More Mother’s Day Gift Ideas!

mothersday

Following on from our blog last week showcasing Green Tulip’s lovely pampering gifts, this week we thought we’d highlight some of our ethical fashion accessories. We’ve put together a selection focused on this season’s pretty dusty pink fashion theme which will hopefully appeal to all those stylish mums out there!

Our A Beautiful Story Rose Quartz range includes the Lilly Rose Quartz Silver Bracelet (£12) – an elasticated bracelet with white metal beads, a rose quartz chip gemstone and a pale pink tassel. The rose quartz gemstone symbolises love, harmony and inner balance and is based on the ‘air’ element of nature. ‘Air’ is believed to hold the key to the power of the mind such as ideas, knowledge, dreams, wishes, new life and new possibilities.

Also from the same range the Luna Rose Quartz Silver Necklace (£35) is a silver-plated brass pendant necklace with a drop -shaped rose quartz gemstone, encased in a metal coiled wire and claw clasp fastener and beautifully complements the bracelet.  These are both traditionally made by skilled artisans through a fair trade project in Nepal, and come beautifully presented in a cardboard gift box.

New this season, this simple Bamboo Print Messenger Bag (£30) is a cross-body, messenger style bag is made in a grey bamboo print and would tone nicely with most outfit choices.  Practical and stylish, the bag is made in wipe-clean, water-resistant coated cotton and is hand-made through a fair trade project in Vietnam. Perfect for a mum on the go!

Our final choice is a pretty Silk & Linen Stripe Scarf (£10) which is made from made from a mix of soft pink linen/silk and slubby pure silk, with tassels at each end. The ideal weight for Spring it is hand-woven through a Fair Trade project in Vietnam using 30% linen/70% ‘tassel’ silk and coloured using eco friendly AZO free dyes.

So why not treat your hard working mother to a couple of stylish items from this lovely quartet and that’s mother’s days 2017 sorted!

PS we can even wrap it for you and send it directly to your mother – just select one of our gift wrap options here. deborah

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

mothersday

Whether you want to show your wife what a great Mum she is, choose a gift from the kids or spoil your own Mum, Green Tulip can help you find a gift that is thoughtful, beautiful and ethical.

Leading up to Mother’s Day this year, we think the Mums in our lives could do with a little pampering…

Mother

Mums are great! They might be juggling work and children or a busy home life, but they never seem to have enough time to relax and treat themselves. You can help with a gift to pamper her, get her to relax in the bath or put her feet up for at least 5 minutes!

Our Gift Sets  are a perfect way to provide a fragrant and delicious treat. Featured here are our Natural Rose Gift set (£14) and our Ultimate Lavender Natural Gift Set (£25) .  We love the calming fragrance of lavender, it can help to relax, soothe and prepare for a great night’s sleep. Packed full of fragrant and natural hand-picked products and beautifully presented as a ready made gift.

Another way to relax and wind down is with a Gin & Tonic scented candle (£19.50). Our luxury natural wax candles are blended with a Gin & Tonic fragrance of juniper and hints of Tuscan lemon. They are presented in a glass container which has been repurposed from a green wine bottle with the rim polished by flame to give a perfect finish.

Lemongrass and Cedarwood Hand Lotion (£15) from The Handmade Soap company is the ultimate treat for hard working hands. A beautifully packaged light and creamy natural hand lotion with the fresh scent of oriental Lemongrass and earthy Cedarwood combined with warming May Chang.  It is hand made in small batches using the finest natural botanical ingredients in County Meath, Ireland and free from all parabens, SLS’s, petrochemicals and synthetic colours and fragrances.

Whatever you choose, Mums are worth a little something special today and everyday!

author_kate3

My Top 10 ‘Gifts for Children’

Shopping for children can be great fun, but battling through the piles of plastic and character toys can also be a bit overwhelming. So my for my second Christmas selection this year, I have chosen gifts for all the little (and not so little!) ones that are a little bit different from everything else they will find under the tree.

Perfect for a 6 month old, the Plan Toys Triangle Clutching Toy (£13) is flexible and bright. As well as helping develop fine motor skills it is made from lovely natural wood and has a satisfying symmetrical shape!

The durable Green Toys Scooper Truck (£15) is ideal for little builders of 2+ years, and has a cute bulldog construction worker in the driving seat too. Best of all it is made from recycled plastic milk containers and comes in recycled and recyclable packaging with absolutely no plastic ties!

New babies are always tricky to buy for but how about the Recycled Plastic Twist Teether (£10)  which is ideal for those upcoming teething months. Like the scooper above it is made from recycled plastic milk containers and is of course free from BPA, PVC and phthalates.

