Lanka Kade was founded in 1994 when husband and wife team Upul and Diane, returned to the UK having met in Sri Lanka whilst working for the Red Cross. They did not want to lose contact with the country and the people they both loved, so they set up a small import business to maintain links with Sri Lanka. Over twenty years later, Lanka Kade is an established, family run business based in the heart of the UK specialising in the design, craft and supply of fair trade wooden toys and gifts across the world.
Whilst in Sri Lanka, Upul and Diane spoke with a group of workers waiting outside of a workshop they were about to visit, discovering they were ex-employees chasing payment for work completed three months earlier. So incensed at this injustice, Upul and Diane decided there and then they would only buy from people who cared about their workforce. This was the defining moment for the business and the catalyst that established Lanka Kade’s fair trade ethos.
Lanka Kade has direct trading partnerships with its producers and members of its UK team visit Sri Lanka regularly to offer support and guidance, whilst ensuring that fair trade working practices are adhered to. Lanka Kade’s commitment to its producers supports their independence and growth, whilst ensuring their employees have a sense of job satisfaction. Interest free loans, training and independent financial support have helped each individual producer group grow into the independent businesses they are today. Lanka Kade complies with the internationally accepted 10 Principles of Fair Trade and they have been a proud and active member of BAFTS since 2001, with Diane previously chairing the board.
Their distinctive range of educational toys inspires learning through play which in turn develops language, picture, shape and colour recognition skills to name a few. Lanka Kade have worked hard to set high standards for quality handcrafted toys, this along with their bright colours and natural wood finishes are popular with parents and children alike! The inclusion of artisan stories on packaging helps to share their connection with Sri Lanka and promote the artisans they work with, showing the difference purchasing Lanka Kade makes. When you purchase a Lanka Kade product you also directly support the Lanka Kade educational foundation which provides books and daily milk drinks to several rural schools in Sri Lanka.
Lanka Kade support independent retailers and do not allow their products to be sold on Amazon or eBay. They offer postcode exclusivity and actively promote stockists of their range, encouraging consumers to find their local independent stockist. All Lanka Kade products have been successfully tested in the UK to European Toy Safety Standards.
Contact Lanka Kade direct or visit them at the UK’s main trade shows for more information and become a Lanka Kade stockist!
Unit C, Riverside End, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7PU