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Siesta / News

  • 03/06/2020 Service Update - Very busy!
    • We are currently experiencing a very high level of orders and are working flat out to try and get them to you as quickly as possible on a reduced staff. Please try and take this into account when placing orders and allow some extra time for us to pack them.

    • We have been hearing unsettling reports in the news that many large clothing companies have been cancelling their orders with suppliers and that this has been resulting in unemployment problems for many workers around the world.

      At Siesta, we will never cancel orders with suppliers. We never order from our suppliers on credit and we pay for goods on the suppliers’ terms.

      We have been emailing all our suppliers around the world to keep up to date with their respective situations and also to ask how we can help. Their answers have unanimously been to continue ordering products from them so that they can keep getting essential money to their workers.

      In Nepal, the lockdown was swift (trust us, we nearly got stranded there!) and seems to have been effective. However, Nepal’s economy is heavily dependent on both tourism and remittance pay from overseas workers, two sectors that have been essentially wiped out because of the coronavirus and there are fears that Nepal will suffer greatly from the economic fallout. Our main supplier says that most of the essential items are still available in Kathmandu and that there is going to be some lockdown easing there soon. Their producers are very eager to get back to work and would appreciate orders when they do. We have a container of goods that we ordered in March expected in a few months but will be ordering more on top of that.

      In Bali, almost all shops closed their doors and a huge number of people employed by hotels and the tourist industry find themselves without work. For many of the handicraft makers, who typically work from home using traditional techniques, production can still continue albeit on a smaller scale. For our main clothing manufacturer, it is more difficult. Due to restrictions on travelling to work they currently have a minimal workforce. In addition to this, a lot of the rolls of fabric are produced in Java and then sent over, so they have limited fabric too. We have asked for a list of what fabrics they already have and are working on designs and variations that mean they can still work.

      In Guatemala, many of the artisans live in small villages and work from home however, the restrictions have meant that our supplier has been unable to visit the artisans to provide payment and orders. As easing there begins, our supplier has requested special permissions to move back and forth from Chichicastenango to provide them with work. We have heard that a large number of friendship bracelets we had on order are nearly finished and we’ll be placing orders for other items, and paying in advance, although currently it is difficult to tell when shipments will be able to leave.

      In Peru, the lockdown prevented movement of supplies for many of our artisans and created very worrying and difficult circumstances with limited government help. However, there are plans to begin easing the lockdown soon and some level of work can then be restarted. We currently have orders for instruments, retablos and earrings and will order more to provide them work. Our supplier stated that “a new order and money will also mean extra reserves of food and medicines, the basics.”

      In Thailand, it has now been 28 days with no new cases in Chiang Mai province where the majority of our products are made and the government are reporting low cases throughout most of the country. However, people are desperate for work with 2km queues at food donation banks in the centre of Chiang Mai. Our main supplier was able to furlough most employees so that staff can receive social security payments however as the lockdown begins to ease, we will be sending orders. We will be particularly trying to provide our smaller producers orders (like Martha, who makes our Thai Weave range) to help them get back to work as they are self-employed and would usually have a market stall twice a week in addition to our orders.

      In Mexico, some socially-distanced work has restarted and our Baja hoodie supplier has been operating, albeit at a lower capacity due to increased hygiene measures. We are still expecting a large shipment from them late in the summer. Our earring and pottery suppliers are both very small family suppliers and are able to continue working from home. We sent a pottery order at the end of March and will be ordering more earrings soon.

      In India, factories are still closed although the government are beginning to ease the lockdown gradually and it is hoped people will be able to return to work soon. One supplier reports an unusual improvement in air pollution. We have paid for all our outstanding orders there.

      Our Kenyan items are sourced by a UK supplier, Zuri Design, and we received a shipment from them last week. They have started a Just Giving campaign to help provide hand sanitation and basics to communities that lack them and are now at more risk than ever. Their page is full of information on how they are helping.

      We aren’t sure at the moment when all these orders will be finished as many of the producers will be working with limited staff and materials. We are even less sure of when these goods will arrive as international shipping is patchy to say the least at the moment. However, we feel that it is essential to extend our trust and support to our suppliers and we will continue to help wherever we can.

      For our wholesale customers, there is some extra information in the logged in area to try and help you trade during this challenging time.

    • We are now able to offer free delivery to mainland UK addresses on orders over £25. You will be able to see how close to free carriage you are in your basket and the carriage discount will be applied when you go through to pay. The offer has the following terms and conditions:

      • Applies only to items listed on the website. We cannot send items held in our Canterbury shop
      • Mainland UK addresses only
      • This offer applies to our standard shipping: 2nd Class Royal Mail Signed For
      • If you need your item quickly on a different service you can still select 1st Class Signed For or Next Day DPD
      • We reserve the right to withdraw the offer at any time.
    • We're pleased to say that we are offering a twice-weekly free delivery service to CT1 and CT2 postcodes on items listed on the website. Please email mailorder@siestacrafts.co.uk with your order and delivery address and we will send over a Paypal request for the total. You can pay for this with a Paypal account or by using a debit/credit card without an account. Minimum order is £10 and we are restricting a few items because they're just too big!

    • We are currently experiencing an unprecedented situation, not only in this country but around the world and each day seems to bring new unforeseen challenges and developments.

      As a business, our primary concerns lie with our staff, our suppliers and our customers. We have taken the decision to close our shop in Canterbury in order to help prevent the spread of the virus. Our warehouse will remain open for the time being but with reduced staffing. We are seeking the appropriate government assistance for the staff we are asking to furlough. Other members of staff are continuing to work remotely or at the appropriate social distance at the warehouse. Enhanced hygiene and cleaning procedures have been put in place. We are incredibly impressed by how our staff at both the shop and warehouse have coped with the challenges and increasing pressures.

      As a Fair Trade company, we will not be cancelling any orders with our suppliers around the world and we have already paid for many of the goods in production. We have a commitment to our suppliers and we take that seriously. As the situation develops, we may find that there are changes to our shipment schedule which might affect stock levels.

      However, at the moment we are still well-stocked on the vast majority of items and we would love to sell them to you! We are still sending out mail orders with options for Royal Mail and DPD. If you have any special delivery instructions then please let us know.

    • We are pleased to announce that all of our mail orders are now sent with no plastic packaging. We've now made the switch to using a paper based bubble wrap alternative, paper mail bags and paper packing tape. We will continue, as we have for many years, to collect and re-use cardboard boxes from other local businesses in the area in a bid to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.

      On a side note, we have also introduced a choice of two new tiers of mail order delivery. Standard delivery (Royal Mail Second Class Signed For) at £3.50 will be kept the same. However, should you need to get your items quicker, we now offer Royal Mail First Class Signed For and DPD Next Day services. Simply select the service you wish in the drop down menu in the basket.