We work hard to bring the very best in fair trade and ethical clothing and accessories to you. We stock, among others, Chandni Chowk, Glo4Life, Gossypium, The Hemp Trading Company, howies, Hug, Sativa and Silverchilli in a really friendly setting in Cardiff City Centre.
Why don't you pay us a visit at 28 Castle Arcade. Or mail us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.
Saturday 17th February published by Jenny 5.20pm
A great day today with people dropping in to say hi having been to the meeting in Queen Street against Trident organised by CND and the Stop the War Coalition. If you want to join the demonstration in London on Feb 24th, buses are being organised. Ring 07940 108 146 for more info.
On an allied subject, my New Internationalist came through the post this week focussing on Iran. Not all mad mullahs and veiled ladies (surprise surprise) the NI looks on the issues concerning most Iranians today. We will have a few for sale in the next week or so, so come in and pick one up.
My favourite quote written on an Iranian blog:
God invented war so that Americans can learn geography
Wednesday 14th February published by Jenny 1.00pm
We are closing tomorrow Thursday 15th and Monday 19th of February to visit our suppliers. We will be open as normal on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th Feb. We will be seeing howies which is always a pleasure, and putting in our order for the spring stock. This should be with us in March. We are also visiting Kuyichi who will be new for us. We are incredibly excited about this addition to our ranges. We will let you know more next week.
Attila and David Rovics did us proud on Sunday. A great night was had by all. Of particular delight to us was the numbers of people who came to see Attila and were blown away by discovering David for the first time. Many thanks to Robert Minhinnick also who contributed to the evening with his poems. Callaghans was a great venue, and I'm sure we'll be back there soon. We also made £235 for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign - a great result all round.
Don't forget we are showing Iraq for Sale tomorrow night, at 8.30pm at Chapter. We are also showing Robert Minhinnick's short film 'Black Hands' beforehand to remind us of the true impact of war on the civilian population. Powerful stuff.
Wednesday 31st January published by Ceri 11.22am
OYSTER'S NEXT TOP MODEL.....
Yes folks Oyster are finally going ahead to start their first trial at a fully functional online shop. However we are going to need to get two distinct looking people (one male, one female) to help us show off the clothing online. The female models will be first used since this is the first section to be going up on the internet. Interested? Just send us a photo of yourself with your details to the address below, alternatively by email to [email protected]
28 Castle Arcade
Tuesday 30th January published by Jenny 1.40pm
We are celebrating the end of January with the first delivery of our spring stock would you believe?! Our new range of Chandni Chowk clothing has arrived which blend in effortlessly with the winter stock. There are some new shapes as well which are longer in the body and really elegant. Come and treat yourself.
Thursday 25th January published by Jenny 5.20pm
Ceri and I went down to London on Monday to meet the guys at People Tree. Shanna and Jules incredibly friendly, and very adept at feeding us endless tea, doughnuts and sandwiches. We had a good rifle through their spring and autumn ranges, tried on tons of clothes (mostly a seriously tight size 8) and pronounced the clothes fantabulous! We will be putting in an order for spring in the next week and expect arrivals in early March. Watch this space...
Saturday 20th January published by Jenny 5.00pm
stop press stop press stop press stop press stop press stop
I am very excited to announce that Robert Minhinnick, celebrated Welsh poet and winner of 2006 Wales Book of the Year award for "To Babel and Back" will be joining us at both of our events. More information on our Events page...
Thursday 11th January published by Ceri 5.00pm
Yes Oyster has found another wonderful venue!!! Unfortunately Dempseys, are not going to be able to have us.
The gig on Febuary the 11th will now be held in the lovely venue of Callaghans, which is just down the road from Demseys on Castle street. Oh yeah!
So come one come all, same details apply, we will be opening the doors from 7.30pm and the tickets will cost £7 adult or £5 concession (over 18s only please). Should be great and good fun more than anything else.