The little Organic Cotton Baby Buddy range (£7.50) is one of our cutest baby gifts and has floppy arms and legs (perfect for chewing!) and a lightly stuffed body for easy grip. I also love the fact he is made from offcuts from the Under the Nile organic cotton baby clothes range so is a great use of ‘waste’ too. Suitable from birth.

Ideal for 3-5 years olds the Plan Toys Wooden Castle Blocks (£22) have a total of 35 pieces set including knights and horses is made from all natural materials. Hours of galloping fun, and a fair amount of collisions are guaranteed! From 3+ years.

Britain is a county of dog lovers and where we live in Wiltshire virtually every other dog you see is a black labrador! This cute Amica Black Labrador Felt Brooch (£5) is a lovely accessory for older children to use on jumpers and bags, and even better it is made in a fair trade project in Nepal.

Beautifully illustrated, the Construction Memory Game (£13) by Petit Collage features 12 pairs of large, bright and colourful cards with different construction vehicles to match up. A great present for pre-schoolers who know their diggers from their mixers!

No Christmas is complete without a penguin or two and Lanka Kade’s Fair Trade Penguin Jigsaw (£4.50) has to be one of the cutest! Ideal for 3+ years.

The Believe You Can fairies have long been part of the Green Tulip range and with their little beaded bell legs make a cute gift for girls of all ages. The Love Fairy  (£6) is one of the best sellers and has a lovely message on as well as information about the BAFTS project the fairies are made in in India.

And finally to end with a little chocolate treat and the new Cocoa Loco’s Organic Chocolate Bricks (£4.50) which are perfect for ‘brick’ loving kids! These fun shapes are made from Cocoa Loco’s velvety smooth dark, milk and white chocolate and won’t hang around for very long.

I hope these suggestions have shown it is possible to buy good quality, long lasting and most importantly fun toys that will make the children you buy for, their parents and the planet a happier place. Head on over to the Green Tulip website for lots more…and Happy Shopping!

xmasheader_twitter

charity

Top 5 ‘Gifts for Him’

With over 1,000 beautiful gifts here at Green Tulip I know trying to choose that ‘perfect’ gift can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. So with Christmas now approaching very fast I thought it would be helpful if I highlighted some some of my favourites, and also gifts I know go down very well with customers at our shop.

So here is my first little selection – gifts for the discerning men in your life!

For something smart and practical how about our KuSan Navy Blue Beanie Hat  (£20) which has a full fleece lining for no ‘itchiness’!  Handmade from thick New Zealand wool by fair trade artisans in Nepal, it ticks all the ethical boxes too.

Or you could choose our Steenbergs’ Curry Blends Spice Gift Box (£16) with a variety of 8 different organic curry mixes. It makes the perfect gift for curry take away enthusiasts who (you) want to get creative at home!

Completely natural, the Real Man’s Soap Bar  (£7) from The Handmade Soap Company is infused with the fresh and uplifting scent of Basil, Lime and Sweet Orange essential oils. Ideal for those men who prefer using real soap to a hand or body wash – and of course like to think of themselves as ‘real men’!

Chilli addicts will love our Organic Dark Chocolate Chilli Chocolates (£4.50) from Cocoa Loco. These chunky chilli-shaped dark chocolates are made from bitter sweet and velvety rich organic dark chocolate blended with a warm (well actually hot!) kick of cinnamon and chilli.

Finally outdoor types will love our A Slice of Green’s 750ml Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle (£16) which has a smart &’naked’ finish and will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for at least six hours. It is made from high quality, 18/8 food-grade stainless steel which is non-toxic and non-leaching and is ideal for fishing trips, a workout at the gym – or  standing by the touchline!

So hope that has given you a few ideas for the men on your ‘shopping list’. Lots more to choose from on our Green Tulip website… and Happy Shopping!

xmasheader_twitter.jpg

charity

KuSan – Their Story

hat-collageThe new range of KuSan hats, gloves and accessories have arrived in the Green Tulip office. They have been thoroughly admired and oo’d and ahh’d over with each of us choosing our favourite (*It appears I live in mine!).

We love the fresh designs and colours this year combined with the beautiful natural feel of the wool, but what we love most of all about Kusan is their story.

Kusan Label.jpg

KuSan is Fair Trade

KuSan firmly believe that contented workers make better knitwear. Their philosophy has always been to work honestly and ethically with their factories in Nepal and they seek to ensure the integrity of all products bearing the KuSan label and take their social and corporate responsibility very seriously.

All staff involved with KuSan receive good wages and work fair hours in a healthy and safe environment. Sufficient breaks, free staff food and the encouragement of collective bargaining and freedom of association further instil a sense of self-worth and pride.

