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!

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...

Pivoting during COVID: responses from Fiji

Recently, we caught up with Deb Sadranu at Essence of Fiji to see how things are going for her, her business, and Fiji in the face of COVID-19.  Tourism is a key industry for Fiji, and Essence of Fiji usually serves the tourists. As a result of COVID-19, Deb’s whole business model has pivoted from predominantly local, in-store sales, to predominantly international, online sales.

A letter to my daughter about Black Lives Matter and racial inequality

Dear Willow,  I’m writing to you because I want to share some rumblings in my gut that have troubled me.  You are at an age now, where it is time for you to step into a conversation that for us as Australians is long overdue. I have tried to teach you about love,...

Why mindset matters to women’s entrepreneurship and why we should invest in it, especially now

At The Difference Incubator (TDi) we’ve been supporting social entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses for over a decade. In 2019 we partnered with PNG Women’s Business Resource Centre and Kate Wilson from Kamaji Tree Consulting and Coaching, with the support...

Customer Empathy Interviewing

When was the last time you asked your customers what they thought? We use Customer Empathy Interviews to help businesses deeply understand their customers and design competitive products and services. It’s also been one of our top coaching tips for business owners...

Pivoting your business model during a crisis

A conversation with Geert from FarmWallGeert Hendrix founded FarmWall in 2016. Farmwall is an agrifood-tech startup that designs urban farming technology and experiences to enhance fresh produce accessibility in the city. In our constantly developing world, the need...

Business During COVID-19: In perspective

At TDi, we believe in the significance and power of small business’ and social enterprise’s contribution to life and the economy. It is this belief that drives us to support them now more than ever.

Working from Home

It’s one thing to make the choice to work from home, but it’s another to be forced to for reasons beyond your control. Even the seasoned work from homers are feeling the pinch in this time of forced isolation – I am no exception!! Oh, and throw in supervision of remote learning for your children and it’s even more challenging.

Surviving the campsite in the COVID-19 crisis

Two weeks ago, I shared with the team an analogy of a campsite. I reflected that our house has burnt down and we are struggling to reconcile the shock and the grief of all that is happening. I shared with them that I’ve been thinking that we need to set up camp, for now while we figure out how to reinvent for the new normal. We have a temporary place of residence and it’s not what we would have chosen but we can create from it. So, for the past two weeks, we have been focused on getting the campsite set up, trying to work out where stuff goes, who’s sleeping where and how to trade out of a tent.

COVID-19 Support Options Available for Your Business

We have compiled a comprehensive list of support available to Social Entrepreneurs, Not-for-Profits and SMEs in Australia.