.
Browsers in the shop are often told the stories of the producers, but
this is lost on surfers browsing our site. So to put that right, here
they are -and not even in our words. You can find out about them, in their
own words; who they are, what they do, the challenges they face, what
makes it all worthwhile, and what difference your purchases make to them.
(under trade information in the top banner).
Click here to visit the page
We're coinciding the start of our celebrations with Fairtrade Fortnight,
but will carry on adding more, new information on the website during the
year, so be sure to tune in again.
To mark our 10 years, we are also launching some fabulous new products,
as well as decorating the exterior of the 2 shops with Bollywood murals,
and, how could we not resist in partying just a little -after all, fair
trade wine producers, like all fair trade producers should be supported,
We'd like to raise a toast to everyone who makes Ganesha happen, from
the producer to the consumer. Here's to our next ten years of good business;
more successful, more effective.
New supplier: Aranya of Bangladesh
We're thrilled to be stocking products made by Aranya of Bangladesh.
Aranya joins the growing list of IFAT members (International Federation
for Alternative trade) that supply Ganesha.
Focusing on the age-old, specialised skills of the region, Aranya markets
the traditional industries, such as embroidery and handloom, but in a
wholly contemporary way, allowing the medium to develop and be as vital
today, as it has been for centuries. And gives rural women a chance to
earn a decent income.
Traditional skills such as khadi cotton - where the cotton is handspun,
as well as handwoven, and the kanther style of embroidery so associated
with Bangladesh; skills that are usually passed on from mothers to their
daughters, feature large in Aranya's products, on scarves, wraps, and
textiles for interiors.
Aranya is also a leader in the use and development of natural dyes in
its products, and conducts regular training workshops in Bangladesh and
abroad to promote this more ecologically friendly approach.
The use of natural dyes has another advantage, too; the collection of
the materials, such as leaves, bark, roots etc.. in the community maximises
local labour and builds in additional value to the product at source,
increasing the economic benefits to the producers.
Check out the wonderful Aranya products at Ganesha: crinkly scarves dip-dyed
with natural dyes are proving to be a winner in the shop (see below).
And we have some beautiful and stylish muslin silk wraps, perfect for
a special occasion. We think they're fab!
Click here to see more Aranya
wraps at Ganesha
Aranya also has its own website
-click here to go there
To find out more about IFAT, visit their
website, click here
Namaste Ganesha 2
We're delighted to announce the opening of our second London shop next
door to the original one - at Gabriel's Wharf, South Bank.
The new shop has allowed us to introduce new product ranges in both clothes
and home style, with one shop for each; and allows us to offer twice the
range of fairly traded products to consumers in London and online.
The launch of Ganesha 2 on 8 March is timed to coincide with Fairtrade
Fortnight (1-14 March).
We have been developing some fabulous lines with our producer partners;
sharp tailored shirts in handloom cottons, perfect for work and play,
jeans-cut linen trousers, knee length split skirts, as well as some very
Asian cuts: mini silk tunics, and sari ribbon tops. The emphasis is on
style, with a desi twist.
In the home style shop, there are new ranges of bamboo and laquerware
accessories and more of everything else -handloom throws in some fabulous
textures and colours, new silk cushions and drapes plus a brand new
range of organic cotton bedlinen. Also there are some rather unusual
things made from post consumer waste: chunky vases and planters made from
tyres, coasters made from recycled plastics, and beautiful paper mache
bowls made by women living with HIV in south Africa.
As well as importing a more diverse range of goods and developing new
lines with our producer partners in
India, we are also showcasing the best of fair trade in the UK market
from other importers.
When we started about 10 years ago, there were very few importers working
in this way, but now, as the fair trade message is getting across, there
are more IFAT (International Federation for Alternative Trade) members
and importers who are BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade Shops)
accredited. We are excited to be working with them in developing the fair
We hope that our new shop helps to develop the market for fair trade
in London and beyond-good news for our producer partners and UK consumers
We're in Anita's top ten for xmas!
We're very proud to have been picked by Anita Roddick as one of her top
ten ethical picks for Christmas. In her ethical shopping tips, she guarantees
to help you find the perfect gift for Christmas; affordable, beautiful
and ethically sourced.
she says: 'Ganesha is a fantastic luxury home and fashion experience....
love their vibrant multi-coloured cushion covers'
Our fellow Bafts (British Association for Fair Trade Shops) member Peopletree
was also recommended by Anita to make Christmas sparkle. Other picks include
Divine Chocolate, the wind-up /solar powered Freeplay radio and The Good
Alternative Travel Guide alongside the latest must haves from The Body
Shop, of course. Anita, thank you for spreading the fair trade message!
Join us at the Fair Trade Fair!
We'll be attending the Fair Trade Fair 2003, at Chelsea Old Town Hall,
on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 December 11.00-17.00hrs.
