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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

A BIG welcome to our new Spring additions!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Our new Spring catalogue should be arriving with everyone this week and it is packed full of new additions. Lots of our new additions are in our Kediri Teak range. This range was launched in the Autumn with a capsule collection of 10 pieces. Due to the success of this range we are happy to welcome lots of new pieces to the collection. 

Some of our favourite pieces include the new Kediri Teak 4 Drawer Console; this narrow console will sit in a small space but provide lots of useful storage with 4 drawers, a useful shelf and a top surface perfect for displaying your favourite items and will look perfect in any room of your home from landing or hallway to your living or dining room. The KediriTeak 4 Drawer Desk is the perfect desk or dressing table; with three deep drawers and large narrow drawer perfect for stationery this desk lends itself perfectly to a small space. 

One of the most exciting additions to the Kediri Teak range is the Dining Table and Chairs. These can be bought individually or as a set of four ladder back chairs and table but will seat six easily. Made from solid teak wood this table and chairs really will last a life time and would look great in your kitchen or in a dining room. 

True to our passion for all things fair we have been conscious to ensure all the timber used in the construction is sustainably sourced and monitored through the Indonesian Wood Legality Verification System (SVLK) which is run by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and came into force in March 2013.

 Further to this we have become voluntary supporters of Trees4Trees, a not-for-profit organisation that empowers local communities with reforestation initiatives and related education programmes.  Through this scheme, we donate a share of the money you spend on Kediri teak to help fund replanting schemes in Indonesia communities. The aim of the programme is to give saplings such as teak and mahogany to local farmers and land owners and provide them with the knowledge and know how to get the best from their new trees. Trees4Trees monitor the progress of each sapling and a tag on each piece of Kediri teak furniture provides you with the World Identification Number (WIN) which allows you to track where the new trees are growing.

We have also lots of new additions to our Surin range including the friendly Bear Table, romantic Love Heart Table and the intriguing Portal Table. Take a look at the complete Surin Range here with all of its new additions.   

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Supporting Climate Week

Friday, 7 February 2014



Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign encouraging us all to make small changes that will lead to a more sustainable future.  There are lots of ways you can join in with Climate week to help make our society more sustainable. Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign and Myakka have been supporting it for the past three years.

This year Climate Week is running from Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th March 2014 and is promising to be the biggest Climate Week ever! The aim of Climate Week is to promote the way people and businesses can makes small changes their lives to become more sustainable.

There are lots of ways you can join in Climate Week to help spread the message of sustainability. Climate Week has a number of events running across the country such as ‘Swaps’ the ‘Climate Week Challenge’ and simply signing the ‘Climate Week Declaration’.  To find a Climate Week event near you simply click here.

This Climate Week has partnered with Meat Free Mondays and Sustrans to try and make us all more sustainable. Meat Free Monday is a campaign to encourage all to have a meat-free day one day a week. Livestock production is thought to contribute about 15% of the world’s Greenhouse gases, so by reducing the amount of meat we can easily reduce our carbon footprint. Sustrans, a national cycling organisation, is working to encourage us to ride our bikes more and in particular have launched the ‘The Big Pedal’ which is about encouraging kids to cycle to school.

One of the biggest pushes this year is to get as many people as possible to sign the Climate Week Declaration. The aim of the declaration is to encourage the UK government to do more to prevent climate change. Currently the government is finalising a new law that decides the future of the UK’s energy supply.  The aim is to get the government to include green targets into the Energy Bill to help give us greener, cleaner energy. To find out more and to read the complete declaration and to register your support, simply click here.

A fun and simple way to support climate week is to attend one of the many Swap events taking place across the country. You can swap anything that other people may like and that you no longer want, such as clothing, DVDs, books and furniture. Swaps are great fun and are great for the environment and means you can update your home and wardrobe - all for free!  To find your nearest swap or to register your own simply click here.

There are lots ways to support Climate Week and we can all make small changes in our lives to help reduce our carbon footprint. Simply turning lights off when not needed, or turning down the thermostat by a degree or even switching to a green energy provider - can all help.

To find out more information Climate Week take a look at the website by clicking here. To keep up to date with all the latest developments like Climate Week on Facebook and follow them Twitter.

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Go Bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Fairtrade Fortnight is back and this year Myakka are going bananas for Fairtrade!  The Fairtrade Foundations is working hard to bring to our attention to the plight of banana farmers all over the world who aren’t getting a fair deal.  Only 1 in 3 bananas we buy here in the UK are Fairtrade and the Fairtrade Foundations wants to change this.

In the last 10 years the cost of producing bananas has doubled but the price we pay for them here in the UK has halved – this of course means that the producers are struggling to cover their costs which makes banana farming unsustainable.

To help raise awareness of Fairtrade Fortnight and the plight of the banana farmers we have out together a collection of our favourite banana recipes. 

Natalie’s (past their best) Banana Bread
Here in the UK we eat a massive 5 billion bananas a year. In my house there is often a couple of bananas left in the fruit bowl which are a little past they’re best – which means only one thing… banana bread! The recipe I use is taken from Paul Hollywood’s book – How to Bake.
Ingredients –
•    3-4 large Fairtrade bananas, ripe and mashed (I find 2-3 large bananas plenty, a little on the brown side is perfect)
•    250g caster sugar
•    125g soft unsalted butter
•    2 Free Range eggs
•    250g plain flour
•    2 tsp baking powder
•    120g Fairtrade walnut pieces (If you're a non-nut eater, swap this for some Fairtrade chocolate chips or some Fairtrade Maltesers)
Method –
•    Mash together your bananas along with the sugar
•    Beat in the butter until well combined – the is best done with an electric mixer and soft butter
•    Whisk in the eggs until mixture is light and fluffy
•    Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold into mixture.
•    Add in you chocolate or walnuts (or maybe try both?)
•    Tip into a lined loaf tin
•    Bake for about 40 minutes at 190˚C until firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean. I have found that the cooking times can vary depending on how big/many bananas are used, the more banana the longer the cooking time. If this is the case cover the top of the cake with some foil to stop it from browning too much.

