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Myakka Blog

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

A big welcome to our two new ranges!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

This spring we welcome two new collections to the Myakka family. The new Lyme range and Stonemill range are both exclusive to Myakka and are new to us this spring. The Lyme collection is handcrafted in India from mango wood whilst the Stonemill collection has been crafted for sustainably reclaimed pine and made in Vietnam.

The new Lyme collection  builds on the demand for painted and shabby chic style  furniture.  It has a comfortably worn and relaxed driftwood design finished with a soft limewash – bringing a touch of coastal decor into your home.  Some of our favourite pieces form this range include the Lyme Blanket Box and the Lyme Nest of 3 Tables.

The Lyme range is hand crafted in India from mango wood, a truly sustainable hardwood: the mango tree is first grown for fruit production.  At around eight years, when it is past its commercial life for mango production, the tree is felled and the timber is crafted into furniture.

The new Stonemill collection will add modern simplicity to your home.  Handmade in Vietnam, the furniture is crafted from sustainably reclaimed pine. All of the pine wood used in this Stonemill range started life as something else - this gives the furniture real character and charm.

The furniture has an industrial design quality, looking cleverly repurposed. Creative antiqued metal detailing on some of the pieces adds to the upcycled effect, such as the Stonemill Cart Coffee Table with its quirky railway-style wheels. Or the Stonemill Merchants Chest which incorporates the rustic charm of upcycled pine with the industrial styling of rustic loop handles.                                       

As well as two new ranges we have lots of new additions to our existing ranges including the Mallani, Thakat, Gypsy, Maison and Surin collections as well as lots of new soft furnishings and home accessories. 

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Fairtrade Fortnight 2015!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Fairtrade Fortnight is coming, this year it will run from Monday 23rd February until Sunday 8th March 2015! We always try to do our bit to support Fairtrade Fortnight and this year is no different. We are encouraging everyone we know to make sure they are buying fair trade wherever they can. This year’s campaign is focusing on three commodities that we all know and love – tea, coffee and sugar. By making sure that every time we buy and of these three products we buy fair trade.

To raise awareness of the plight of tea farmers, the Fairtrade Foundation have produced a short film showing us all how buying Fairtrade benefits the farmers, workers and the communities they live in with the Fairtrade premium going on to help purchase things like ambulances, improving schools and providing basics like drinking water. The short film focuses on the lives of two tea farmers who are directly affected by fair trade every day.

The file titled ‘Fairtrade Matters’ will be available to watch from Monday 23rd February but if you can’t wait until then, you can watch the trailer of the film here.

To celebrate fair trade fortnight we thought we would share with you our favourite chocolate cake mug recipe  which contains both Fairtrade chocolate and sugar and is the perfect accompaniment to a Fairtrade cup of tea! A mug cake is perfect for those times when you would love a little cake but don’t want to bake a whole one – the perfect treat for one.

The moistest Fairtrade Chocolate Mug Cake Ever!

  • 1-cup plain flour
  • 2tbsps. Fairtrade Cocoa
  • 2tbsps Fairtrade caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsps. Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ Cup (and an extra splash) of Milk
  • You could also add some Fairtrade chocolate chips or nuts at this point depending on your preference. If you would prefer you could add a teaspoon of Fairtrade chocolate and hazelnut spread or Fairtrade peanut butter.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
  • Add in the milk and oil and whisk together until there are no clumps
  • If you are adding any nuts or chocolate chips, fold them through now
  • Pour into a microwave-mug (chose a larger mug)
  • If you are adding a chocolate & hazelnut spread or peanut butter, drop it into the centre of the batter – no need to push it down, it will sink.
  • Put a piece of kitchen towel in the bottom of your microwave (to catch any overflowing batter!) and place your mug on top.
  • Microwave on high for 70 seconds. Please note that as every microwave is different so this time may change. I did it for 70 seconds then checked and topped it up with 10 second burst until you get the perfect cake. As this recipe doesn’t include any egg, you can eat it slightly undercooked ,which I would recommend more than overcooking!
  • Carefully remove from the microwave and wait a minute of two and enjoy! Delicious with a Fairtrade cuppa! 
Happy Fairtrade Fortnight!

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How to Buy Fair Trade

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

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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