If you're a keen fair trade supporter, or perhaps just love unusual products,
there is no better place to get your Christmas shopping sorted. You can
find all sorts of wonderful handmade things, and feel even better knowing
they've been fairly traded, from the producer to you.
We'll be selling lots of new stock -new bags from Teddy, as well as our
bestselling baroo and vintage silk scarves in new colours. Plus lots
of funky handknitted hats and gloves. We'll be having some special offers
too, so give yourself a fair break this Christmas and join us at the FT
Fair. Oxford St? We say pah!
click here to go
to the FT Fair site
Fair Trade Christmas Fayre
We will also be at the Fair Trade Christmas Fayre on Friday 5 December,
at Lambeth Town Hall, Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2. 11.00- 20.00hrs
We've completed the renovation of our shop with the painting of its
exterior. The colour is a sort of pale-slatey-aubergine, in a matt finish,
was inspired by a stormy monsoon sky, and the lettering is a metallic bronze.7
Despite our postman asking 'what colour is it going to be then?' all other
comments have been favourable, with some people actually coming in to
the shop and buying for the first time. We're very happy with the new
paint: Dulux exterior masonry paint,
custom-mixed 'mercury showers2'
painter and signwriter:
John Hammond (London)
t 020 7720 4382 m 07816 97631
After 8 years of chaotic growth in Gabriel's Wharf, the shop was decidedly
cluttered and all the new bags and scarves for 2003 weren't getting the
display that did them justice. There was only one thing to do -repaint
Wanting to make the refit as low impact as possible, we re-used as many
fittings as we could, and where we introduced new materials, tried to
do it sustainably.
We've whitewashed the walls with organic paint, laid a beautiful solid
bamboo floor (OK, it has come all the way from the Far East, but it is
a good, sustainable resource and we'll never need another, as it's strong
stuff) and installed a flexible bamboo display system to properly show
off all the accessories. Bamboo's not Indian I hear you say?! The subcontinent
is full of it!
In stays the recycled plastic table and card rack, and the window console
made from waste wood, along with our old cubist shelving. Just a bit re-organised.
And, we're really happy to report that the shop is now buggy and wheelchair
For those who are familiar with the shop, you will be surprised at the
transformation - now there's a great feeling of light and space and all
the products are laid out so they are easy on the eye. Don't worry, all
our lovely stock is still here -as you will see!
Organic paint from
from Texture T: 020 7241 0990
Bamboo floor from Zen Flor
Recycled plastic from Smile Plastic T:01743 850267
Waste wood sheets and bamboo poles from B+Q
Cubist shelving from Ikea
Teddy Exports - new Ganesha supplier!
We're very excited to add Teddy Exports to our growing list of fair trade
suppliers in India.
Teddy, based in south India, was set up in 1989 to effect positive change
through business. Started by Amanda Murphy, in her own words 'a failed
vet and daft Irishwoman' after she fell in love with the country and its
people, she realised the brilliant local skills and abundant local resources
could be used to benefit the craftspeople and their wider community.
After successfully haranguing the Roddicks to buy wooden massage rollers
for the Bodyshop, Teddy has grown from humble beginnings in a single mud
hut with 5 workers to presently employing more than 300 locals with a
turnover of more than £1.5 million.
Conditions for the workers are excellent; all receive free medical care,
subsidised lunch and tea, plus perks through out the year such as events
and excursions. And good wages mean that workers, unlike so many in India,
do not live a hand-to-mouth existence, but can afford good homes for
themselves, education for their children and also save for their future.
Teddy also helps by offering a pension scheme and operates a system of
Very rooted to the local community, Teddy has shown to be a positive
force by helping to set up various schools, education centres and health
clinics for employees and their children, as well as the wider local community.
In 1995, An HIV /Aids awareness project began, to address the spread of
HIV in the area by long distance lorry drivers. The project has created
highway clinics, where truckers can be treated and counselled. The scheme
has also introduced peer educators to sex workers to foster safer sexual
practices and distributes condoms.
Murphy was awarded an MBE for her Teddy achievements in 1998 -not bad
for a 'daft Irishwoman'!
Teddy are presently working on a wonderful new range of products for
Ganesha for 2003, so watch this space, as they say.
Ralph Lauren likes our kauna-phok mattresses!
He likes them so much, in fact, that not only are they scattered around
his pool at home, but they are also used to accessorise the latest range
of RL fabrics. Enough of that though, we're not here to advertise for
the RL empire, we're just proud that the traditional industries of northeast
India are recognised for being wonderful, with fans far and wide.
Fabulous new Ganesha bags
Ganesha now has fantastic customised bags, hand made by Calcutta Rescue
-the organisation that gives free medical care to anyone who needs it
Each one is unique and made out of waste Bengali newspaper, with Ganesha
emblazoned in a hot pink
screen-print on one side, and matching pink rope handles. We don't sell
these bags, but give them away free to customers when they buy something.
