Scrap CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). These days there are so many excellent products you can buy that have a genuinely meaningful story behind them. You’ll sleep well knowing exactly where your money’s going when you pay for any of this stuff. There are lots of really excellent ethical brands out there, but this list is a hand picked selection, celebrating the excellent ways that “buying stuff” can be utilised to challenge, solve or disrupt….
The Feral Trade Courier is a live shipping database for a freight network running outside commercial systems. The database offers dedicated tracking of feral trade products in circulation, archives every shipment and generates freight documents on the fly.
Connecting women “from worker to wearer”; working solely with women’s groups and charities in order to produce their clothing, all the women they work with are paid a London living wage and have access to a range of holistic support
A plant-based body and face balm for repairing and nurturing dry and sensitive skin. Their herbs are grown in chemical-free soil at the Phy.tol.o.gy medicinal garden in Bethnal Green, East London, an artist-run social enterprise, the profits from which are reinvested into the ongoing care of the medicinal garden as a community asset.
An online store from artists Sofia Niazi, Rosalie Schweiker, Sahra Hersi and Sadie St.Hilaire. They’re selling and shipping directly to you to “better circulate our own published work and to begin highlighting and distributing the work of our peers”. Kind of like art dealing but without the bullshit. You click. You buy.
The Soap Co.
The Soap Co. is an ethical luxury brand, with products handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. They currently employ over 100 people – 80% of whom are blind disabled or otherwise disadvantaged.
“Reclaiming creativity from corporations”: COVERSLUT© founded by artist Grace Ndiritu is a new Pay What You Can fashion label about democracy, race & class politics, that involves working with refugees and migrants. They’re interested in producing ‘utilitarian’ street clothing that is in direct opposition to Capitalism; which turns female workers into a slaves without rights. Clothes are produced by art students, refugees and migrants and funded by the Flemish Art Department and the city of Ghent. Some of the participants are volunteers, some receive benefits from social welfare, and some receive wages.
[more to come, please get in touch if you know of a project you’d like to see featured on this list]