May 21, 2016


One week on from World Fair Trade Day and it is business as unusual - because every day in Mary & Martha is unusual.

Business as unusual on World Fair Trade Day because we were so well supported by the Ulaanbaatar community and by many early in the year travellers.  Business as unusual because all our summer students took part in an amazing day; a day typical of a high season day but out of high season.

We had lots of interest in our newly opened second shop; we had lots of interest in "what is Fair & Ethical" all about; we had lots of interest in all the artisans we represent; we had lots of spending; we had lots of interest in our names in old Mongolian Script prepared on the spot by our resident calligrapher, free to the many big spenders.

And based on our weekend sales we are able to donate close to MNT 500,000, divided between our two named good causes.

Now we are gearing up for we hope a very busy summer - we hope all the ASEM representatives can get the opportunity to visit our shops in mid July. And we hope elections good smoothly so there is no disruption to business.

May 12, 2016

20 Hours to the start of WFTD in Mongolia

The count down to World Fair Trade Day is nearing the end. Less than 20 hours to go. And we hear we could receive visits from the Chamber of Commerce, Chingeltei, Bayanzorkh and Nalaikh Districts as well as local sub district office folk to learn more about how our Fair Trade business is contributing to employment, the economy and promotion of Mongolian products around the world.

There will also be representatives from the two organisations we are donating to this year - so you will be able to ask them questions and learn about their activities.

We are grateful for the interest being shown by many loyal customers and the officials who are probably a little puzzled about what Mary & Martha is.

URGENT Disappearing Signage

The big 3 x 8 meter sign on the side of Cashmere house which guides so many of our customers into our shop is being taken down by the District as part of the Peace Avenue BEAUTIFICATION process ready for ASEM.

As with most contracts in Mongolia, the one we have with the Local Government Authorities has been declared illegal - we pay a lot of money for our signage - and if we do not remove the signage, we will be billed for the removal.  So it is not only the mining companies that have to deal with the lack of honour in contracting.

Doing business in Mongolia at all levels does not improve.  The sad thing is the BEAUTIFICATION process will end up being superficial at best!  It seems sad fixing things isn't a part of an ongoing process for UB residents rather than to try to impress ASEM visitors for a few hours.

OK so walking from the west from the State Department Store FIRST look for our new shop that focuses on high quality Yak, Camel, Cashmere, Silk and Woolen garments and accessories.  Then, having visited, walk on west another 50 meters LOOKING UP FOR THE WALL of the SIDE of CASHMERE HOUSE and just walk up the small side street about 50 meters to find Mary & Martha.

May 6, 2016

World Fair Trade Day 2016 - 14th May

The Fair Trade movement likes to focus the world on Fair Trade throughout the world once a year - 14th May this year.  

Those of us running Fair & Ethical businesses live Fair Trade every day of the year so that people on the street get the message every single day.

To align with the WFTO big day we are inviting our faithful customers and their friends to visit Mary & Martha on 14th - 15th May to learn more about our Fair & Ethical Business.

Read on to see what we are doing through the weekend of 14th - 15th May.

There is even more reasons to visit Mary and Martha -  a few weeks ago we opened a second shop on Peace Avenue (very near Cafe Amsterdam) focusing on Yak, Camel, and Cashmere clothing, shawls, scarves, hats and socks as well as silk scarves and felted silk scarves & shawls.

In our main branch we have introduced more (new) products and expanded the shop floor space.

Less than 5 minutes walk between shops and no crazy UB roads to cross. Come visit any day.

Jun 6, 2015

To Our Export Customers ...

Our latest downloadable Export Retail (Final Customer) Catalogue is available  HERE

For Wholesale Silver, Gold and Platinum Buyers email   HERE for a Catalogue.

May 15, 2015

Sad Loss to M+M and the Kempinski Customers

For nearly 5 years the Management and Staff of the Kempinski Khan Palace Hotel in UB have supported Fair Trade by allowing Mary & Martha to have a display cabinet in their lobby. This came about from the forward thinking of the German management who genuinely supported fair trade BUT also realised the value, commercially, since so many of their customers associated the Kempinski with the support of fair trade through Mary & Martha.

Unfortunately times are difficult in Mongolia and the Mongolian Owners of the Kempinski have seen a need to remove Mary & Martha so they can introduce their none fair trade approved products (socks) for sale. So sadly this is the end or a very good mutually beneficial relationship.

All is not lost - just 6 weeks ago Mary & Martha introduced fair trade socks to our shop in town - Camel, Yak and Cashmere - and the socks are just walking out of the shop!