I love this served warm with custard for pudding or have a slice covered in chocolate spread!

Ali's Quickest Pancakes in the History of the Universe
Our friend Ali who is our Social Media Superstar shares her recipe for the perfect banana pancakes taken from her blog Kids Chaos http://kidschaos.com/the-quickest-pancakes-in-the-history-of-the-universe/
Ingredients –
•    1 Fairtrade Banana
•    2 Free Range Eggs
•    Knob of butter

Method –
•    Mash the banana up with a fork
•    Add in the eggs and beat vigorously
•    Melt a little butter in a small non- stick frying pan
•    Pour into banana and egg mix and mix together
•    Cook in the frying pan half the mixture at a time in the same way you would a normal pancake.
•    If they are taking a while to firm up – put under the grill for a bit before flipping.

Ali likes these served spread with Jam or with the classic lemon and honey. The perfect breakfast!

Another of our favourite Bloggers is Maggie Woodley at Red Ted Art with a lovely and quick recipe for a Very Berry (with brown bananas) Smoothie. This smoothie is perfect for a healthy quick breakfast or as a quick snack.  Take a look at the recipe here http://lifeatthezoo.com/2014/01/brown-bananas-recipes-berry-smoothie/

We also have a recipe for Fairtrade Banana Date Flapjack recipe from Domestic Goddesque  aka Kelly Innes which can be found by clicking here. http://domesticgoddesque.com/2014/01/fairtrade-banana-date-flapjacks/

And if you ever wondered what else can you do with a banana then check out this blog post from Liz Burton at her blog Me and My Shadow with a fun and practical list of 10 things you can do with a banana – my favourites have to be number 3 and 4 – ice cream and a face mask – perfect! 

Don’t forget to support fair trade fortnight this year running from Monday 24th February to Sunday 9th March. There are loads of ways you can get involved to help support banana farmers all over the world. Take a look at the Fairtrade Foundations website which has loads of ways you can get involved and activities all based around banana fun!

Of course the easiest way to help is to buy and eat lots of Fairtrade Bananas!

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Tips on how to buy fair trade

With Fairtrade Fortnight fast approaching we thought it might be helpful to provide some tips on how to buy fair trade. Buying fair trade is a simple way to make sure you are supporting the producers and manufacturers that work to make our furniture, coffee or cotton T-shirts.  By buying fair trade we can ensure that everyone involved with the supply chain is treated fairly and that fair prices are being paid. 

There are some really easy ways to look out for recognised fair trade products and here's a list of our top tips to help you… 
  • Look for the Fairtrade Mark. Anything recognised by the Fairtrade Foundation can carry the Fairtrade logo. This applies to all commodities such as food and drink, cotton, flowers and even gold. Just making sure that the tea you drink and the roses you buy are fair trade will mean that suppliers are being paid fairly for their products.
  • For some products such as furniture and homewares, the Fairtrade Mark doesn't apply. This makes it a little harder to make sure what you are buying is fair on the entire supply chain. However there are 10 very clear principles of Fair Trade as set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). Here at Myakka, this is what we prescribe to and monitor through regular visits and a close working relationship with our suppliers.
o   Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
o   Dealing with Transparency and Accountability – all trade is done openly
o   Following Fair Trading Practices
o   Paying of a Fair Price
o   Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
o   Showing Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association
o   Ensuring Good Working Conditions – safe and healthy
o   Providing Capacity Building
o   Promoting Fair Trade
o   Respecting the Environment
  • While the Fairtrade Mark may not always be relevant to the product you are looking to purchase, there are various other trade bodies that retailers who truly support Fair Trade can become part of.  One particularly relevant here in the UK is BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) which completes an in-depth evaluation before providing membership, along with annual renewal process. Myakka is proud to have been a  member of BAFTS since 2006.

  • While not specifically based around fair trade, there are other trade bodies that will give you a clear indication of a business's commitment to ethical practices.  One in particular is the Ethical Company Organisation which assesses the business based on corporate social responsibility, providing the Ethical Award to those who are deemed to excel in their performance.  This group also compiles the Good Shopping Guide - the world's leading ethical shopping guide.  Myakka is pleased to be listed in the Good Shopping Guide and have been awarded the Ethical Award since 2009. 

  • Do your research. Check the information that the retailer provides on their website - most businesses who follow the principles of Fair Trade operate in an open and transparent manner and are usually very happy to share detailed information with their customers.  Look for online reviews to see what opinion others have too.
  •  And finally, if you’re not sure whether the product you are buying is fair trade or not the best thing you can do is ask.  Speak to the retailer and ask why they feel their products meet fair trade guidelines.  It's a pretty on-trend band wagon to jump on at the moment and a short conversation should give you a clear idea of whether the retailer in question truly follows the principles of fair trade. 
Buying fair trade is an easy and effective way of doing your bit to make the world a fairer place. It is a key part of the Myakka ethos and we are always working to ensure the products we sell are sourced through open, respectful and fair channels.

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