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      Blog — 1% for the Planet

      James Ellis Black Friday Sale 100% to Environmental Causes

      Black Friday - We gave 100% of our sales away.

      We had an unusual sale this Black Friday.  I recently read about how the Patagonia clothing brand had given 100% of their sales to environmental causes from Black Friday several years ago.  We thought this was a wonderful idea and we decided to do the same this year.  

      I’m delighted to announce that we managed to raise £3536 which we have donated to Avon Needs Trees, an organisation that we’ve been involved with before that is involved in buying land in the Bristol-Avon catchment area for reforesting.

      Many, many thanks to all our customers.



      Our most recent donation as a member of 1% for the Planet was to the charity Temwa.

      Temwa works in one of the world’s poorest countries, in the Nkhata Bay North district of Malawi. Founded in 2003 by Jo Hook and Sophie Elson who are both from Bristol, the charity’s roots are closer to home, and their office is just across the city from our studio. When running a backpackers’ lodge in Usisya, a remote village in Malawi, their friend Lotti Nkhwazi died as a result of AIDS. Lotti had been supporting his sister, brother, and sister-in-law and 15 children who were all drastically impacted by his death. After their experience in Malawi, Jo and Sophie returned to the UK in 2000 to spend the next 3 years fundraising and researching how they could help Malawians like Lotti. They called the charity Temwa, which means the love within a community.

      Their community-led approach develops self-sufficiency providing long term sustainable solutions to the problems locals face. Temwa has developed a ten year strategy in partnership with staff, trustees, community members, and local chiefs and government, and at the end of this strategy comes their exit plan. After setting up structures, training and opportunities with these communities, the locals should no longer need Temwa, but will continue to benefit from the initiatives they began.

      ‘Our mission is to develop self-sufficient communities by supporting projects in education, health, agriculture and forestry, and microfinance.’ Examples of their work include training villagers in the importance of good nutrition and sustainable farming, and promoting young children’s literacy skills and funding students through secondary school.

      As our products are mostly paper based, and we aim to minimise our impact on the environment, we are particularly interested in tree planting and combating climate change. Deforestation in Malawi has caused a rise in extreme weather such as droughts and floods. One of Temwa’s projects is carbon balancing. This enables locals to plant trees and enforce forestry management to tackle deforestation and climate change. Tree planting improves soil quality for farming and helps provide resilience to climate shocks, which in turn prevents malnutrition.

      To learn more about Temwa, and find out how you can balance your carbon through their tree planting initiative, please visit their website here.

      Surfers Against Sewage

      Surfers Against Sewage

      We’ve made another donation as part of our membership of 1% for the Planet, this time to the charity Surfers Against Sewage.

      Starting out as a small community of Cornish surfers, this grassroots movement’s initial aim was to improve water quality in a sea polluted with raw sewage. This turned into a nationwide campaign resulting in the UK benefitting from some of the cleanest beaches in Europe.

      Whilst pursuing their fight for safe waters and continually monitoring sewage spills on beaches around the UK, the charity has also taken on one of the biggest challenges facing our generation: plastic. They say ‘plastic is the new sewage as it is now the biggest threat to our beaches, our precious marine eco-system and our happiness’. Surfers Against Sewage approaches this by working with communities to prevent single-use plastic, promote recycling and organise thousands of beach cleans.

      Plastic is a problem increasingly on our minds here at James Ellis. We’ve been trying to cut back on single-use plastic by adopting alternative packaging and altering our designs. Last September we launched our new Paper Shakies range, reinventing our classic Shakies card to be 100% recyclable and plastic-free.

      To find out more about Surfers Against Sewage, and get involved with their crucial work, please visit their website here.