When Graham and Annabelle Randles returned from travelling around the world, they sensed that something was very wrong. They'd witnessed first-hand the effects of global warming and pollution on the planet: the ice caps of Kilimanjaro and the glaciers of Peru were melting; banana plantations were polluting the seas. One thing was clear: consumers had made the wrong choices for many years and on their return, the couple vowed to shop ethically.
However, they were frustrated by the lack of contemporary, beautiful, eco-friendly homeware and accessories. It seemed that to "go green", one had to compromise on style. So in 2005, Graham and Annabelle launched their own mail-order company, By Nature, to share with shoppers the sustainable and organic products they had discovered on their travels.
By Nature has a fantastic collection of carefully selected, ethical products sourced from around the world. This is guilt-free shopping at its best. There's so much to choose from it's hard to select favourites, but the elegant plant pots made from recycled tyres are stunning and not to be missed. Arrange them on a terrace or balcony for a display that will be a conversation starter as well as a focal point.
I also like the delicate ceramic Daha knobs. Hand painted in India and fairly traded, they're perfect for updating a vintage chest of drawers and, at about Dh30 each, affordable.
Then there are the dainty hand cut iron tea light holders - so pretty grouped on a table, indoors or out. It's hard to choose a favourite, but I like the enamel Eva tray and cups, hand-painted by artisans in Kashmir. It's tempting to buy a whole set, then serve mint tea in style.
By Nature is proof that you can shop with a clean conscience without joining the sandal-wearing-knit-your-own-yoghurt brigade. What a relief.
For shipping rates to the UAE, visit www.bynature.co.uk or call 00 44 (0) 845 463 3835.
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