Trends often come and go but there’s one that looks like it’s here to stay – the heightened awareness regarding environmental and social problems. In recent years, more people are noticing these issues and consequently, more enterprises are contributing to movements that benefit our planet or help those who are disadvantaged.
We’re huge fans of these businesses and what they’re doing so here’s a list of 10 social enterprises in Singapore that you should consider supporting!
1. hello flowers!
hello flowers! is a social enterprise floral studio specialising in rustic-style bouquets that are identifiable by the signature burlap wrapping and vibrant assortment of blooms.
Founded by 30-year-old Annie, hello flowers! employs local women who are unable to work or hold full-time jobs due to various barriers. In addition, the company also conducts a social training programme, kins by hello flowers! to equip these individuals with crafting and entrepreneurial skills.
For those interested in placing an order, you can either do so online or head down to their retail outlet at MOX.
2. Seastainable Co.
Seastainable Co. is a social enterprise that contributes towards environmental conservation efforts using a two-pronged approach.
By selling reusable metal straws at wallet-friendly prices, its founder Sam hopes to reduce Singaporeans’ usage of single-use plastics. Sam also pledges 50% of all profits towards marine conservation efforts in Singapore and Phillipines.
Seastainable Co.’s metal straws are available for purchase online and we heard that she may be bringing in a range of gold straws soon! But, as Sam reminded, only purchase a metal straw if it’s a need, not just for the hype.
Founded by two Singaporeans, Benny Chee and Phoebe Charn, Anothersole produces shoes that are comfortable and lasting. Available for both kids and adults, these leather shoes come in a classic oxford cut with a plethora of versatile colours to choose from.
Besides focusing on creating a high-quality product, the founders also hope to contribute to the cause against child hunger. Thus, Anothersole has a “Buy1Feed1” ethos whereby 10% of profits will be donated to a charity to buy food supplies and fund sustainability efforts for orphanages.
Their current partner charity is World Vision International in Vietnam.
4. Sonder Social
Sonder Social is an ethical subscription service where for US$79/month (approx. S$105.35/ month), you’ll receive a box of six full-sized items from social enterprises in the Asia Pacific region. These goodies range from food, homeware, fashion, art, beauty to books and more.
The founders hope to introduce more small social enterprises to the public and the purchases help to provide employment to marginalised communities. Some previously featured brands include Superbee, Purpose, Marquet and Pili Pushers.
5. Tinkle Art Room
A brand that’s been around for 18 years, Tinkle Arts specialises in clay craft – in particular, creating intricate, hand-made models. They also conduct workshops to impart the skills of working with polymer clay and air-dry clay.
As of 2018, they’re an officially-listed social enterprise and have relocated to a studio in SIA-MINDS Employment Development Centre where they hire its beneficiaries to help with the crafting. Prior to this, Tinkle Arts has also been heavily involved in community efforts, such as teaching the craft to the elderly.
In addition, you can even pick up supplies and DIY your own items like Andrea Chong did! Each purchase contributes towards funding Tinkle Arts’ social initiatives.
6. The Animal Project
Just like its name suggests, The Animal Project is a social enterprise selling lifestyle products centered around the theme of animals. Its items feature the unique designs of resident artists, whose illustrated animal motifs are printed onto fashion pieces, art, gift items, homeware and stationery.
Not only do the artists earn royalties from the sales, at least 50% of profits are also donated to partner charities. You can either browse through the online catalog to see the items currently in stock or head down to their various stockists.
7. Personalised Love
Personalised Love is a local leather atelier that produces personalised leather items and conducts regular workshops.
Having made it a personal mission to hone her mastery of the craft by participating in training courses across Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Italy, founder Yeo Hwee Min now seeks to impart her skills to those who are less advantaged.
For instance, Personalised Love employs people with special needs, like those with cerebral palsy, slight intellectual disabilities and autism, as its artisans. It also conducts various programs to empower these people with key skills that will help them in the workforce.
Working with flowers is proven to have therapeutic properties and thus, several local florists have tied their craft with social empowerment. Another such florist is Bloomback, which specialises in gift sets that include elements like dried/ preserved/ fresh flowers, speakers, plushies and terrariums.
The proceeds go towards training and hiring marginalised individuals and in particular, underprivileged women. They are also given scholarships for creative workshops that’ll equip them with skills like floral arrangement, gift wrapping and entrepreneurship.
Do take a look at their Empowering Women Series, which features floral arrangements handcrafted by their beneficiaries!
It’s rare to find a health and fitness company which doubles as a social enterprise and that’s why a previous writer was thrilled to have stumbled upon PushPullGive.
With a motto of “Forging Social Impact Through Fitness”, sign ups for their “Fitness For Good” classes contribute towards funding complementary fitness programmes for underprivileged children and youth in Singapore and Cambodia.
They offer a wide selection of classes for all fitness levels ranging from regular bootcamps, to yoga, pilates and calisthenics. Founded by three Singaporeans, of which two are certified personal instructors and another a certified group instructor, you’ll be in good hands (and guaranteed to leave each workout feeling sore but alive)!
10. The Social Space
The Social Space is a multi-concept lifestyle store at Outram Park that houses a cafe, a retail section and a mini The Nail Social outlet. Its founders hope to provide the disadvantaged with employment opportunities while simultaneously prompting the public to support social enterprises.
The retail section features fair-trade, eco-friendly and socially-conscious products. Each purchase goes a long way towards supporting various local and international social enterprises.
In addition, the cakes and cookies at the cafe are from a local social enterprise bakery, Flour Power, that supports those with special needs by equipping them with occupational skills in the F&B industry.
Though we’ve chosen to highlight these 10 social enterprises, we know that there are still many others out there that we haven’t mentioned. If we’ve missed out one of your favourites, let us know so we can share the love!
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