Blog Posts

New Hand Woven Silk and Cotton Scarves from Laos

silk weaving in Laos


We have recently received a brand new range of beautiful handwoven silk and cotton scarves from Laos, South East Asia.

Our fantastic supplier in Laos is is a fair trade social business that works with traditional handicraft artisans to preserve and promote Lao village crafts. We are really pleased to support them in working to create employment opportunities for villagers, especially women, and reduce poverty.

These scarves are all beautiful, unique textiles and are warm and breathable to wear. Browse our fair trade silk scarves here...


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Black Friday Weekend - Donating Not Discounting!

There's nothing black about our Friday! We are donating 10% of all sales from our shop and website until Sunday to Manorlands Hospice. 

For more information about this fantastic local charity here's a link to their website:

From The Source will donate 10% of all sales from Friday 27th of November to Sunday 29th of November 2015 directly to Manorlands Hospice.



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Nepal Earthquake Appeal

Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal we are currently donating 10% of the sales from our Nepalese products to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

The DEC distributes money to 13 partner charities that are working in Nepal. Find out more and make a donation:

From The Source work with various suppliers in Nepal to import our Tibetan cotton bags, wool hats and gloves, and men's shirts and some ladies clothing. We have been in touch with people in Nepal and as far as we know our suppliers are unharmed.

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Fair Trade Wool Hats, Gloves, Hand warmers & Headbands from Nepal

Feeling cold? Our wide range of unique women's wool beanie hats is now available on line and in or shop in Skipton. We've teamed up with some fantastic suppliers in Nepal to source quality, fairly traded, hand-knitted wool hats and gloves. Our ladies wool beanie hats are stylish and warm, some are colourful and fun and others are more understated and easy to match up with your winter outfit. All with a fleece lining for comfort and added warmth.

fair trade wool slouchh hatfair trade wool beanie hatgrey wool beanie hat fair trade


Don't fancy wearing a hat? Try our fair trade wool headbands that keep your ears nice and warm and are all fleece lined so they are lovely and soft to wear.

grey fair trade wool headbandfair trade wool headbands nordic knitgreen fair trade wool headband

Finally to be super-cosy try out a pair of our fair trade wool gloves or hand warmers, all of which are available in a wide range of colours and knits. Our fingerless wool mittens are very warm, and folding the cap back turns the mittens into a pair of fingerless gloves. Wool hand warmers are perfect to wear everyday in the winter, leaving your fingers free but adding an extra bit of warmth (and colour) to your outfit.

fair trade wool handwarmerspurple kitted wool handwarmersfingerless wool mittens fair trade from Nepal

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Ethical Fashion in Skipton Autumn/ Winter 2014

Lots of new Autumn/ Winter clothing in our shop now by Nomads and Braintree - they are both really good ranges and selling fast!

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From The Source Skipton Shop Now Open!

We’re delighted to announce that our new shop in Skipton is now open! After weeks of decorating and shopfitting we opened on the 12th of October, offering our unique range of ethically sourced clothing, accessories and gifts.

Skipton is famous for being the “gateway to the Dales”, and is certainly a picturesque town with great access to the Yorkshire Dales, but also offers a great selection of independent shops and has a market four days a week. We hope to make a good addition to this mix, selling organic cotton and hemp clothing for men and women, a big range of handwoven silk and cotton scarves, bags, ethical crafts, childrenswear and gifts.


Find us at 23-25 Coach Street, right next to the canal and the long-stay Coach Street car park – we’re open Monday-Saturday from 9.30-5.00.



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Aung san suu kyi wears Saoban scarf in meeting with Dalai Lama

Aung san suu kyi wears Saoban scarf in meeting with Dalai Lama


One of our main suppliers in Laos, Saoban, are very pleased to have seen the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi wearing a Saoban scarf for her audience with the Dalai Lama.  The scarf was given to her by someone from Amnesty International who told her about the origin of the scarf and about the work of Saoban.  Saoban are “honoured to see her wearing the scarf for such an auspicious meeting”.

Aung san suu kyi with the Dalai Lama


Aung San Suu Kyi also wore a Saoban limegreen soulaboul scarf for her her audience with the King of Sweden and signature to receive her Nobel prize.


