We’re all becoming more aware of global issues, and our shopping habits increasingly reflect this – with product sourcing and ethics becoming as important a purchasing driver as price. When it comes to Christmas shopping, we want to buy gifts which have a positive impact on people and planet.

In Ludlow we’re fortunate to have an incredible variety of independent, locally-owned suppliers, making it easy to find ethical alternatives to big business. But products sold in independent shops don’t necessarily indicate responsible sourcing – particularly if they’re imported. Our Christmas favourites, such as chocolate, coffee, clothes and jewellery, are often made from raw materials which are grown or mined by small producers in the global South. Most of these workers are paid below the living wage and face significant inequalities which keep them trapped in poverty. Irresponsibly sourced items can come with a large carbon footprint resulting from business practices which put profit over planet.

Fortunately, Ludlow boasts many independent businesses selling a range of products with strong ethical credentials. Look out for labels which indicate high welfare and sustainability standards, such as the Fairtrade mark, Soil Association Organic and Certified B-Corp. Many of our local suppliers and market stallholders trade directly with producers overseas to cut out the middle businessman. You can see some of our favourites below, or visit our Ludlow Fair Trade Shopping Guide for the full catalogue.

When you next visit your favourite independent supplier, ask them where their products were made, how they were made, and who made them. Your purchase may have an inspiring story behind it.

So, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts which support our local businesses, empower smallholder farmers globally, and don’t come with a hefty carbon footprint, then look no further than Ludlow – you’re spoilt for choice.

Purple Panda

Purple Panda is a diverse world of fairly traded clothing, jewellery, gifts, cards and home accessories. A trip to Ludlow is not complete without a visit to this hidden gem of ethically sourced wonders.

Purple Panda source from ethical and fair trade suppliers where ever possible. They also sponsor a school project in Nepal where a lot of their felt and knitted goods are produced.

Their ethical suppliers include: Shared Earth, Namaste, Siesta, Cycle of Good, From the Source, Pachamama, and many more, alongside childrens sustainable wooden toys from Lanka Kade and knitted dinosaurs from Best Years.

You will also find an ever-growing exciting range of eco-friendly and recycled products from Bee friendly seed bombs, wallets made from recycled inner tubes and recycled sari gift wrap.

For the home you will find rag rugs, throws, decorative wooden boxes and lots of “must haves” you didn’t know you needed!

Location: Purple Panda, 146 Corve Street, Ludlow, SY8 2PG

Website: kaboodle-diverseworld.co.uk

Facebook/ Instagram: @PurplePandaLudlow

The Shop @ St Laurence

The new Gift Shop at St Laurence was inspired by the need to raise money for what is arguably Ludlow’s most magnificent Church. It stocks a good selection of fairly traded and ethical products, including children’s toys, gift wrap, decorations and more.

Bethlehem Baubles: These beautiful hand-blown baubles are produced by Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans (BFTA) who work closely with Muslim and Christian communities in the middle east to produce a unique gift with a direct and meaningful impact.

St Nicholas Decorations: Working with a Christian Charity in Thailand that empowers rural women by providing them with meaningful work within their community. Each unique decoration is hand sewn.  

Globe Enterprises: Luxurious handmade gift packaging all made from recycled materials.

Corinne Lapierre: Gorgeous, sustainably sourced felt sewing kits made in Yorkshire using wool/viscose mix. Perfect for crafty friends and family.

Lanka Kade: Fairtrade wooden toys for children, handcrafted by skilled artisans in Sri Lanka with the aim to reduce poverty through trade and help support an educational foundation.

Do pop in, have a browse and a chat to the lovely owners, Anthony and Julia, who can tell you where the products have come from. Make sure you allow time to explore the breathtaking church too!

Location: 2 College Street, Ludlow, SY8 1AN

Website: theshopatstlaurence.co.uk/

The Traidcraft Shop @ Ludlow Mascall Center

In Ludlow we are lucky enough to have our very own Traidcraft shop based at Ludlow Mascall Center, which is open for a short period each week.

There are also regular Traidcraft pop-up shops at St Laurence’s Church from 11am each 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, and at the Thursday produce market in Ludlow’s Market Square.

The Traidcraft Shop stocks a huge range of ethical, fairly traded gifts, crafts, home wares, food, drinks and more – all of which have been made by skilled artisans and producers in more than 30 developing countries. Make sure you allow plenty of time to explore – the shop may be small, but there are beautiful and unique gift ideas to be found in every nook and cranny!

The shop is open for a short period each week so make sure you plan your visit in advance by emailing Liz using the contact details below.

Location: Ludlow Mascall Center, Lower Galdeford, Ludlow SY8 1RZ

Email: lizinludlow@gmail.com.

Myriad Organics

Myriad are the hub for organic producers and growers in this part of the Welsh Marches. As well as championing organic products, they also stock a wide range of fairly traded and hand crafted delights.

For Christmas gifts, Myriad’s extensive range of ethically and locally made beauty and bath products are a great choice for men and women alike. You can also find several alternatives to chocolate advent calendars, as well as free-from and fairly traded nuts, chocolates and other treats.

Come on in, have a browse and say hello to the owners, Nancy and Pete, who can tell you more about their specially selected range – and the people who produced them.

Location: Myriad Organics, 22 Corve Street, Ludlow, SY8 1DA

Email: myriadorganics@gmail.com

Website: http://www.myriad-organics.co.uk/

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