Brighton Fashion Week

As October draws near Brighton prepares to host one of the most creative events in sustainable fashion, Brighton Fashion Week. As an event that The Fair Shop has supported throughout the past couple of years we are particularly excited to announce this years fashion week as the only completely sustainable fashion week in the UK. The line up showcases various designers from around the world using eco-friendly techniques to create innovative and unique collections. With fast fashion creating an array of problems for both the planet and the people living on it, this Brighton Fashion Week creates an amazing platform for up and coming creatives to inspire society on how one can help the planet whilst being stylish. As our values lie with the importance of fair labour and quality materials it is refreshing to see an affair promoting these qualities as the future of fashion.
One of The Fair Shop’s favourite designers from this year’s selection is KellyDawn Riot who uses remnants of fabric from local scottish mills and natural materials to create a vibrant and exciting collection. An element that makes this collection particularly unique is the pirnts that she uses to pump life into her work. All hand painted prints by the designer herself adds an element of exclusivity to each garment. Seeing how the use of recycling has been mixed with craftsmanship is something that we love to see here at Fair with a lot of our accessory products following the same principles. We hope you all get the chance to see what wonderful things are in store at Brighton Fashion Week this october providing inspiration on how you can be on trend this season with a conscious mind.

Organic September

This September celebrates Organic September, a national awareness month of all that is organic. The aim is to make a pact to replace something in your daily life with something organic. Here at FAIR we thought we would give you plenty of excuses for that something to be your clothes!  Especially with the back to school rush, as we understand it isn’t just the school kids that like their wardrobe to look fresh as they go back to hard work. Around 80% of the clothes in our store are organic, including People Tree, Pants To Poverty and Veleco giving you tonnes of choice.

#thefairshop #brighton #organicseptember #fairtradefashion #fashion






Be the change you want to see!


New to Fair:

SAHEL Design bags!

hereThese gorgeous new bags have a just as gorgeous story behind them. SAHEL began in the desert of Burkina Faso where the Fulani originate. Horse lovers by tradition, Fulani people used to dress their steeds in vibrant tassles to accentuate the horse’s movement and turn heads. Traditional Fulani horse harnesses have strong braided straps which are hand woven by highly skilled artisans.

All SAHEL bags and accessories employ this unique Fulani skill, some of the bags are made in Burkina Faso. Most are made in Devon, England using sustainably sourced leather and suede. All of them incorporate tassels or hand braided straps from the north of Burkina Faso.

Adhering to Fair trade principles, SAHEL invest into the people who make it possible to create their beautiful bags, providing better access to health care, primary education and clean water.


‘The True Cost’- A Fashion Documentary Movie

search     We wanted to give you a heads up about a great educational film that has just premiered in New York, ‘The True Cost’ Daily News Washington says ‘ Don’t expect easy answers from “The True Cost,” but expect to feel like you need to find some, and urgently.’ We hope that this film will help to start opening peoples eyes to the real repercussions behind our over-consumption and we would love for you to help spread the word too.

Watch the trailer to this very moving film

Here’s a link to their site where you can watch the whole thing

Swishing at FAIR! June 2015

Another exciting Date for your Diary: 13th June

Here at FAIR we believe in ethical fashion in all senses. For this reason, we’d love to introduce you to Rags Revival. An amazing chance to swap in those garments that have been hiding in the back of your wardrobe for something you may just fall in love with.  For £5 you can bring up to 10 items of clothing or accessories to swap! From experience, we can safely say there are always plenty of gems to be swapped! We will also be offering you lovely swishers 10% off all clothing at FAIR from 11am-7pm. Do come and join in the fabulous fun!

Check out more details on the facebook event

or to know more about swishing with Rag Revival have a peek at their website






Pop-up Shoe Shop at FAIR May-June 2015

Coming up at FAIR…

 Date for your Diary: 30th May

The brilliant shoes of Bourgeois Boheme will be making an appearance in FAIR! We will be holding a Pop Up event from 12-4pm on the 30th May, as we are sure you will love BoBo shoes as much as we do! Check out their website below for a preview of the type of selection we will have in store. There will also be healthy drinks and nibbles on offer as you browse. If you’re fancying a lovely outfit to go with your new shoes, you’re in luck! FAIR will also be offering 10% off all clothing to all BoBo customers!



With the election just passed…’Who should have the power?’

With the election just passed, we have been regularly asked ‘who should have the power?’ When it comes to creating an ethical world, here at FAIR we believe you have the power. Every five years we elect a new government, but the real change of the World will come from you. As consumers we hold just as much, if not more power, the power for positive change. Fairtrade food has become a household name, but what about the other things we do daily? Each day we get dressed, we should think of where our clothes come from, where or energy comes from, think of where most things we use and consume come from. We know it’s easier not to ask questions, but if you don’t, who will? A small change to your daily life can make a monumental positive affect.

Here is a video showing why we need to think more about where our cotton comes from.

We can make a change in so many ways, from shopping Fair Trade, or if your purse is a little tighter, shopping vintage or even attending swish nights such as Rags Revival here in Brighton.

If we change our habits when it comes to shopping, we can still treat ourselves, but with the added benefit of knowing we are helping the World.

Be the change you want to see. Feel the power you have, for just being you.


