8 Ethical Presents for the Holidays

Holiday shopping can be stressful…especially for those of us who are passionate about the social impact space, as we want to know that when we do need to buy new items for ourselves and our loved ones, that we are supporting ethical companies with every dollar of our purchasing power.

And, with the average Aussie spending between $500 and $600 on presents during the holiday season, our individual purchasing power can add up to make a huge impact!

So this year we wanted to share with you 9 gorgeous and ethical products that do good with your money, making spoiling your loved ones that much more fun.

 

1. YEVU

First up is YEVU. YEVU is a socially responsible clothing line that is made in Ghana, West Africa. Their mission is to address urban poverty through economically empowering disadvantaged micro enterprises, micro producers and artisanal manufacturers in Ghana’s informal sector.

They sell stunning, vibrant, and ethically made clothing for men and women, as well as home goods such as pillowcases.

With their celebration of the vibrancy, colour and chaos of West African in every tailor-made item, a gift from YEVU is sure to impress.

Also (shameless plug), YEVU is one of TDi’s Two Feet 2016 alumni!

 

2. Clean Coast Collective

Clean Coast Collective is a not-for-profit lifestyle brand, that was started due to the number of plastics in our oceans and on our beaches.

Think about how long you use a plastic straw for, 5 to 10 minutes? Maybe 30 minutes if you’re really savouring your drink. That plastic straw, which was manufactured from petroleum, shipped around the world, placed in your drink and then used for 10 minutes, will now exist for at least 100 years…

Furthermore, plastic straws are among the top 10 items found on our beaches. Switching to the Pacific Gold straws stops plastic straws clogging our landfills, and entering our waterways and oceans. As an extra bonus, they are mighty pretty too.

It’s time to give your drink the straw it deserves.

 

3. Inspirationery

Inspirationery is an eco-luxe stationery label designed to unleash the potential of women and girls. Their beautiful stationery funds positive social change with 50% of profits donated to empowering women and girls through education and leadership programs.

All Inspirationery products are made from recycled paper and are printed with inspirational messages using vegetable inks.

This is a great gift for those planners in your life, who need some beautiful, inspirational stationery to help them plan out all of their big goals for changing the world in 2018.

 

4. Social Cycles

Looking for a present that’s a bit more hands on? Push yourself both physically and mentally with a Social Cycles tour. This is sure to be a present you or your loved ones will never forget.

Social Cycles is an ethical tourism company that provides adventure cycling tours in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Somoa, and Iran. They work with local experts to create a positive impact in the world by supporting transparent, ethical, sustainable and community-based projects and adventure.

Their mission is to educate you about the in-depth cultural issues regarding poverty in developing countries through group cycling adventures where along your journey, you will meet with local grassroots NGOs to learn more about what is impacting their communities. At the end of your trip, a percentage of your tour price will go directly to one of the organisations you visited and learned from along the way – making this trip much more about you, and more about the people you share it with.

 

5. Songbird

Songbird crafts ethically made necklaces, earrings, paperweights, and accessories, inspired by Australia’s beautiful birdlife, and hand-crafted by artisan groups from around the world.

Some of Australia’s most beloved birds – including the Boobook Owl, Magpie, Eastern Rosella, and Kookaburra – are featured in their collection and are made with a conscious effort to minimise the impact of their waste stream on the environment.

Also, each purchase from their collection not only supports producers directly through the crafting of each item but also supports the work of their parent initiative The Decologist – a craft and design network established to assist small-scale, ethical crafts producers.

 

6. Mindful Wealth Movement

Start 2018 off with these beautifully designed abundance affirmation cards, to help align your thoughts, feelings and actions to create wealth and abundance.

The Mindful Wealth Movement is an Australian social enterprise based in Brisbane, Queensland. They are passionate about empowering women with the mindset, skills and confidence to better manage their relationship with money, reduce financial stress and create happier, healthier and wealthier lives.

Give these cards to someone who could use some inspiration for 2018, or use them yourself as a daily reminder of your good intentions and goals throughout the year.

 

7. Moeloco

Over 300 million people in the world have never owned a pair of shoes. The simple act of giving a child a pair of shoes for school can help their health, their access to education and their confidence.

Moeloco is a one-for-one social enterprise where with each flip-flop sold, they provide shoes to children experiencing disadvantage in India, through their collaboration with the Hope Foundation, which runs orphanages in on of the poorest areas in the world.

 

8. Avenue

Avenue is a social enterprise that sells unique, ethically sourced products handmade by talented artisans with disability from around the world. Based in Sydney, Avenue is run by a workforce of people with disability who use their skills to create, grow and evolve the business.

Their mission is to empower people to acknowledge a person’s skills rather than their disability. Their vision is a global community that promotes meaningful vocations, economic empowerment and opportunities for all people to reach their potential.

They sell a variety of high-quality products including soy candles, handbags, gift hampers, jewelry and more!

It takes a village to grow an inclusive sustainable business

TDi has been committed to inclusive sustainable businesses since the early days of the social enterprise movement in Australia.

Two Feet Accelerator: Where are they now? YEVU

This week we’ve been chatting with Anna Robertson from YEVU – a social enterprise clothing brand designed and manufactured in Ghana.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – Milne Bay Organics

“Coconut has been incredibly embedded in the Milne Bay tradition – from the food consumption through to the traditional dancing.” Last year, the YuMi pilot program took us to Alotau in Papua New Guinea, where we worked with difference maker, Rhona.

Indigenous tourism is key to economic recovery

Long-time friend, and associate of TDi, Ash Bartley has just started a new role with Visit Victoria.  We caught up with her recently to celebrate her new role and ask about the opportunity for Indigenous tourism in Australia’s economic recovery.

YuMi Tourism Partners (Alotau) – VilLink Tours & Expeditions PNG

“With what I’m doing, I want to encourage the other young women out there, that they can also have the chance to make a difference.  Not only in earning money, but sharing what they know, and getting other communities involved.”

Flexible and responsive coaching is key to sustaining women’s economic empowerment during a crisis

While each business owner faces their own set of challenges in response to the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID-19, we are observing a series of consistent coaching requirements emerge.

When life gives you lemons… pivot your business model

Nemika Brunton is based in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We met her during the YuMi Tourism Partners Pilot program.  The program addressed starting small, testing and learning, and how to adapt and respond to market needs.  These lessons have certainly helped Nemika shift her business focus in response to COVID-19. Tourism is a key industry for the town and many of the local businesses were tourism based.  So, the impact of COVID-19 hit the town hard.  Many locals – including Nemika – have adapted quickly to totally new businesses and customers.

Supporting Social Enterprise during COVID-19

Following a tumultuous year of bushfires, COVID-19 and recent floods in Southern NSW, lots of small businesses and the families and communities they serve, are doing it tough.  One way we’ve seen people showing their support for these local businesses is through the #shoplocal #shopvictoria and #buyfromthebush movements.  We’ve been inspired by this and wanted to share a #shopsocialenterprise guide based on some of the businesses we’ve been working with over the last 18 months.

Resilience, at what cost?

Over the past six months we as a team have navigated our own business and helped hundreds of others to do the same. We went from having a clear business model and ready to write our best year ever to having nothing as certain and many parts of our own business model under threat.

Finding motivation to continue business during COVID-19

As the current economic climate evolves with COVID-19, we have been sharing some perspective from both our own work and the continual conversations and support we’re offering others. Initially, we shared a metaphor about what this first felt like – like our house was...