Sustainable Gifts are, simply put, gifts you can feel good about giving, mama. Here are our top picks in Singapore!
You’ve heard us talk about sustainability as it relates to food and healthy eating, but did you know it extends to shopping and gift-giving too, mama? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite shops in Singapore that empower local craftsmen and artisans across the region with fair wages and benefits. As an added bonus, these products are all wonderful souvenirs of Asia that are ideal for sending to friends and family in other parts of the world. Here’s a guide to holiday gifts you can feel good about giving, mama!
Top Products: Kampot Pepper from Cambodia, Raw Honey from Laos, Silk Protein Soap from Japan, Silk Scarves and Jewellery from Cambodia
Shop owner Joan calls this Balestier shop her “ode to conscious living”, and indeed it’s a love letter to promoting products that make an impact on communities both nearby and hundreds of miles away. Nearly all products are handmade and “judiciously sourced” from progressive companies that value sustainability and social responsibility. We love how each and every product comes with the story behind its creators (check out their Facebook page for more of this); putting names and faces and stories to the products somehow makes them feel extra special.
100 Good Things, 2 Balestier Road #01-685, Singapore 320002, Tel: (+65) 9383 1047, www.facebook.com/100goodthings
Top Products: Baby carriers; Matching clothes for the whole family hand-sewn in Cambodia.
Mama Shoppe is all about providing products for new mamas that make parenthood a bit less daunting and a lot more fun. Along with their range of colourful soft slings and baby carriers, they also carry a nice selection of wooden toys and beautiful cotton print clothes suitable for the entire family, all hand-sewn by the ladies of the Emmaus Women’s Centre in Angsnoul, Cambodia. Not only are the prints beautiful, but we love that they come in age-appropriate styles that aren’t too matchy-matchy. Every single piece is uniquely hand-made and limited to just three pieces per size, so you know you’re getting something truly special, mama!
Top Products: Adorable Soft Toys; Batik accessories; Silk products from Cambodia; “Simply Singapore” collection
This Singapore organisation nobly aims “to help the disadvantaged rise above their condition through skills and jobs, not pity or charity” as well as to “redefine the value of a gift to understanding the benefits for the people who made them”. Locally, gifts are made by abused women and foreign domestic workers at local crisis shelters, low-income individuals and families referred by CARE, as well as by mentally or physically handicapped Singaporeans. They also work with landmine and post-polio victims in Cambodia, along with disadvantaged women in impoverished villages across Asia. Best of all, the toys in particularly are so cute – and quit reasonably priced!
Top Products: Uniquely painted “everyday items” like coffee cups and bags
TER is all about finding beauty in the everyday, and giving Singapore a greater appreciation of both art and the special needs community. This social enterprise organisation recognises and celebrates the works of artists with special needs – in particular autism – and in addition to promoting their art sells a selection of works through their shop. From a uniquely Singaporean storybook to a limited edition canvas tote that shows the work of a Singaporean artist but is printed by a women’s NGO in India, these are gifts that all come with a wonderful story.
Top Products: Beautifully printed bags and high-quality cotton Tees
Routes to Roots aims to connect indigenous communities with the global marketplace to showcase their high-quality craftsmanship through handmade, eco-friendly products. Most popular are their organic cotton, canvas and jute bags produced in association with Freeset, which employs women entrapped by Kolkata’s sex trade. The organic cotton tees are not only super-soft, but totally cusomisable to print how you see fit!
Top Products: Upcycled fabric pieces like paperweights, doorstoppers and jewellery
Help out your fellow mamas! These products are primarily made by single mamas in Singapore along with retirees and women recovering from psychiatric illnesses. Small-batch contract work like this allows women to do home-based work to earn money while still being able to look after their children. Not to mention these pieces are super cute and a fabulous conversation starter – who wouldn’t want to tell their daughters about the amazing Samsui Women who helped build Singapore?
Mother & Child Project, #B!-33 Citylink Mall, Singapore 039393, Tel: (+65) 6786 2151, www.facebook.com/motherandchildproject
Top Products: All-natural, sustainably-sourced bodycare products for the entire family
We may be a little biased since we’re big fans of Human Nature Director Christine Buyco-Sy, but we promise you can feel extra good about these gorgeous products that are well-priced, super gentle, and support family farmers in the Philippines. Human Nature is even pioneering the organic movement there with the first Human Nature GK Enchanted Farm organic farm in Bulacan, created in partnership with NGOs that specialise in organic farming and processing. Among our faves are the gentle Baby Care Set and the DEET-free bug repellant. Everything makes for great stocking stuffers, mama!
Want to know even more? Check out Shop4Social, which curates goods from many of these sites and more so you can always shop with a good conscience, mama!