The clock is ticking in the countdown to Christmas. As you fuss over all the gift shopping yet to be done and all the parties waiting to be filled into your calendar, the season of giving is also an opportunity to share the festive joy with others.
This Christmas, pay it forward by giving back to the world with presents that make a difference. From handmade crafts to a DIY garden, we hunt down the places and spaces to get stellar presents while doing some good.
Bridging the gap for female artisans who don’t have the means to market their crafts, Anchora Collections gives their handmade jewellery and accessories a spot on a global stage. Working with producers and workshops that employ the disadvantaged, the social enterprise supports fair trade and the economic self-sufficiency of women from developing countries such as Cambodia and Kenya.
Ready-to-wear landmines, bombs and bullets, anyone? Unexploded ordnance are just one of the unusual recycled materials that the label uses, along with items like discarded cow horn and repurposed Lucite. The result is elegant accessories like cufflinks made from recycled bombshell brass, or a lead-free and tarnish-proof Labrodite bangle that’s sure to make your special someone smile.
If you’re having trouble picking something out, gift cards are available at The Nail Social, located at 42A Haji Lane, which stocks Anchora jewellery too. You can even pamper loved ones with a mani-pedi for a cause, as the gift cards can be used to support Singapore’s first socially-conscious nail salon which trains and employs local underprivileged women.
Plenty of local labels have sprung up over the years, and standing out amongst them is ONE+ONE. Started in 2014, the brand carries bespoke leather goods that are locally hand-stitched by founder Veron Lien, whose mantra is quality workmanship. Wanting her craftwork to remind people that everyone has the power to make a difference, she contributes 30 per cent of her net profit to charity.
Support your local craftsman while giving back to society with a one-of-a-kind metallic trapezoid clutch, or an adorable dog collar for your pet-loving BFF. For a greater selection of leather wares, drop by the Gardens by the Bay as ONE+ONE holds its pop-up store at the Christmas Wonderland affair this holiday season. Happening daily till 1 January 2017, from 3.30pm to 11pm.
With a mission to empower the marginalised in developing countries, social enterprise Purnama Outreach provides those in need with an e-commerce platform to sell their artisanal crafts. From helping poverty-stricken Nepali women and their children, to protecting the environment at large, purchases made go into making a sustainable impact.
Snag a handy gym sack bag for that fitness fanatic friend from their Fight For Education Collection and contribute to the education of children in need, or a Nepali-handcrafted beach bucket bag for mom. Having trouble shopping for your environmentally conscious office bud? Check out upcycled accessories such as the unity bracelet from the Java Collection. You’ll be surprised by how they’ve turned raw waste materials from tires into cool wearable art.
NÓNG by Edible Garden City
The retail arm of Edible Garden City, which promotes the “Grow Your Own Food” movement here in Singapore, NÓNG makes gardening a little simpler for us urban dwellers. With products packaged largely by adults with autism, the enterprise encourages earth-loving and environment conservation while providing employment to the disadvantaged. After opening an alfresco space with a general store nestled in a paradise for green fingers earlier in May this year, NÓNG at HortPark caters to all of one’s farming needs and holds urban farming workshops too.
If someone in the family is an aspiring horticulturalist, help kickstart their own miniature farm with the indoor microgreen self-watering kit, or pick up some edible gardening essentials which the salad munching folks will appreciate.
The LOOMs Workshops
Facilitating the education and employment of women seeking social and financial empowerment, The LOOMs Workshops conducts art workshops that equip these budding female artisans with skills to cultivate their craft and a place to put their handiwork up for sale.
Each purchase from the range of lovely made-in-Singapore accessories will make a difference to the lives of these artists and their dependents. Fashionistas will enjoy the midnight vintage peach hair pin or the neon lime felt clutch, while crafters will probably take a liking to the upcycled textile art tote DIY kit.
With meaningful gift ideas galore, spread the holiday cheer this Christmas with a cause!