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    Closing Down

    1 CommentWednesday, 29 December 2021  |  Joanna

    Closing Down

    When I started Aztec Arts - the business that would become All's Fair - in February 2005 I had one aim - to run an ethical retail business, honouring the skills of artisans around the world. 

    In the seventeen years since that day, I've spent over £209,000 buying stock from the fair trade artisans and businesses I planned to support.

    I traded for nine years on the Manchester Christmas market (2007 - 2015)

    I had a shop in Selby for 10 months in 2015 - 16

    I supported fair trade groups holding markets and events in: Manchester, Stockport, Bolton, Wigan, Glossop, Ashton-under-Lyne, Macclesfield, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Selby, Hull, Huddersfield and Malton as well as speaking at events all over the North of England, and telling the fair trade stories of my suppliers and their producers

    I visited fair trade artisans in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka, seeing first hand the effects of the work my suppliers are doing to reduce poverty

    But since March 2020 life has been very difficult for traders like me whose business model was based on specialist markets and events. When all my 2020 events, apart from Art in the Gardens were cancelled my main concern was how to continue to place orders and support the producers. I invested in a lot of face masks and a lot of chocolate, and you bought it - Thank you! 

    But as the pandemic wore on it became clear that we were in this for the long haul and since home based businesses like mine were not eligible for most of the government's pandemic relief funds (I received a total of £500 to compensate for 2 years' lost earnings) it was obvious that things had to change. And change was the order of the day. I applied for and got a dream job working on the eBay for Change programme. I'm working with hundreds of social and fair trade enterprises, helping them tell their stories. It's wonderful to be part of organisations like BAFTS, WFTO and SEUK as well as the eBay Social Impact Team. 

    When I was elected Chair of the Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee in April 2021, it was an honour and a privilege to support the thousands of campaigners for trade and climate justice and poverty reduction working in Fairtrade communities around the UK. We are stronger together and if I can help them make a difference in the lives of millions of farmers, workers and artisans around the world, that's what I want to do

    In 2005 the best way open to me to make a difference was starting my business, spending my money to support artisans and building a website, social media and taking the goods and stories to stalls around the North of England. I loved speaking to the public about fair trade, and it made an impact, but it's time to move on, and I've taken the decision to close All's Fair at the end of January 2022.

    In this final month you'll find a half price sale on almost everything. Don't worry - all the stock has been paid for at full price (in most cases well over a year ago) 

    So thank you for all your support over the years, and if you've had your eye on something on the site, now would be a perfect time for you to take the plunge and buy it.


    Hilary Thomas
    Friday, 7 January 2022  |  9:07

    Thank you Joanna - you have done so much to raise the profile of Fairtrade. Iím sorry you are closing your business but totally understand why. Hope you go from strength to strength in the job you are doing. God bless x