Today I opened my eyes and the year is now 20-18. Amazing how time flies, and how quickly we lived through yet another 365 days.
As reflections are made of the outgoing year and resolutions for the incoming, most of us want to start the year right. I do a few things as a way of envisioning and setting the tone for how I want to live the next 365 days.
This year I want a lifestyle change with what I spend my money on and how I spend my money. This year, I want to shop with a conscience.
And it’s gotta be these three things for the consciousness in shopping: local, sustainable and social.
Increasingly, I am in the position of meeting and working with local businesses, social enterprises and people with businesses that promote sustainable living. So many of these people I’ve met in the course of entrepreneurship have inspired me to go slow, find out who makes my stuff, and where my money goes when I spend it, and for a while in 2017, I started looking out for local, social and sustainable businesses to support whenever I needed something new be it a a new bag, a new pair of shoes, or new clothes.
I want to continue doing that this year.
Last year, I had the privilege of being a part of a panel organised by DBS where I met a whole lot of social enterprises, all ready to take their businesses to the next level. What I realised then was that even though there were so many, and I mean MANY, social businesses out there that’s innovated something new, offering something different and even serving a very worthy cause fulfilling a real need out there, these businesses were not out there. Many people still don’t know who they are, and what they do.
For social entrepreneurship, the ones who do have the visibility and also gotten the word out are really the ones who’s tapped on social media well, I must say. Many of them engage KOLs and audience-specific influencers, and then go on to fill their socials with beautiful visuals, captivating videos and purposeful content. They know their target audience well and understand how to position their cause to their advantage.
And most of all, they are authentic and believe wholly in what they do. I love that for all these businesses that are local, social and ethical, they are also truly passionate about their causes.
Here are some local, social and sustainable businesses which I love:
- Matter, a local brand I have grown to love for its cause and its championing of slow fashion in its own steady, quiet way.
- Coopita, a social enterprise and e-shop that preserves craftsmanship and showcases artisans from around the region. I recently bought a new tote bag weaved entirely out of upcycled plastic as part of the Coopita PLASTIC SWAP movement, and am loving the bag totally.
- The Missing Piece, where every piece is elegantly handmade and nothing is mass produced by a local mom of three.
- Twin Within, based locally but supporting single mothers through a peace organisation in the Philippines.
- Another Sole – love their shoes and the #buyonefeedone cause where part proceeds feed the hungry
There are so many other brands to love and support, and you can check them out here, and here. Hopefully, more of the social enterprises that participated in the panel discussion I participated can harness the powers of social media and get their stuff out there as more awareness is generated about the social cause.
This year, I will go slow, find out who makes my stuff, and continue to champion conscious and ethical living.
Share with me your favourite local and ethical brands, or social enterprises that you love!
Disclosure: I was invited to share my thoughts about social enterpreneurship and social enterprises I love by DBS. All opinions here are my own.