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Behind the Scenes with SURYA

    Our Latest Photo Shoot at Brogers End, Kangaroo Valley NSW

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    Our latest photo shoot

    We just completed our latest photo shoot last week, and wanted to show you guys more about our most stunning location yet - a working farm just outside Kangaroo Valley NSW, called Brogers End. Read more >

    Rescued Brick Industry Donkeys Living the Good Life in Nepal

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    The Donkey Sanctuary in Nepal

    It was a day of polarizing emotions the day we went to The Donkey Sanctuary just outside of Kathmandu this June. Animal Nepal (in partnership with Animal Aid Abroad Australia) have rented some land, and are rescuing (and retiring) some of the hardest hit animals working in the brick industries in Nepal. Read more >

    The World's Friendliest Festival for Dogs

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    Kukur Tihar in Nepal

    In Nepal, the festival of Tihar (or, Deepawali) is a 5 day long festival held around October/November each year to celebrate the divine attachment humas have with certain animals. As part of the festivities, thanks are given to an animal on a particular day, and man's best friends are given day number 2 - known locally as Kukur Tihar.

    Sustainable Treeless Paper Products

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     Surya Australia Lokta Paper from Nepal

    We have recently introduced some exclusive new treeless paper products to our collection; our gorgeous artisan produced batik paper sheets, Lokta paper twine (which I'd been searching for so long), new wonderful hard cover diaries and our stunning new buffalo leather and lokta paper journals.

    Our Latest (Film) Adventure in Nepal

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    Surya Australia Video in Nepal

    Finding myself in Kathmandu with too much time on my hands this trip, I decided to give a project that I'd wanted to try for ages a little go. The aim was to produce a short video showcasing each step in the creation of our clothing. While it's lovely to promote photographs of our makers, it doesn't always show how things are done.

    The Real Cost of the Border Blockade in Nepal

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    The Real Cost of the Border Blockade in Nepal

    5 months after the devastating earthquake hit Nepal killing some 8000 people, the crippling blockade which would cause fuel, gas and medical supply shortages began. There are many conflicting opinions as to who is causing it and why, but one fact remains solid enough - the Nepali people cannot go on like this for much longer.

    Our Eco Plant Based Dyes in Nepal

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    Surya Natural Dye Hemp Throws from Nepal

    I was blessed to be able to travel to the village of a true master of natural dying techniques recently in Nepal. A couple of hours drive outside of Kathmandu lies the mecca for plant based colour enthusiasts ...

    Surya Ethical Clothing Out and About

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    Surya Customers Out and About

    Our definition of beauty in the Western world has so many rules, it leaves no room for those of us that fall outside these standards - men and women both. Living in an age that places more importance on ...

    Our First Store Open in Milton, NSW!

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    Our First Store in Milton NSW

    The dream of a warm, auspicious space in which to finally set up our 'permanent market stall' has come to fruition with the signing of a lease in Milton, NSW. Having had the idea for at least 3 years now, we tossed and ...

    Our Home Based Workers in Nepal

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    Surya Home Based Workers

    There are over 2.2 million home based workers in Nepal crafting traditional pieces such as our nettle shawls and nettle scarves in their spare time from their homes.  Exploitation by traders and middlemen is common. Read a different story of how Fair Trade for home workers can become the new norm.

    Felt Balls Bring Happiness

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    Felt Ball Rugs

    Our range of felt ball coasters, felt ball trivets and felt ball rugs seem to make people happy! We just love watching our customers eyes light up when they spot one of our gorgeous ball pieces, and ...

    Dhal Bhat - the perfect meal

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    Nepali Dhal Bhat

    On our first trip to Nepal in 2008, we asked a Nepali friend what made a great dhal bhat in his opinion, and his answer surprised us. With no hesitation or thought, he replied straight away, 'the ...

    Surya Market Stall Evolution

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    We've missed our anniversary again! Every year on September 20th it seems like we decide not to remember that we set up our stall for the very first time ... well, 6 years ago now! This year though it did get me thinking ...

    Organic Buffalo Leather Bags

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    Surya Organic Buffalo Leather Bags

    After returning from our latest trip to Nepal, we went about unpacking our bags and couldn't help but admire our brand new range(s) of leather bags. We don't normally bring anything back with us in our luggage, but this time we couldn't resist.

