Our story starts with the name Lydia. We went back into history searching for the origins of international trade and found where it all started, the Kingdom of Lydia, a society of merchants and one of its descendants called Lydia. The earliest coins in the world, about 650 BC, were authorised by the kings of Lydia. The Lydians had been the first to strike true coins -tokens of standard, weight and imprint- and in the sixth century BC money began to be widely used in both foreign and international trade. A system of coinage followed by retail shops spread from the kingdom of Lydia to the Greek harbour cities and that shaped into a new system of international trade.
In 50 AD, seven hundred years later, a trade agent known as Lydia from Thyatira sold purple cloth. Her name proved that Lydia was still a society of merchants, well-known for its highly esteemed trading standards and high quality products. Lydia was an ambassador and pioneer representing the trade of her home country in the most important city of Macedonia, Philippi. Located on the Egnation Highway, Philippi was also called the gateway to Europe and via Philippi your product would travel quickly into Rome and Europe. Coming from Thyatira, the city famous for producing excellent Tyrian purple, she left her trading community to expand the trade in purple cloth into the young but very prosperous Roman empire with Rome as its centre of power where rulers resided, the potential buyers of her products.
Lydia’s story is quite exceptional, she left home and moved to another part of the world to represent her trading community and was called after her trading society. It signifies a far-reaching association and a high standard of trustworthiness required for high-value goods like purple cloth.
Fast forward to 2017, we believe that international trade characterised by association and high standards of integrity is desperately needed to restore economies that have suffered too long under systems of economic injustice. You can read more about this in the next section “Our Values”.
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