Last week, we attended the 2019 Social Enterprise Awards. It was a fantastic event with a huge variety of inspiring businesses tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. And, we were happy to offer some of our nuts for the goody bag given out at the event of the night.
The event got us thinking – wouldn’t it be nice if every Christmas stocking offered some social impact this year? So, we’ve rounded up of 17 of our favourite social enterprise organisations with exciting, ethical items available.
This online shop has a range of gifts on offer – festive decorations, slippers and some beautiful pottery. In fact, Aerende could cater for a whole host of your Christmas shopping needs. Everything on offer is made by people in the UK facing social challenges. All items on offer have been carefully crafted by those that struggle to maintain conventional employment.
Rubies in the Rubble
A third of all food goes to waste. It’s shocking…and unnecessary. However, Rubies in the Rubble is a purpose-led brand that’s putting a stop to food waste. The team make chutneys, vegan mayo and ketchup all made with ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.
From Babies with Love
From Babies with Love offers Organic baby clothes, bibs and blankets. There’s also a gorgeous selection of wooden and stuffed toys. But it doesn’t end there – you can also find some gifts for new parents like eco candles and or mother and baby gift sets. And, to top it off, every single penny of profit goes to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.
Socks are the more requested item by homeless shelters. They’re rarely donated because we tend to wear them until they’re falling apart. Yet a pair of dry, clean socks is extremely comforting and can help prevent foot issues. So, Stand4 Socks created a buy one, give one model. Plus, the team has engineered socks that span combed cotton, active and a new bamboo recipe.
The Soap Co.
The Soap Co. uses natural botanicals nourishing vitamins and pure essential oils to create cruelty free products that are good for you and good for the environment. The ingredients, when possible, are sourced from UK suppliers. There are options for aluminium bottles, wool wrapped exfoliating soap pebbles and bars of soap made from renewable wood pulp. In addition, The Soap Co. employ over 100 people – 80% of whom are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. And, (if you really needed more motivation) the sale of products helps to create even more jobs for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Luxury tea is a Christmas stocking filler classic! So, why not give NEMI teas a try? They offer a variety of whole leaf tea blends in biodegradable tea pyramids. They also have a rather delicious Chai Syrup for chai lattes, ices tea and cocktails. NEMI believes in providing employment to refugees to help them better integrate into the UK. More than 50% of profits are invested into the enterprise.
Elvis & Kresse
Elvis & Kressse is certainly unique. It reclaims damaged hosepipes from the London Fire Brigade to create bags, belts and brass candlestick holders. In the past year, 175 tons of material has been saved from landfill. The products are on the luxury end and a real treat. They have even partnered with Burberry to use leather cast offs. In addition, 50% of profits are invested in charitable causes.
Craft beer and Christmas – the two go hand in hand. A can or two of Brewgooder’s pale ale or lager is a fantastic stocking filler for a beer aficionado. The purpose of Brewgooder is simple: provide clean water for 1,000,000 people. All of the profits are donated to clean water charities. At the moment, a lot of the projects are in Malawi – an origin that Liberation hopes to work with more next year.
Whether its the classic chocolate coins or something more unique like chocolate covered popcorn – Divine has you covered. There’s also a range of Organic, vegan chocolate with some unusual, but delicious flavours. Like us, they’re Fairtrade and farmer-owned. Divine run projects at the cocoa farms and is a big advocate of empowering women.
Hopeful Traders is an ethical fashion brand that collaborates with creatives affected by homelessness and mental illness. The collaborators receive 10% of the revenue and a further 5% is donated to charities that have supported the induvial. Alongside a range of clothing, Hopeful Traders also offers recycled paper notebooks, organic cotton tote bags and screen-printed artwork
Goldfinger Factory creates sustainable, high-quality furniture. It also has a teaching academy for the local community. It aims to create a circular economy and an inclusive community. Although most things are a bit too big for a stocking, there are a few smaller items to choose from such as soy wax candles, napkin rings and coasters.
Ceramics, jewellery, sewing craft and screen printed products – the ultimate Christmas stocking collection. The aim of Studio 306 is to empower disadvantaged local individuals by offering a creative space for those who are recovering from mental illness. The space enables people to rediscover forgotten skills, develop new ones and boost their confidence within a working environment.
The Loaf Shop
Although Loaf Catering mainly works in food service and events, there is also an online pottery shop with a lovely collection of handmade mugs. The team at Loaf, has a beautiful philosophy: pots should be made like twins – look similar but have their own unique characteristics. Loaf is passionate about supporting people with autism and learning difficulties into jobs with a future.
Do you know someone looking to cut down on the plastic? If so, a reusable water bottle is a perfect gift. There’s a lot of choice out there for water bottles, but why not support jerry – a social enterprise investing in clean water projects around the world. Jerry works with schools, companies and universities to help spread the word about plastic pollution and the need for clean water.
Zaytoun is a fellow Fairtrade brand that sources products from farming communities in Palestine. The range of products includes Medjoul dates, extra virgin olive oil and Za’atar – a traditional Palestinian herb mix. There is also range of cookbooks that come with captivating stories and beautiful photography. A fabulous gift for a foodie.
Myddfai Trading Company
Luxury toiletries that come with a social conscience: Myddfai has home fragrances, body care and a bath range. The mission here is to provide employment and volunteering opportunities with the local community. Profits from the organisations are used for rural regeneration in the local area. They work on coastal protection as well and provide work experience for adults with learning difficulties.
Finally, we would a stocking be complete without some festive nuts? Of course, we advocate for Fairtrade and ethically sourced. Luckily, this year, we created a wonderful new festive selection for the Tesco finest Christmas range. The Fairtrade Chocolate covered cashews with Cranberries are decadent, delicious and the product delivers smallholder farmers with additional income.
Feel free to comment below with suggestions of other social enterprise organisations to support this festive season.