Launched at the Fair Trade Fair in December, they received a fabulous
response, with some people actually buying things just so they'd get one!
With such a positive response, we feel they are definitely doing what
they should do and more. And the quicker we get through them, the quicker
we can go back to Calcutta Rescue and order some more, providing work
for its service users.
Fair Trade Fair 2002-best ever show!
We had a cracking time at the Fair Trade Fair and it was our best ever
show. FTF is the new incarnation of the Global Partnership show and took
place at Westminster Central Hall just before Christmas. The weekend turned
in to a virtual buying frenzy as it seemed half of London turned out to
do their Christmas shopping, which was fantastic, if rather exhausting
for the traders. Let alone shoppers staggering home with all their purchases.
All the usual fair trade suspects were there; our BAFTS colleagues One
Planet from Sydenham, People Tree
and festival regulars such as Malika with their fabulous recycled metal
range of stuff from Africa, along with lots of new guys too -seems the
alternative trading message is getting ever more popular, which is great
news for everyone.
And helping spread that message was the recently launched New Consumer
magazine -published by the Big Issue, Scotland. NC Mag is more glossy
and good looking than you would imagine a magazine dedicated to fair and
alternative trading should be, so, for that alone it is worth a look.
NC, like everyone else had a cracking show, so here's looking forward
to Fair Trade Fair 2003 -and hoping it will be even bigger and better!
Ganesha shouts for trade justice!
Ganesha attended the Trade Justice Movement mass rally at Westminster
on 19 June, in what was a marvellous day with a solid turn out from all
over the country, to lobby for justice in international trade. The Trade
Justice Movement is a new grouping of charities, aid agencies and campaigning
groups of which Ganesha is a member by way of BAFTS.
TJM appealed for every concerned citizen to come to Westminster and lobby
their MP to change the unfair rules and institutions governing world trade.
And make lots of noise about how trade rules are unfairly biased in favour
of the richest nations and global corporations, evident in the 'we subsidise,
you liberalise' diktat of the US and Europe to economically developing
And so they did; people from all walks of life, from fair traders to church
groups, members of environmental organisations, development NGOs and a
few mavericks, as well as many who just wanted to come and make a lot
of noise about something they feel passionate about. The crowds snaked
about both sides of the Thames at Westminster, at least 12,000 strong,
as people queued to lobby their MPs. And about 15.30 a great wave of noise
erupted along the queue as everyone shouted a demand for trade justice.
Highlights of the day included seeing MPs arrive at the lobby by rickshaw,
and attending the talk that BAFTS co-ordinated: 'trade justice in a consumer
society'. This was chaired by the news' caster George Alagaiah, and speakers
included Anita Roddick, and Harriet Lamb of the Fairtrade Foundation.
Anita Roddick entertained the audience by telling everyone to agitate
and write letters to large multinationals with suspect labour and environmental
credentials and underlined how consuming is a political gesture. There
was also fabulous roots music at Westminster Central Hall.
Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, along with
other Labour politicians welcomed the rally and concurred for greater
justice in international trade. Whether this translates into reform of
trade rules and the institutions governing global trade, such as the World
Trade Organisation and International Monetary Fund, or whether these ideas
will be co-opted into 'business-as-usual', we'll have to wait and see.
One thing seems certain; many diverse (some might say disparate) groups
are ranging up to create a wide support base for trade justice, and they
will not go away. This has the making of the most vital mass campaign
since the celebrated Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel debt in economically
developing countries, and seems to be gathering pace.
For more information on the Trade Justice Movement:
For more information on inequities in world trade:
For more information about BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade
(still in construction) To see rally photos click here
Another Ganesha supplier joins IFAT
Ganesha is pleased to announce that another one of our suppliers has
just been accepted for IFAT membership (the International Federation for
Alternative Trade). The Crafts' Society of Manipur, based in one of the
far-flung north-eastern states of India, applied to join IFAT after recommendation
from Jo Lawbuary and Purnendu Roy, Ganesha Directors.
CSM markets hand-produced home furnishings, accessories and artefacts,
made using the rich craft traditions of the north-east. Many of the products
are distinctly Manipuri, with designs, colours and motifs typical to the
region. The producers, mainly women, work as part of a women's welfare
group or at home - usually from the smoothed mud veranda, where the looms
are kept. Here they weave the gorgeous sheer handloom fabric for wraps,
weave pads from natural fibres for the house, or create funky bags from
Despite the craft traditions still very much in evidence, with looms
being installed as part of the marriage agreement in almost every home,
many of the traditional products are being squeezed out of the market
by cheaper mass-produced goods.
And many of the traditional products are being used less as a consequence,
which means less income for the women producers.
