International Woman’s Day Festival Chester

chester womens day 2016

We will be here in  Chester’s prestigious Town Hall in a couple of weeks taking part in the celebration of International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is celebrated officially on 8 March every year although the earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York.

The day has been embraced as a time of expression for equality, working rights, voting rights and protest for justice for a whole host of female issues. Over time there have been many women led marches, rally’s and strikes around this time of year.

International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the globe on the same day.

The day is an official holiday in Afghanistan,Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan,Belarus,Burkina Faso,Cambodia,China (for women only), Cuba,Georgia,Guinea-Bissau,Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos,Macedonia (for women only), Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal (for women only),Russia,Tajikistan,Turkmenistan, Uganda,Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia.

In many countries it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – friends, mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc. – flowers and small gifts. In the UK it coincides with Mother’s Day which is celebrated on the 6th March this year.

While it is a day of celebration, we have after all come a long way culturally, economically and socially which definitely requires celebration I also see it as a time to reflect on the very real struggle women across the globe face and how actual progress can also be slow for change to happen.

#PledgeForParity

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

You can find out more about International Woman’s Day here:

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

 

Elephant Paintings and ENP

Alongside our exquisite silver jewellery  we also sell a range of elephant paintings, these paintings are reproduced from the originals by Thai based artist Lertsark Bangkaew.

I stumbled upon his lovely studio quite by chance during my 2010 trip to visit our silversmith producers. At the village I had been placing orders and working on new design ideas with them, so once our work was complete here it was time to head back to the city of Chiang Mai.

As soon as I saw the juicy vibrant colours of these paintings and the quirky comical elephants I just knew I had finally found what I was looking for,  to financially assist  the elephant sanctuary I had fallen in love with, visiting  it for the first time the previous year.  Yes in 2009 realising a lifelong dream to get up close and personal with the animals I adore most; I lost my heart to a motley bunch of fat bottomed, big eared and extremely long nosed gentle giants at Elephant Nature Park.

Everything was suddenly fitting into place quite by chance.

After my first visit to the sanctuary I was internally driven to seek out a means of support via my Luna Tree business and Lertsark’s paintings fitted the bill perfectly! Since our initial order in 2010, our range of paintings has grown into quite an impressive herd, we have a great range of consistent best sellers and with Lertsark’s prolific continuous painting, always new designs to add to the mix.

But the best bit about this whole extra departure from the silver jewellery is being able to donate to Elephant Nature Park and assist in their wonderful work. This place is Elephant Utopia and a truly magical place! The stories behind each herd member will reduce you to tears, you cannot imagine the brutal harrowing beginnings in life so many of these elephants have endured and your heart will be crushed with this knowledge. However,  there are also tears of joy; after spending time with these battered and damaged animals you realise that they are healing mentally and physically, although some will always bare the scars of what their old lives entailed. However now they are living as natural a life as possible within herd groups established naturally shortly after  their arrival to the park. The elephants look after each other; watch out for each other, having extremely loyal bonds between them. They share an understanding of what was before and now their freedom and safety of the sanctuary. Wonderfully, every new baby born at the sanctuary, will never know the horrors of having their spirits broken down, just more aunties than they can possibly handle as the only real hardship of their lives!

This year our donations  to Elephant Nature Park have been made to the Land Purchase Fund; with the park at elephant capacity right now purchasing more land surrounding the sanctuary is vital so the work of rescuing more elephants in desperate need can continue. Extra land will benefit the herd at Elephant Nature Park for many years to come.

We couldn’t make our donations without you! All our wonderful customers who have purchased from our painting range this year have contributed to this little slice of elephant heaven and for that we send you a BIG THANK YOU!

Best Wishes

Clare

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Our Eco Friendly Gift Boxes

Probably the most people and planet friendly gift boxes in the world!

Presentation is everything, especially when it comes to the art of giving. Beautiful jewellery deserves the best packaging, something to keep it safe, secure and make it a real pleasure to unwrap.

When you’re an Eco conscious recycle nut trying to tread as lightly on the earth in private as well as in business you would think compromises would have to be made. Ethics thrown aside for the sake of business or business compromised because of personal ethics….wrong, it all comes together beautifully for Luna Tree with our handmade gift boxes.

Our gift boxes are crafted from Mulberry tree bark in Thailand, the bark is naturally shed from the trees each year, a native species, they grow abundantly in Northern Thailand. Known as Saa paper, our gift boxes are environmentally sustainable and ecologically sound to produce. Manufacture is clean with no waste. The paper making process from Mulberry bark has not changed in over 700 years.

We source our boxes from a wonderful Alternative Trading Organisation in Northern Thailand which co ordinates the orders with a women’s cooperative. The co operative promotes skills training for its workers and combats exploitation of vulnerable rural women. By financial empowerment through their employment these women have gained an increase in their confidence and have a realistic alternative to exploitation, particularly by the sex industry within Thailand. In many poor areas this can sadly be the only source of income for some  families..

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This Alternative Trading Organisation supports the women’s co operative in other ways too. They are very much integrated with the village’s which are home to the women workers and take on a pastoral care and social work role of support. This helps to facilitate improvements within these communities which is very much the driving force behind the business. A significant percentage of the proceeds from the orders is made available as cash bonus incentives to the workers solely for the use in community based projects.

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All retail orders placed through our website are presented in one of our gorgeous Saa paper boxes. These boxes are also supplied free of charge to our stockists to accompany our jewellery should stockists wish to use them.

Thank you for reading!

 

Clare