A new series profiling Fair Trade and Ethical brands at AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair. 

Consumer interest in Fair Trade and ethically sourced products continues to rise and is now stronger than ever before. The AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair offers a cohort of exhibitors with uniquely individual and ethical brands, all crafted by artisans from across the globe. 

Each brand comes with a story. Here we Meet The Maker...Leonie and Barton Walsh of The Elephant Emporium.

How many years has The Elephant Emporium operated in Australia?

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“The Elephant Emporium started 10 years ago whilst traveling through Southeast Asia. We focus on reducing the impact waste has on the environment by transforming it into reusable lifestyle products. We build strong relationships with our artisans and are dedicated to assisting the small minority groups that create these amazing products.”

Tell us about the artisans behind your products. How did you get started working with them?

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“We travel to regions in Thailand and Cambodia about 3 - 4 times per year, working directly with small groups, the majority being men and women that have suffered horrendous injuries from land mines. These groups are families with their own skillsets, some of which have been passed down from many generations.”

Why is Fair Trade Certification important to you and how does The Elephant Emporium implement these processes?

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“Being a Fair Trade small business means we always adhere to the 10 Fair Trade Principles that ensures our craftspeople are protected and not exploited. Fair Trade certification is extremely important for us as it states our commitment to these protocols and clearly communicates to our customers what our business stands for.”

What are the most popular design trends you have seen emerging in your field?

“We have a vast range of products that is constantly evolving and includes woodcarvings, homewares, ethically sourced leather, fashion and accessories. The recently launched recycled rubber range are emerging as a favourite within our loyal customer base.”

Which pieces would you recommend to buyers looking for their next best-seller?

“Given the recent plastic bag ban by the major grocery chains, we would recommend our large range of Recycled reusable and durable shopping bags. We also have very popular ladies and men's wallets in a variety of sizes and styles, card holders & handbags.”

Register now to see The Elephant Emporium, Stand D49, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 4-8 August 2018.