Organic and fair trade are buzz words that are bandied about so often these days, how can we be sure products really do embody these attributes? Online organics and fair trade site Senseful Crafts founder, Esther Neela explains that the rapid expansion of the organic market has led to many ordinary items being labelled as environmentally friendly, without proper certification. It’s no wonder shoppers are confused about buying green goods.
Neela – a Meditation and Yoga Teacher and Energy Therapist – was the first person to start importing many organic brands to Singapore in 2006. Her background in working with herbalists has led to her extensive knowledge on the subject. “I try to stock items which are truly organic and natural, and fair trade items which really do empower and develop communities around the world.”
“Life is already complicated enough, so our main aim at Senseful Crafts is to make daily living as simple as possible and at the same time healthy and holistic.” Such is her conviction that you can be sure their products – including handmade soaps, moisturisers, candles, cushions, homewares and gifts – are pure, handmade with only the finest ingredients, sustainable and environmentally aware.
The site itself is easy to use. If you know the specific brand or product you’re looking for then shop ‘by brand’ but if you’ve not decided yet, shop ‘by type’ to get a feel for the full range of products on offer.
If you’re keen to delve a bit deeper before purchasing, then definitely check out the ‘knowledge platform’ section. There’s a wealth of fascinating in-depth info on handmade soaps, shea butter and soy candles; how they’re made, which ingredients are used and how these impact the properties of the final product.
So, how about a spot of shopping? Here are EL’s top picks:
Soy candles, the purest candle you can find, create much less soot and none of the toxins found in paraffin candles.Senseful Crafts Soy Candles are made from 100% soybean wax and cotton wicks and are free of genetically modified material, pesticides and herbicides. Choose your fragrance here.
This handmade vegan soap is high in natural glycerin and rich in essential fatty acids, evening primrose oil, avocado oil and castor oil for extra moisturising, lather and conditioning. It’s also Nasties-free: no palm oil, synthetic fragrances, sodium laurel sulfate, dyes or parabens, so it won’t clog your pores or dry your skin.
This 100% all natural and organic Shea butter from Uganda is highly nourishing, helping moisturise and retain elasticity of the skin. Did you know that Eastern African shea butter is softer than its West African counterpart, it’s also creamier and silky, making it quick and easy to apply.
Choose from a large range of crystal and mineral pieces for statement jewellery and gorgeous home décor. They’ll also happily combine loose beads to create bespoke pieces and provide a recommendation if you’re new to the properties of these precious gems.
A community cooperative of 100 women from the Indian region of West Godavri create these intricate crochet products for Senseful Crafts, with proceeds focusing on providing education, savings and loan programs, and free medical care.
Perfect for a beginner or seasoned meditator, these square or round cushions are handmade in Nepal, using natural materials and come with a handle for easy carrying – which definitely helps when you’re feeling a little woozy after a meditation session!