Also we are trying to get 100 people so invite as many as you want, friends, family etc... It will be great to see you all.
Yes we are now on sale. Oyster has come on a long way since opening our doors in August 2005. While we have got many things right, we also suffered from the optimism of innocence early on and significantly over ordered on certain items. It is now time to clear our stock rooms to make way for our new lines. This is where you benefit. Come down and get yourself some bargains - everything is reduced by a minimum of 30% and some items are only £10.
Those who stand to benefit especially are fans of Chandni Chowk clothing who fit a size 14 or above. We are also selling stunning linen skirts and Chinese jackets for £80 (reduced from £115) and waistcoats to match at £41 (from £59) If you live further away, check out our on-line sale. Incidentally, we plan to improve our on-line facility for the spring clothing, so watch this space...
Saturday 30th December published by Jenny 5.20pm
Info on the David Rovics/Attila the Stockbroker gig and the Iraq for Sale film are both now on our Events page. By the way - Halflight are playing at the Barfly on 19th January. Well worth checking out...
Sunday 24th December published by Jenny 2.50pm
Before I leave the shop in favour of mince pies and wine, I am really keen to let you know about another event we are organising. I'll try and put more information about both events on the website in the New Year. However, get this date in your diary - Sunday 11th February 2007 upstairs at Dempseys in Castle Street, Cardiff (the old Four Bars Inn). Punk poet from Brighton Attila the Stockbroker, and singer/songwriter championed by Andy Kershaw, David Rovics. Both very different in style but both passionate about politics. They put on a good show. So make sure you get the message out. Meanwhile, Happy Holidays to you all, and many thanks for your continuing support. Ceri and I really appreciate it!
Friday 15th December published by Jenny 11.30am
There's a great flurry of interest in the St Davids II development. It is incredibly exciting to have John Lewis and other multiples come to our shores so we are told. (Coming from London I remember John Lewis as the place your grandparents bought knitting wool...)
But what about the independent shops that make Cardiff different from other city centres? Spillers 'the oldest record shop in the world' has been in the Hayes since the 1940s, and existed since the turn of the last century. Despite it's grand old age, it is fun and funky to visit and the guys who run it are really friendly.
Unfortunately Spillers is right at the epicentre of the new developments, and is facing a huge rent rise as a result which will send them under. There is a petition at Spillers, and on-line at www.spillersrecords.co.uk (click on on-line petition). We have one on our counter as well which is causing great passion among our customers. Remember to support your independent shops - sign the petition.
Friday 1st December published by Jenny 3.00pm
We are extremely excited to announce that we will be hosting a viewing of Iraq for Sale in Chapter Arts Centre on Thursday 15th February at 8.30pm. The film is made by Robert Greenwald who was also behind the Walmart expose. This one has been funded entirely by personal donations, and is being distributed via a network of individuals like us arranging private screenings worldwide. Come and see the film that has created a stir in the USA. Meanwhile, check them out at www.iraqforsale.org.
Friday 24th November published by Jenny 1.30pm
BUY NOTHING DAY - 24th and 25th November
There is nothing we love more in Oyster than a juicy clash of interests - and there is no shortage of those within the ethical trading movement.
We would be lying (not to mention bankrupt) if we suggested we didn't want you to shop with us this weekend. However we also know that buying ethically isn't the whole answer. The structural issues which lead to the global trading rules being rigged are still firmly in place, and we all need to campaign for a change.
If you plan to celebrate Buy Nothing Day with a long walk or watching the rugby, then enjoy. But spare five minutes to log onto the Make Trade Fair website and sign the Big Noise petition.
/en/index.php?file=issues_dumping.htm&cat=2&subcat=2&select=1If you are in town (we won't tell...) remember to pick up a 'Ripped Off' leaflet from us, and send the attached postcard to Alistair Darling to make your views felt.
