Congratulations to our stockist of the month... Shakti Man! Located on the Isle of Man, Shakti Man specialises in ethical clothing and gifts from at least 30 countries around the globe and is currently one of the largest fair trade shops in Britain. This week we interviewed the Shakti Man team to discover more about the inspiration behind their shop, their huge range of fair trade products and the Braintree styles they're loving the most this season... Hi Shakti Man! Describe your shop in one sentence... "Shakti Man is a celebration of beautiful ethically produced, fair trade and organic creations made by artisans across the world…..join us in 'Loving What We Do'." How did you come up with the name 'Shakti Man'? "‘Shakti’ is a Hindi Word commonly used in India and Nepal; the divine force that manifests to restore balance. The ‘Man’ is because we are based on the beautiful Isle of Man in the British Isles. Together they make ‘Shakti Man’ our stores name! The name is also that of a super hero in India, which we think is pretty cool." What was your background before you opened the store? "We started in 2002 with the mission to support and raise awareness for fair and sustainable trading solutions that have a positive impact on people, places and the way we all see and interact with our environment.
We also started a charity called ‘Shakti Nepal’ in 2002, funding projects in Nepal that support children and nature. At first we sold Fair Trade goods on market stalls and festivals and then finally in 2004 we opened our doors as a real shop. Our customers loved what we did so much that 2 years later we moved next door into a bigger shop and diversified into eco and natural fibres." Other than Braintree Clothing, what else can customers find in Shakti Man? "Our customers love that you can come to Shakti Man and find something a bit different with a great story behind its creation. We have Clothes, Furniture, Homeware, Books, Incense, Jewellery, Candles, Knobs, Chocolate (The BEST), Soft Furnishings, One Off Pieces, Notebooks... We could go on but we’d be here a while! Our range is so diverse and comes from all around the world – it's constantly changing and growing – but always ethically produced, fair trade and organic." What made you decide to sell Braintree? "Braintree champions itself in the use of Sustainable Fibres including Hemp, Bamboo and Organic Cotton to create its pieces. Bringing this into our shop allowed us to develop and grow our clothing ranges. Braintree allows us to sell our customers clothing that is of high quality for great prices which doesn’t impact negatively upon the environment. The pieces develop with each season and are made to last." What is your favourite garment from the AW14 collection? "Our favourite item? There’s too many to choose from! For Leni it’s the Kaya Batwing Top in Slate – it’s really slouchy, a great layering piece, the fabric is light but warm and the pocket pouch at the front is very snuggly. It looks great with jeans too which Leni lives in. Maree's favourite piece from Braintree this season is the Yukon Jacket - it has a fab shape, very eclectic and so different to all the other coats out there at the moment. Katy just loves the Sail La Vie Hemp Top- it's a classic, flattering design with fun colour-ways and they wash beautifully. We're not missing out the blokes - our Warwick (Boz) loves Braintree Men's Hemp T-Shirts which he says are brilliant, comfy and never wear out! Finally, for Millie it has to be the Josie Footless Tights. They are so versatile and would look great with a variety of other pieces for different occasions - comfy too!" What kind of feedback do you get from consumers that buy Braintree? "The quality of the clothes is always complimented and the durability means that when customers purchase a Braintree item they know it will last a long time no matter how many times they wear and wash it." What is your best-selling Braintree item? "SUPER SOCKS! People can’t get enough of the amazing bamboo socks in all the different colours and patterns. They’re slowly building a reputation here as the 'comfiest socks in the world'." What are your top tips for styling Braintree? "Braintree has great pieces that can either be dressed up or dressed down. The possibilities with Braintree are endless and the colours each season really do suit everyone. Our top tip would be to try Braintree on! The shapes, colours and patterns look different on each individual – but they always look great." Thank you Shakti Man! To see Shakti Man in all it's glory, call into the shop on Parliament Street in Ramsey, open from 10-5 Monday to Friday and 9-5 on Saturdays. If you are interested in learning more about Shakti Man - as well as their fantastic profit sharing activities - follow their updates on Facebook or get touch using the details below. ADDRESS: Shakti Man, 66 Parliament Street, Ramsey, Isle of Man, IM8 1AJ PHONE: 01624 815060 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of stockists in your area, or alternatively shop our full collection online at wearethought.com.