From the Source began its journey in 2007. Back then, we (Paul and Fiona) were living and working in Laos as English teachers. We met some incredible people in our time there, falling in love with the country, its heritage, and its traditional crafts. In particular, its textiles, which were unlike anything we’d seen on our travels throughout the world.
When we returned to the UK, we decided to start importing textiles from Laos. For us, this wasn’t just an opportunity to introduce these beautiful products to the UK. It was supporting the local producers we had met, by helping them access an international market (often for the first time!).
Today, From the Source has built relationships with individuals and organisations all over the world, including Laos, Nepal, and India. Fair trade is core to our business as we import finished products directly from producers. All of our suppliers have positive employment practices providing good working conditions and pay. Whilst some producers we work with are already members of the WFTO, many are small, independent organisations with limited or no experience in international trade.
We have continued to stock a unique range of silk and cotton scarves from Laos, and we work closely with suppliers in Nepal to import a large range of Tibetan cotton fair trade bags and wool hats, gloves and headbands. From India, especially Rajasthan, we work with local suppliers to source our collections of block print clothing and colourful textiles, gifts and crafts.
We traded at festivals and markets for some years before opening a shop in Skipton, North Yorkshire in 2012. Here, we sell our own products along with a mix of silver jewellery and gifts. We also stock clothing from leading eco-conscious and ethical brands, including Thought and Nomads.
We run this alongside a growing wholesale business and website.
Fiona passed away in 2015 and From the Source is now run by Paul, juggling the business with bringing up a young family.