Why We Chose to Stock Haws Watering Cans

The Company was founded as J.Haws in 1886 and based in Clapton, North East London

John Haws first worked out his improved design and method of manufacture from a French made waterpot (or can as they are now called) and designed a can with perfect balance.

Whether full, half full or empty the can could be used without undue strain to the operator. To this day, the original design has not been altered in any major way.

John soon designed and patented his very own watering can. A can with a canister body and breast to prevent spillages while pouring. It had two handles, one for carrying and one for tipping.

It was soon recognized by top gardeners and in 1894 received the National Chrysanthemum Society Gold Medal award for his improved watering can.

To this day Haws Watering Cans are Made in England, as they have been for 130 Years

At Haws they believe and trust in the quality of their products. Their watering cans have been tried and tested for over a hundred years, and they are confident in the expert workmanship and materials we use.

Haws Watering Cans

Why We Chose to Stock Nature’s Beeswax Cornwall……

Beeswax Candles and Products

In short, the benefits of Beeswax Candles is that the Beeswax ionises and cleanses the air as it burns. Candles made from beeswax have a very long burn time. No harsh chemical homogenisation, bleaching, chemical deodorisers or petroleum products. Candles are usually made from paraffin. Beeswax smells lovely so no need for added fragrances. Does not emit toxins when it burns. Promotes sustainable ecology and supports bee populations. No rainforest clearance or worldwide shipping. No Genetically Modified agriculture.

Nature’s Beeswax Cornwall is headed up by Alex Williams who has been working as a Complimentary Therapist for 20 years.  She is also an Environmental Scientist with a deep interest in Ecology, Sustainability and our Interaction with our Local Environment.    Based in the beautiful fishing village of Mevagissey in Cornwall, Nature’s Beeswax Cornwall has been using locally produced wax produced from her cousin’s bees. Being a qualified Aromatherapist, she has formulated recipes for a great Solid Body Moisturising Bar and Lip Balm. 

Why is beeswax the ultimate wax?

Non-processed, completely natural product.

Does not emit toxins or smoke when burned.

Emits negative ions which neutralise harmful, positive ions in the air such as allergens and dust.

Supports local beekeepers to maintain hives to increase pollination and improve the ecology of the local environment.

Beeswax production does not have any harmful effect on our environment nor does it use up valuable natural resources.

Set of Three Natural Beeswax Body Lotions

Why is paraffin wax harmful?

When burned it emits highly toxic emissions which may be carcinogenic such as benzene and toluene.

A by- product of the petroleum industry, paraffin has to be highly processed and bleached before it can be used for candle making.

Source of indoor air pollution.

Highly processed product which is harmful to the environment.

Why is soy wax harmful?

Soy production has a value as a food product but can be overcultivated causing environmental degradation.

Commercially produced soy wax relies heavily on GMO crops and heavy usage of pesticides, harmful to health and ecology.

A highly processed product which must go through many stages of production including chemical bleaching and deodorisation.

There are hidden petrochemical components in soy wax and some soy candles have paraffin wax added to them to improve burning.

Why are scented candles harmful?

The chemical content of scents and dyes added to candles can emit toxic fumes when burned.

Some scented candle wicks also contain heavy metals in the core.

If you wish to fragrance your room a safer way to do it is to diffuse essential oils or use essential oils in either an electric oil burner or use a beeswax votive to heat the oils.

Set of Four 100% Beeswax Tea Lights

See the full range here!

Dreamcatchers….

Legend has it the first dream catcher was created by a spider, the spiritual protector of a Native Indian tribe, it could not defend all its people as the tribe grew and spread out. It was created to watch over people furthest away from the motherland by protecting them as they slept, keeping harm away whilst at their most vulnerable. It’s said that when hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs throughout the night. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day. This act helps the mind wake up feeling fully rejuvenated, with less negative, bad thoughts floating round leaving you feeling much more positive about the day ahead.

