I’ve always wanted to do more to aid social stories and socially positive movements, whether that be environmentally friendly products, fair trade food or supporting campaigns that back worker’s rights and give other’s a chance to have a suitable standard of living. But it’s hard isn’t it? For example, if I want to go and buy a bar of chocolate I’m going to buy my favourite even if there are fairtrade options out there. It’s not just the price, but even if I have good intentions and I tell myself this time it will be different I see that mint Aero bar and I give in.
But this has all changed in the past six months. Don’t get me wrong, I will still buy an aero bar every now and again, but I will also buy fairtrade chocolate. What was the revelation for me? My sister. My sister Karis has always been aware of socially conscious goods and services and really I should have listened to her sooner.
Last summer my sister launched her first business Social Stories Club with her partner Aayush. Social Stories Club shares the story behind products made by social enterprises. It talks about how they benefit social causes and there really are some cool products out there. Imagine having a bag made of crisp packets, well you can. Imagine having skin products that benefit the planet, or clothes which are made out of recycled materials. Well thanks to Social Stories Club you can.
It’s taken me a while to buy into what they’re trying to achieve, but I think it’s great to buy something and not only have a story behind it that you can share with other people, but to know that it’s directly benefiting someone or something.
Here are five social enterprises or brands that will make you think about where you buy your everyday items from.
Elvis and Kresse
Elvis and Kresse are a brand that are known for making luxury handbags with a twist. All the handbags, belts, purses etc that they sell are made from recycled raw materials. The company was created in 2005 after an encounter with the London Fire Brigades. They rescued all of London’s damaged hoses, which were headed for landfill and have used them to make their luxury items.
There’s no way you would notice that the bags were made from hoses and it’s just a fantastic concept to reduce waste and make use of unwanted materials. Although the handbags are pricey, half of the profit the company makes is donated to charities.
Hey Girls is a powerful family business set up by a mother and her two daughters, which aims to tackle period poverty. They sell sanitary products with a twist. All the profit from the products in the Buy One Give One range go directly to help girls and young women in need. So for every box you buy, they give one away to people who are in need of sanitary products.
This one’s for all the vegans out there. Aduna creates African-inspired superfoods made from 100% natural ingredients, which are of cause all vegan friendly. Their mission is to create sustainable incomes for rural African households. They source all their ingredients from small-scale producers in Africa, creating life-changing income streams.
Summer is just around the corner and that means beach holidays. What could be better than a social enterprise swimming costume? The swimwear at Auria are made out of recycled fishing nets and other Nylon waste. Yes, you heard it right. You could be wearing a fishing net and look good.They sell both one-piece and two-piece bathing suits and they’ve even reached the local high street in Selfridges.
I’ve never been a make-up wearer myself, but for those who want to enjoy their make-up knowing that it’s sustainable then there are so many great brands out there. The rise of veganism has made companies like Aether Beauty increasingly popular. They provide sustainable cosmetics which are cruelty-free, organic and fair trade.
So I want to know what your favourite social enterprise is and if you don’t have one, what would make you buy these products?
*This is not an advert. I haven’t received any products or commission in exchange for this post. This is just an insight into the world of social enterprises and what a difference they can make to society.