Do you like to know the origin of the products you buy? Is how they’re made just as important as if they’ll work? This applies especially to the objects you use at home in your daily life. Now you can be sure you’re buying well AND have something beautiful with Aerende.

After discovering the brand on Instagram (where else?), I found their first popup in London and hotfooted it down there. Speaking with the founder Emily she described it perfectly — ‘A department store for impactful homewares’. It brings together brands and projects that all have a social mission. Total genius idea to be honest and so glad it exists.

Coming from the old English word meaning ‘care’ or ‘message’, Aerende is a social enterprise that sources pieces for the home, all lovingly handmade by makers across the UK facing social challenges.

Not only this, Aerende supports ethical business practice, sustainability and combined with support for smaller makers, each item has an impact well beyond your dining table.

I’ve built up a little collection now and absolutely love that each piece tells a story, has helped someone and is made to last. Just through my bowl, cups, chopping board and tea towel, there’s three communities being strengthened.

Ceramics — The Camphill Village trust provides employment for those with learning disabilities and other special needs to enable them to live meaningful lives. The cups and bowl were designed and made by them, with each piece having its own imperfectly perfect details.

Chopping board — Fruitful Woods is a social enterprise giving support to those with mental health issues through local forestry work and managing woodlands, but also transform surplus wood into functional items like my chopping board.

Tea Towel — The Refugee council support female refugees and those seeking asylum, providing advice and opportunities to gain life and practical skills in the UK. They do this through various projects like making tea towels and napkins for Aerende. They’re made at home whilst learning a new skill and giving them a better chance of getting a job.

If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzy and drive to buy mindfully, I don’t know what will! There’s so many businesses that both meet consumer demand AND give back to others without compromising their quality or integrity.

So next time you’re window shopping whether physically or digitally, take a closer look at brands and their values to see if they align with yours. Take the time to find out more, you’ll be surprised.