The potential good news, however, for the women who produce for the Crafts'
Society of Manipur, is the possibility to develop an export market, and
bring in an improved and year-round wage for their families. Although
the cultivation of the local market is always a safer bet for craft producers,
exporting can bolster the domestic market, and bring in vital income to
crafts people; especially important considering Manipur has a chronic
Joining IFAT is a good move for the craft producers' of Manipur, and
will encourage a fair trade market, where producers are paid a decent
wage for their labour, and emphasis is on continuity in the trading relationship,
and respect for people, culture, and the environment. With the acceptance
of the Crafts' Society of Manipur into IFAT, Ganesha's biggest and most
frequent suppliers are now members of this alternative trading organisation,
showing our determination to trade in a different way.
Ganapati Limited has been well and truly launched with a successful round
of trade fairs, appearing for the first time at the Autumn Fair, Birmingham
and Top Drawer, London. The company, formed by Jo Lawbuary and Purnendu
Roy, is the wholesale expansion to Ganesha, the alternative trade outfit
on the South Bank, London. Ganesha has been trading for seven years, and
imports quality home furnishings and accessories from India, sourced from
co-operatives and producer associations India-wide.
Focusing on Ganesha's strongest retail lines, Ganapati has been launched
with an unusual collection of furnishings for the home, many of which
have been sourced from the far-flung and little-
travelled north-eastern states of India. Emphasis is on bold colour use,
alongside design-led biomass products for a spare, contemporary effect.
The response to Ganapati at the Autumn Fair and Top Drawer has been described
by Lawbuary and Roy as 'phenomenal'. Apart from the shows generating orders
for this season and the next, Ganapati attracted keen interest from companies
small and large. As most of Ganapati's suppliers are members of IFAT (The
Federation for Alternative Trade), the welcome response is great news
for alternative and mainstream trade alike. Ganapati has arrived!
26/ 02 /2004
Namaste Ganesha 2!
The range of fairly traded products from London's leading fair trade
retailer, Ganesha, is about to double with the opening of a second shop
- next door to the original one - at Gabriel's Wharf, South Bank, SE1.
The opening of the additional shop on 1 March is timed to coincide with
Fairtrade Fortnight (1-14 March).
The new shop has allowed partners Purnendu Roy and Jo Lawbuary to introduce
new product ranges in both clothes and home style, with one shop for each.
The expansion allows Ganesha to offer twice the range of fairly traded
products to consumers in London and online.
New product lines include sharp tailored shirts in handloom cottons, perfect
for work and play, jeans-cut linen trousers, knee length split skirts,
as well as some very Asian cuts: mini tunics, and sari ribbon tops. The
emphasis is on style, with a desi twist.
In the home style shop, there are new ranges of bamboo and laquerware
accessories and more of everything else -handloom throws in some fabulous
textures and colours, new silk cushions and drapes plus a brand new range
of organic cotton bedlinen. Also there are some rather unusual things
made from post consumer waste: chunky vases and planters made from tyres,
coasters made from recycled plastics, and beautiful paper mache bowls
made by women living with HIV in south Africa.
As well as importing a more diverse range of goods and developing new
lines with their producer partners in India, Ganesha also showcase the
best of fair trade in the UK market from other importers. When Ganesha
started about 10 years ago, there were very few importers working in this
way, but now, as the fair trade message is getting across, there are more
IFAT (International Federation for Alternative Trade) members and importers
who are BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade Shops) accredited.
"We are excited to be working with these organisations in developing
the fair trade market. We hope that our new shop helps to develop the
market for fair trade in London and beyond-good news for our producer
partners and UK consumers alike." explains Jo Lawbuary.
Ganesha is open Tuesday-Friday 11.00-18.00hrs Saturday + Sunday 12.00-18.00
Located at Gabriel's Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1. T:
020 7928 3444. www.ganesha.co.uk
NOTE TO EDITORS: Hi-res images available on request. Please come to our
shop opening party on 8 March at the shops, 6-8pm.
PRESS CONTACT: Jo Lawbuary on 020 7928 3444
[29 / 04 / 01 Top Drawer Summer]
Despite the quake...new products for summer 2001
Ganesha partners Jo Lawbuary and
Purnendu Roy, along with London based designer Carol Morgan were caught
in the Gujarat earthquake in January, while working with SEWA (Self Employed
Women's Association). Despite the chaos and devastation, we are showcasing
products developed with SEWA; beautiful silk
notebooks with silver ari embroidery and handmade khadi paper sourced
from a Gandhi ashram; sheer voile panels with delicate ari stitch detailing.
And more. We have been importing and retailing from our shop on the Southbank
for 7 years, and are pleased to be expanding into Wholesale. Exhibiting
for the first time at Top Drawer Summer 2001. Visit us at Stand B90.
- E N D S
-for images or further information contact Jo Lawbuary or Purnendu Roy