This post nearly didn't get published... Had a moment of doubt where I was second-guessing my written work, whether I'd gathered enough, is this good enough quality and so on. But later thought that I should share these brands and my work regardless. So without further ado, here are four brands that are all small businesses and support refugees.
If minimal, well-made and beautiful homewares are your thing, then you'll love Aerende. From handmade bowls and cups to chopping boards and towels, everything is made by those facing social challenges in the UK. In particular, the linen tea towels, napkins and some cushions are all made by refugee women. Enabling them to gain skills for further employment, these items are lovingly made from home and then become part of yours. When you order, everything is packaged in recycled or biodegradable materials even down to the stickers! So you know you're making an impact in more than one way.
Britain loves a good cup of tea doesn't it? Apart from me unfortunately, I'm a hardcore coffee drinker. However, when rarely in the mood I do like Indian Chai. Nemi teas employ refugees to run tea stalls in London. Through selling chai they boost their English, confidence and skills to enter the UK job market. They've popped up at many events, conferences and markets but you can also buy their selection of tea blends and syrups on the website. Complete with biodegradable teabags.
Images: from respective websites
Describing themselves as a roaming restaurant, Mazí Mas cater to events, food pop-ups and kitchen residencies. Rooted in tradition, food is cooked with soul and inspired by the many cultures found in modern London. They provide training and employment to women, some of which are refugees, in the food industry. The women all come from different countries and with them they bring their own take on how meals are cooked and shared. To experience this at home, you can buy their spice blends on the website.
As a young charity, Help Refugees have already caused quite a stir. Their pop-up in London last Christmas (2017) was a huge hit. You could go in to buy products like any other shop, but this time you could choose to buy various items that would support refugees at different parts of their journey. For example, I bought a children's jacket, blanket and a pack of meal ingredients. They pledged to donate the exact items you buy and ensure they get to the various check points they work with overseas. I already wrote about it here and the shop lives on online but so does their t-shirt that has been all over the internet. The 'Choose Love' t-shirt is currently stocked on ASOS.
Image: Help Refugees website
So there you have a few brands you can buy practical, everyday items from, whilst knowing your making an impact on the lives of others. I'm certain there's more businesses supporting refugees like this, so do let me know if you come across them. In the meantime, happy conscious shopping!
(Banner image: Own content)