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Kylie Kwong launches her Oxfam fair trade dinnerware range

Kylie Kwong is a chef I truly admire. Not only for her delicious Asian inspired food, but also for her committment to ethical, sustainable produce and support of both the natural and human environment. Kylie is never just talk. She takes action.

Having made the switch to using quality sustainable produce both at home and at her restaurant, Billy Kwong in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Kylie is a true believer in making the world a better place through supporting organisations and producers who care to make a change. It was her book, It tastes better, that I consicously chose to feature a recipe from recently – inspiration is a great thing, and Kylie is right: fresh and well looked-after ingredients do taste better.

It is no surprise that she has chosen to launch her brand new fair-trade dinnerware range through Oxfam AustraliaInfluenced by Kylie’s Chinese heritage with a modern twist, similar to the highly acclaimed food featured on the Billy Kwong menu and in her many cookbooks, the Lotus range is fair trade and hand-made. Crafted in earthy tones of charcoal, jade green, gold and dusty pink, the range includes a soup bowl, a rice bowl, a spoon and a Chinese teapot and teacup. Every piece tells a story. If you’ve been following this year’s MasterChef, you may have caught a glimpse of the range in the episode screened on Sunday 17 July, where Kylie and the Dalai Lama were special guests.

As an Oxfam ambassador, Kylie strongly believes in the power of fair trade to combat poverty and make a difference to the lives of families in  developing countries. Visiting the workshop at Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts in Vietnam, which will be producing the range, and seeing the positive impact of fair trade working conditions on not only the workers but their entire communities, must have been one of the most rewarding experiences.

“The fair trade system puts people back front and centre of the supply chain, and can make a tangible difference to the lives of families in developing countries. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by my mother and her sisters,  and I feel a real affinity for Mai’s work with Vietnamese women.”

At the offcial launch held at Tim Olsen Gallery in Woollahra yesterday, Oxfam’s Director of Trading, Nadine Silverberg, who initiated the Lotus range project, said that Kylie’s profile will help raise awareness of fair trade produced homewares, perhaps to the same level Australians are now able to make fair choices about their coffee, tea and chocolate.

The range will be available in Oxfam stores around Australia and online from early October, right in time to place orders for Christmas.

So, what does fair trade mean for the people working on Kylie’s range?

People employed at the Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts workshop, receive the following benefits:

  • Above average wages
  • Good working conditions
  • Regular working hours
  • Opportunities for training and career progression
  • Cooking facilities and time off to prepare lunch
  • A workers’ representative to raise any issues with the owner


Wholesome Cook attended the event as a guest of Oxfam Australia. A big thank you to Raina Hunter of Oxfam for inviting me alongside a handful of other bloggers (Mish Delish, Jasmyne Tea, Fig and Cherry, Simon Food Favourites), to the Billy Kwong team who catered for the afternoon and to Kalleske Wines for providing some lovely organic wines for the enjoyment of the guests.

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muppy August 23, 2011 at 10:46 am

What an awesome post, I love Kylie and I am passionate about fair trade products so this is excellent to see. Can’t wait till we start seeing it in all the shops!

lateraleating August 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I’m a big fan of Kylie too, she’s a hands-on woman with great values.

Claire August 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

So nice to meet you yesterday Martyna. Congrats on a beautifully done post too. Fantastic cover of a great event.

mish August 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Well said Martyna. Nice to meet you too 😉

JasmyneTea August 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Great post – it was lovely meeting you! 🙂

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi August 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I love that Kylie’s taking this on. Hopefully it inspires others do do the same ..

Sherilyn @ Wholepromise August 25, 2011 at 8:35 pm

What a great role model she is indeed. I bet you had a great time meeting with her.

pauline bardavid grey August 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

looks fantastic good luck with the new launch

torviewtoronto and createwithmom August 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

lovely post on Oxfam fair trade which has always been wonderful in helping many communities
lovely event you have attended

15 minute hot and sour soup with sizzling beef « Wholesome Cook January 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm

[…] bowls and spoons featured in this post are from Kylie Kwong’s Oxfam fair trade Lotus range and are available from  Oxfam stores around Australia and online. I got mine from Mr […]


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