Making the perfect gift for people who need an extra little bit of help getting a good nights sleep…

See our Dreamcatchers here

How to Play a Didgeridoo

Blow down the tube with loose lips creating a vibration that echoes down the tube coming out amplified as a drone. It is important to stay relaxed, trying too hard will tighten your muscles which contradicts the need to create loose lips and face. Buzz your lips while gently pushing air down the tube. The lip vibration is similar to giving someone a “raspberry”. It can help to stick your bottom lip out a little more than the top lip. To improve the tonal quality of the drone it is important to try to tighten your lips a little after the drone is started, this will increase the pitch and really get the didgeridoo going! If you tighten up too much the drone will abruptly stop and you get a sound which sounds like you’ve ran out of breath. As soon as possible start limiting the amount of air you use up. You only need enough air to vibrate the lips, this is what creates the noise. The toughest part of didgeridoo playing is learning to circular breathe. Circular breathing allows a player to be able to continually blow air down the didgeridoo without ever stopping for breath.

See our Didgeridoo here

Eco Friendy Salt Lamps

Salt Lamps provide soothing, natural and attractive lighting to your home. They are great night lights – perfect for those who need help to get to sleep. Made from Himalayan salt is rock salt or halite formed 250 million years ago in what is now the Punjab region of Pakistan.

These salt lamps come with LED light bulbs as these cut electricity consumption, carbon emissions and energy bills by 90% or more whilst giving just as much light.

See our favourites here

Why We Love Fair Trade Recycled Spark Plug Figures

These Fair Trade Recycled Spark Plug Figures make thoughtful gifts for a special someone in your life with their interests or profession: the chef, the handyman, the gardener or perhaps a surfer. These figures are made from used spark plugs, oil drums and wire.

These really are a great example of recycling at it’s best.

These figures are made in the Kabiria workshop in Nairobi’s Karangware slums. The welders are all casual workers who are hoping their work becomes a popular success as they are currently all casual workers and they would love to have permanent employment. Let’s hope they succeed.

Click here to see our favourites.

Why We Love Fair Trade Bamboo Socks…

There are many reasons why bamboo viscose yarn is good for the environment. Bamboo grows without the need for fertilisers or pesticides. because it naturally requires less water – about a third of the amound of water required to grow cotton, farmers don’t need to irrigate their crop, saving water in a country where water shorages are a big probem.

Bamboo yeuilds are ten times higher per hectare than cotton and the plant rarely nees replacening, sprouting on its own, Bamboo yarns require less dye than cotton and keep their colour for longer.

So, why is bamboo viscose great to wear?

  • It is great to wear
  • Its 40% more moisture absorbant than cotton
  • It’s breathable fabric that keeps feet fresh and dry
  • It’s comfortable
  • It’s naturally anti-bacterial
  • It’s durable and stronger than cotton
  • It’s hypoallergenic

See our favourite designs here.

Why we chose Fair Trade Recycled Bali Spirit Bottle Trays

We chose to stock these Bali Spirit Bottle Trays because they are creatively made from Recycled Glass Bottles by Bali’s bottle man – Budi!

On a Ubud backstreet , Budi, an artist who is passionate about recycling repurposes glass to give it a second life. He runs collections from bars and restaurants and find the processes much like finding rare jewels or precious stones.

These Spirit Bottles are real collectors’ items and are perfect statement pieces for your home. They prove that anything can have a second life! See our range here.

Correct height of walking sticks

Correct height of walking sticks

Physiotherapists recommend the following method of determining the correct height for a walking stick. The walking stick user should stand upright, in the type of shoes they usually wear, with their arms hanging naturally by their sides. Another person should turn the walking stick upside down, so that the handle is resting on the floor. Positioning the stick next to the user, make a small mark on the shaft of the stick level with the bump at the bottom of the wrist bone. Using a small saw, cut the stick at this point. This will mean that the user’s arm will be slightly bent when they hold the stick.

f the walking stick user is not present, for example if they are buying their walking stick by mail order or through the internet, they can determine how long their walking stick should be by asking another person to measure the distance from their wrist bone to the floor. The walking stick user should ensure they are standing correctly i.e. standing upright, in the type of shoes they usually wear, with their arms hanging naturally by their sides.

Please note that this information is a guide only. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you require specific, medical advice on this matter.

Why We Chose Classic Canes….

Classic Canes produces rustic walking sticks in its Somerset woodland using the centuries-old forestry technique of coppicing. 

