The way I’m choosing to run my business is quite different from the mainstream retail model, but I’m not alone in following a more conscious and values driven approach.
There are a number of heart-led businesses and online charity shops, who have inspired me and continue to inspire me everyday. I feel like the world is slowly turning towards a new era, that focuses more on social responsibility rather than blatant consumerism.
I feel people are growing more and more conscious about how and where they spend their hard earned money, so that they can make better choices and have more impact with their spending.
I have always been drawn to businesses that were born from putting their values first and find myself a lot more willing to spend my money in places that are passionate about something other than just money, money, money, hustle, hustle, hustle.
One of the very first companies I heard about with this ethos was Toms Footwear. When they first started out, they donated 1 pair of shoes to someone who needed them for every pair you bought.
They now give 1/3 of all profits for grassroots good and they’re tagline is “We’re in Business to Improve Lives” Read more about their amazing story here About TOMS
CUDDLE + KIND
The next company I really admire is called Cuddle+Kind. They make the most amazing handmade dolls and donate 10 meals to a family in need for every doll bought. Read their story here About Cuddle + Kind
This business was set up a by the Woodgate family in the US, who were inspired to do something to help starving children across the world. Their gorgeous dolls are also handmade in Peru by women artisans which provides them with a sustainable, fairtrade income.
Moving closer to home then, the first business to talk about is Patron Petfood, who operate across Ireland and the UK. I have bought my dog’s food here since we got him 3 years ago. When you purchase dogfood through this website, the full profit (roughly 20% of the purchase price) goes to an Irish animal shelter of your choice. Read more about their story here About Patron Project
The food is excellent quality and high meat content and plenty of flavours to chose from. It is also delivered super quick with options to save money and buy larger quantities (12/15kg bags)
THRIFTIFY ONLINE CHARITY SHOP
Next is Thriftify – this is a fantastic website that allows charity shops all around Ireland to easily list their items online. This gains them a far wider reach than just relying on the footfall past their door and the technology Thriftify have developed, makes it as easy and efficient as possible for them to list their items.
I love having a browse on this website – you can find some real gems. To read more about their story see About Thriftify Online Charity Shop
WE MAKE GOOD
Another truly inspiring Irish social enterprise is We Make Good. Their products are made by people facing social challenges who have been supported to develop valuable skills and gain employment in their craft.
They also produce their products in environmentally friendly way, reducing waste, travel miles and avoiding harmful production methods. To read more about We Make Good see About We Make Good
SPARK A LIFE
This Irish business was founded by Sinead Hingston Green and motivated by her fertility journey including the losses she suffered along that journey. She donates all of the proceeds from her Sparkalife candles to Fertility and Miscarriage clinics around Ireland. To read more about this brand see About Spark A Life
WRAPPED IN KINDNESS
I’m going to include my own business in this list too as I feel it fits very well with the ethos and values of each of these businesses which have inspired me. So if you want to read more about Wrapped in Kindness see Our Story
I’m sure there are plenty more heart led businesses out there so if there are any I didn’t mention in this post, please send me a DM or an email ([email protected]) and let me know about them. I’m always keen to hear about more businesses like this!