Thursday 16th November published by Jenny 2.00pm
Statistics of the day (with thanks to Food Magazine 74)
1 kg of wheat embodies 1,000 litres of water 1 kg of cheese embodies 5,000 litres of water 1 kg of beef embodies 15,000 litres of water 1 cup of coffee embodies 140 litres of water 1 sheet of A4 paper embodies 10 litres of water 1 glass of beer embodies 75 litres of water 1 hamburger embodies 2,400 litres of water
Wednesday 8th November published by Jenny 5.10pm
No - it's nothing to do with Europe. It's the only photo I could find... I just had to blog about the latest NI on Ethical Shopping. We have many conversations with customers here about the provenance of clothes, monitoring, the benefit or otherwise of the High Street jumping on the band wagon etc. Rarely however have I seen the issues approached so well as in this month's issue. The NI is never as much fun as when it's attacking it's own. We've got a few copies here - so come and get one.
NI Statistic of the day:
In 2004 the UK imported 43,993 tonnes of potatoes whilst exporting 85,652. We also imported 25,720 tonnes of milk and cream whilst at the same time exporting 27,125 tonnes.
Saturday 28th October published by Jenny 4.15pm
We are proud to announce that Oyster is One! We plan to celebrate on our first Sunday opening on the run up to Christmas. Come and join us for a glass of organic white wine between 12.00 and 4.00pm on Sunday 5th November.
We have all our winter stock now in including warm and funky clothes from howies, and winter clothes from Chandni Chowk in a sumptuous range of colours. As a present to all our supporters, we will be giving 10% off all non-sale items for that day only.
Friday 13th October published by Jenny 1.15pm
"Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more." Oscar Wilde
Wednesday 11th October published by Ceri 2.04pm
Hello all! The autumn is definitely here and we have some new companies arriving to celebrate this, yes Gossypium has finally landed in Oyster with all their beautiful tops and bottoms which are ideal for all those Yoga lovers out there. We have also got in the majority of the howies winter selection now, including their beautiful jumpers and great scarfs and hats so come one come all and check it out!! Also we have ordered more socks!! to help keep your feet warm as winter sets in. brrrrrrr.
Tuesday 3rd October published by Jenny 2.30pm
The jewellery lovers among you may have noticed the beautiful pendants made from silver and dichroic glass. These are made by our good friend Suzie Horan who moved from Cardiff to Sheffield to undertake a silversmithing course a couple of years ago. All her hard work is paying off, and she is already winning recognition for her beautiful silverware. Congratulations Suzie.
Monday 2nd October published by Ceri 12.51pm
Hi There! Don't know if some of you guys remember the gorgeous Knox shirt we had in for last winter. It was one of our best sellers and recently has claimed it's own fame in an advert (see above) done by one of our lovely friend Sian Grieve. How great is this! Thanks Sian. It looks fab! By the way Sian is the second from the left.
Tuesday 26th September published by Jenny 10.45am
We are pleased as punch to announce the arrival of our most stunning jewellery to date. It is brought to us by Art Kem, a French company working closely with the Touareg people of Niger. The jewellery we carry is made largely of silver and ebony and created by skilled artisans who use traditional crafting techniques. Unfortunately, our website won't accept the video Art Kem sent us, but if you follow the link below, the top right image is a brilliant little film of the life of the area. Have fun - then come and see for yourself.
Wednesday 20th September published by Jenny 4.55pm
I already know you guys like all things fair trade and ethical, but how about your place of work. Are you paragons of virtue or do you still dip into your regular jar of Nescafe? Either way, read on:
Calling all Cardiff Businesses
In 2004 Cardiff became the world’s first Fairtrade Capital, and since then the Fair Trade Cardiff partnership has been working to raise awareness of fair trade issues and to make fair trade goods more widely available across the city. There are now over 130 businesses, organizations and local groups in Cardiff using fair trade products.
