News

Education, Podcasts

Josh Brown Interview

Welcome to the 5th episode of the Rainbow Turtle Rebooted podcast. In this episode, I’m delighted to interview former Rainbow Turtle education officer, Josh Brown.

Josh offers some interesting insights into fair trade and the concept of development in relation to developing countries. He spent some time studying indigenous peoples in Australia, which formed his thinking on the effects of colonialism. 

Josh reflects on his time at Rainbow Turtle and the work that he did in schools. He has a refreshing attitude to working with young people where he likes to encourage questioning, rather than providing answers. He also gives a shout out for some of the wonderful people that he worked with at Rainbow Turtle, in particular, Molly McGavigan, who showed him the ropes.

Finally, Josh talks about the work that he’s currently doing with teachers, to give them the tools that they need to work with young people in schools.

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Education, Seasonal, Uncategorised

Black History Month

This years’ BLACK HISTORY MONTH is in full swing and I feel one cannot talk about fair trade, climate justice and social justice without talking about Africa and the people that call this beautiful continent home. Many events, both good and bad, shaped the way Africa is today and it is crucial to remember them and recognize their importance, for there is no future without the past. Today, however, I would like to reflect on how we see and how we talk about Africa.

For years, the African continent has been associated with poverty, corruption, political chaos, human rights abuse, various diseases and a lack of both development and ambition. While some of these things are undoubtedly present in parts of the continent, the challenge is to look beyond that, to look beyond media cliches and plain stereotypes, as shrouded behind all these is a beautiful, radiant, vibrant and diverse continent.

When I think of Africa I think about breath-taking scenery, diverse fauna and flora, delicious food and a wonderful variety of musical sounds. I think about all these but mostly, I think about the PEOPLE. It is disdainful to throw African people into one pot as this huge continent has more tribes, cultures, religious beliefs and languages than an average person can comprehend. From this diversity stems the true beauty of Africa. From Tunisia to South Africa, from Senegal to Somalia – Africa is a patchwork of cultures and traditions that are as radiant and thriving today as they were hundreds of years ago. So yes, Africa is a beautiful place that is alive thanks to the people that live there.

It is a popular belief that due to the fact that many African countries struggle with high levels of poverty, only pocket deep donations can overcome this problem. While, arguably, this approach might be relevant in some situations, for instance, environmental catastrophe or even armed conflict resolution, it is my opinion that Africa would indeed benefit from every one of us becoming a conscious citizen. We need to understand the effect our actions have on other people (however far they might be) and the planet. African people are no different to us in the meaning that they work hard to earn the living. The difference is in how that work is valued and treated. If we demand from our leaders to ensure honest, fair and decent pay for work to everyone on every step of the trade chain there will be no need for charity and aid money. To me, this is fundamental in understanding Africa and its people.

Perhaps this is quite obvious, but nonetheless, I would like you to think about those people. Think about people when you are shopping for this warm winter cardigan to prepare for long winter nights. Think about people when you are drinking that life-saving morning coffee to help you get through the day filled to the brim with things that just can not wait, kids that need your attention right now and the boss that wanted this paper on his desk yesterday. Think about people when you are making the comforting bowl of curry and rice for the dinner. Think about people when you are buying flowers for someone you care about. Think about people, as they make all these possible. Is this why they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect? No. They deserve to be treated as our equals because that is who they are. Being human is enough to deserve respect. Borders, different skin tones or a different way of saying ‘hello’ don’t change that. We need to treat people fairly because they are people.

So please, instead of thinking about poverty think about equality, instead of feeling pity think about fairness. Let’s stand up for human rights – this October and for as long as it’s needed.

Charity

Rainbow Turtle Charity AGM 2021

We’re delighted to announce our charity’s AGM on Thursday 21st October 2021 at 7pm at the Methodist Central Halls in Paisley. Tea and coffee will be provided. All welcome. Please email info@rainbowturtle.org.uk if you plan to attend.

The business of the meeting will be followed by a talk by Martin Rhodes, chief executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, entitled: “What SFTF is doing for COP26 and what can we do as individuals”.

Enclosed are the papers for the meeting (please click on the link to open the relevant paper):

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes of AGM 2020
  3. Chair’s report
  4. Financial report
  5. SCIO summary report
Shop

Saying goodbye to Gemma Elliott and Margaret Bell

Rainbow Turtle staff and volunteers saying goodbye to Gemma and Margaret

Our volunteers and staff turned out in force today to say cheerio to our shop manager, Gemma Elliott (3rd from left), and long time volunteer Margaret Bell (pictured centre at the top of the photo).