World Fair Trade Day 9/5/2015: Be an Agent for Change

BE an agent for CHANGE: buimgresy FAIR TRADE

World Fair Trade Day: the inclusive worldwide festival celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis

With World Fair Trade Day on the 9th of May, we wanted to share with you some great things Fair Trade has brought about.

People Tree is just one of the brands we stock that is certified Fair Trade. With Fair Trade pay and working conditions, People Tree has been supporting Kumbeshwar Technical School helping 260 children go to school as well as running a health scheme for all workers.

Bombolulu supplies the beautiful Fair Trade jewellery we supply in store. They are also responsible for the wheelchair campaign, using the profits made through the sale of their jewellery, they aim to supply every disabled child in Kenya with a wheelchair.

By buying organic cotton products, you are supporting the families of cotton farmers around the globe. The usual pay for the cotton fibre has decreased dramatically, without the price of production following the same trend. This is leaving cotton farmers in a state of desperation, even to the extent of taking their own lives as too many already have. By buying Organic Fair Trade cotton products, you are ensuring that this doesn’t happen, that farmers are paid the correct amount to provide for their family without being forced to use environmentally harmful pesticides to increase their yield.

So please we encourage you to celebrate all that is Fair Trade, especially on 9th of May!












Growing Suchana

New water pump built in 2010 for the Suchana School
New water pump built in 2010 for the Suchana School 

Each trip we make to Kolkata includes an excursion out to Khanjanpur outside of Santiniketan, West Bengal.  We visit Kirsty and Rahul Bose who set up Suchana school as a resource for local Santali, Kora and Bengali children.  Although the village children are educated in government schools they are taught in Bengali.  This a second language for the tribal children as the Santali and Kora tribes traditionally have their own spoken but not written language.  Being taught in another language sets the children at a disadvantage to learning which affects them gaining much needed local employment.  We spoke to Kirsty and asked her to tell us more about Suchana.

When did you start Suchana and why?
We started in 2004, it started as an attempt to do pre-schooling with my own kids and other middle class families in Santiniketan.  My kids were 5, 2 and 0.  It was supposed to be a joint effort between a group of parents- the regulars ended up being the local children from the village that we had invited, who happened to be older.  It quickly transpired that although they were in school they couldn’t read.  They came every Sunday and so we hired a Santali teacher to teach them.  As we had a teacher we decided to fill up a class.  We spoke to the local primary school teacher to ask them to recommend some children that could use extra support.
The first year we ended up teaching 30 kids that we paid for ourselves.  The second year we generated funds from selling cards and went up to teaching 65 children on our verandah.  By the 6th year we started using an extra building at the end of our garden and increased to 150 kids.  By 2009 we started to build the Suchana school house and expanded on insecure funds but the past three years we have received funding from Tata.
What opportunities does it create for the students?
We are just discovering that now as the first group of children are leaving.  One has entered an IT program and three are taking a humanities degree at the local college in Bolpur.  We think two will pass but one might have funding issues.  The classes they attend have funding issues and classes are up to 70 students so there is a cost to get extra tuition classes which are needed. For the other students Bolpur is a rural economy which will have openings for people with broad education.  They are encouraged to try things but they are disadvantaged due to their tribal status.
How do you see Suchana evolving?
A lot depends on funds, but there are now 25 competent staff employed part time (including former students) for a mobile teaching unit and outreach programs.
Mobile tuition is growing with 6 teachers and 15 laptops that go and teach out in the villages farther away.  The mobile library (rickshaw van and 3 trunks of books with 2 teachers) visits 2 villages a day.  Children in those villages get the library once a week.
The other way in which things have been developing is finding ways to act as a resource centre for newer or less innovative organisations.  Currently we have 250 core students at the main school location, 100 core students at a second centre and we reach 600 students with the mobile library and developing material for children using their first language and how to teach in a multilingual setting.
Suchana includes English, Science, Maths, Bangla, History, Geography within their curriculum.
Read more about the school or make donations to Friends of Suchana at
Volunteer opportunities for skilled teachers in IT, accounting, building and mobile technology are welcome.  The minimum commitment for volunteering is one year.
Siobhan with suchana
Celebrating Holi March 2015



Our Visit to Calcutta Rescue

At FAIR, we have been selling key rings from Calcutta Rescue for over 10 years, even before the shop on Queens Road opened its doors.  They have always been really popular.  Each visit to see this organisation in Kolkata, India opens our eyes even more to the many different things they do.  Calcutta Rescue provides free medical services as so many people cannot access medical services here in Kolkata.  We work with their Fair Trade unit that fundraises for the medical services, two schools for street children, educational outreach programs about health and provides employment to ex-patients.  Yesterday at the Fair Trade unit we bumped into James Fox who is over from the UK working in child psychiatry at the organisation.    Read about his fascinating experience so far with the organisation here.  We’ll be back from India with new stock from Calcutta Rescue next week.  They are made by women that work on the key rings in between other chores.  The key rings are so colourful and useful and buying them as gifts or for yourself is a great way to support the work of this great organisation.   Thanks so much to Sudeshna, Mithali and all the artisans for hosting us yesterday.

A TOP TIP from our colleague Maura in Kolkata is to use them on school bags or suitcases!  With their bright colours it makes the bags so easy to find.

Handicrafts & Weaving CALCUTTA RESCUE HC1-300x224