Shared Earth

Shared Earth began as a small shop in Goodramgate, York in October 1986. Its founder, Jeremy Piercy, travelled to India after leaving school and wanted to do something to help redress the imbalance of wealth in the world, work together with people from different cultures, and at the same time earn a living. Fair Trade was the obvious answer and the original shop contained a wide mix of products from Asia, Africa and South America. Also high on the agenda was addressing environmental problems and the shop was an excellent way of making recycled and sustainable products available and publicising the issues. Fair Trade gifts were in high demand so Shared Earth started introducing its own brand products, both for its shops and wholesale, initially with a range of recycled paper greetings cards, designed by a local artist. Soon T-shirts, writing sets and stationery items were being produced and the designs were then used to make Fair Trade pencils, windchimes and other gifts in Bali. Shared Earth also became the distributor for an excellent Fair Trade organisation in the Philippines, which specialises in handmade paper. Following the success of the original outlet Shared Earth quickly expanded. By 1992 there were branches in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, and the original shop had moved to a superb location next to York Minster. Since 2004, three new shops have opened in Cardiff, Bristol and Liverpool, and an in-house design team has been appointed. Shared Earth now imports its own unique jewellery, fashion accessories, wood, ceramics, paper, soapstone and kids ranges making them the largest retailer and wholesaler of Fair Trade products in the UK.

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