Gifts for a good cause
Christmas is a time of goodwill, but it’s also a time of huge expense! It’s expected the average UK adult will spend £1275 on gifts this year. Imagine the collective good we could do if we invested in gifts for a good cause?
Cycle of Good is an initiative which is aiming to end poverty in one of the poorest communities in the world. They currently employ 33 Malawians full-time, but have aspirations to get that number up to 100. Cycle of Good prides itself on being able to pay it’s employees a decent, living wage, meaning they can support their families without having to ask for handouts.
In Malawi there is no state support, meaning if you don’t work; you don’t eat. That’s why initiatives like Cycle of Good are so vital. Not only do they instill self-esteem and self-worth into their employees, they’re also ensuring that the children of their employees are less vulnerable to hunger.
Sounds pretty good so far doesn’t it? Well… here’s the really clever part…
They do all of this by saving waste products from going to landfill and then refashioning it into fantastic well-made long-lasting items. Sustainable and ethical; what’s not to love? In a society where we have such a throw-away culture and where we accumulate so much unnecessary stuff, Cycle of Good have a policy of only making items that people actually need and will use for a lifetime.
Even better, the Cycle of Good is truly cyclical in that lots of the waste products they use to turn into gifts, come from the UK. Back in 2010 the initiative was gifted 20,000 bikes from Royal Mail. Some 5000 of these bikes were repurposed and are sold on the website, and for each ‘Elephant bike’ sold, another is sent to be used in Malawi. If you’re looking to buy extra special gifts for a good cause, then you’ve got to check out these fabulous bikes! There’s a special offer on in the lead up to Christmas where you get some free accessories and free postage within the UK.
I write about ethical shopping regularly and something I’m always wary of is that buying charity gifts shouldn’t mean the gifts aren’t beautiful! After all, we want people to open a Christmas gift and get the wow factor don’t we? You don’t have to worry about that with Cycle of Good. Their whole Christmas collection is fun, colourful and comes with that great backstory. And there really is something for everyone, from bikes, to bags, Christmas decorations to Santa stockings. The website even has a brilliant function where you can filter what you want your item to have been made from! Who knew coffee sacks and bicycle inner tubes could magically produce so many wonderful things?
Anyway, must dash… I’m just off to write my Christmas cards, and they just happen to be made from banana pulp and recycled tin cans. The things they can do these days eh!?
***Liked this post? Check out this article for more ideas for ethical gift giving.