With the mad rush to make sure every box is ticked on our Christmas gift list this year, it’s easy to forget how we might be able to shop more sustainably. Being more mindful about giving back in our communities means making the right choices when selecting what and who to buy from. Do not fret! You can revel in all your festive purchasing, knowing that your buying will also be your way of contributing to a good cause this Christmas.
These ethical makers have made it easier for us all to spread some real cheer this season to those that need it the most. Buy local, buy ethically and feel the joy that is giving.
Love & Hope
Love & Hope is a non-profit, non-government organization providing vocational training to underprivileged youth. Their boarding school and vocational center in Shunyi provides an oasis for those who need it, and facilitates the teaching and training of skills in a safe environment. Their philosophy is simple but has life-changing implications for the migrant children who are given the tools needed to secure employment in the future. Therein lies the love, and most importantly the hope: hope in others, hope in the future, and hope in life.
This Christmas Love & Hope will be selling beautifully crafted products made by the migrant children they teach in their i-sewing class. All proceeds and any donations go towards supporting the continuing development of their education and welfare. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or WeChat: 1850063292 or 18600063290
Star Fish Project
The Starfish Project has long been one of my favorite ethical makers. The non-profit organization supports vulnerable women, who with their help learn to craft wonderful pieces of jewelry made from precious stones, resilient metals, pearls and gems.
The organization’s mission is to restore hope to exploited women in Asia through their holistic care programs and their social enterprise. Women can go on to become managers, accountants, graphic designers and photographers.
Your purchase of the jewelry produced by these women goes towards the organization’s continued efforts to support women fleeing homelessness, domestic abuse and sex trafficking. Your purchase is more than a monetary contribution but an act of love for the person you are buying for and the person who needs to services the Starfish Project provides. For more information go to www.starfishproject.com
Everything about Sew Gorgeous is so gorgeous! From handcrafted wool and felt bags to locally designed embroidered homeware, there is literally something for everyone, from the volunteers that sew to support those in need. Blankets, cushions, place mats, Christmas decorations, bags, and all the above is what you can find when shopping for soft furnishings at the Roundabout store in Shunyi or at the many markets and bazaars Sew Gorgeous attend during seasonal and special occasions. Products can also be ordered directly through WeChat.
The charity, which was set up in 2014 by a British GP, supports disadvantaged children in China. All proceeds and donations go directly toward charities where children in need are the primary focus. This Christmas stock up on handcrafted gifts for the home for friends and family and support an awesome cause. To find out more information and make an order contact WeChat: daniellesaponara, or make a day of it and find out where they will be making an appearance as a vendor this Christmas.
The Yoganda Project is all about empowered women making the worlds best hand crafted bags in Iganga, Uganda. In the summer of 2014 yogini and world explorer Theresa of Taozi Tree Yoga went to Uganda. She has a passion to help and support vulnerable women living in poverty. This manifested itself into a project that could provide these women with a fulfilling occupation, while simultaneously creating something beautiful for yogis of the world to enjoy!
With the ancient and spatial practice of yoga in mind, Theresa went about forming a team of women with skillful hands. Teams of seven women were given training on how to use an electric sewing machine. A new business model was created in the area, producing high quality bags.
We all have that yogi friend, or perhaps you’re a dab hand at the downward dog? Whatever the case this Christmas use your or somebody else’s love of yoga to support a project that is a self-sustaining way of lifting women and their families out of poverty. To find out more visit www.taozitreeyoga.com or contact WeChat: TheresaRae.
Photos: courtesy of vendors