Vendor Spotlight: Jerry
Jerry cares about decreasing plastic bottle pollution, getting clean water to everyone and furthermore, keeping you in good health. A million single-use plastic water bottles are bought around the world every minute and Jerry believes we need to change this environmental crisis together. All profits from the sale of Jerry’s beautiful reusable water bottles go to making clean water projects across India and Tanzania, with their sister company – The Waterfall Charity.
As well as this, by looking at the bottom of the reusable steel jerry water bottle, there will be the coordinates of the water project that purchase has funded so you can trace exactly which village your bottle is funding.
Jerry is working on setting up free-refill spots by working with shops and restaurants to let people fill their jerry bottles. They also work with corporate companies, schools and universities to educate and encourage people about sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic bottles.
Vendor Spotlight: Forgiveness Project
The Forgiveness Project works in communities, prisons, schools, and with anyone wishing to explore peaceful solutions to conflict and pain.
All profits from the sale of The Forgiveness Project products go back into the project enabling them to support more people.
Founded in 2004 by journalist, Marina Cantacuzino, The Forgiveness Project provides resources and experiences to help people examine and overcome their own unresolved grievances. The testimonies they collect ”bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit and act as a powerful antidote to narratives of hate and dehumanisation, presenting alternatives to cycles of conflict, violence, crime and injustice.”
This idea informs their work across multiple platforms – in publications and educational resources, through the international F Word exhibition, in public conversations, and their award-winning RESTORE prison programme.
RESTORE is The Forgiveness Project’s award-winning, intensive group-based intervention programme that supports prisoners in their process of change towards a crime-free life. They currently have two publications out, the most recent one – Forgiveness is Really Strange is a beautifully illustrated book that explores the complexity of forgiveness. The Forgiveness Project collates powerful real-life stories from survivors and perpetrators of crime and violence worldwide. They reveal the very real impact of forgiveness on their lives and offers alternatives to resentment, retaliation and revenge.
Vendor Spotlight: Impossible
Impossible creates products with a transparent supply chain and great design. They aim to give consumers more choice by knowing where the products come from and who they are made by. Every Impossible product has great people and a great story behind it.
One of these products is the Josiah ceramic speaker. This Bluetooth speaker is made from Cornish clay in Stoke-on-Trent and hand finished in London. This speaker is chargeable and portable so perfect for summer evenings out in the garden or long baths in the winter. Josiah is compatible with any smartphone that is Bluetooth enabled and has no buttons as it features a unique touch interface.
This product is presented in recycled and recyclable materials and is available here.
Vendor Spotlight: The Social Mercenary
Founded by Jack Fellows, The Social Mercenary is dedicated to bringing a distinctly West African flavour to modern street apparel. They take an ethical approach to textile manufacturing and have teamed up with social enterprises in Ghana to create a unique range of clothing, bags and accessories. All of their products are manufactured using local fabrics and our business supports local communities to create an incredible set of unique on-trend products.
It all started in Hong Kong when Jack, working in a job he didn’t enjoy living in a room effectively the size of a coffin he began to think of those precious times back in Ghana and back to those beautiful fabrics that so inspired him and, the amount of attention and praise he got for his new, quirky backpack.
It took time but day after day Jack shared this message with others and at one particular fair, was dragging people in through the door in order to tell people about his mission. “On the days that I didn’t have meetings I took a suitcase full of bags and flyers down to the local universities and just set up and told my story to EVERY single person that walked past”. After time Jack began to sell more and more bags and was even picked up by news journalist Alessandro Meccheri that studied at Hong Kong University.
Jack then managed to make enough money to go back to Ghana, where he met Ethical Apparel Africa. He found with the first set of backpacks that they were all so different and that quality wasn’t consistent throughout. After several meetings with EAA they have redesigned the backpacks for superior quality.
Vendor Spotlight: GLOW
Founded by Comet Chukura, who graduated from The London College of Fashion, GLOW enables you to stand with those who are vulnerable, as you stand out at night. Each piece is individually handmade by disadvantaged women, providing them with an opportunity to gain work skills, a supplementary income and be part of a greater community. GLOW aims to empower their makers, paying them a fair wage, utilising their established skill set and enabling them to believe and realise their value.
