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Dojo EcoShop is the natural choice for great eco alternatives to everyday goods. A unique range of natural organic mattresses, beds made from sustainably produced timber, organic bedding and towels, greener home and gardening, eco paint, recycled mats for shiatsu and yoga, fairly traded toys and sustainable fabrics, all sourced from ethical suppliers or made in our workshop from organic materials

Latest DojoEco News

Christmas Is Coming...

December 19, 2007 - 12:13am

Brrrrr, hope this cold bright weather lasts over Christmas because it’s going be great for some hill walking to stretch ourselves back into shape at this darkest time of the year. There have been a lot of late nights and early mornings in the Dojo workshop these past few months and we’re ready for a break. The wood burner has been blazing and Jon’s been out the back chopping so much wood he hasn’t needed to stand by it to get warm. There always seem to be mince pies warming on the top at the moment, we made a bit of a mistake in our ordering and ended up with rather more than we expected, but they’ve turned out to be just the thing to sustain whilst making all those Christmas deadlines. Our order book is closed for this year now, and already filling up for the beginning of the next...

We are closing at 5.00 on Saturday 22nd December and don't reopen the shop until 10.00 Thursday 10th January (although we are actually back in the workshop at the beginning of that week) We've found that very few people want to buy big things like beds and mattresses over that time so we’re taking advantage of the quiet time to take a bit of break!

It’s been a fantastic year at Dojo - even though we’ve been around for 17 years now each year brings so many new experiences and challenges. Thanks to everyone who has supported us in so many ways.

So here’s wishing everyone a time of rest, reflection and merriment in whichever order you choose!

Once Upon A Time

October 6, 2007 - 9:41am

We are often asked why we started our business - how did we jump from biochemical research to making futons and mattresses? Sometimes we can’t remember all the reasons why we changed direction 17 years ago. Some answers stand strong and rooted as they ever were, some we just laugh about (what was that about taking more time off...) It wasn’t a calculated decision, we didn’t have a business plan - which is probably a good thing because there were never going to be any numbers that added up anyway. We just knew we wanted to do something that involved proper hands-on making stuff, so we could make things we thought were great and couldn’t find anywhere else. Something special that could be made from straightforward, natural materials like wood and cotton, and wasn’t an occasional extravagance but something that would be used all the time as an essential everyday item. Something that, if it was good, could make you feel good too. We couldn’t think of anything much more important than a sound night’s sleep, so that’s how it started. And although we now stock all sorts of lovely eco goods, our hardworking mattresses and futons still sit right at the heart of what we do.

E-mails like this remind us why we took the long way round...

hi there,
just wanted to say thanks for the mattress. it is wonderful and i have
been sleeping so much better. i even wake up feeling less pain than i felt the night before; that is a first for me!
thanks again.

...and why we are still enjoying the view!

Thursday at Dojo

September 20, 2007 - 3:50pm

It’s been a while, and there's no-one in the shop, so maybe it’s time for a bit of an update on what’s going on here at Dojo.
We’ve been really busy in the workshop with lots of orders for our own ‘Made in Manchester’ stuff, especially organic mattresses. It’s great to see all those bales of organic wool we bought at the last shearing going down, but we’re also hoping we got the balance right - too much and we’ve got nowhere to put it, too little and we have to wait until next year when the sheep don’t need it any more! Plenty to go yet though...
More items that have been in the shop for a while, or we have made initially as one-off orders for people, are making their way onto the site but we always have a bigger range here, so if you are around these parts call in and have a look round. Our shop and workshop are in the same building so you can see a bit of handmaking going on too. In fact, that’s why the shop is only open 3 days a week - the rest of the time the work-space sort of spreads into the shop-space and then we have to have a big tidy up before Thursdays. Having said that, we always like to see people, so give us a ring to check we aren’t out delivering and call in anytime.
We keep getting asked if we are planning to have online ordering on the site. I guess the questions are really giving us the answer... umm yes, sometime! We are a proper shop and workshop first and the site is our sort of online catalogue at the moment, for larger products we think it’s best to take time making sure people have a chance to talk through orders to choose the right thing, but we may start soon with some of the smaller items and see how it goes, no rush.
So, it’s back to hammering and stitching to the sound of Oh Brother, Where Are Thou?...

Shutting Up Shop

August 11, 2007 - 9:59pm

We’re shutting up shop for two days and all heading to the hills for a weekend of camping and Aikido-ing, so the Manchester shop will be closed on Friday 31st August and Saturday 1st September. Even the nice person who answers the phone will be slamming people to the mat instead, so the answer phone will be on over that time. Dojo EcoShop, committed to the live - work balance!

Cork

June 19, 2007 - 5:59pm

About time for an update or it’s going to look like we never came back to the city! Corsica was a fine place to unwind for a couple of weeks, some serious hiking for the brave and slack rambling around the coast for us. Travelling by public transport out of season can be a bit of a challenge, but so long as you don’t mind where you end up it takes a lot of the choice out of where to go, which is curiously relaxing.
We’ve come back determined to seek out more cork products after rediscovering such a beautiful and much underused resource. The Cork Oak forests of the Mediterranean are a hugely precious ecosystem with high levels of biodiversity. The production of cork is a sustainable and important economic activity where the traditional skills are part of a unique cultural heritage. The Cork Oak trees are harvested every 10-12 years by hand and it’s a skilled job to carefully remove the thick outer layer of corky bark with small axes. The harvesting doesn’t harm the tree and a new layer of cork grows back so it’s a brilliantly renewable resource. We saw huge curved slabs by the roadside, piled up like rough roof tiles. The newly stripped trees are so beautiful, their naked limbs are such a deep ochre-red they looked like some enchanted forest. Way too gorgeous to be hidden away as bottle stoppers or pin boards and facing decline as more wine producers move to screw cap bottles. We came across cork fabric (a sort of vegan suede), huge cork bowls and platters (no more bruised fruit), cork sandals (for walking on water?), cork umbrellas (cork is waterproof as well as insulating) and even cork postcards. Actually we would quite like to find a source of recycled bottle corks too, but so far everyone we’ve asked has thought we were joking or a bit bonkers...
Anyway, time to grab the camera and get some shots of all the lovely new eco goods we’ve got in the shop and been meaning to get on the site...

Holiday Closing

April 12, 2007 - 1:13pm

Being a bit old fashioned here at Dojo Ecoshop we have a proper shut-down holiday every year, so the shop and workshop will be closed for the first two weeks in May. During this time no messages will be taken as we won't have any 'technology access'! Look out for new products when we return, exploring new places is often a great way of meeting up with fresh ideas and finding goods we haven't come across before.
Aikido classes will be continuing as usual, ably taught by senior black belt students.

Welcome!

March 9, 2007 - 9:38pm

Welcome to Dojo EcoShop! We’ve finally got the website up and running, and it’s only taken us 17 years...well not quite, although it has felt like that at times. When we started making furniture in 1990 the concept of the internet would have seemed pretty strange to us. Being hands-on, hammer-and-nails sort of people we needed a bit of encouragement, but now we are really excited to be here, so thank you James and Philip for persuading us we needed more than a couple of pages, and for sorting it out too!

We are proud to be a manufacturer and a shop, so as well as having the versatility to make pretty much anything to order (from a mattress 320cm square to 40 cushions for an Indonesian orchestra) you can call in to our place to chat through an idea, try out samples and have a good look at all the products on this site. We always have more great eco goods in our shop than we can show here but we’ve chosen lots of our favourites. It’s quite an eclectic range and growing all the time so we’ll let you know about new things as we go along and although you can’t order on this site, yet, we are just a phone call or e-mail away.