We want to get more local businesses, large or small, to support Cardiff’s Fairtrade Capital status by converting to fair trade. You could help guarantee a better deal for third world producers simply by serving fair trade tea and coffee during meetings, by providing fair trade fruit and snacks in the staff canteen, or by selling fair trade products in your shop.
If you’re a business already using fair trade then please let us know!
For more information on Fair Trade Cardiff:
www.cardiff.gov.uk/sustainabledevelopment (and click on ‘Fairtrade’)
To obtain a Fair Trade Business Pack explaining how you can convert to fair trade please contact:
Sustainable Development Unit, Cardiff Council, CF10 4UW
Tel: 029 2087 3482 / 3228
Email: [email protected]
Thursday 7th September 2006 published by Jenny 11.20am
Labour Behind the Label have quoted an interesting story about Primark found in Irish newspaper The Post:
"(Managing Director Arthur) Ryan was approached by a factory owner with a product costing £5 that would sell for £10. Ryan reportedly told him he was not interested unless he came back with a product that cost £3 and could be sold for £7. 'I don't care how you go about it - just do it' he said".
Now we all know how he can afford his posh premises on Queen Street...
For anyone who shops on the High Street (don't we all?) there is a way you can let your favourite chains how you feel. Come into Oyster and pick up a Labour Behind the Label postcard. Pin your receipt onto it and send it to Head Office. Simple!
Tuesday 5th September 2006 published by Jenny 11.00am
I have come back bronzed and relaxed from Spain where the interior of the country is one great film set for the brilliant Jamon Jamon (check it out if you haven't already). Ceri and I celebrated my return by hotfooting it to the Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras in Cooper's Field on Saturday. We had the great fortune to have a stall next to Stonewall who, apart from being a great campaigning organisation, proved to be great fun (and existing customers of ours to boot!)
Moving on, I like the story of Jonah Peretti, an American student, as reported by Rahila Gupta in the Guardian today. In 2001 he responded to Nike's offer of a personalised ID in every pair shoes with a request to have the word "sweatshop" stitched into his. The company refused. One of the reasons cited was: "Your personal ID contains profanity or inappropriate slang".
Friday 25th August 2006 published by Ceri 1.51pm
Hi all, i bet you have been wondering what's been going on recently. Well it's official Jen is on holiday! Three weeks! Coming back next Thursday. And so it's been me fully in charge with the running of the shop. The fact it hasn't fallen down has been more than a blessing!
So I thought i would say hi and tell you all we are still in sale. Our autum/winter stock should hopefully be in in September but we will keep you posted on the actual date. Looking forward to it though.
Also big news! It's our birthday coming up. Can't believe it's almost been a year. We will i'm sure celebrate in some fashion.
Tuesday 1st August 2006 published by Jenny 3.25pm
Look what has just arrived in our midsts... a shop/centre dedicated to sustainable building and decorating materials. Check them out at www.rounded-developments.org.uk or drop down and see them in Splott. Best of luck guys.
Friday 28th July 2006 published by Jenny 2.30pm
I have to admit to being a tad smug in this sweltering heat and amid soaring gas prices. 18 months ago we invested in a solar panel which provided us with luke warm water last summer. However, since early May this year we have had more boiling hot water than we know what to do with, and so it continues!
Obviously one tiny solar panel isn't going to save the world, but investing in alternative energy sources on a wider scale are critical - not least to avoid going down the nuclear route.
Greenpeace have produced a great DVD called 'What are we waiting for?' which lays out the arguments in favour of a decentralised energy strategy. Get one, watch it and send it to your favoured political representative today!
Friday 21st July 2006 published by Jenny 3.55pm
Ceri and I have been busy this week steaming boxes of clothes in readiness for our Oyster Summer Sale. Hot work, but worth it! Come and check out howies and Hug t-shirts from £15 for men and £10 for women, as well as jeans and jumpers for those of you who can imagine it ever cooling down.
After your shop, relax in some yoga kit (see above) £20 for the outfit. I think I'll give the exercise a miss, but the wine looks good...
