About Voyage Fair Trade
Hello, I’m Sam Birtwistle, the owner and founder of Voyage Fair Trade.
Please see my blog, which is all about fair trade and my personal experiences with it.
Voyage Fair Trade’s mission is to support people and artisans living in poverty by giving them a chance to lead a better and fairer life. While at the same time, it aims to bring some of the most beautiful and unique items from different cultures around the world to sell to you.
Whilst studying Sociology and Economics at university, I became interested in other cultures and how countries develop.
After university I visited China, India and Indonesia. These travels highlighted the imbalance of wealth in the world and this led on naturally to my becoming interested in Fair Trade. I saw it as a way to try to help alleviate poverty in developing countries and to promote skills of their artisans, while at the same time trying to make a living myself!
I founded Voyage Fair Trade in 2013, selling online and in local markets. Please visit our online shop, which is still in operation. In 2014 I opened a high street shop in Teignmouth, Devon, UK and in 2015 and 2016 I was proud to receive Gold in the South-West Fair Trade Awards. Now I sell all over the UK and internationally as well.
We adhere to the 10 fair trade principles and we meet the minimum requirements of having 80% of stock that is fairtrade. As a result Voyage Fair Trade is now a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS) giving us the right to call ourselves a genuine fair trade company.
We recently moved to a bigger premises and have adopted a similar approach with giving a fair trade to local UK independent artists and artisans making sure they can continue. We also hold exhibitions for them and hold art workshops for the communities, this side of the business is know as Voyage Art, where we have a separate website.