There’s nothing like the feeling we get from being able to help other people. But the reality is, not all of us can commit to a life of service to others as we’re preoccupied with taking care of ourselves and our families first.
While our desire to help is innate, some us are at a loss as to how to put it in action as we’re either too busy or too far from shelters or foundations where we can volunteer or we’re simply not financially ready to send an underprivileged kid to school.
One small way of being able to help is to patronize local businesses that have purpose – the ones that bring livelihood to communities, contribute significantly to the preservation of the environment or share their profits with charitable organizations.
Buying products from and promoting these social enterprises is a way of enabling them to reach more people that they intend to help. It’s in these ways that we, collectively, can do a lot.
Here are 5 local brands that you can support as a way of giving back to your community.
1. Knitting Expedition (@knittingexpedition)
Knitting Expedition has a wide variety of knitted crafts. They have cute stuffed animals, cotton hats, and tops you can wear. One look at their tags and you’ll realize that these knitted toys won’t just bring a smile to your face. It also brings opportunities for other people.
Aside from being cute, these knitted plushies help provide supplementary income for the women in Ifugao to maintain the rice terraces. The profit generated from these goodies allows them to stay in their ancestral lands instead of leaving to find a job in the city. So, the next time you hug your stuffed animal, think of it like you’re also giving a hug to the beneficiaries of Knitting Expedition.
2. Bayani Brew (@bayanibrew)
It’s a shame that The Philippines, an agricultural country, falls short in extending support to its farmers. Bayani Brew, a startup company that sells farm-fresh tea, supports local farm communities. They do it by sourcing ingredients straight from farmers at higher-than-market price.
Their iced tea flavors are a healthy alternative to your usual drinks. Inspired by Pinoy tsaa recipes, Bayani Brew’s drinks are caffeine-free and has less sugar than the typical iced tea.
Buying a bottle from them would mean a lot, but if you would like to take a step further in helping our local farmers, you can always drop them a message on their Facebook page. They’re open to ideas!
3. R2R (@rags2richesinc)
R2R is one of the country’s eco-ethical and sustainable fashion brands. They sell various woven products like rugs, wallets, and bags made from upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics.
What they do is they partner with local artisans around the Philippines to provide a sustainable livelihood for them. They even run the Artisan Academy, which provides workshops for business skills and product development modules. Graduates of the academy also have the opportunity to work with them full-time.
4. Akaba (@akabaco)
This award-winning brand has been around since 2014. You might know them from their handwoven bags that have indigenous patterns.
Staying true to their Filipino roots and promoting bayanihan, they help Pinoy weavers earn for a living. They have trained and employed artisans from different weaving communities around the Philippines. They even spearheaded a livelihood program in Ilocos Norte to educate families in the art of inabel. The preservation of the weaving technique is believed to bring livelihood to the families and bring them out of poverty.
Next time you’re in need of a backpack for your trips, don’t hesitate to check out these Filipino-made beauties.
5. Love Hope Faith (@lovehopefaithgroup)
If you’re looking for a new timepiece, Love Hope Faith is worth a look. Their Lifesaver Watches come in different colors and only cost PhP 250 each.
What’s more awesome is that they are aptly named because 50% of their proceeds are donated to cancer patients. You can even check their FB page for beneficiary updates.