Why a bag made my day in Ladywell

posted by Sophi Tranchell:

Sophi's got a brand new bag

I made a very satisfying purchase this month and it is not often I can say that.  I was in our local iron mongers and I noticed a bag.  As I was buying a number of things, I bought it to carry everything home in.  It was a white cotton bag with an attractive design saying Shop Local in Ladywell.  It worked for me on so many levels, it felt like the culmination of my last ten years’ work.  It was in my local shop, it was there because my local elected authority Lewisham, as part of their commitment to being a Fairtrade Borough, had commissioned and purchased the bags.  The bag was made from organic cotton that was Fairtrade certified, but the story didn’t end there.  It was imported by Bishopston Trading Company, one of the pioneer fair trade companies based in Bristol, a worker co-operative established in 1985 to create employment in the southern Indian village of K.V.Kuppam. 

So when I bought that bag, not only did I avoid adding to the land fill of never-degrading plastic bags, I also supported my local shop,  Lewisham’s campaign to be a Fairtrade borough, Bishopston’s alternative model of doing business and the organised people in that village in Southern India.  It really was helping to make the world the way I’d like it to be.


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