    New Polymer Clay Jewellery

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    Surya Polymer Clay Jewellery

    We recently stumbled across a group of women creating the MOST amazing jewellery in a teeny tiny village in far Eastern Nepal ... and fell IN LOVE with their story and creations ...

    The Origins of Ali Baba Pants

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    Surya Australia Ethical Clothing Ali Baba Pants

    The origins of the term 'Ali Baba Pants' are pretty easy to sum up: the one and only (fictional) Mr Ali Baba (from the novel 'One Thousand and One Nights'), wore them, as was the custom for men living in ...

    Summer 13 Photo Shoot

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    Surya Photo Shoot

    It's been a productive last few months here in the Surya workshop! As some of you will have seen, our website has just had a total make-over, and what a learning curve that ...

    Meanwhile, Back on the Ranch

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    Wow, can't believe it's only April! So much has happened this year it feels like Christmas was a lifetime ago ... and now with festivals already booked up until October (!), it looks like another flash that we like to call a year will come and go. But that's OK ... looks like we will be spending lots of quality time at home when we're not travelling around the countryside, as we just bought our first house!

    The 'Yak Wool' Deception

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    The Yak Wool Deception

    Since Winter is almost upon us once again, I thought I would scribble down a few thoughts about fabric and fibers in the 'yak wool' trade that we have been (thrown) into for the past 5 years. Being one of the many traders who bring these wonderful products into Australia for you all to enjoy, we are suitably qualified to offer a unique opinion that I'm sure will interest many of you.

    Overalls, Coveralls, Dungarees and the dreaded 'Onesie' Throughout History

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    Surya Overalls

    Overalls have been around since the 1700's, according to Wikipedia! I was surprised at first, as they seem like a bit of a new fashion concept - typically made of denim they seem like an extension of the relatively modern pair of jeans...

    Harvesting the Hemp Plant in Nepal

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    Surya Hemp in Nepal

    It's important to us at Surya to find out exactly where all the materials come from that go into our products, and it is an ongoing mission to document each part of the Hemp journey. It's a little difficult to capture the entire process ...

    Fair Trade is not just a Marketing Word

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    Surya Australia Fair Trade

    This post is to answer some questions a lot of people seem to have regarding the who, what, when, and how of Fair Trade. Over the last five years we have noticed a recurring theme in the questions our customers ask us, and it seems to us that we (that is, marketeers who trade with developing countries) are the primary source of information about ...

    Springtime Creativity

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    Surya Australia

    Not sure how everybody else works, but we get really active every Springtime! After all the new veggies are planted and seedlings have struck, we turn our eyes to our stall, and start thinking, 'hmmm...what can we change...'...

    Wet season Wanderings Trekking in Nepal

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    Surya in Nepal

    Oblivious to the most important factor in trekking, as far as which particular experience you will have - aka the weather! - we set out for Annapurna Base Camp in North Western Nepal smack bang in the middle of the wet season. While we definatley knew all this rain we were witnessing ...

    Windows and Doorways in Nepal

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    Surya in Nepal

    In 2008, Yo and I travelled overland to Nepal from Northern India. The wet season had just begun, and the suffocating humidity and opressive heat of New Delhi drove us north where, we had hoped it would be cooler. We had spoken for months about ...

    Top 10 Festival Money Saving (and making!) Tips

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    Make Money at Festivals in Australia!

    If you LOVE summer festivals but have to choose only one or two each year, then read on. We attend loads of festivals each year, and have collected some valuable tips throughout the years that should make it easier for you.

    Fair Trade Fortnight

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    May 7 - 22 2011 is Fair Trade fortnight around the world. To us this is HUGE in highlighting the importance of fair working conditions for all and fair payment for goods/products sold to all disadvantaged countries.  

    Our 'Muddah' Stools Explained

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    Surya Muddah

    When we first traveled through Nepal in 2008, we LOVED all the little tiny stools in the shops! It was common to begin chatting with a shop owner, and quickly ushered to a cute little chair tucked away out of sight only to be whipped out from behind a counter when the occasion demanded. 

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