When former solicitor Ramona Hirschi founded Little Trove in late 2011, she wanted to launch a business focused on improving the lives of producers as well as consumers. Time spent in her native Malaysia and other parts of the world had shown Hirschi that many goods manufactured around the globe undergo substantial mark-ups, with revenue often distributed disproportionately between the retailer and producer.
UK-based Little Trove actively addresses that disparity in earnings by offering a variety of products—ranging from food and fashion to kitchen and cleaning—certified by the Fairtrade Foundation, from suppliers registered with either the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) or the British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS). Little Trove’s ethical policy addresses standards such as fair wages and statutory rights for workers, child labor restrictions, fair pricing, and sourcing from less popular trading countries.
At its inception, Little Trove sold products exclusively online. Six months into the new venture, the company was looking to enhance the customer experience with in-person sales. Hirschi saw direct selling as an opportunity to integrate a personal approach, while maximizing return and minimizing risk to the fledgling company. In the course of its first year, Little Trove has trebled its turnover—with around 75 percent of profits now generated through direct selling.