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Empowering Women in Afghanistan through Fair Trade

[caption id="attachment_247" align="alignright" width="255" caption="Empowering Women in Afganistan through Fair Trade"]Empowering Women in Afganistan through Fair Trade[/caption] Afghanistan is part of the orginal "hippy trail" and has a great history of textiles, arts and crafts. But war and conflict have meant that in modern times it's become a difficult place to visit, and Afghan products like handmade textiles, clothing and accessories are difficult to find in the West, compared to those from other countries in Asia. From The Source are working with Zardozi, an Afghan non-governmental organisation, to bring fair trade products to the UK and enable women in Afghanistan to generate income through skilled work. Fair Trade in Afghanistan can help tackle poverty, empower women and gennerate sustainable and long term international economic relationships built on trust and respect. [caption id="attachment_248" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Embroidered Fabric Glasses Cases"]Embroidered Fabric Glasses Cases[/caption] We currently have a range of beautiful, hand-embroidered cases and bags from Zardozi in Afganistan available online, and are planning to bring on new lines of fair trade products from Afghanistan this year. The fabric glasses cases with zangeera ("chain stitch") embroiderey are particularly stunning! Bringing small products such as these to the international market is a step towards building new relationships with Afghanistan and helping people to overcome poverty in conflict-affected areas.   The story of Zardozi - Markets For Afghan Artisans Zardozi started as an income generating project set up 26 years ago to assist some of the women in the hundreds of thousands of families which poured across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan when fighting started. Today thousands of poor Afghan women earn a steady income from embroidery and handicraft production thanks to Zardozi. The money which the women earn from producing and selling embroidery and handicrafts empowers them in many diverse ways. Many of the women use their income to support their children’s education, in particular taking their children away from carpet work and sending them to school. Other women spend money on pregnancy check ups – often for the first time in their lives despite multiple pregnancies. All of the women describe having an income of their own as life changing in terms of achieving status as individuals in their families and communities and allowing them some control over their own lives. [caption id="attachment_253" align="alignright" width="238" caption="Producing Handicrafts in Afghanistan"]Producing Handicrafts in Afghanistan[/caption] Zardozi supports women producers of handicrafts and clothing in several ways. Several thousand women for example, produce directly for the Zardozi shop located in Kabul. This shop sells mostly to foreigners and exports in a small way. Women working for the shop live in rural areas in eastern Afghanistan and in the refugee camps in border areas. They are almost 100% illiterate and most have never visited a clinic or a doctor in their lives. Zardozi also works with approximately 1,000 other women who live closer to markets in poor urban areas. Zardozi assists these women to start small businesses selling handicrafts and clothing to shopkeepers and traders. These women also lead lives of chronic poverty and isolation before finding this source of income. Finally, Zardozi works with more than 20 very small businesses in the handicraft sector helping them to improve their business and production skills so that they can increase their profits and expand. buy fair trade products by Zardozi
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fair trade scarves & rural development in Laos

At From The Source we've been steadily increasing the amount of cotton products we source from Laos, in particular handwoven, naturally dyed fabric that's produced in rural areas. We love these cotton products, and now stock cotton scarves for men and women in a range of beautiful natural colours that have a lovely handmade feel. They are truly original scarves that look great on, and also have a fantastic story as making them is offering new opportunties for women in Laos and providing sustainable rural development. Fair trade & rural development in Laos[/caption] Laos is a predominately rural country with many people solely reliant on farming for an income. Many people grow up with very limited access to education, and have few employment opportunties. This is particularly true for women as it is generally men who are resposible for family income. It is very common for women to be taught weaving and textile production skills by their mothers, and as well as weaving their own skirts rural women sometimes sell textiles to the local market for extra income. There are great traditions of raising cotton and silk on small scale farms, and using locally available plants to produce natural dyes. However, some agricultural development in Laos is threatening this small scale farming and local biodiversity, as commercial crops such as corn and rubber are being promoted as a way to generate more income from farming. This is completely changing local agriculture patterns and livelihoods, and threatening to wipe out many of the raw materials for Lao handicrafts. In some areas our craft suppliers are finding it increasingly difficult to find villages that are raising silk and growing cotton, and instead finding evidence that the new industrial crops are causing environmental problems like landslides and flashfloods because of clear cutting and the use of tractors to plough hillsides. [caption id="attachment_220" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Employment for women in rural Laos"]Employment for women in rural Laos[/caption] By increasing the demand for Lao handicrafts and textiles, there will be more opportunity to earn an income in rural Laos, especially for women. The traditional crafts of weaving and natural dyes can be encouraged, and the negative impacts of the introduction of large scale commercial crops in Laos may be limited, and local biodiversity and small scale farming methods preserved.  Read some of the personal stories of people who are benefitting from rural employment in textile production, and learn more about one of our fantastic suppliers in Laos in this article published in Laos' English language newspaper The Vientiane Times: Saoban - Changing the Lives of Villagers in Laos [caption id="attachment_227" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Indigo Blue Loose Weave Organic Cotton Scarf"]Indigo Blue Loose Weave Organic Cotton Scarf[/caption] We encourage organic farming practices and are working towards organic certification for cotton products from Laos. By supporting small scale farming, traditional weaving and natural dyes our fair trade scarves are making a real difference to the lives of people in Laos. However, none of this is possible unless we can continue to offer fantastic scarf designs that people will love to wear. Check out our current ranges online: organic cotton scarves handwoven silk scarves
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Panchachuli - handwoven lambswool scarves from the Himalayas

