I have a passion for beautiful well made homewares, simple hand crafted items that not only are useful but beautifully tactile and are a hard working addition to my home. Over the past year or so I have been consolidating our possessions to create a well rounded selection that not only pleases us but makes us feel good about how they were made and where they came from.
I happened to make friends with Emily Mathieson, a former travel editor for The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveller and Red and also the founder of Aerende (a-ren-day) through instagram. A visual place where like minded folk can connect and support each other on a daily basis. It has been a privilege to watch this young online store grow and flourish as it should, selling beautiful products for your home all made in the UK by people facing social challenges. It is a special place where you will find a well curated range of carefully crafted products created by makers who are unable to access or maintain conventional employment.
One of the reasons behind Emily taking this journey was through the lack of high-quality options in the ethical interiors sector. Starting her on a journey to create a model for considerate, socially valuable shopping that does not compromise on quality or style.
Aerende is an old English word meaning care and was chosen to reflect our commitment to heritage skills and British-made items. Emily believes in the power of consumers to affect social change as do I. The tag of ‘life-improving homewares’ reflects the commitment to sourcing unique, limited-edition products that not only will bring joy, beauty and utility to Aerende customers but a sense of purpose, pride and revenue to the talented makers, via the charities and social enterprises that support them.
I think you all know by now my love of ceramics and the selection that Aerende supply are simply beautiful. They are made in a pottery called The Grange in Gloucestershire through the national charity Camphill Village Trust who help people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other special needs to live meaningful lives in supported communities.
Everything you see and purchase from the soy candles through to the natural wool blankets are made by someone facing social challenges. Linens hand finished by women refugees who have survived trafficking, soy wax candles made in Wales by people with learning difficulties, hand carved wooden spoons by adults with mental health issues.
I think in the current climate that we are currently living in we all need to make small changes, ones that will make a difference and by supporting a business like Aerende is a very good place to start. To show solidarity, support and unite, banishing stigma and prejudice with every purchase. Not only are we helping a cause that I am deeply passionate about we are coming together as a people to create happiness and strength with those who need it most. The homewares in this wonderful store will make your home that little bit more unique and special.
- With thanks to Aerende for which this post would not be possible