• What about the homeware revolution?

    What about the homeware revolution?

    This week is #FashionRevolutionWeek. It’s a brilliant initiative encouraging people to think about where their clothes come from and how they are made.

    But it’s not just fast fashion that causes indignity and suffering. I’ve often wondered when the interiors industry will catch up and why we are more concerned with the ethics of coats than chopping boards. As well as asking #WhoMadeMyClothes, I’d love to see people asking “Who made my tea towel?" The hashtag may not be quite so catchy but, as with fashion, if your homewares seem like a bargain, it's likely that someone somewhere is being exploited, or that the environmental impact of the item's production has been overlooked. 

    Here at Aerende, I’ve asked all sorts of questions over and over again. How was this wood carved? Where did this clay come from? How much energy will it take to get this item to us? What are the working conditions of the people who made it? How can we pay fairly and still do good business? None of our makers are in factories. None of them work on production lines. None of them have unrealistic targets or work with materials that will have a toxic effect on their bodies. We hope they are proud to be associated with Aerende. 
    When you buy from us, in most cases, we can tell you the first name of the person behind the product. Because behind every single thing you buy, whether it’s a skirt, a spoon, or a toy, is a real human, just like you and me. 
  • A little something for Earth Day 2017

    A little something for Earth Day 2017
  • The Aerende Almanac - April

    The Aerende Almanac - April

    Our April newsletter, featuring all sorts of non-foolish things is out today. Happy April. A few technical hiccups means it's not possible to show it to you on this page (any hints on how to do that?) but you can read it at the link below.

  • In praise of women (or how to make an impact when you shop)

    In praise of women (or how to make an impact when you shop)

    How often do you think about the people, usually women, behind the things you buy? As an individual I know I need to make more effort to ensure my purchasing decisions don't cause human suffering or environmental harm. But as a retailer I can hold my head up pretty high.

    Here at Aerende, we want to make it easier for consumers to have a positive effect on women around the world by considering the impact of our products at every level. So, we think about materials – how they are made; how women in developing countries are affected by tiny things that many of us never think about (fabric dye in their water, husbands driven to suicide by Monsanto’s pushing of GMO cotton crops, how they can afford childcare). We think about women who struggle for employment, or who have low self esteem and try and work out ways to improve their confidence, or increase their opportunities. We think about the end of life, what happens to our products when they wear out (in a long time) and what happens to women elsewhere when their landscapes and food sources become littered with plastic. We encourage people to buy thoughtfully for the long term by only selling items, like this multifunctional organic pouch (it could be a washbag an iPad case or a pencil holder), that are special, unique, characterful – just like the women who make them (in this case those recovering from mental health illnesses in London). We think about this stuff not as a branding exercise but because it is what all good business should do. Our success won’t be made off the back of women who aren’t able to make the same kinds of choices we are. We want to empower women who don’t believe in themselves or who don’t have a voice. To stand with them and say we've got you. We care. We will try every day not to let you down.

    But this stuff doesn’t happen in the vacuum of social media. It happens when people make real changes and purposeful decisions. Together we can make a difference. Please join us this #internationalwomensday to really live our ideals and think about how our daily choices impact others. Together we can #beboldforchange