This Saturday, skip Amazon and buy from an amazing social enterprise instead.
Social Saturday (13th October) is an annual campaign from Social Enterprise UK to help us find and support businesses whose goal is beyond pure profit, they work to make a positive impact on society at the same time.
You might be surprised how easy it is to purchase from companies that practice what they preach, and the very different ways they work to change the world.
Along the way, you can be sure to get some delicious, intriguing, and downright useful products. Here are five we recommend that you can support right now:
This award winning hot chocolate, took the food world by storm this week with the crown for ‘Best Product in Ireland’ at the Irish food awards, as well as Best Hot Beverage, Best product in Co.Antrim, and Best Artisan product in Ireland. The hot chocolate is produced with ethically sourced ingredients and provides work for victims of human traffiking.
How to shop: Social entrepreneur Tara Mullen posts orders to NI and UK, and sell in local markets in N.Ireland She also hit the shelves in Lidl for a limited time only. Check out her fantastic Instagram for mouth-watering pictures and more details.
Period poverty is a real problem in the UK - one in ten girls are unable to afford sanitary products and many skip school when they are on their period. That’s why entrepreneurs Celia Hodson and her daughters Becky and Kate started the business ‘Hey Girls’ with a simple practical solution: for every pack of sanitary products you buy, one pack is given directly to help girls and women in need.
How to shop: You can buy one-off or why not set up a monthly packs order and never make an emergency trip to the convenience store again.
We are not kidding about the deliciousness of these chocolates. The mint tastes like it was freshly picked seconds ago, and the flavour choices like “blackcurrant caramel” will blow your mind. These make an amazing gift, or just a personal treat.
Harry Specters offers paid employment to young people with Autism who are involved in every part of the business: making, packaging, designing, photographing, administering. The enterprise also offers work experience for students from local special education needs schools, and provide free training for young people with autism.
How to shop: Visit their website and buy yourself a whole box, or get some ‘trick or treat’ Halloween goodies.
If you like a delicious pale ale, Ignition Beer is a refreshing challenge to the standard big brands. Made in the local area, by people in the local area who have learning disabilities, and paying the London Living Wage, Ignition Beer is very much embedded in the local community.
How to shop: They sell direct to the public by the case, or they sit down with a bottle in one of several pubs in Lewisham.
Most children in care are given a black bin bag to transport all their possessions in when they move homes. Social entrepreneur Dave Linton was heartbroken when he heard this and wanted to give them something practical and beautiful to change this system. His business runs by giving a rucksack to a child in care for every one that is purchased. The bags themselves come in a lovely range of colours and pack up small enough to fit in a sock drawer - and right now they need more sales to meet the demand they have from those in care.
How to shop: You can buy a rucksack direct from their website now. I particularly like this nice autumnal mustard version.
No sweatshop, no photoshop, that’s the motto of this Unltd supported clothes brand. They work to sell the clothes that charities and women’s groups produce. They also ensure that all workers earn a living wage along every stage of the supply chain.
How to support: You can buy from them online right now. For instance, I think this sustainable bamboo soft jumpsuit looks beautifully cosy.
This is just a small selection of the businesses out there. Many cafes and restaurants are doing really exciting things, like cooking from surplus supermarket food, so check out your local street and there might be more going on than you think.
UnLtd award winners all have fascinating stories about their ventures and why they do what they do. My role is to ensure these stories are told and seen by the world. I want to make sure all the teams at UnLtd communicate their work effectively, and that they have the best tools to do so. I have a background in political campaigning, spending the last seven years trying to improve human rights in the UK. In my spare time I co-host and produce a podcast about technology and its impact on society, and enjoy drawing and making art
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