Companies to follow in D&I from Gifted Craft Fair

For over 50 years, The Gifted Craft Fair has been a staple for many to kick off their Christmas shopping, and this year it’s back at the RDS for 2022. It’s a great way to kick off the festive season, with over 400 exhibitors including over 100 artisan food stalls. 35,000 customers are expected to attend the event over the 5 days of the show and this year there was a huge emphasis on sustainability and minority entrepreneurship. So here are just a few of the companies to follow at the Gifted Craft Fair 2022:

If you know anyone that prefers to write their Christmas to do lists on a notebook then Badly Made Books is the company for them. Created by designer and illustrator Sean O’Sullivan, they state on their website “we try to use the best of ingredients – our original recipe combines recycled paper, staples, tape, handcraft & machine efficiency to deliver our fresh-baked books…paper fibres can be reused and repurposed. Our main note paper is made from used coffee cups and all our favourite papers come from secondary materials, have post-consumer waste ingredients or at the very least contain a little dash of industrial by-product.”

Bambooth is a toothbrush for children and adults that is made from 100% Bamboo and is plastic free.. Co-founders Niamh and Joe’s path to entrepreneurship wasn’t straight forward. However, after David Attenbrough’s Blue Planet series, the partners decided that their way to make a difference would be to reduce the amount of plastic used in toothbrushes.

Bambooth is the first and only bamboo toothbrush approved by the Oral Health Foundation’s independent panel of dental experts and has obtained the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

According to their website Bee Natural is a family run company that uses natural bee wax as “Alternative to plastic cling film. Reusable and washable food wraps! Our beeswax wraps are made from unbleached, unrefined, 100% pure beeswax from Co. Louth, Ireland.” 

The company was launched in The Cottage Market Drogheda in June 2018. The brand is now stocked in nearly “20 shops/craft shops/market stalls in Ireland as well as our own online shop”

BiaSol is a family-run company in the heart of Ireland creating a range of innovative food solutions. We strive to make highly nutritious, zero-waste food products easily accessible in Ireland.

It was founded in 2020, by Niamh in Ireland and Ruari who was living in Australia but now located in Ireland. The couple wanted to find a way to repurpose brewers’ spent grains. The brand would then repurpose these into a range of cereals, nutrition bars, banking mixes and bread-based products.

Dalkey handmade soaps

In their own words “I make my soap as simply as possible, using only natural oils, butters, colours and pure essential oils -making them in small batches and curing them for 4 to 6 weeks. I hope you enjoy them!” All the soaps are packed in recycled paper and avoid wastes as much as possible. Most soaps are vegan friendly and made “using olive oil, coconut oil, responsibly sourced palm oil, rapeseed oil, castor oil, sunflower oil and shea butter”. 

The brand has been featured in the likes of Image Magazine, The Irish Times and Today FM.

Dyeboo was created so that people on the autistic spectrum could make money from their art. According to their website The Artist will earn a commission for every product sold with their design – creating the opportunity for both recognition and revenue for the Artist.” 

The company now stocks  Socks, Aprons, Bags, Cushions and T-shirts all created by their artists.

The brand uses “We use low impact printing, and work with charities around the world so you can plant trees or collect ocean plastic with most of our tees. So far we’ve planted over 11000 trees and with your help we can plant many more.” Their most up to date figures show that they have saved 11,500 trees and almost 3,000 kilos of saved plastic that was bound for the ocean. 

Their collection includes, t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, bags for men or women

Fóroige Network for teaching entrepreneurship is a specialist programme designed to teach business, academic and life skills of young people. During the programme the students Study all aspects of starting and successfully running a business, Receive a seed grant to start their business, Visit wholesalers to buy their business supplies, engage with local entrepreneurs and national companies, visit trade show to sell their products and prepare and present their business plan to investors.

As part of this the students attend the Gifted Craft Fair to pitch their businesses to attendees at the fair. 

Like most charities at the moment The Dublin Samaritans are highly reliant on donations from the public to ensure that they can keep their essential mental health services going throughout the year. In 2021 they answered almost 1,000 a day from those struggling with their mental health. 

This campaign encourages the public to purchase one tree in someone’s name and they will plant a tree in their name. So far, with the help of Coillte and Tree Council of Ireland and with the likes of Charlie Bird as an ambassador for the campaign has helped to plant over 1,000 trees to date. 

The Irish language advocates are often overlooked in the area of Diversity and Inclusion, so it was great to see Meath based Glór na nGael have a prominent stand at the fair. The company is the main Irish language organisation and one of their core principles is to “the development of the Irish language in the family” Their extensive range of books are for Irish language enthusiasts for children of all ages and interests. While their website also features craft videos, fitness and reading videos as well as puzzles and word searches. 

According to the range Our Original blend with Tea Tree, Geranium & Eucalyptus essential oils. An uplifting, fresh scent with floral and lemon tones. Tea trees are a great anti-bacterial, so they get to work on the odour causing bacteria on the skin, while geranium oil’s antiseptic properties make them beneficial for reducing skin irritation. The active components of Eucalyptus essential oil contribute to its position as a purifying, cleansing, clarifying, and immune-boosting oil ideal for use on the skin. With our Vegan range of Natural Deodorants made with anti-bacterial coconut oil and deodorising baking soda combined with absorbing arrowroot and vegan-friendly candelilla wax, this easy to apply balm eliminates any unwanted body odours. Nourishing hemp seeds and vitamin E oils leave your skin feeling moisturised, while carefully selected essential oils leave you smelling fresh without the use of any chemicals.

LauraLynn’s mission is to provide a Community of Care that delivers evidence-based, personalised services to children with palliative care needs, complex care needs and complex disabilities, while also providing family support services and a home to our residents where quality-of-life is paramount.

Their stand at the exhibition has a range of books and other materials, where all the money goes directly to support the hospice’s services.

Marina Leganowska is a Ukrainian national based in Dublin. A talented artist Marina is raising money for temporary mobile homes. These module houses will allow families in war-affected areas to survive winter. Her collection, entitled ‘Ukraine On Fire’, depicts a range of paintings that show what Ukraine was like before and after the invasion.

Her stand also features bags, teddy’s, candles and other materials with the Ukrainian colours – proceeds from these will benefit Ukrainians who newly arrived in Ireland.

The company specialises in ethically made soap, with no palm oil, zero waste, using natural rainwater. Their old fashioned approach to making the soaps reduces energy and all their packaging is plastic free. Their range of soaps uses the finest food based oils, natural plant colours,100% pure essential oils and that means that they are vegan friendly too.

Their range of soaps has more than fifteen flavours in addition to their range of shampoos and deodorants available too. From their base in Co Clare, they are stocked in more than 50 outlets in Ireland and in some shops in the UK, Denmark and Portugal. However, their impressive online shop ships to all parts of Ireland and the world.

The story of a mother and son. The son, Andy, had sensory issues and didn’t like the feel of the socks he had. However, after Poly (the mum) got him bamboo socks, Andy said “these don’t hurt”, that was the eureka moment Poly needed to source and produce bamboo clothing so that others that have sensory issues don’t hurt when they put clothing on.

Poly launched Poly and Andy in the summer of 2019 and with their mission of To surround your toes with a layer of love and snugness”. Now stocked in five independent shops as well as their website, they have a range of socks for male and females, of all ages for you to try or give as a gift.