The Family Tree

Beautiful, inspiring, meaningful gifts: handmade from the heart, in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Treasures include award-winning, natural dyed and hand-woven Thai silks, hand-made pottery, natural cosmetics infused with traditional Thai herbs, vibrant paintings of local life and inspiring recycled sculptures, jewelry, toys and accessories. The Family Tree are committed to Fair Trade, sourcing products from over 30 social and environmental initiatives, including crafts cooperatives, women’s groups, ethnic minorities and artisans with special needs.

The Family Tree was planted in Hua Hin’s most popular tourist area, opening a new space for genuine Thai crafts. Over 75% of products come from women’s and community groups, Fairtrade networks, artisans with special needs, social and environmental initiatives. Other products are handmade by independent artists, SMEs and small family businesses. Prices are based on consultation, according to Fairtrade principles. Income assists partner organizations to be sustainable.

The shop contributes to the preservation and development of Thai crafts. It expands markets while increasing tourists’ appreciation of the achievements of Thai artists and civil society. Environmentally, the shop sources products made from recycled leather, plastic, cloth and paper. Their team worked alongside Buddhist monks to initiate the ‘Greener Tomorrow’ tree planting project. They have donated $3,800 USD, and fundraised an additional $3,400 USD to this. Energy efficient equipment is used throughout the shop.

We would love to welcome Tourism Concern members to the Family Tree. Our shop is located in a prime, expensive area, specifically in order to open a new market space for local producers. Our products are already being sold at a fair price . However, we are happy to offer either a 5% cash discount or 10% of the value of your sale in complementary products (i.e. if 10% = 200 Baht, then you can have 200 Baht of free products). We also have special events from time to time for ‘Friends of the Family Tree.’ Tourism Concern Members can be automatic friends and join these events if you are in town. Please contact us in advance to see what is on.

The Family Tree buy over 75% of our products from cooperatives, social projects, women’s and community groups and artisans with special needs. This is supporting cooperative, community-based structures and socially responsible individuals. We absolutely avoid social degradation and exploitation. Our products are purposefully sourced from across Thailand, rather than only from the direct local area, because Hua Hin is an upmarket destination where we can add value to rural arts and crafts. Our shop contributes to the preservation and development of Thai crafts. It expands markets while increasing tourists’ appreciation of the achievements of Thai artists and civil society. Hua Hin is an urban center, not a rural area. The town faces many challenges due to rapid growth of tourism. We are active working with other businesses, local leaders, NGOs and societies to address these challenges (to the extent possible, because some are structural issues which beyond our capacity to influence).

Our vision and focus is at national level, supporting rural artisans, community initatives and worthy organisations from across Thailand. However, we do proactively promote local crafts and local, responsible businesses in our province. The Family Tree designed and lead the Hua Hin Green Map Local Compass project, which specifically aimed to promote local, responsible businesses and organisations in Hua Hin. We promote local businesses on our blog. We sell products made by several local artisans and Royal Projects. To reduce direct competition, we also give locally made gifts as free gifts (promotions) and give directions to customers, so that they can visit local producers independently and buy from them directly. We do strengthen the number and quality of local jobs created. However, at scale, this is at the national level, more than the really micro, local level. Income from our shop helps more than 40 Thai community groups and organisations to be self-sufficient and sustainable.

The Family Tree offer an eye-catching range of arts, crafts, sculptures, bags, jewelry and toys handmade from recycled leather, plastic, cloth and paper. Our team worked alongside Thai Buddhist monks and a network of laypeople to initiate the ‘Greener Tomorrow’ tree planting project. We have supported this project consistently , in cash and in kind, since 2010, including visits two or three times per year to monitor progress. We have directly donated over $3,800 USD from our income, fundraised an additional $3,400 USD towards this and developed an English Language website and Facebook page for the project. We co-organised the 2011 World Environment Day tree plant, at which 20,000 trees were planted. Energy efficient equipment is used throughout the shop. Our shopping bags are made from recyclable materials. We collect and donate recyclable waste to small-scale waste collectors who then sell it on to recyclers. We have also organised several youth environment activities.



About the author

Peter Bishop

Peter Bishop – Programme Manager Tourism Concern. Peter became a trustee of Tourism Concern in 2006, stepping down in 2009 in order to work on projects including our DFID-funded ‘Empowering Coastal Communities’ project, the Gap Year and International Volunteering Standard, and research into employment conditions in all-inclusive hotels.

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