During December, I suddenly felt very aware how focused everyone was on buying as much STUFF as they could. I found myself feeling uncomfortable, walking through my local shopping centre, seeing people in a Christmas buying frenzy, laden down with bags and more bags. I fully realise the irony of me – someone who loves shopping for pretty things and who encourages people to buy pretty things – saying this, but it’s something I’ve started to struggle with. I was interested to read this from Fritha at Tigerlilly Quinn who has been having similar thoughts and also this from Laura at Sidestreet Style who is undertaking a minimalist challenge.
I’m not about to put myself on a buying ban (although I loved reading about Michelle McGagh, who is a friend of a friend and didn’t spend any money for a whole year) but I’ve spent some time in the last week thinking about whether I really need so much stuff in my home (short answer: no) and filling bags, to take to charity shops. I’ve also been thinking about how to shop in a way that helps others – getting that shopping fix while donating to charity at the same time – and as well as the obvious one, shopping in charity shops, there are lots of independent brands creating products and donating a slice of the profit to charity.
One of my current favourites is this Mais Oui Maman t-shirt from Mutha.Hood – it’s £22 and all net profits go to Save The Children.
There are lots more charity buys if you’re keen to spend money in a way that helps those in need. Here are some more of my favourites…
Seven Seventeen Candles
£1 from every candle sold goes to PANDAS, who help those affected by post-natal depression. The candles themselves look gorgeous – each one is hand-poured into a recycled glass pharmacy jar – and the perfect gift for a burnt-out mother.
One Strong Mother pin
Midwife and hypnobirthing teacher Nissa started making and selling these pins – with £5 from each going to SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Charity) – after her sister-in-law lost her first baby. “This pin is to reach out a hand of support to EVERY mother and father who has lost a baby at any gestation. Be it a glimmer of light at six weeks or a full future in technicolour at forty,” says Nissa.
Mother Like No Other
I love these tees and sweatshirts – the pastel colours and design are so dreamy! Brilliantly, a slice of the price of each one goes to a different charity each month (last month was Tommy’s miscarriage research). Follow founder Becky on Instagram for news on which charity is next.
Tease and Totes t-shirts
Tease and Totes make and sell fab t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags (this one which is coming soon is a particular favourite) and if you buy their Girl Power tee, £10 goes to Worldreader charity (£5 if you buy a kids’ tee). Their Warrior Woman sweatshirt also has £10 going to charity – this one will benefit cancer support charity Maggie’s.
Scamp & Dude Sleep Buddies
The story behind this brand is something special – when Jo Tutchener-Sharp, founder of Beauty Seen PR, suffered a brain haemorrhage, she had to leave her children for a lengthy stay in hospital to undergo life threatening brain surgery. Understandably, she found it incredibly difficult and it inspired her to launch Scamp & Dude, which not only has fab superhero themed unisex clothing, but also Superhero Sleep Buddies which watch over kids at night. For every Sleep Buddy sold, Jo donates one to a vulnerable child, working with GOSH, Grief Encounter and Don’t Forget The Kids.
No charity buys post is complete without mentioning Selfish Mother and the new FMLY Store – founder Molly Gunn started by selling one design of t-shirt from her blog, with proceeds going to Women For Women International. Now, she has expanded to selling all sorts of products with cool slogans, donating to a variety of charities and she has raised over £220,000 for good causes. Isn’t that amazing?!
Other shout outs go to Love Inc (who donate 10% to Hospice In The Weald), Muddy Puddles (who donate to Farms For City Kids and do lots more for charity), Winter And Rain (who donate 15% of profits to Women’s Aid) and Lobella Loves which is an online marketplace opening soon with money from each sale going to support postnatal mental health. If there’s one thing that never goes out of fashion, it’s helping others. It’s cool to be kind, right?
Photography at top of post: SarahLou Francis
A great post highlighting some really kind business owners Alison:) I too feel more and more uncomfortable every year about how much stuff we all accumulate at Christmas time – and throughout the year. I’ve always bought some of my stuff from charity shops but more and more now I look to buy goods from local businesses, small businesses or those giving a slice to worthwhile causes. You’re so right – kindness never goes out of style:)