Native British hardwoods such as ash, hazel and blackthorn are cut off to a height of approximately 120cm from the ground.  New shoots result and take three to four years to grow to the correct diameter for walking sticks such as hiking staffs, thumbsticks and knobsticks. 

The wood is harvested in the winter when the sap is down in the trees, before being dried for at least a year to remove the moisture from the wood. 

The sticks are then steamed and straightened before being hand sanded, varnished and fitted with ferrules to become finished walking sticks. Each one is unique.

Coppicing has many ecological benefits.  The wood constantly renews itself so there is no need for clear felling or replanting.  The system allows light to reach the forest floor, encouraging native wildflowers and the fauna that depend on them.  In spring, carpets of English bluebells flower: one of the great sights of life at Classic Canes. Click here to see the sticks we have selected.

Why We Chose Wildlife World’s National Trust Range

We chose this range from Wildlife World’s National Trust Range because we love their wildlife mission; With a strong commitment to the conservation of species, their efforts to produce innovative and valuable nesting habitats and feeders for birds, mammals, amphibians and insects are benefiting wildlife all over Europe and are an on-going contribution to the survival of species in both the UK and other countries. Their commitment to innovative features has gained them an enviable reputation as leaders in the design and manufacture of products for wildlife.

The National Trust is Britain’s largest conservation charity, looking after over 200 gardens and parks and 76 nature reserves, as well as 300 historic buildings, 250,000 hectares of countryside and 775 miles of coastline.

With a shared focus on wildlife conservation at the forefront of what they do, working with the National Trust was a natural choice for Wildlife World. All of the products are designed and tested in their workshop in England. They are manufactured from FSC wood and use recycled materials wherever possible. Values which are also important to the National Trust. Click here to see our selection.

Why We Chose Believe You Can Fairies…

We chose these beautiful fairies especially because…

The Believe You Can collection is exclusively designed in the UK and hand-made by WFTO approved Fair Trade producers in India.

Believe You Can are a BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) recognised importer. They say;

We have worked with our suppliers since 2006. We always:

– pay a fair price

– pay 50% in advance to help with production

– work together with trust, transparency, respect and also friendship.

– help develop new skills for example hand-work in sewing our fairies!

‘We believe firmly that the route out of poverty is opportunity and education, and also that the only meaningful development is self-sustainable development.’

Click here to see our Family Family!

Why We Chose Stalwart Craft’s Aprons

We Chose Stalwart Craft for their quality aprons because they their brand of aprons is totally different and far more fashionable than any others in existence, using high quality Fair Trade materials to make sure they are enjoyed, cared for and designed to be life-long partners to anyone who wears them. They say;

“Our passion for aprons was born in Holland in 1997. In the last 19 years the business developed a lot, but the love and passion for handcrafted aprons never faded but only became stronger when it was passed from father to son. Today, Stalwart specialises in handcrafted leather aprons made in a atelier in the Netherlands”.

Quality is our highest goal, that’s why our leather is selected from the finest source specifically designed for aprons. Stalwart leather aprons are tough with a distinctive character. They are perfect for restaurant and bar staff, food preparation, home cooking, BBQ’s or protection for craft activities”.

See the items we have selected for our site here

Why We Chose Burgon & Ball

Burgon & Ball, work closely with a number of partners, to ensure that their tools and accessories are of the highest quality, as well as being exceptionally stylish. They have an innovative approach, and work with various partners to develop exciting new products to solve real problems experienced by real gardeners. As well as their renowned quality, they passionately believe that stylish design should be an intrinsic characteristic of all their products. They collaborate with respected established designers such as Sophie Conran and Brie Harrison, as well as exciting new talent, to create some of the most stylish and desirable gardening tools and gifts around.

Burgon & Ball’s ranges of cutting tools and stainless steel garden tools were endorsed by the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) in 2012, and they have worked together closely ever since. Their tools are used by the gardeners at the RHS gardens around the UK, and they have worked in collaboration with the RHS to develop specific tools requested by RHS gardeners. For peace of mind, all tools in the Burgon & Ball RHS-endorsed ranges come with either a lifetime guarantee (for stainless steel tools), or a ten-year guarantee (for cutting tools).

