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social enterprise

A New Ethical Business Experience

What a difference a year makes in the life of an ethical business! The last post is from precisely a year ago when we had just added our new line of handmade Christmas cards and the festive season was just about to begin. Well, this is exactly where we're at - at least season-wise - but lots of things have changed!  

A new identity

We changed our name from Ethicological to Ethiqana earlier this year. We'd arrived at the original name after a lot of deliberations and combinations but it turns out it wasn't very easy on the tongue nor was it easy to remember. Cue, another back to the drawing board exercise. Lots of head scratching, hours of research into memorability and many many searches for available domain names later, we decided on Ethiqana. It's short and sweet and we think it conveys our sense of ethics and ethical business.  

A new platform

Speaking of ethical business, we'd always been a bit uneasy selling only on Amazon. But as a startup with limited funds, we had no other choice but to bite the bullet and gain access to a market place of millions of customers. It did work to a certain extent and we'd like to thank each and every customer whom we could serve on Amazon. However, we made a decision early on in the year that rather than finding another platform, we're going to bring e-commerce to our very own website. The time frame? Summer of 2018! I love deadlines, don't you? Needless to say, it didn't happen and we finally launched our new website with our e-shop last week - 23rd November 2018. Nothing to do with the cult of Black Friday, before you ask. It was a date which we'd picked and decided to stick to it.  

New product lines

Well this was the most interesting and also perhaps the most challenging part. Finding suppliers whom you can trust is a big thing! But we have been very fortunate in finding people and organisations who are on the same wavelength as us, care about reviving old art forms and are passionate about sustainability and empowering artisans. Creating new designs and selecting from existing ones was a very satisfying process and we're sure that our friends and fans would love them too. Have a look and see if something takes your fancy.  

What's next?

Well, in the most immediate sense, we're off to our Christmas Market stall in Milton Keynes from tomorrow where we're hoping to wow more people with our collections. But yes, there are plans hatching already about our next steps in the new year - all along the lines of how to bring to our friends and fans all that is ethical, real and sustainable, all that is Ethiqana!

We’re officially a social enterprise!

Ethiqana was founded upon an ethos - ethically sourced, eco-friendly products that provide sustainable livelihoods and make complete sense! Our aim is to be able to bring to the mainstream the arts and crafts of all those artisans whose livelihoods have been stifled by the unhindered march of modern industrialisation processes. We also recognise that today's world comes with challenges unforeseen in terms of ecological conservation and so the second of our objectives is to foster eco-friendly innovation.

With this intent, we applied for the membership of Social Enterprise UK and we are extremely grateful and immensely proud to have been accepted as a member. Quite literally, made our day!

For the uninitiated, Social Enterprise UK is the largest network of businesses with a social and/or environmental purpose. They have been at the forefront of driving the social enterprise movement in the UK which aims to make doing business in this way the "usual way". Social Enterprise UK has also been instrumental in ensuring that the Social Value Act became law which requires public bodies to take into account the social value when selecting providers rather than just cost. So, suffice to say, we're chuffed to bits to get this certification and will proudly be displaying the badge of honour!
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