Gemma actually left us back in March during the height of lockdown but we were never able to thank her then in person. She saw us through a difficult period when not only had we had a change in personnel but we were struggling financially. The shop often looked bare because we couldn’t afford to stock it. Then came successive lockdowns when we couldn’t open the shop and sales were badly affected. Yet, Gemma steadily steered us through these various challenges and left before we could benefit from various grants that allowed us to reopen with a fully stocked and reorganised shop.

Gemma kindly sent us the photo of a double rainbow as she left Paisley, saying that it was quite fitting seeing it after saying goodbye to Rainbow Turtle. Thanks again, Gemma, for all your hard work and all the best in the next stage of your career.

And cheerio to Margaret Bell

We also said cheerio to long term volunteer, Margaret Bell (second left). Margaret has been involved with Rainbow Turtle from the very beginning when the shop first opened back in 2002. Margaret had a real gift for making connections with customers and people still come in asking for her. She had a great reputation as a salesperson and many’s the time a politician would be in for a photo shoot with one of our products and Margaret would say to them afterwards, “I hope you’re going to buy that now!”

Margaret has moved close to the sea to enjoy a well earned rest and retirement.

Education, Podcasts

Martin Rhodes interview

Welcome to the 4th episode of our podcast series with our interview of Martin Rhodes of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum.

For this episode I’m delighted to introduce the chief executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, Martin Rhodes. Martin is an incredibly busy person and it was hard trying to match our diaries for the interview. He is an interesting person to listen to, especially on where he thinks that fair trade should be in Scotland. He is keen that fair trade is a policy issue that is discussed at government level.

Martin became involved with Fair Trade through campaigning on a number of international, development and trade justice issues. He was a founding member of the Glasgow North Fair Trade Group which joined with Fair Trade campaigners from across Glasgow to form the Glasgow Fair Trade Steering Group. He was elected as the Chair of the Glasgow Fair Trade Steering Group and later the Glasgow Fair Trade Co-operative. In September 2010, Martin was appointed as the Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum. He led the Forum when Scotland achieved Fair Trade Nation status in 2013 and through the reassessment of that status in 2017.

So sit back and enjoy…

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Shop, Uncategorised

Talking GLOVES Part 1

We are talking Fair Trade gloves with an added, added bonus!

NOT ONLY do the gloves already wash away and weed out unfair trade BUT… they are also of a seriously high standard…

How do I know? I have washed my fair share of dishes and ended up with my fair share of wet hands, despite always wearing rubber gloves! I have a large family and have never owned an electric dishwasher. With a house full of human ones (not electric), we have, until now, gone through too many pairs of washing-up gloves. Always the right hand, falling foul of a sharp knife or whatever secret predator lies in the bubbles, defying rubber gloves.

No longer! At Rainbow Turtle I have purchased a pair of Traidcraft’s wonder gloves and at an extremely modest price too. Note the singular: a pair, still going strong, many dishes and dry hands later!

As if that is not joy enough, we have customers on a waiting list for the marvellous gardening gloves. They have never known such good gardening gloves!

Do not despair, if your hands are smaller than large, as they are also available in medium.

The secret to these marvellous gloves? – aside from the fantastic price, quality assurance and practical way to purchase and support Fair Trade – is a supply chain that starts in a region in southern Sri Lanka and in Laos. It supports the farmers who grow the rubber trees and tap them for latex.

Join us. Shout out loud and clear about this extremely practical way to support Fair Trade. I invite you to be a voice for washing away and weeding out unfair trade, whilst remaining clean and dry.

If you want to give the gloves a try, pop along to Rainbow Turtle and buy, buy, buy…

Education, Shop

BrickLive Animal Paradise

Here’s looking at you! FREE FUN!

Turtles and tortoises are endangered animals. Until 15 August 2021, there is one for you to find in Paisley ( – let us know whether it is a tortoise or a turtle?) There are 15 animals in total.

One of the species, wanders about Paisley. Rainbow Turtle has just hosted the wandering, endangered visitor – Ginger the Giraffe. He is the only animal not made of bricks and goes out on tour as part of https://paisleyfirst.com/ BrickLive Animal Paradise trail: the local trail showcasing endangered animals of the world, represented in bricks, and placed all around the centre of Paisley.

You can pick up a leaflet in our Rainbow Turtle shop – and other outlets in town. FIND all of the animals, enter the PRIZE DRAW and you may WIN! FUN for all of the family and FREE.