The light reflective accessories range are expertly crocheted using a cutting-edge wool blend that has a 15% glass fibre component woven into it which is light reflective. Meaning in the daytime, the pieces look trendy whilst at night, the glass fibre elements reflect light: car light, road lights etc and come to life, illuminating the wearer as light bounces off of it. The delicate knit texture makes it soft to the skin and luxurious to wear making it a unique gift that looks good and feels good.
Vendor Spotlight: The Do Book Company
The Do Book Company is an independent publishing house based in Shoreditch, London. Their books are written by speakers from the ‘Do Lectures’ whose ideas have inspired others to go and ‘Do’. The Do Book Company aims to recreate that same positive change in book form – whether that’s the mastery of a new skill or craft, a simple mind-shift, or a shot of inspiration to help you get started. Plus, 5% of the proceeds of each sale will go back into the ‘Do Lectures’ to help it achieve its aim of making positive change.
Each book is fairly short, about 100 pages, as it focuses on the ‘doing’ rather than the background theory. Concise, practical guides that make it easier to ‘Do’ stuff. With a wide variety of topics and skills, there’s bound to be a book for you. The Do Book Company also has various filmed talks which can be found on their website here.
Vendor Spotlight: Neema Crafts
Neema Crafts showcases the skills and talents of people with hearing impairments and physical disabilities in Tanzania. Through Neema, they craft items such as bags and cushions, providing dignity and hope for over 120 people who previously relied on street begging, or were hidden away at home. Through their work, they are steadily transforming negative cultural stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities.
Neema Crafts provide training for people with disabilities to become skilled artisans from carpenters, to tailors, ceramicists to paper-makers, great chefs, or entrepreneurs starting up their own enterprises. This not only has the effect of changing public attitudes, but also raises trainees’ self-esteem, and gives them access to a sustainable salary, thus raising their standard of living.
Workshops (which have included high-level local government officials, local policymakers and employers) have also helped change public opinion on disabilities, by seeing how capable people with disabilities are when given the chance.
Currently, Neema is working to build a rehabilitation centre that will include a medical practice, therapy rooms, offices and a ward where parents and their children can stay overnight. This will support those with disabilities that require frequent hospital trips but rarely have money to spend on regular transport.
Vendor Spotlight: Divine Chocolate
Founded in 1998, Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that is owned by cocoa farmers. Each bar is made using ‘pa pa paa’ cocoa from Ghana – pa pa paa meaning the best of the best in the local Twi language, where it is grown with pride by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of 85,000 smallholder farmers who own 44% of the Divine company.
Today Kuapa Kokoo proudly produces up to 5% of Ghana’s cocoa – that can be up to 640,000 sacks of cocoa a year!
Most of the Fairtrade premium made has been re-invested in developing farming communities and farming skills – focusing particularly on water, health, education and sanitation to improve standards of living. Kuapa Kokoo has also taken a lead on addressing child labour and is piloting a number of environmental initiatives aimed at improving productivity and adapting to climate change. So not only are profits going towards a sustainable wage for farmers but also a re-investment in creating sustainable communities.
Vendor Spotlight: Quazi Design
Starting with the concept of a rolled paper bead earring displayed on a card and believing in the potential to have a positive impact, Quazi Design now creates sustainable change and social impact by transforming waste magazines into original accessories. Based in Swaziland, all products are handmade by local women, empowering them through skill sharing and a living wage.
The workshop is situated in Sidwashini, in the industrial area of Mbabane and the capital city of Swaziland. Previously unemployed, most of the artisans had on average seven dependents each, now they are employed full time with permanent contracts, giving them a new sense of job security.
They also believe in craftsmanship and ethical production and want to change the perception of recycled materials. They are a founding member of SWIFT Swaziland fair trade.
Vendor Spotlight: Jollie’s Socks
Founder, Ed, started Jollie’s after becoming increasingly uneasy about walking past people sleeping rough and not knowing what to do. After volunteering at a local Shelter and chatting to some of the visitors, Ed saw a need he could meet. Socks!
Fresh socks might not seem like a life-changer but for those walking the streets day and night foot hygiene is essential. Unlike other items of clothing, socks are rarely donated to homeless shelters and fly out the minute they’re given.
Local Shelters responded immediately to the idea of receiving boxes of good quality socks and so Ed started designing and came up with a socially focused brand that gives away sustainable sock donations off each pair of Jollie’s sold. So when a pair is brought, another one goes to a local shelter.
Jollie’s socks work with a variety of shelters across the UK, including London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds.