Fair Trade Shop | About Danu & Fairtrade
Welcome to the new, revamped, revitalised Danu store.
If you are a Danu fan of old, you will have noticed one or two changes! Danu launched in 2014 with a plan to protect our heritage, by weaving Irish Linen woven wraps (baby slings) in Ireland. We had great fun and produced some beautiful slings. We began to launch into accessories and homeware when life had other plans, and Danu lay unloved for a year or two whilst my health recovered and I was able to continue the plan.
However, over that time, the plan for Danu, like life, changed. Having long since changed my last reusable nappy or carried one of my own children, I wanted a bigger meaning to protecting our heritage for Danu. I also realised protecting our heritage should mean just more than looking at Irish weaving traditions, we need to protect our earth. The phrase
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children
really resonated with me. I kept coming back to it and pondering. As many of you are aware, I also run a natural baby products & wooden toy shop - Baba Me, which we are known for our baby carrier and reusable nappies expertise. This store was developing as we started to grow up more and bring in more family, adult and houseware - all of which were eco-friendly and ethical. Our customers loved our new ranges, the take up was excellent but we felt, as a very parent-focused advice site, we were limiting who we appealed to. And then it struck me, the path for Danu became clear. Danu would be our one-stop eco, ethical ‘green shop’ which provided all your needs which was focused on everyone, not just parents! It is still very much about protecting our heritage, but that means our precious earth and the people on it.
So six months later, on the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight, a revamped and revitalised Danu store was launched. It was no coincidence the date we launched, it had been planned for 4 months to launch on that date as Danu aims to be an ethical shop and sustainable company in everything we do and sell. Our aim is to be a full store for everything you need that is reusable, recyclable, recycled, zero waste, natural and good for you, oh and it's traded ethically. No child labour or sweatshop products here thank you!
You will notice we have a wide array of fair trade products or items labelled ethical. The Fairtrade organisation certified many products as such when they hit certain criteria and pay the premium. This is a vital element to their standards, it's not just about paying the farmers a fair price but the premium goes above and beyond that and ensures that local communities in the poorest countries are given vital help and support and funds for development. However, the FairTrade foundation is not the only organisation who ensure that trade is ethical and many of our products are hitting the criteria (and much more), but are either certified by other organisations or have chosen to do all the things needed, but not pay the certification fee. For very small companies the label can prove prohibitively expensive but if they are still meeting the high business ethics needed in their brand and international business, then we still will stock them. But don’t panic, we have put a lot of research into the products we sell, so you don’t have to. Whether you have stumbled across us looking for an organic shampoo or a A5 photo frame, organic coffee or bamboo clothing you can rest assured that we have a product which falls into one, or more of these criteria:
- Is Fairtrade (either certified or meets requirements).
- Is natural - no nasties in our products!
- Is zero waste or will help you lead a reduced waste lifestyle
- Has not been tested on animals
- Is made of recycled material, or is a material which can be recycled or reused.
- Is sustainable, both in material and business practices
- Has minimal packaging.
- Is good for you, your family or the environment
- Makes life easier whilst protecting our earth
So browse our ethical shop in the full confidence that we have spent literally hundreds of hours lining up the best products in each category which hit the criteria we have set down for our store. We felt the need to have all these amazing goods in one shop, where you can browse online at your leisure or pop into our physical shop, at Junction 20 of the MI1 (Northern Ireland).
Whilst browsing you will notice that we have tagged our products with the criteria it meets, for example, Sustainable, 100% natural, Cruelty-Free. Each category the emphasis might be different so in our organic makeup section, we have labelled vegan, vegetarian, alcohol-free or even halal products. Whilst in our wooden toys section we have focused more on the skills they will help your child develop like hand-eye coordination, concentration. Each of us has our own priorities for shopping, whether it is Vegan, or only 100% natural, or even just ethical or zero waste. Hopefully, you will find all the products you need easily labelled on our site.
The movement was started by Traidcraft in the 1970’s when a bunch of activists realised that we needed to change the supply chain and ensure farmers got a better deal for their produce. Right now, according to Fairtrade Organisation there are there are over 1.65 million farmers and workers in 1,226 producer organisations and Cooperatives across the Fairtrade system. Whilst many people know about fair trade bananas or fair trade cocoa the mark certifies hundreds of goods, from bamboo socks to knitwear, from candles to cushion covers and everything in between! The organisation has changed the market and is now also focusing on sustainable development and organic farming. But it is much more than ensuring a minimum price, the premium hemps villages in developing countries, everywhere from Latin America to Bangladesh, the premium is invested to improve better lives for the farmers and their communities, helping to make them sustainable and in many instances, to be more environmentally friendly.
Because, quite simply, we have to change business practices and consumer practices. We have to break the damaging cycle we are in which sees our seas full of plastic. But sustainable is more than just ensuring the product is made from a sustainable source or is recycled or recyclable. It cuts through the core of what we do, from our zero waste packaging (we avoid plastic bags and bubble wrap unless reusing packaging materials sent to us). If you are looking to move to a zero waste lifestyle we have a whole litany of products to help you. I won’t delve into them too much here, as we have a blog coming on them shortly, but briefly we have reusable coffee cups, reusable drinking straws, reusable bags, solid shampoo bars, alternatives to easter eggs in our reusable easter eggs, cloth nappies and reusable menstrual pads, handmade soap and so much more! Oh and don’t forget the new fairtrade chocolate bar from Eat Your Hat - which has fully compostable packaging! As I said a full detailed blog on advice to move to zero waste is coming shortly!
So Why called Danu?
She was an Irish Goddess, the Mother Goddess of Tuatha Dé Danann people. Danu represents the earth and its fruitfulness. She is a nurturing Goddess but also a warrior, a fighter who is full of knowledge and wisdom, passing on her influence to help the De Danann in imparting her wisdom on them and nurturing them back to health. In her warrior ways, she has a tenacity and does not give up easily. The more I learn about Danu, the more I realise she is perfect for helping us heal, protect our earth and fight for its future. Danu world, also can be read as Da new world, and perhaps there is a bit of that as well, we are looking to do business differently, to be sustainable and change the way we look at products and their impact, not only on the people who make them but also in our precious world we live in. I hope in reading this you feel you have met your tribe, if so welcome to Danu.
Maebh & Pete