Street Art: Christie Cassisa

Street Art: Giving Marginalised Individuals an Outlet for Creative Expression

Every week in The Big Issue, our Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for creative expression, as well as a platform to sell their prints through The Big Issue Shop.

Christie Cassisa comes from an abusive childhood and as an adult has had problems with depression and homelessness. “The Big Issue and Centrepieces [a mental health arts project] have been the two biggest supports since then,” she says. “Both have given me the courage to keep on painting and to continue to understand the issues in my past as well as my present life. I feel optimistic about the future, as I get so much peace and joy from painting. The Big Issue and Centrepieces have also shown me that there is worth in what I do, and in who I am.”

Vendor Spotlight: Taylor + Rani

Taylor + Rani: The  Teen Social Underwear Enterprise

Taylor + Rani sell vibrant, colourful underwear for teenagers, to help support young girls in places like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Sierra Leone. These girls can often miss out on completing their education due to lack of access to toilets and sanitary provisions. Currently partnering with a charity that works to help girls stay in education longer, purchases of underwear provide equipment, additional clothing and financial support.

Specifically, for every pair of knickers purchased Taylor + Rani donate a pair of knickers and for every bra or other product such as a scrunchie bought, a monetary donation goes towards the building of separate girls toilets at schools. They also provide sanitary products for girls so that they do not have to halt their education upon hitting puberty.

Shout It Out Loud!

Shout It Out Loud!

The Big Issue believes in the power of people and thought-provoking protests. With that in mind, we have specially created a collection of t-shirts and mugs that are customisable with personal statements, unique to your cause. So even if you’re passionate about ending poverty or engaged in environmental issues – you can say it out loud with a Big Issue product.

Anytime you see “Customise Me” in store, you will be able to change some or all of the text within the design. Just look at the options available and type into text boxes to personalise your message. We print custom products on demand, and we will edit the design with your message intact before sending your package to your door. Every item purchased helps us to achieve our mission of dismantling poverty and creating opportunities for the disadvantaged.


Vendor Spotlight: Give Me Tap

Vendor Spotlight: Give Me Tap

GiveMeTap was founded by Edwin (a.k.a The Water Guy) after he experienced difficulties accessing tap water while out and about. As a result, he started GiveMeTap and created a reusable stainless steel bottle that he believes can change the world. Each GiveMeTap bottle purchased enables you to get free tap water from a network of cafes in the UK; reduces plastic bottle waste and funds 5 years of clean water for someone in Africa.

Give Me Tap

Plastic waste is a major issue. Only 20% of plastic bottles get recycled and over 50 billion plastic bottles go to waste every year. Yet, Britain has some of the cleanest water in the world. To help people gain easy access to this precious resource, GiveMeTap created the ‘Water Network’.  With the free GiveMeTap app, customers can find the different Tap locations near where they live. There are currently 800 cafes, bars and restaurants in The Water Network and they will refill the GiveMeTap water bottle for free.

Within 14 weeks of using a GiveMeTap bottle, the amount of carbon needed to produce one is equal to the carbon used to make 14 weeks worth of plastic cups. Meaning that after just 98 days, the bottle becomes more sustainable with every use.

Not only that but GiveMeTap also provides 5 years worth of drinking water for someone in Africa. How this is works is that for every bottle sold, GiveMeTap donates directly to their NGO partners in Africa to install pumps in rural communities. So far GiveMeTap has raised £114k to fund water pumps with an estimated 23,363 people with clean water for life!

Give Me Tap on The Big Issue Shop