Vendor Spotlight: Sweet Cavangh

Vendor Spotlight: Sweet Cavangh

The cost of inpatient care is staggering and the strain on the NHS means that many people do not get the help they desperately need. Patients leave treatment early, not because they are ready but rather, because facilities and services run out of funding. Sweet Cavanagh hopes to combat this issue by filling the gap in the services currently provided by the private and public sector.

Based in Notting Hill, Sweet Cavanagh jewellery is handmade in London by women recovering from eating disorders and addictions. Designing and creating each unique piece provides a therapeutic outlet for the women that is enhanced by more formal therapy groups, all of which is free of charge for those in need.

As part of their four-month program, women are able to have access to individual and group therapy, drama and movement therapy, and individual and group nutritional counseling with a registered dietician. They also run a “Work to Recover”, in which they partner with London based recruitment agency, Sidekicks, to offer monthly workshops on CV writing and interview coaching. Graduates from the recovery program also have the opportunity to be placed in internships with the aim to eventually getting full or part-time work placements.

Many of the jewellery pieces are one-offs, so they are perfect as a one-of-a-kind gift. To see the full collection, click here.

Vendor Spotlight: Cafedirect

Vendor Spotlight: Cafédirect

Born following the coffee crisis in 1989 when an international coffee agreement which had fixed global prices according to the cost of production, collapsed.  Middlemen swooped in to buy the coffee and the lives of millions of smallholder farmers around the world were in jeopardy as they were left with no choice, but to sell their harvests at rock bottom prices.

In response, three coffee growing communities from Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico each shipped a single container of coffee, loaned on trust, to the UK. The beans were roasted and sold through church halls, charity shops and at a range of local events where it grew into a demanded product. And thus Cafédirect was created.

Presently Cafédirect invests up to 50% of its profits into the Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation, a UK charity that is run by farmers, for farmers, taking leadership and developing innovative solutions to the challenges they face. This reciprocal, direct relationship enables them to provide great tasting, high quality and continually improving drinks. 

‘Great coffee is a combination of many things – the land, the customs we inherit, the climate and the market. Fair prices have transformed not only my community but our coffee too. Try it – I’m sure you’ll agree.’ Guillermo Aguilar, Coffee grower, COCLA, Peru.

Vendor Spotlight: The Soap Co.

Vendor Spotlight: The Soap Co.

Based in East London, and with a traditional workshop in the Lake District, The Soap Co. is a social enterprise creating and manufacturing soap products with sophisticated fragrances, minimalist design and a strong social and environmental ethos. Launched in September 2015, The Soap Co. is a part of CLARITY, the oldest surviving social enterprise in the UK, which provides employment opportunities for people who are blind or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged.

The Soap Co Factory

Vendor Spotlight: Elephant Branded

Vendor Spotlight: Elephant Branded

Elephant Branded has a simple premise – buy one ethically made, recycled bag or related product and they give one ergonomically designed school bag and kit to a child in Africa or Asia. Founded by James, Mey and Pry, Elephant Branded pays a fair, competitive wage to local villagers who then make bags out of locally sourced, recycled materials. Not only do they get a reasonable wage but they also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills that permit them to have a sustainable, effective way to get out of poverty.

One of the founders, James, explained the beginnings of the company – “Mey’s family had previously made bags out of silk in Phnom Penh so she taught Pry how to do it, and then after experimenting with old cartons and bags, Pry came across an old cement bag lying on the floor and thought “You know what, we could make a bag out of that!”

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.

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