About Maitree

Our story

During the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2019/20, we tried to focus on the positive to get through unprecedented times. We couldn’t help but notice the clear water in the Venice canals, blue skies over Delhi and wild animals roaming in locked-down cities. We were made aware, first-hand, of the impact that a change in human behaviour could have on the environment. We felt a sense of responsibility to change our own behaviour to have a more positive impact on the Earth.

During COVID-19, we also felt the pain of not being able to celebrate our loved ones’ special events due to lockdown restrictions. More than ever, we found ourselves wanting to connect with our loved ones in different ways than we were used to. One of these ways was to let them know we were thinking of them through gifts we knew they’d love.

As we began to adopt more sustainable practices in our own lives, we become increasingly aware of the lack of options for eco-friendly gifts. Whilst there are plenty of promising options out there for purchasing eco-friendly everyday items for ourselves, we struggled to find suitable, sustainable gifts. 

More than that, we noticed there wasn’t a platform on which to find eco-friendly treats (and not just everyday items) for ourselves - because we all need a little treat every now and then, be it a scented candle or an organic cocktail.

We thus connected our desire to celebrate meaningful relationships with our desire to live more sustainable lifestyles and positively impact the environment. That’s how we formed Maitree, a marketplace for sustainable gifts and treats for yourself or your loved ones. 

We aim to help those who care about the greater impact of their purchases on the environment by offering products that align with their socio-economic and environmental values. Too often we are told as consumers that our choices are harmful, but more often there are simply not enough sustainable options for us to choose from. We want to change that.

Our ultimate vision is to place sustainability at the forefront of all celebrations. Whether it be birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, or ‘just because’, Maitree offers sustainable gift choices for all your special occasions. Our products are carefully vetted to ensure they uphold our sustainable values.

On Maitree, you can find gifts that are good for the Earth; gifts you can feel good about giving.

Our sustainable core values

Our sustainable core values align with the United Nation’s sustainable development goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

We have outlined these requirements to help ensure we are effectively contributing to our end goal. However, we understand that for certain products it may be difficult, impossible or, in some cases, unethical, to satisfy some of the requirements.

Therefore, in order to be listed on the Maitree marketplace, products must fulfil one or more of our sustainable requirements.

Our final decisions are made on a product-by-product basis to ensure that we are not only creating a sustainable marketplace, but an ethical one as well.

ORGANIC

A product whose raw materials have been produced using organic methods and the product has been produced using eco-friendly method including the machinery and equipment.

Organic practices are generally better for the earth because they sustain the health of the soil and they support the local ecosystem. In short, they’re great for you and great for the planet.
NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Products grown, harvested, raised and processed in an ecological manner, not produced synthetically, free of all petrochemicals.

Natural ingredients tend to be less abrasive and more soothing. Conventional products rely on chemically produced scents to cover up the chemical smells of the ingredients in the product. 

PLASTIC FREE

Applies to a product and its packaging; the entire product being sold to the end consumer must be free of plastic.

There are 160 million tonnes of single-use plastic produced every year, plastic that is used once and binned. Reducing our consumption supports help reduce demand for the non-biodegradable material.

FAIRLY MADE

A product’s material which would otherwise become municipal waste, which can be collected, separated or processed, and returned to the economic mainstream in the form of raw materials or products.

Supporting businesses that ensure fair working practices creates a sustainable model of fair wages and reduces the need for fast fashion (a.k.a keeping up with the Jones’).

VEGAN

The item uses no animal product in any stage of production.

Consuming animal products is incredibly resource-intensive. Vegan products allow consumers to prevent animal suffering, lower their carbon footprint and prevent environmental degradation.

RECYCLED

A product’s material which would otherwise become municipal waste, which can be collected, separated or processed, and returned to the economic mainstream in the form of raw materials or products.

Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create air and water pollution.

REFILLABLE

A container that is refillable can be filled again when the liquid inside has been used.

We are consuming a staggering 7.7 billion plastic bottles in the UK alone! Unfortunately, not all of the plastic finds its way to landfill sites. Plastic is a leading cause for marine life habitat degradation. We must be sensible and reuse containers to protect our oceans amongst all other things.

SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION

Products sold by businesses that empower economic and social development by making a donations to a social-enterprise of their choice.

Social enterprises address problems that are too narrow in scope to spark legislative activism or to attract private capital. Through social contributions, sustainable initiatives are able to gain further momentum.

DOMESTICALLY SOURCED

A product that was manufactured, produced, processed or reconditioned in the United Kingdom.

Buying from domestic suppliers and manufacturers can cut down on fuel emissions because it takes less fuel to transport goods than it would to transport them across countries.

So, what does Maitree mean?

Maitree (Maitrī [Sanskrit; Pali: mettā]) means benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and active interest in others.

We chose the name Maitree because our company was born first and foremost from a desire to cultivate meaningful relationships in our lives. We wanted to do this by sharing our core values, the things we really care about, with our loved ones through the gifts we give them.

Even more, we wanted to share this with others. Like us, we want people to feel good about the gifts they give; and rest assured that they are giving back to the Earth.