This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Giftware Review May/June 2014 5 GRNEWS. * News from around the giftware industry. Dying crafts make a comeback

Eco trend gathers pace Responsible retailing, ethical trade and environmentally friendly are buzzwords the savvy shopper is increasingly influenced by, along with Made in Britain, handmade and fairly traded. Sourcing these products has

become much easier and with the plastic bag tax due in the UK next year retailers should be even more focused on environmental issues. Expect Summer and Autumn trade shows to embrace the trend by highlighting ethical merchandise and organising product trails for buyers. The trend was much in focus at the

recent Pulse show in London’s Earls Court where Oliver Heath, the TV presenter and ‘eco champion’ had vetted the Eco Trail. He said: “A resurgence in the desire for authenticity and vernacular style means that once dying crafts and skills are being brought back to life with a modern twist. “Upcycling, in case you’ve missed it, is

the art of giving a once used item a new lease of life by adding some inspiration and tender loving care.” Companies getting involved are making

products that are honest and well made without preservatives, additives or air miles, he said. Among those who have embraced the

trend is Kate Holbrook of Turtle Doves which produces handmade recycled cashmere accessories from a workshop in Shropshire . The recycled cashmere is bought in and a skilled team carefully sorts and washes the wool selecting the best to be made into an expanding range of products including gloves, hats, babywear and blankets. Kate has long been interested in

‘sustainable style’ and had previously worked for a recycling company that made old clothes into new. “I wanted to produce something that was good value, made in

Britain and didn’t cost the earth. “I tell people this is ‘luxury with a

conscience’ and it proves cashmere can be made affordable. The fingerless gloves are the best seller and they retail at £20 and are completely washable.” And the name Turtle Doves? Cockney

rhyming slang for gloves!

Cautious consumer spend Research has revealed an increase in spending during April although consumers are still careful about spending too much.The figures showed a growth in spend for April by 3.7 per cent year on year which was attributed to warmer weather and the late Easter. However, there has also been a huge growth in spending at discount retailers and a further fall in all transaction values suggests customers are still waiting for further economic improvement.

Top business advice

Great advice on how to ‘convert your customers into fans’ will be available at this year’s annual meeting of the Giftware Association. Three top speakers have been lined up and there will also be an opportunity to network and ask questions. The meeting is at the GA headquarters in Birmingham on June 5. For more details turn to Page 12.

Entertaining outdoors

The great British public has got the hang of eating and entertaining outside. Get in on the act by supplying everything needed for the great outdoors. Pictured is the Kadai Firebowl by Wilstone Garden which made a huge impact at this year’s Spring Fair.

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