Ginger is not so easy to find because he moves around every few days. Now you see him, now you don’t… To find him, look for the clues online @Paisleyfirst, or in the Piazza Shopping Centre, Paisley Centre, or at the Paisley First office on the corner of County Square and Gilmour street.

There are serious messages amongst this fun. By identifying the endangered species, we can start out on our road of learning to be protectors, rather than predators and do our bit to help to save these hugely important animals. By taking the trail, we find our own local treasures: our local businesses, helping you to Live Life Local and to Love Paisley – they also need preserving from the threat of becoming endangered.

Let us help everyone and everything.

On the theme of turtles: Rainbow Turtle shop, located at 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP, has push along turtles, turtle puzzles, turtle bags, nodding head turtles (large and small), turtle notebooks, turtle incense holders and a huge variety of other toys, gifts, and goodies galore…

To find the turtle made of bricks (or is it a tortoise?), pick up a leaflet and embark on the BrickLive Animal Paradise trail!

Education, Shop

JOIN IN! Become a FRIEND of RAINBOW TURTLE and SUPPORT SCOTLAND

Rainbow Turtle is a charity that supports Fair Trade, and ethical, sustainable living. It is a beacon for Paisley, a Fair Trade town, for Renfrewshire, a Fair Trade council and for all of Scotland, a Fair Trade nation. JOIN IN, become a supporter and WIN for inclusive economic growth, fair wages and better working and living conditions!

Fair Trade works to transform trade, to achieve justice, equity and sustainability for people and the planet. It matters! You can help us to spread the word from as little as £12 / year for membership of Rainbow Turtle.

Every new membership helps us to spread the word that trade can be fair and ethical. We use the money to educate the public via our shop, visits to organisations, schools and churches, stalls, and through direct work with producers and wholesalers.

You can Gift Aid your membership.

You are very welcome to get in touch / visit us TODAY and EVERY DAY!

  • Phone our shop/office on 0141 887 1881.
  • Visit our shop at 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP.
  • You can keep up to date by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Clicking on the link will take you to an online form. Please note that when you complete it you will be sent a confirmation email. If you haven’t received the email within 5 minutes check your spam or junk mail folder.
  • Or you can email us using our contact form: https://www.rainbowturtle.org.uk/contact-us/

Tell your friends, family and colleagues – they are all WELCOME

Education, Seasonal, Shop

TRAIDCRAFT WEEK – Photography Competition

This week is Traidcraft Week – a celebration of everything Fair Trade – here with a competition to win a £50 Traidcraft voucher or a Traidcraft hamper. The theme: AL FRESCO

All you have to do is submit photographs of your favourite outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches, canals, forests or even your own back gardens, to: marketing@traidcraft.co.uk

Closing date is 27 June 2021 – so HURRY!

Why hurry? – because you want to win that Fair Trade hamper. The food is fabulous and fair. Or you may win £50 to spend in Traidcraft. How lucky is that? Their products are wonderful and by shopping there you are also helping developing countries.

Traidcraft has been on the go for over 40 years, pioneering fair trade.

The organisation was founded in 1979 by radical, church-based individuals importing goods directly from artisans and growers and distributing them directly to shoppers in the UK, cutting out the middlemen. The team collaborated with the growers and artisans throughout the process: they were all partners – working together to show trade could be different, and could be fair. They still do – only on a bigger scale. In 1992, Traidcraft co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation, and helped establish the standards that underpin today’s well-recognised Fairtrade Mark.

Time to get clicking…

Seasonal, Shop

CELEBRATING DADS @Rainbow Turtle

Gifts galore…! Go on and spoil DAD the Fair Trade way! SUNDAY 20 JUNE 2021

Here at Rainbow Turtle we have many, many gift ideas for the lovely Fathers out there you wish to celebrate – with more gifts en route in time for this happy weekend.

What is the Dad in your life like? We can help you to celebrate that individual in your life, with our stock of brilliant gifts.

We have clever puzzles, boomerangs & frisbees, unique wine holders, recycled glasses and glasses holders, chocolate & foods galore… computer notebooks and pen holders to add that certain something to a desk… wallets, keyrings, cool calendars AND MORE…

What if the Dad that needs celebrating is a pet? Look no further – we have pet bowls and collars that would brighten up any pet Dad’s day and days to come.

Short of a card? We’ve got you covered!

Does he just want to fall in a heap and sleep – we even have a hammock!

Pop along to Rainbow Turtle, 7 Gauze Street, Paisley, PA1 1EP

OPEN 10am – 4pm

Tel: 0141 887 1881