See the Items we have selected for our site.

Why We Chose Think Outside

We chose to stock these unique sculptures from Think Outside not just because we loved the unique quirkiness of the items they created but we love their creative ethics;

Think Outside has a strong Philosophy on trying to do the right thing for the environment where ever possible.

With a strong focus on the use of recycled or renewable materials. Using a large quantity of recycled metals in our sculptures and furniture.

We source timbers from environmentally stable sources for example FSC certified.

We believe in supporting and working with Mother Nature; this belief is at the core of everything we create whether it is wood, metal or material. We take old and abandoned materials and upcycle them into stunning works-of-art that will serve as inspirational conversation pieces that can transform your living space.

These Sculptures are created by Think Outside *Please note; artisans lovingly handcraft each piece individually from recycled and sustainable materials. Colours and shades may vary from the images displayed online. You can therefore be confident that you are investing in an eco-friendly and unique work of art.

We have selected some great items from individual pieces for the home or garden to seating and even drink coolers! Click here to see them now.

The Joy of Picnics

What about a picnic? OK, it’s much better if the weather is fine, and a bit of a nightmare if it’s absolutely pouring with rain, but it’s relaxing, civilised and the whole family enjoys it.

It can be great for socialising with friends or families for lunch, afternoon tea or on a summers evening, and  provides an easy going environment to catch up and entertain. Here are the Top 10 ideas from Samir Becic, of Health Fitness Revolution fame, and the author of the book ‘ReSYNC Your Life’.

  1. Outdoors – Spending time outdoors, basking in nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a great view. The pure air invigorates you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. For those with respiratory disorders, breathing clean air helps clear the lungs.
  2. Family bonding – Spending time with family is always a great bonding experience. In the fast-paced, urbane lifestyle of today there is often limited time for maintaining relationships with some of the most important people in your life. Staying engaged with your family and friends can help build stronger bonds and foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.
  3. Enables communication – Since picnics often take place in warm environments, the tendency to participate in relaxing small talk is high. Simply keeping updated on what is going on in other people’s lives and learning what their plans can improve relationships. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the party to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another.
  4. Grants time for self-reflection – While picnics offer many social benefits, you don’t have to spend the entire time chatting up a storm. Picnics offer an excellent opportunity for you to spend time meditating about your life, the decisions you have made and the decisions you will make.
  5. Foster healthy eating habits – Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out and particularly so for when you bring food for a picnic. The typical portrait of picnics present a wicker basket full of fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains. These foods provide nutrients such as fibre, calcium and essential vitamins.
  6. Stay active: Regular picnics can foster a family ritual where young ones are introduced to sports, games, and nature and encourages adults to partake in physical activities as well. Mini games between family and friends like tug-of-war, 2-hand-touch or flag football and kickball can be played before a meal to help induce a feeling of achievement prior to a well-deserved meal, while playing more casual games like horseshoes and bean bag toss can serve as a relaxing but still active activity. Even consuming the healthy food usually provided at picnics keeps you energetic and active through the day.
  7. Mood booster – Eating lunch outdoors is a natural mood booster. You can be amazed how much the lack of sun in your body can affect your mood. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine, or a nice breeze that just puts you in good mood and motivates you making you want to get some exercise.
  8. Relieves stress – Picnics are a great stress buster as it helps reduce the stress and anxiety related to work and home. Being an adult isn’t always easy and it’s great to be able to ease up on the responsibility from time to time by lounging in the sunlight.
  9. Builds stronger bones – The vitamin D we get from the sun is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Getting enough vitamin D can help you reduce your chances of getting bone deterioration diseases like osteoporosis. For children, regular sun exposure helps increase the process of growth and height and can decrease the risk of rickets. The sun also provides benefits to your skin by providing a nice, warm, sun-kissed glow.
  10. Saves money – Picnics are known to be quite inexpensive. All you have to do is prepare meals at home and head out to a park or picnic area.
  11. For some great picnic feasts, check out bbcgoodfood.com

Take a look at our selection of picnic hampers, there’s one there just for you, and just think how good you’ll feel with it!

