As part of our Meet the Maker series, we speak to the people behind the creations in the Big Issue Shop – a platform for buying ethical products which put people and the planet first. This time, we speak to Lisa Lambourn from Best Years. The company sells Pebble Toys, which are hand made by a fair trade cooperative which creates fairly paid and flexible jobs in rural Bangladesh.
What can we find on your part of the Big Issue shop?
“A unique collection of toys from small toy producers from around the world. All suitable from birth and machine washable. If you are looking for an unusual gift for a toddler or baby we have a wide range for you to choose from. Whether you are looking for dinosaurs, teddies or animal soft and cuddly toys, we have a wide range of unusual gifts for young children and babies.”
How do your products make a positive difference in the world?
“Our toys are produced by small toy producers from environmentally friendly materials. We use organic cotton material and recycled stuffing to ensure that our toys are environmentally friendly. In addition, wherever possible we partner with fair trade partners who provide fairly paid employment to skilled artisans in rural areas that often have very few employment opportunities.”
Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription
What inspired you to start your company and how did it start?
“We were both working for large corporations and realised that we wanted to be sure that we really knew the answer to the question: ‘Where do my toys come from’.
“So we set up our own company with ethical sourcing at its core. We know exactly where every single one of our toys is made – we have visited and made friends with all our production partners. So many toys are mass produced and it is impossible to know what kind of conditions the toy producers work in. We only work with ethical producers that offer good working conditions for their staff.”