Thursday, 28 August 2014

CLS Ethical Shopping

Can you give us a little bit of background behind CLS Ethical Shopping 

CLS Ethical Shopping trades directly with a small group of Cambodian community development organisations and social enterprise businesses. The products that we have in our online store and market business are fair and ethically handmade by the organisations.

CLS Ethical Shopping also promotes and donates regular funds raised ethically handmade by the organisations.  CLS Ethical Shopping also promotes and donates regular funds raised from our product sales to the development organisation, Chumkriel Language School in Cambodia.

How did it come to be such an integral part of your world

I began CLS Ethical Shopping in 2010 after returning from my year long volunteer period with the community based development organisation Chumkriel Language School (CLS) in Cambodia (read more about them "here")

I wanted to remain involved and continue my support to CLS.  The perfect way to do this was to also support and trade with other Cambodian organisations by selling their gorgeous products here in Australia.

In 2012, when I had my baby son, CLS Ethical Shopping expanded to become a sustainable WAHM  (Work at Home Mum) Business whilst continuing to donate regularly to Chumkriel.

Getting the word out and educating people is a pretty hard job to do, but with social media and other marketing methods perhaps it's become just that little bit easier. What role do markets like Orange Grove play in not only maintaining the efficacy of Fair Trade, but helps get the word out there

Having a stall presence at markets such as Orange Grove, provides me with the opportunity to speak one-on-one with people and share my story and passion for sustainable development and fair trade principles.

It enables me to talk about the benefits that can be achieved by supporting small grass-root organisations that work hand-in-hand with vulnerable communities in Cambodia to improve their future prospects.  I find that sharing my personal experience is valued and appreciated far more than any advertising campaign.

Predominantly babies/childrens toys, clothing, accessories with some stuff in there for Mum too.  Why did you select this particular range

The organisations that I have chosen to trade were hand-selected whilst I lived in Cambodia.  I've chosen the range of products, not only for their bright colourful appearance and high quality craftmanship, but I also spent a lot of time learning about which organisation programmes were well run and had trustworthy backgrounds.

Some of the products are also my own designs that I get ethically handmade by the social enterprise Dorsu (which you can read more about "here").  The main example of this is the Eco Baby Bag, designed with practicality in mind - I needed a nappy bag that was compact and convenient.  Dorsu had the skills and ethical practices that I trusted and knew were worthy of supporting.

How would you sum up the world of CLS Ethical Shopping in 5 words

Community Learning Sustainability - my passion

And believe us when we say, the products at this stall are so beautifully made, full of gorgeous bright colours with the bonus of being durable and practical, along with such an inspiring person like Anna....well you would be foolish to not at least take a look at what the offerings are at her market stall!

You can keep up with all things CLS Ethical Shopping by following their facebook page which you can get to easily by simply clicking "this" link!