Sam Birtwistle outside Voyage Fair Trade Shop

Hello, I’m Sam Birtwistle, the owner and founder of Voyage Fair Trade. Our mission is to support people and get them living a better and fairer life through fair trade. When I talk about fair trade it doesn't just refer to the people who make the goods, it also means you are getting a fair deal as well!

The way it works is, we partner with passionate fair trade organisations, ethical organisations and artisans across the world. What you may be unaware of, is that if you deal directly with organisations and artisans themselves, there are fewer parties involved; meaning that you as a customer get better value, - which we hear from customers daily.

So we aim to bring our customers eco-friendly high quality and eco friendly products at a fair and affordable price.

Whilst studying Sociology and Economics at university, I became interested in different cultures & societies and also 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 started Voyage Fair Trade in 2013, selling online and in local markets. In 2014 I opened a small 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. Please visit our online shop to see the types of products we sell.

Voyage winning the Gold Award in Fair Trade Foundation Business Awards

Since day one we adhere to the 10 fair trade principles set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation and in 2015 we met the minimum requirements of having 80% of stock that is fair trade. So we became a member of the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS) and a genuine fair trade company.

During this time I set up the Teignmouth Arts Quarter, with the local council's approval, to celebrate a Teignmouth's beautiful back beach scenery and the high quality of artwork and shops in the area. This has been a huge success.

In 2017 we moved to a bigger premises nearby and have adopted a similar approach with giving a fair deal to local UK independent artists and artisans making sure they can continue. We began to hold exhibitions for them and hold art workshops for the local community. This side of the business is known as Voyage Art where we have a separate website.  

The Teignmouth Arts Quarter Community

There came another move in the summer of 2021 when I was able to take over a premises in the centre of Teignmouth. This became Voyage Fair Trade which sells all sorts of fair trade and eco-friendly products, leaving the other shop to become a gallery for local art and crafts with the exhibitions and workshops continuing.  Come and visit us!

The current Voyage Fair Trade Shop in Teignmouth

Voyage Fair Trade Logo