The Betties, How it all began….
We met at an egg race on a hill in South India in 2006. The tall and short of it was that we became great friends and quickly realised that we were both bonkers about sustainability, beautiful products and people. We lived and worked in India with locals on charity programmes and wanted desperately to relieve the poverty that surrounded us.
Sitting with our Indian friends over sweet chai tea and blisteringly spicy curries, we heard one message loud and clear: “Give me a secure job and I will do the rest. I just want to put my kids through school and provide for myself and my family!”
Totally inspired by our friends, we hatched a plan to create open and honest trade between these fabulous people and the rest of the world by making beautiful products that are 100% eco & 100% ethical.
In order to give people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families through long-term sustainable employment, we carefully selected our Indian suppliers, who are committed to ploughing a percentage of the profits back into the local communities.
Together, we worked with skilled artisans to select the right materials and processes that have become the Betty collection. And now the collection continues …
Why Betty & Betts?
Whilst living in India, we found that most people had “pet names” for each other, like Pinky or Mini. Since we both always loved the name Betty, we decided to adopt Betty & Betts. Our friends are always confused, because on any given day, we never quite know who is Betty and who is Betts!
Betty & Betts is not just about two great friends, but about a whole community of Betties – from our suppliers to our buyers. By buying our lovely high-quality products, you can join the Bettyhood, too.
Back to the Motherland
In February 2010, we returned to freezing weather and good old English brews in order to launch our Betty collection in the UK retail market. We want to give everyone the chance to get in on the Bettyhood action and own a beautiful Betty product for themselves.
You can buy Betty Books in Oxfam shops across the UK. Our Betty luxury leather fairtrade accessories are found in boutiques all over the country and can be purchased online at: http://www.bettyandbetts.com
India is very much in the Betty blood, so we still make regular visits to our suppliers to make sure all is going well – and of course to top up on the delicious curries. (We recommend Masala Dosa!)
Read more about our adventures on our blog, where you can also catch up with Sausage, the office dog.
For every bit you put in, we give some back. Our long-term goal is to form a Betty & Betts Foundation that will advance the social impact of our work by using profits in the communities of India that really make a significant difference for the future. Currently the Betties have given a percentage of their profits to an orphanage for physically and mentally handicapped young boys, where we used to volunteer at in south India. The money has gone towards supporting staff members who provide essential everyday care, which means for example a shower everyday rather than once a month! We are proud to support such an amazing project. Follow U&I on http://www.uandi.org.in/U%26I/VOLUNTEER.html