Saturday 15th July 2006 published by Jenny 2.55pm
What with holidays, kids concerts etc., Ceri and I have drafted in a little help over the past couple of weeks. Thanks Kit for your help, and for re-introducing me to the Ecologist magazine. I remember thinking it was a bit of a worthy read when I was a student, but either I have become more earnest (hardly) or the magazine is a better read.
The copy I read was dedicated mainly to the current debate on nuclear power. Not only was it completely readable, but every argument you are likely to have thrown at you is countered by the detailed explanations in the mag. Get your hands on a copy, then harangue your MP. Tony can't be allowed to get away with this one!
Tuesday 11th July 2006 published by Ceri 11.38am
Hello all. Just thought I hadn't blogged for a while so I will get you up to speed with what's going down with Oyster. We have had a good summer and there have been some lovely clothes coming in as well. Looking forward to the Mardi Gras coming up on Saturday 2nd September. We will be having a stall and hopefully have a real good laugh so do come and see us!
Also Oxfam Cymru have been in contact with us. They are looking for volunteers to campaign for Oxfam at gigs, events and festivals across Wales this summer. Check out their website for further information: /about_us/cymru/
If you are intersted in helping them out (and getting in for free) then give them a call on 08700 109 007.
Tuesday 20th June 2006 published by Jenny 11.40am
True to our habit of not letting grass grow under our feet, we have taken on a supplier of gorgeous cards. Carrying the Fairtrade Mark, Fairtrade Media commission photographers to take really striking images of the people behind the fairtrade products we all buy.
For all you fans of No Sweat trainers, we have now started stocking the low top chocolate brown version as well as stocking up on everyone's favourite black and white hi-tops. Come and give them a spin.
Wednesday 7th June 2006 published by Ceri 4.01pm
Hello you all, Well the 6/6/6 has past us with no evil thank goodness (touch wood). Although if any one knows anything different please warn me! Just a note to say we have finally recieved the famous, first ever, women's fair traded cotton (yes it has the logo!), organic jeans from hug and they are beautiful! The feel of them is lovely and they are gorgeous when put on. I know what i'm getting for my birthday present!! But there are limited stocks so come quickly if you want to snatch a pair!
Also we have hats!!! Yes bona fide authentic panama hats! Our friends at Pachacuti have sent us some ladies crochet hats as well as the men's grade two Fedora hats and they look great. Come in store for further details and to have a try on for yourself!
Monday 5th June 2006 published by Jenny 2.30pm
Today we are supporting Jamblemag - a new i-magazine devoted to travel and music as well as all things environmental. Given the huge success of i-pods thousands of CDs are being thrown into landfill. Jamblemag say that these CDs can be 100% recycled. Find out more at www.jamblemag.co.uk - then drop in and see us with your old/broken/scratched CDs and cases.
Friday 26th May published by Jenny 4.15pm
One of our regulars got in contact with us to alert us about an appalling catastrophe set to take place in Chile. Such is our love of silver and gold that we are apparently happy to remove glaciers and destroy one of the purest water sources in South America just to get at it. Check out the details of Pascua Lama under Fair Trade News and contact us if you want to join the petition.
Friday 19th May
published by Ceri 16.56pm
Joy of joys the howies stock has arrived!! And it looks great. Everything from jeans and jackets to great summer polo shirts made out of recycled cotton. We only need the weather now. Please Sun please come. We have waited so long now!
Saturday 6th May Published by Jenny 2.30pm
Many thanks to Bono and his crowd, Project Red is with us promising to bring huge funds to help the fight against Aids in Africa. Take the offering above for one example - made of authentic African mudcloth (sounds great) 10% of all (wholesale) profits go to this worthy cause.
Well hats off to Converse (of Nike parentage). Maybe Nike have seen the light after all their negative publicity. Maybe... or just maybe they can't believe their luck! They have manufactured just 600 of these babies and are selling them at exclusive locations for £160 plus a shot. That's a load of dosh for Nike, and the press are falling over themselves to advertise them as the route to the feel good factor.
