Welcome to the first instalment of Movers, Shakers and Changemakers- where once a month we’ll be highlighting our favourite enterprises in the social and environmental sector. These are businesses that are proving you can do good and make money.
Read on to hear the stories of some enterprises doing great things in the space. First up, a pop-up cooking school fostering community connection.
free to feed
free to feed are a Melbourne-based organisation run by Loretta and Daniel Bolotin. The program is a hands-on training, mentoring and employment opportunity for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Often, these people were chefs and cooking instructors in their home countries, before fleeing to Australia.
free to feed runs pop-up cooking courses either in people’s homes or at their kitchen in Thornbury, run exclusively by their team of international chefs.
“Perhaps the most beautiful part of joining a free to feed cooking class, is that you are saying ‘hey, you’re welcome here; we recognise that you’ve got a lot to offer … we want to listen to you and learn from you'”.
– Loretta & Daniel Bolotin, free to feed co-Founders
Not only are free to feed’s programs providing paid employment opportunities to people who have recently settled in Australia, they provide opportunities for community creation and foster a greater understanding of the refugee and asylum seeker journey.
At present, free to feed have cooks that are teaching traditional recipes from Iran, Syria & Sri Lanka. Sound delicious? There are a bunch of cooking classes coming up this month! Check them out here.
We all love a good sleep. But imagine being cosied up in bed this Winter, wrapped in ethically crafted pyjamas. ALAS is making this happen.
The enterprise, run by Kelly Elkin and Betony Dircks out of Sydney, believes that ethically responsible clothing manufacturing is fundamental to the future of fashion, and the world.
“We are constantly searching for ways to reduce our impact on the environment through our processes and selection of materials, which continues to be an exciting and challenging journey”.
— Kelly & Betony, ALAS co-founders
The enterprise take their garments from cottonseed to store via a fair-trade, organic and high standard supply chain. The founders regularly visit their factories to maintain a strong working relationship with their team and they believe that transparency in the fashion industry is key. We love what they do.
Check out ALAS’ gorgeous sleepwear, underwear and comfortwear here
Small Change began on the belief that online activism doesn’t go far enough. The enterprise, run out of Sydney, were tired of seeing ‘doing good’ manifested in simply likes, hashtags and retweets. So they had an idea.
How about, after every time someone watched a viral video or read a hard-hitting article about a global issue, they were directed straight to an organisation seeking to solve the problem? People would have the opportunity to take real action.
“In that moment you’re very emotionally invested in the cause, most people would reach into their pocket, like you would a homeless man on the street corner”.
— Henry Wells, Small Change co-Founder
Small Change’s purpose is to bridge the gap between the media and charity. As the enterprise says, “make your click count”.
So how does it work? If an activist wants to help a cause, they simply add the URL of an article or video that had an impact on them to the Small Change database. They are then connected with a relevant charity, are prompted to make a small donation and essentially create their own crowdfunding platform where others can donate.
See how Small Change works here