Emily returned to Indonesia in February 2019 to design some bird themed products which can be made by the indigenous Batin Sembilan people who live in the Hutan Harapan, Forest of Hope, the last remaining area of lowland rainforest in South Sumatra. It was the first Ecosystem Restoration Concession granted by the Indonesian government and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has supported the initiative for 18 years. It is home to many critically endangered birds as well as Sumatran tigers and Asian Elephant. A small community of Batin Sembilan , who are indigenous to the region, also live in the forest and the aim is to utilise their traditional weaving and craft skills and use sustainable materials such as rattan and pandanus grass that can be cultivated in the forest to make baskets, nest boxes and decorations suitable for sale by the RSPB. The hope is to kick start a community craft industry and offer an alternative to working in the palm oil plantations which completely surround this forest.
The Spirit of Christmas Fair will return to Olympia London from 29 October – 4 November 2017 where you can uncover extraordinary gifts.
Emily Readett-Bayley will be there on stand GG9 with her unique range of ethically made Christmas decorations and the POSH Graffiti wall. She is thrilled to be sharing her stand this year with Chantal Coady OBE, and they will be launching their Chocolate Futures crowd funding campaign which aims to bring fine Indonesian cocoa to the United Kingdom and in doing so empower marginalised farming communities. Delicious Rococo Chocolates will also be on sale and you can find them on the Gift Gallery next to the Louis Roederer Champagne Bar!
Emily finally met and thanked Chuck Leavell, Rolling Stones pianist and renowned Tree Farmer over supper in Marylebone. He runs the Charlane Plantation in the US state of Georgia with his wife Rose Lane (chuckleavell.com/) and co-founded the highly influencial Mother Nature Network which featured Operation Planet Basket and The Katingan Project on the MNN.com Leaderboard in 2014 (mnn.com)