That's another million in the bank then!!!
Thursday 27th April Published by Jenny 2.30pm
Well, while Ceri's been plugging away on the computer, I have been busy too. I went to London to see Braintree Hemp's new spring stock and have subsequently ordered t-shirts (both short and long sleeved) for women in gorgeous spring colours. For the guys we have short sleeved versions of the classic hemp shirt as well as light weight beach trousers for those lazy warm days ahead...
Also, we have another new supplier. The White T-Shirt Company aim to produce 'the ultimate white t-shirt'. We think they have succeeded! Check out 'What's New' for more info, then come and feel the incredible quality for yourself.
Thursday 27th April Published by Ceri 1.05pm
You may be wondering why there hasn't been a blog for a while. Well at long last the reason for the silence has been published.
Online trading is up and running with Chandni Chowk. The pictures have been uploaded allowing you to see what Chandni Chowk is all about. So have a look and we would love to hear your views.
Saturday 8th April Published by Jenny 11.35am
No sooner is the sun peeking out from behind those stubborn grey clouds then Ade gets in touch with us to check out the howies winter range. Keen to meet them in their natural habitat, Ceri and I whizzed on down to Cardigan to peruse the clothes and put a face to all those people at the end of the phone. We had a great time. Thanks Ade... Shame we broke down on the way home!
Thursday 6th April Published by Jenny 11.30am
Well, there's no respite for the fat cats out on the golf courses today I hear. Water activism is alive and well in our wet and windy part of the world of all places! Of course, water is no laughing matter especially where countries have been coerced by our old friends the World Bank into privatising their amenities. For any tempted to insist public ownership is the only answer, I offer below an article from the Ethical Consumer:
Dhaka Bangladesh In some countries, the failure of either the public or private sector has led to the involvement of trade unions and/or workers'co-operatives. In Bangladesh, for example, in reaction to public opposition to a controversial World Bank privatisation plan, the government gave the publicly operated employees' union the contract to run the water system in one of Dhaka's zones, with another zone given to a local private company. After the first year's experiment, the Employees' Cooperative results were so good that the Water and Sanitation Authority handed over the private sector's contract to the union. The Employees' Co-operative achieved substantial improvements not only in customer services, billing and collection of fees, but also in reducing water losses. They out-performed not only the private company, but also the existing public utility, which suffered from over-bureaucratisation and inertia.
Wednesday 5th April Published by Ceri 3.45p.m
The Worn Again shoes have arrived in Oyster! The shoes themselves are made out of recycled bits and pieces from t-shirts to cut off pieces of leather to coffee bags!
They are great and we have already had loads of interest so come and get a pair well they are still available. Check out What's New for more details.
Thursday 30th March Published by Jenny 2.25pm
There I was, wandering down Queen Street when what did I find but a wallet stuffed full of cards and cash. Being the good citizen that I am, I brought it to Oyster and rifled through the wallet (any excuse) for some sign of the shopper's identity. She was found to be contentedly browsing the racks at Primark none the wiser as to the excitement. Delighted to be united, she thrust £20 on me for my favourite charity. We have decided to send it to Labour Behind the Label who work tirelessly to expose sweatshop practices in the garment industry. Thank you kind shopper...
Wednesday 29th March
Published by Ceri 4.20pm
Another day and another new thing has been added to our website. We now do basic online trading!!
Only a few products are active for sale on the website at the moment but they will grow as we get our pictures created for the main clothes we stock so keep watching this space. Any suggestions or comments please don't hesitate to contact us on [email protected]Poem For The Day:
We began with famine Then we had lunch
We talked of drought Then we had tea
We talked of refugees Then we went home.
May 23 1986
SOAS Alumni Magazine #28, 2005For more ramblings from March and earlier, go to our archive