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About us

Zhambala Arts has been established since 2003, and trading as a limited company since June 2013.

We specialise in importing, finest quality hand made products from the Orient, predominantly Thailand. Most of our range is handcrafted in traditional ways by villagers mainly from central or northern Thailand. From there we despatch to our UK base and then distribute to our customers across the UK and worldwide. We have affiliates in Bangkok as well as our Surrey HQ, enabling us to give high quality service all the way from the source of your order to final delivery and we are rightly proud of our customer focussed approach, even delivering personally locally. We offer continuing back up service too.

Not only our products themselves but even the materials used in their making are either entirely natural, or natural products processed and assembled entirely by hand. They are, with the exception of electrical wiring where relevant, sourced from the craftspeople themselves.

Our products comprise only sustainable and widely available woods [mango, bamboo, palm amongst others] thus avoiding harm to the local environment.

Almost all of our flower lighting is made from real skeletonised leaves, flowers and plant materials. We use the leaves of the Bodhi Tree (Banyan tree), rubber tree leaves, okra plants and the cocoons of silk worms.

We are very proud to operate a fair trade policy in which we give the workers a fair price for their work and are recognised as fair trade importers by the British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS). We have visited the production facilities to ensure that this is adhered to.

Our Bamboo Lamps and Wooden Glass Vases Use Sustainable Wood

We believe that many of our customers are as concerned as we are about the effects that our business has on the environment and the world that we all share. Having lived in Thailand, we are able to oversee and pro-actively interact with our wood carvers and manufacturers to ensure that the timber used in our bamboo lamps and mango wood vases comes from an actively sustained forest. Furthermore we are strong adherents to the policy of fair trading. We again actively ensure, as far as we are able to, that the workers and employers involved in the manufacture of these indigenous Thai products are remunerated fairly and in proportion to their work.

With global warming and particularly deforestation and the like - so often in the news, many people are rightly concerned about the products they purchase and their effects on the environment. This in turn has spawned a new market for companies that manufacture eco-friendly or environmentally sustainable products. In the light of this rapidly increasing interest by consumers, many manufacturers and chain stores have aimed to maximise their profits by promoting products as being green or with similar buzzwords. Following the recommendations of organisations such as Greenpeace, it was not long before the European Commission introduced controls on standards for the use, misuse and plain abuse of such terminology in product advertising and labelling.

Casting Light on Shady Sustainable Claims
One of the first major difficulties encountered by independent or government organisations, was the seeming impossibility to define sustainability with regard to products and activities. There were clear lines for defining activities that were non-sustainable, but the quality of sustainability was and is still today very much an indefinable quantity. There presently seem to be two methods used to justify the use of this term. The first clearly addresses the problems involved directly whereas the second is a rather more indirect means to balance and counteract the negative effects of carbon dioxide production. A fairly recent example of the second method was the claim that 10,000 mango trees were planted in Karnataka India to offset the carbon dioxide caused through the production of the pop group Coldplay's latest CD. This unfortunately received a backlash when it was discovered that most of the trees had died soon after planting.

Direct Reforestation - Light at the End of the Tunnel

The first is the active planting of seedlings to replace any deforestation. This generally requires that a greater number of seedlings are planted for every tree cut down. This should be in the ratio of at least 10 to one to allow for natural wastage. On paper this seems an excellent method and is in its own right highly laudable. Consider that trees have been cut down by humans over the millennia for their housing and living requirements. It is a natural process of trees to reseed themselves and so a balance is maintained. However today this balance is far from maintained and an artificial replanting of logged timber must be considered positive. One must also realise that this is not of immediate benefit and seedlings require several years of supervision and monitoring until they are truly established. If three out of 10 trees survive after 20 years, we may have re-established a par of that one logged tree. It may take a further 20 years though before fully counteracting the effect of lost oxygen production or carbon dioxide neutralisation.

We do make efforts to ensure that our products come from a genuinely sustainable source and welcome you to view our present selection of elegant bamboo lamps and attractive wooden glass vases, all hand made using wood from sustainable forests.


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