Children’s Gardening

There’s nothing healthier for your child than being outdoors and getting out into the fresh air, and they can really enjoy it too! There are lots of different ways to keep them active, and helping you with the gardening is a great activity physically and socially, which helps to bind the family together and give them a basic grounding which will help their future too.

They can easily learn about different plants, how to grow them and how plants can help the family in growing their own food.

And whilst outdoors, they become more aware of the weather, the seasons, the garden bugs and other wildlife. Healthwise, it helps children with developing their co-ordination and building physical strength, and it engages them with their senses aiding sensory development.

National Children’s Gardening Week is between 25th May to 2nd June 2019.  The website,  https://www.childrensgardeningweek.co.uk has exciting events listed and some great project ideas.

has exciting events listed and some great project ideas.

We have a great range of quality childrens tools made by Burgon and Ball, who work closely with the Royal Horticultural Society, and  they have been making tools since 1730.  With National Childrens Gardening Week approaching we are offering £5.00 off any order of children’s gardening tools on any order over £50 placed before 2nd June.

Check out our range here

Voucher code:   O3Q4AP5FKXJ1

Children’s Books

Reading a book with children creates a unique warm emotional bond that will help children to want to read for themselves, and that bond will last a lifetime.

Books help children develop their imagination, foster basic language skills and profoundly expand their vocabularies—something that cannot be done with any other media.

Books are interactive in that they demand that children think for themselves, and to grasp new original ideas. It doesn’t matter whether the book is fact or fiction- the result is the same.

A book has no laugh soundtrack or music that emotionally primes a reaction. You alone decide what you think about a book and its’ contents, and any pictures conjured up in imagination can be very different to the images of others reading the same story.

Pictures and words, in books, introduce young children to the world of art and literature. Novels and non-fiction books both stimulate sensory awareness, helping them to see, hear, taste, feel, and smell on an imagined level. Books inform our imaginations, inspiring creativity.

Books give an opportunity to experience something in their imaginations before it happens to them in real life and help prepare them for their next stage of maturity in a grown-up world.

Books help children to move beyond self-absorption and connect to other people. They show us the inner workings of multiple perspectives and let us know there is more than one way to view the world. Books build connections and broaden our capacity to empathize, helping them to understand others and help children become more compassionate.

Books help them to chart their own moral and ethical course, helping them to reflect on right and wrong, good and evil.

Books both answer questions and create questions. And being read a book by an adult nurtures an interest in books which they probably would never have read themselves, with memories leading them to want to read more of that type of book, in time, by themselves.

Books inform us all about other people, other countries, other customs and cultures, helping to teach ourselves about history, the arts, science, religion, nature, mathematics, and technology in our universe and beyond.

Books entertain and offer a great escape. They make us laugh and giggle.

Our range of books are specially chosen for children, but we also have a number of books for adults too, so don’t feel left out!

For information on how to teach your child to read, try http://www.teachreadingearly.com/teaching-child-to-read-age-3-5.php

Fair Trade

We’ve all heard of Fairtrade, but do you really know what it actually means? Fair Trade has a mission  to connect worldwide farmers and poorer workers with the consumers of their produce and products , so as they can more fairly share in the proceeds of their hard earned work. This then combats local poverty, and they can take more control over their futures. So when is trade ‘unfair? It’s when these workers have to sell their product to big corporations for a pittance, usually without the knowledge that their hard work is making profits of many, many times the money that they are given for their labours.

Fairtrade is about fairer payments to them, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade between farmers and workers in the developing world. The ability to use the term and the Fairtrade logo is only given to companies that agree to pay sustainable prices, which are at least priced at the market value. Fairtrade, therefore, addresses the injustices of conventional trade. 

Fairtrade enables you to do your bit to change the world every day by your supporting those who display the Fairtrade logo.  You can get farmers and workers a better deal, and enjoy the dignified life everyone deserves.

The first Fairtrade Mark was awarded to Green & Blacks for their cocoa growers and workers in 1994, and among many other products, over a third of all bananas sold today in the UK are Fairtrade bananas!

Many of the items that we show are FAIRTRADE, and we go out of our way to seek them out.