Like all these things, it started with a frustrated consumer. Or two to be precise. I’d been trying to live more of an ethical lifestyle for several years, gradually replacing my electricity guzzling lightbulbs, buying more local and organic food, switching my energy supply to a renewable tariff… but every little step required hours of internet research, piles of books and substantial label reading in the local farm shop. That’s when I met Richard.
Finding another frustrated ethical wannabe was very refreshing. After a good rant about the hardship involved in finding planet-friendly products and how the majority of people simply didn’t have the time and energy to do this, we decided to do it for them and at the same time turn our passion into our job. Mad* was born.
It’s your choice… Make it!
The vision we had was of a shopping utopia of sustainable, organic, fair trade and ethical products, covering every part of a modern lifestyle, all under one roof. We believe very strongly that to make a real difference, as many people as possible need to be made aware of the social and environmental effects of the products they buy and the services they choose. We realised that if Mad* was to have an impact, we needed to reach a wide audience, not just preach to the converted, and to do this effectively; we needed to talk to them in their language.
As ethical consumers ourselves, we knew that if you take the time to look, there are a rapidly expanding number of products on the market that are stylish, functional and reasonably priced but don’t have devastating effects on the planet. Consumers need to be made aware of these products, know where to find them and most importantly understand why choosing them over an ethically-inferior alternative actually makes a difference to our future. Consumers have so much power through their spending and we want them to wield that power.
What we have created is an inspiring day out. We don’t want to be worthy, persuade you that we are perfect or preach to you about right and wrong. We just want to show you what’s out there, enable you to obtain it more easily and help you to make informed choices.
Living for today… with the future in mind
The Mad* Show has managed to bring together a variety of companies, all offering products and services that fit into today’s modern lifestyle: stylish interiors for your home; scrumptious fair trade food; luxury cosmetics and funky organic fashions.
Some important names from the ethical industry will be exhibiting at the Show, including leading ecological cleaning experts Ecover, Fairtrade chocolate producers, Divine Chocolate and natural beauty advocates, The Green People. In addition, there will be a host of smaller companies, offering unique and stylish alternatives to everyday products. Silverchilli offers a huge variety of fair trade jewellery, fashionable, stylish yet with a conscience; Seasalt Organic Cottons from Cornwall have recently launched a funky new range of beach and street wear, all available at the Show; and Refab breathes new life into vintage fabrics, creating truly individual home accessories such as lampshades, cushions and the irresistible ‘funky chicken’ doorstop.
However, we didn’t want the show to just be about products. We also wanted our visitors to understand why making ethical choices was so important. That’s why we have also put together an inspiring programme of talks and debates in our Show Theatre. The theatre will be hosting events throughout the show, with leading names such as Ecologist editor and renowned environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, wind-up radio inventor Trevor Baylis and survivor of BBC’s ‘Dragon’s Den’, David Wilks.
*Make a Difference
We wanted to ensure from the beginning that the Show was not about ‘Greenwash’ but that the companies exhibiting really had a passion for the principles they were promoting. To achieve this, we have linked up with industry experts including The Soil Association, The National Energy Foundation, Forum for the Future and The Ecologist who have all provided us with a variety of advice and support.
The Mad* Show is also proud to be launching London Sustainability Weeks 2006, a fortnight of over 400 events across the capital, all promoting a sustainable future for London.
The Mad* Show is being held at Earls Court, London from 2nd to 4th June. Further information is available from www.themadshow.co.uk or by calling the Mad* team on 01483 418829.