The Panchachuli Women Weavers is a fair trade cooperative producing the finest quality handwoven scarves and shawls from cashmere and lambswool. Located near Almora in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, visiting Panchachuli back in 2005 was a big inspiration for us and for the creation of From The Source. [caption id="attachment_182" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Panchachuli Women Weavers of Kumaon, Northern India"]Panchachuli Women Weavers of Kumaon, Northern India[/caption] The fair trade wool scarves made by Panchachuli are exquisite and exceptionally well finished. They wear and last really well - we've still got the scarves we bought for ourselves in 2005 and wear them all the time, especially during cold days on our Christmas Markets! Panchachuli has made a big difference to the lives of people in the local area of Kumaon, particularly women, as it provides valuable skilled employment and good working conditions. Transport is provided for workers to get to the weaving centre, and the textile production has revitalised and developed traditional local skills of weaving and natural dyes. [caption id="attachment_160" align="alignright" width="252" caption="lambswool scarves for men"]lambswool scarves for men[/caption] The cooperative produces only the finest quality textiles handmade from sustainable natural fabrics including cashmere and lambswool. This makes for really beautiful and practical scarves, and there is a new range of Panchachuli lambswool scarves available now on our website. Many of the colours look great on both men and women - some of the scarves in particular are very smart men's wool scarves - some of our favourites for men are the black striped and natural indigo blue lambswool scarves. See our selection of lambswool scarves for men online. [caption id="attachment_171" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="lambswool scarves for women"]lambswool scarves for women[/caption] The lambswool stoles are quite a substantial size but because the fabric is so fine they are still fairly compact, and are very versatile - you can wear them around your shoulders as a warm shawl, or as the fabric is so fine they can easily be worn as a nice long scarf. They make a great small blanket for children, and can be really useful for travelling on long journeys when after sitting for a long period you might get a bit chilly and want something over your knees or around your shoulders! View our current selection of lambswool scarves and stoles for women in our online shop.   The history of Panchachuli Panchachuli Women Weavers was created in 1997 by the vision and creativity of Mukti Datta and Dena Kaye. As president of the Danny Kaye and Silvia Fine Foundation, Dena was in India looking for a project to immerse herself in, in memory of her father Danny Kaye and his outstanding work for UNICEF. She met with Mukti Datta and together the two set about creating the training programme of the local women. Mukti had grown up in the Almora region of Kumaon and has dedicated herself to many social causes in the area. From the creation of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary to the formation of Panchachuli Women Weavers and lately the Dena Hospital in Almora, Mukti's passion has been the driving force behind these life changing projects. Mukti chose weaving as a profession for the women of Almora and today more than 800 women are involved in the co-operative.Future plans involve the establishment of further training programmes helped by friends and clients across the globe. The proceeds from sales of products is the sole source of income for the women who own and manage the enterprise. Visit our online shop for our current range of ethical lambswool scarves made by Panchachuli Women Weavers.
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natural indigo dye silk and cotton from Laos

From The Source offer natural indigo silk and cotton scarves and men's shirts, made fom beautiful fabrics produced in rural Laos. [caption id="attachment_123" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Indigo Dyeing in Laos"]Indigo Dyeing in Laos[/caption] In Laos making indigo dye is an ancient art and steeped in myths - for example, menstruating women are kept away from the indigo jars for fear of upsetting the indigo spirit and rendering the dye useless. Indigo dye is made from the leaves  and shoots of the kharm plant, which grows in many areas in Laos. Getting the raw materials for indigo may be easy, but making it is an art.  It involves fermentation of the kharm and keeping the mixture in air-tight jars at the required temperature. Natural indigo contains no chemicals or toxic metals and wearing fabrics dyed with indigo is believed to be good for the skin. We aim to help preserve and develop the skills associated with indigo dyeing by promoting beautiful natural indigo products from Laos internationally. A selction of natural indigo dye products available on our website: indigo blue cotton scarves and shawls indigo blue plain silk scarf indigo blue ikat silk scarf indigo blue large shoulder bags indigo blue men's shirts
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