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christmas cards

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

So, it's December and we're all set at the Queen's Court Christmas Market at Centre:MK - our temporary home for the next 25 days, taking us up to Christmas Eve. This is the first time ever that we've done anything like this and truth be told, we were a bit apprehensive when signing up to this adventure. But then, this whole journey has been a new one for us bringing with it all sorts of new experiences. The first few days have been very interesting weather-wise - it's cold outside, it has rained mostly and the wind doesn't help matters much at all, but it's still an exercise well worth doing. Why, you might ask? Because as we have always stated, our goal is not just to sell. Our ultimate aim is to be able to preserve and revive these earth friendly crafts by providing sustainable livelihoods to the wonderful and skilled artisans behind these products. And what better way to tell the world (or one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, at the very least!) about our mission and show off these products than at a Christmas market? So, if you're looking for some presents with purpose this festive season - handmade wooden toys coloured with non-toxic natural dyes, handwoven fabric home decor or accessories or some handmade greeting cards helping rebuild young lives in Rwanda - come see us. We're sure there's something that will take your fancy and will, hopefully, hook you on to this kind of stuff for life. Happy ethical shopping!

Joy to the world!

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, done with my meetings for the day, waiting for my car to have enough charge to drive back home, and inevitably, watching the world go by its business which, this time of the year, is nothing but Christmas - that beautiful time of the year when your spirits are lifted even though the days are short and dark and nearly all of us have taken to wearing some sort of woollies. This is also a time of rampant consumerism, all in the name of "celebrating" that one day. And then of course, there's that American import called Black Friday!

Don't get me wrong, we're all here to make money. Yes, even ethical businesses! We'd love to get more customers and goods flying off the shelves so we can continue empowering the communities of artists and artisans.  Wouldn't mind one bit to get a bit from that cake! We'd love for more consumers to shop ethically this Christmas.

That's why we decided to partner with a brilliant project called Cards from Africa. The cards are handmade. The paper they're made from is handmade - made from recycled office waste. To top it all, and most importantly too, it's the people who make these cards so magical. They are young adults from Rwanda, orphaned by war or famine. They didn't give up hope. They could've easily fallen into a life of crime or begging but they decided to make a living respectably. It's their creativity that shines through these cards and their hard work. Who knows what wonders they might bring to the world once they've been given a good start? Ethiqana is proud to be a vehicle to bring this to them. With our customers' help of course! And it's not just Christmas cards they make; We have cards for all occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, new homes, graduations! So, we hope to continue making a difference in these brilliant artists' lives long after the turkeys have been eaten, the wrapping paper is put in the recycle bin and the decorations have been taken down.
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