Social responsibility is a topic that is being tackled by many companies these days, be it in the form of making donations or helping underprivileged communities.
Here in Singapore, several brands have moved in this direction too. Eco-shopper or not, you’ll always spread a helping hand further when you purchase from the below stores.
This company makes shoes that are so light – just 280g – you'll feel like you're walking on clouds. Also, the design of the shoes allow them to be flat-packed, making them perfect for travel, especially if you're planning to do a lot of walking.
The company doesn't just want to produce comfortable, luxurious shoes at affordable prices, it also believes in making a difference. That's why it dedicates 10% of its revenue towards the goal of feeding hungry children, building sustainable communities and supporting their growth. Its #buy1feed1 initiative allows you to pay it forward, by giving back to hungry children in developing countries.
The Anothersole fund is used for the buying of food supplies and funding sustainability for underfunded orphanages, building sustainable communities for children to thrive and qualified missions with a school feeding operation. It works with charities already functioning towards the goal of benefiting the kids directly. The goal is to be able to contribute $1 million annually towards this cause.
Charles & Keith
This much-loved local brand stresses the importance of being a socially-responsible company and it does its bit by contributing to the communities it operates in, in numerous ways. The fashion brand has been partnering with Singapore Committee for UN Women to champion gender equality, as well as to demonstrate its support for women-related causes around the world, since 2012.
For International Women's Day this year, local celeb Sandra Riley Tang joined Charles & Keith in their #TimeIsNow campaign. The member of The Sam Willows band was the perfect role model as she's also a martial arts practitioner who breaks convention to excel in a traditionally male-dominated sport, uprooting the stigma that women can be strong and independent.
The brand launched an exclusive collection with this campaign, featuring a light grey quilted crossbody bag and light grey quilted wallet to support the peaceful but urgent press for female empowerment, with 20% of the proceeds from the sale of these items going to Singapore Committee for UN Women to fund the organisation’s programmes and initiatives.
Other campaigns the brand has been involved with include exclusive products designed for Breast Cancer Awareness Month over several years, with part of the proceeds donated to Breast Cancer Foundation Singapore, and the launch of a socially responsible collection in line with World Environment Day in 2017.
This jewellery company is based in Singapore but its workshop is located in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Its goal is to create meaningfully-made jewellery to impact a new generation of young jewellers in Phnom Penh. The people are at the heart of the work and by creating employment opportunities for a new generation of jewellers and silversmiths in the Cambodian city, it gives them a better future, while preserving the traditional craftsmanship too.
All its jewellery is handcrafted by its team of nine artisans in Cambodia, giving them fair pay, health care and a positive work environment.
The brand also offers a bespoke ring service, offering ethically sourced and custom precision cut gems, and its diamond dealer works with conflict-free diamonds, plus there's an option of using Fairmined Gold for its jewellery too.
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Ideated in Singapore in 2012 by Gema Santander, this brand's designs are inspired by Bali and Ibiza (hence the name), featuring timeless, sustainable resort-wear clothing that's both comfortable and elegant. Its mission is to consciously design comfortable beach wear collections that are ethically made, whilst supporting communities of women and children living in poverty.
Baliza partners with Ladli, the the vocational centre of the NGO i-india in Jaipur, India, to conserve traditional fabric creating skills, empowering families of artisans and supporting the education of over 3,000 children. The brand provides work for over 300 women artisans and 90 young adults.
The artisans learn traditional garment making skills and it also empowers generations-old craftsmen to preserve their art, and sustain value. Gudri women are employed, and they learn traditional block printing, beading and embroidery. They are also given social benefits and receive emotional support and financial education. They're paid a fair salary, which is three times higher than the average factory worker.
The Nail Social
The first socially-conscious nail salon in Singapore, the aim here is to provide vocational training and employment to local marginalised women, to help them progress from a position of vulnerability to security and self-sufficiency. A portion of the salon's profits also goes to sustaining the social support and services offered to these women.
Plus, most of the products used, sold or served here are non-toxic, eco-friendly, fair-trade and/or cruelty-free.
A couple of others also doing good…
Because it cares about fashion's impact on the world, this brand showcases brands and designers who create products that are socially or environmentally conscious. This includes clothing made from eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, tencel and bamboo, to hand made jewellery or organic skincare that gives back to communities.
100 Good Things
Founded on the belief that commerce, style and social responsibility can coexist, 100 Good Things is an ethical- and sustainability-minded brand rooted in equality. It works with social enterprises and its handmade items are sourced from companies that share similar values.