Here at Silkwood Traders, you may have often heard us mention jackfruit wood and the Jackfruit tree. Jackfruit wood is a material used to make a great number of our products, including our bowls, trinket boxes, tealights, wine holders and our vases.
The Jackfruit tree however is one of our favourite trees to celebrate. Why? Because it’s not only magical – it’s sustainable.
Typically found growing in sub-tropical locations in South and South-east Asia, each tree is easy to grow, drought-tolerant and disease-resistant. Its timber has a history of being used as a building material for traditional Ruong houses found in the central provinces of Vietnam, as well as shelters in Hoi An and Hue, and even Buddhist statues and fish sauce barrels.
The Jackfruit Tree
As well as wood for timber, each season the Jackfruit tree produces 150 of the largest fruits in the world alongside materials for medicines, dye for clothes and food sources for goats. It is even accredited with alleviating starvation in some of the poorest areas of the world.
Plus, whilst other crops are becoming scarce in the wake of climate change, it is resistant to the effects, meaning it is an eco-friendly and sustainable solution.
This means a great deal to us as we are passionate about fair trade, ethics and the sustainability of our products. With so many tonnes of plastic waste being discovered in the oceans and indeed, ending up in South-East Asia especially, we are proud and relieved to know that we are not harming our environment.
So now, with the festive season fast approaching we’d like to encourage you to feel the same by indulging in an eco friendly Christmas! Each Christmas in the UK, over 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging is thrown away and not recycled. That’s on top of the 300 million plastic cups which are used at Christmas parties and are also non-recyclable.
Christmas is the season for giving, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of our planet. We’ve listed some sustainable Christmas ideas (including presents!) that will ensure you double up on that warm, rewarding feeling of having given something good.
Over Christmas, the family dinner table transforms! Out comes the Christmas tablecloth hidden in the cupboard all year long, and its accompanying extra special place mats.
This year, why not opt for a sustainable option? Our metallic red wooden lacquer place mat set is the perfect sustainable option.
Our place mat set is made from wood composite fibreboard, grown on a specially managed and sustainable plantation.
Each mat is then hand-painted with layer upon layer of lacquer applied over a period of several months in a process of sanding and reapplication. This is what gives the mats their gorgeous deep red colour, perfect for a seasonal festive choice!
The mats are suitable for hot or cold plates and just need to be wiped clean and dry after use with a lint free cloth.
Indulge in ethical knitwear
Some of us absolutely love the feeling of cold that winter brings. We love bundling up in cosy sweaters and scarves, and taking a crisp winter walk.
Unfortunately most of the woolly winter wear available these days is made out of synthetic cheaper yarns. Often these are by companies who fall under the category of “fast fashion” (cheap quality made to be thrown away) or they’re from supermarkets who aren’t entirely sure where their clothes come from and thus may not pay fair wages.
Thankfully there are new, ethical options around. One such notable company is Pachamama, a brand who donate 10% of their profits to a children’s charity in Nepal, offering a better future to underprivileged children whilst fairly paying their workers.
However if you want to look a little closer to home, Jos has been crocheting her own amazing chunky range of scarves! Designed to keep you warm, they’re made from Aran weight yarn and made right here in Cornwall in the UK. The yarn is mid-way between a light-weight double knit and a heavier weight chunky yarn, and is purchased from small, local businesses. They’re available in a range of colours, which you can find more of here!
3. Treat yourself, the fair trade way
Have you noticed that even those who declare themselves “non-biscuit lovers” suddenly transform the moment the Christmas biscuits appear? This is the sight for many of us who will pick up a pack of the expensive supermarket brands for a festive indulgence.
Either way, this year it’s time to rechannel that indulgence, ditch the Fox’s or Cadbury’s and instead pick up a box of Christmas biscuits from Traidcraft. Not only do these taste great, they also help to end poverty.
Traidcraft work exclusively with a range of poor communities across Asia and Africa, and began their work in 1979. Today they use the world’s first Fairtrade and sustainable palm oil in all of their products.
Selling everything from jam to coffee to biscuits and snacks, this is a snack that will leave you feeling satisfied for more than one reason.
4. Buy Sustainable Gifts
When we say buy sustainable, what we really mean is “make sure you know where this gift came from”.
Manufacturers and companies engaging in ethical, fair trade or sustainable processes will often proudly declare themselves fair trade employers, and list their renewable resources. Look at the description of the product and its materials. Are they renewable, or are they contributing to the destruction of rainforests?
If the product is food based, look at its use of palm oil, or whether the food is sustainable across the seasons – just like our jackfruit tree. These will help you make good buying decisions when it comes to spoiling friends and family.
All of us at Silkwood Traders wish you a very Merry, eco friendly and sustainable Christmas. If you’re still doing your Christmas shopping it’s not too late to browse the gifts section of our online shop! We promise something will catch your eye.