Esme was established in 2009 by Rachel and Steven Fligelstone, when we decided to set up a business which would enable people to buy tried and tested ethical and eco-friendly products locally.
We realised, like many other people, that acquiring more and more junk is not a route to happiness, and we became aware how difficult it can be to find sustainably and ethically produced items for the home, or to give as gifts. We discovered that a great deal is available, but that it can be frustrating and expensive to source individual items, and to find out whether they are of reasonable quality. We wanted to take some of the guess work and sheer hard work out of buying ethically.
We firmly believe that our shopping choices make a difference, to other people's lives as well as our own. We are retailers — and therefore we do not see it as our role to globetrot in order to watch producers at work. That job falls to our suppliers, whom we trust because of their genuine concern to promote economic independence and alleviate poverty. If we can help them to open up new markets and bring desirable fairly traded products to our customers, then everybody wins.
Since starting out, we have become established as a unique local business, regularly attending fairs and other events, and delivering household supplies to local customers at home and at work. Since 2014 we have been trading through our user-friendly web store, which not only underpins our local distribution service, but has allowed to offer a UK-wide delivery service.
It could be a piece of hand made Raku pottery, a cotton & hemp sun hat from Nepal. a beatiful hand-made birthday card from Rwanda or Nepal, a non-toxic steel drinking bottle, a stunning recycled aluminium vase or photo frame, a hand-crocheted baby toy, a natural moisturiser, or a can of Fairtrade Cola - we can truly claim to be a one-stop business for ethical products.
We are located in the Fairtrade Village of Galgate, which we are proud to call our home.