KuSan believe their hand knitters are the best in the world – many have been with the company since they started. You can be assured that there is absolutely no child labour associated with KuSan. Outside the workplace, each year KuSan contribute to community initiatives within the Kathmandu Valley.

Blue Pink group.jpg

KuSan are now in their fourth year of collaboration with MADE-BY, the independent European consumer label for fashion companies who are transparent about the social, economic and ecological conditions throughout the whole supply chain of their collections. Its mission is to make sustainable fashion common practice. The MADE-BY accreditation gives consumers the assurance that a brand produces with respect for people and planet to its best efforts.

With MADE-BY’s support, KuSan are improving every element in their supply chain. They have spent three years working on their home worker cooperative project and with their factory in Nepal with the aim to achieve international social and environmental accreditation, helping KuSan towards even more sustainable and responsible production.

graphic-our-story-2-1

KuSan is Sustainable

KuSan is also doing it’s bit for the environment. They ship their products by sea and use air freight as a last resort when seasonal deliveries are needed in time to meet their customers’ deadlines.

The fact that KuSan accessories are hand crafted goes a long way, but they cannot combat the emissions they create transporting their products on their own, so they make an annual contribution to Carbon Footprint. Pledges to Carbon Footprint Offsets are used to support projects that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and alleviate global warming.

These funds also support projects for energy efficiency and sustainable energy technology development. Carbon Footprint supports a range of sustainable energy projects around the world, including wind power, solar generation and biomass.

These projects also provide jobs in disadvantaged regions of the World. To find out more, please visit  www.carbonfootprint.com.

charcoal-grey-fine-group

KuSan is Style

The 2016 Kusan range is now available on our website for you to oo and ahh over too. Choosing KuSan as a gift or a treat for yourself is a great way to make you feel cosy inside and out.author_kate3

Joyn India – Their Story

peacock-group

Here at Green Tulip we love beautiful design so when we discovered Joyn India 18 months ago we were delighted by their gorgeous prints and designs. But there is so much more to Joyn India than simply producing high quality handbags and accessories and this, to us, is where the real beauty lies.

In 2010 Melody and Dave Murray moved to Rajpur, India where they discovered talented artisans who made beautiful textile products but lacked access to markets. The Murrays were determined to employ as many people as possible in a sustainable and fair trade business and Joyn India was born.

JOYN found that the people living in Rajpur are some of the neediest people on the planet.  Many of them grow up begging on the streets and have no skills, education, identities, or even birthdays. They suffer from hunger, abuse, leprosy, drug addiction, and chronic illnesses.

joyn-1

The manufacturing process of JOYN products starts with pure cotton, which is carded and cleaned, then hand-spun in 7 stages to complete the thread and hand-woven into fabric.  The cotton fabric then has fabric dye pressed onto it using a hand-carved wooden block. When it is dry it is cut and stitched by hand.

Every finished product has a swing tag with the signature of each artisan responsible for the different processes – weaving, printing and stitching.

joyn-labelYou can see the latest Joyn India collection here and we look forward to working with them for many years to come…

deborah

British Food Favourite – Onion Chutney

 

chutters.jpg

It’s British Food Fortnight and we think British food is worth celebrating! Held every year at the same time as harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest national celebration of British food and drink.

Since its beginnings in 2002, British Food Fortnight has become an opportunity to promote the benefits of buying and eating a huge variety of different foods that have been grown and produced to the highest of standards.

Did you know, for instance that Britain produces more types of cheese than France?  And what could be more British than cheese and homemade chutney, especially at Christmas?

Onion Chutney

This Autumn has meant the usual glut of homegrown vegetables. Last year’s plum chutney went down a storm for Christmas presents (or so my friends tell me!) but this year, it’s onions galore.

Recipe

This recipe is based on a few minutes research and the actual contents of my cupboard, so it is an amalgamation of several recipes, but I think that’s how the best discoveries are made…

  • 1.5 kg onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • half a chilli
  • 300g muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • pinch of salt & pinch of paprika

chutney

Cooking

  • Fry the onions in vegetable or olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown.
  • Add in 4 tablespoons of the sugar and cook the onions until brown- ie caramelised.
  • Add the rest of the sugar, the vinegars, garlic, chilli, mustard, salt and paprika.
  • Simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  • Spoon into sterilised jars (I found this made 6 jam jar sized portions).
  • Lids on and leave to cool.

Now for the hard part- leave for around three months before eating!

Onion chutney 8.jpgAfter chopping and peeling nearly 20 onions, I was ready to cry, but the sight (and smell) of these six jars of beautiful tasty onion chutney cheered me up! Now to decide which of my friends will be lucky this Christmas?

If you are feeling inspired, our British Food Pinterest page is brimming with popular food ideas and recipes.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-49-17

author_kate3