We love people and their businesses making a difference in any way they can, especially those who operate impact first. Beautiful things that give back too? It’s the cherry on top for us.
Some of our world-changing vegan (friendly), fair and sustainable sellers are social enterprises too. And that’s about a little more than planting a tree here and there.
They turn the entire industry upside down by helping fix sustainability issues in ways that support disadvantaged people or small family owned businesses struggling to provide a living, beyond just existing. Others simply put a portion of their revenue towards existing environmental projects or social justice charities. Or they donate part of their products to people in need. And for some, their most important goal is actually to gain social change rather than profit altogether.
These are the businesses, the people, that help build communities, support producers to help them become economically independent, create job opportunities and further develop the skills of workers anywhere down the supply chain.
These are stories of hope and change. Of going the extra mile to change lives.
We love any items ethically made of Piñatex®, a gorgeous plant-based leather successor made of pineapple leaves. To get this material no animal needs to give up their skin, it’s sustainably made from a natural waste product and it provides an additional income stream to Philippine pineapple farming communities. Get some pineapple leather sneakers, a handbag or wallet and know that you’ll have a cruelty-free item that’s supporting local economies and strengthening their exports, while inventively making use of a byproduct that would otherwise be discarded or burned.
We’ve got social brands creating handmade, stylish and waterproof backpacks from Dutch sailmakers’ leftover canvas and others handmaking zero-waste, naturally dyed (think plants, roots and minerals!) organic cotton baby essentials that both employ people with a labour market disadvantage (like long-term job seekers and/or asylum status holders) and offer them and others extensive work-study programs to gain practical skills like sewing, screen printing and dyeing, next to language lessons and personal development training. While having started small, with yearly impact reports showing the progress made, it’s hard not to fall in love with these passionate brands and their artisans’ craftsmanship.
Another circular business turns ghost fishing nets from the oceans into a powerful activewear capsule collection – whilst donating their entire profit into micro loans for women entrepreneurs globally. On a mission to stop gender inequality and help women in developing countries towards financial independence, they’ve supported over a thousand women and their families finding their way out of poverty. All while saving countless sea animals like fish, turtles, seals and dolphins from getting tangled up in plastic waste along the way. And at the end of these reversible swimsuits’, sports leggings’ and sports bras’ lifespans, the used activewear is reclaimed for upcycling. Full circle, this one.
There’s our sustainable sunglasses entrepreneur who realised that good eyesight is more than a simple convenience – that they are a powerful economic tool. Who then started providing eye care in countries from Zambia to Ethiopia to those in need: providing thousands of sight-impaired people with prescription glasses or corrective surgery. Supporting vision centres, working with a charity partner providing training programmes to local communities and partnering up with a Ghanese NGO that supplies handwoven sunglasses cases made from recycled plastic waste materials – so that the weavers can actually bridge the income gap when crops fail… What good buying a social pair of sunglasses can do!
Then there’s the couple of ethical jewellery brands that are reaching beyond the corners of their Indian, Indonesian, Nepali, Portuguese and Dutch workshops. Striking up long term partnerships with family businesses or specifically creating jobs empowering women in the neighbourhood and people with physical disabilities; teaching them the skills to become expert silversmiths, with the goal to provide for their families and making sure their children get a proper education. And then donating a meaningful percentage of their profits to a local children’s rights NGO protecting them from exploitation, taking care of children living on the street and helping them to break out of the cycle of poverty. They even close the loop by making use of recycled silver or going fully circular by reusing gold from discarded mobile phones.
These are just a couple examples of our sellers making the difference. Reading through their businesses’ impact reports we feel strengthened in our belief that yes, there’s still good in this world.
It's nice to know that with your purchase of items like these, made by people who take pride in their design and craftsmanship, you not only vote for a vegan, fair and sustainable world, but you also contribute something valuable elsewhere in the world too.
Thank you for giving a damn.