Positive Week 2017: Social Good Companies with a Mission

Arctic Circle Diamonds

Every Arctic Circle diamond tells its own story, with a unique serial number that is laser engraved on its side. These tiny numbers verify that Arctic Circle diamond jewellery is created in the most sustainable and responsible way possible, helping northwest Canada’s environment and local community, offering fair wages and education.

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Arctic Circle Diamonds works with Tanzania’s first Fairtrade UK gold mine. Photo credit: Arctic Circle Diamonds

 

 

Eden Diodati

Eden Diodati, works in partnership with an extraordinary social cooperative in East Africa, which serves formerly marginalised female artisans, many of whom experienced personally the horrors of genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The Rwandan cooperative which Eden Diodati partnered with was founded by two sisters in Kigali, both with a jewellery design background. They organised what was then about 20 women, teaching them how to weave and bead, and then to enhance their skills with new techniques.

The organisation today provides work for more than 5,000 female survivors, organised into 52 smaller cooperatives. Many of its members are living with HIV and AIDS after experiencing gender-based violence during the conflict. Eden Diodati was born out of Jennifer’s desire to capture the compassion, empathy and strength that is at the heart of the beauty of the women that she knows.

Eden Diodati’s circle of ethical production enables clients to empower women sustainably and experience beauty through compassion. The brand donates 10 percent of shareholder dividends to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), an international NGO recognised for its projects in war torn regions and developing countries affected by endemic diseases, catastrophe, violence and armed conflict. 

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A beautiful Rwandan artisan in Eden Diodati’s partner social cooperative of female survivors, wearing a jewellery piece from the brand’s collection that she and other treasured artisans hand-beaded. Photo credit: Eden Diodati

 

 

Robe de Voyage

Crafted from the softest khadi cotton and silk in partnership with a small cluster of weavers in West Bengal, Robe de Voyage provides much needed rural employment for women in the local community. The company liaises closely with the Government of India Ministry of Textiles to choose which clusters to work with, and for support on communication and quality control.

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Robe de Voyage’s fantastic spinning room in West Bengal, where the luxurious handspun khadi cotton of their robes begin. Photo credit: Robe de Voyage

 

 

Camillia Elphick

Handmade in Italy with love, Camilla’s designs are defined by a luxurious yet playful aesthetic and focus on premium, ethically sourced materials and bespoke prints. The brand ensures their labour supply chain is fair, with products created and manufactured by trained, high quality craftsman in the footwear industry.

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Finished beaded boots line up next to each other in Camilla Elphick’s manufacturing workshops. Photo Credit: Camilla Elphick

 

 

Freolic London

Buying Fréolic London garments means investing in craftsmanship that totals a decade of experience that includes superior quality, English heritage and positive impact on the European garment industry. Ethical fashion guarantees that employees are paid a fair price for their work and the luxury fabrics are sourced from accredited French lacemakers programmes with sustainably managed ecosystems. Every Freolic piece comes with a Dentelle de Calais-Caudry certificate marked with a unique serial number, marking the work made on a Leavers loom — a centuries-old traditional skill specific to the region of France.   

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The Dentelle de Calais-Caudry certificate label on every Freolic piece acts as a guarantee that the lace is made on Leavers looms, according to an centuries-old tradition and method of thread intertwining, a skill specific to this region of France. Photo credit: Freolic Lingerie

 

 

 

Aracari Travel Consulting

As a responsible travel provider, Aracari seek to foster relationships with local communities and suppliers so that the economic benefits of tourism can be enjoyed by more, while protecting the natural environment in which they operate, to provide the best sustainable trips to Peru and Bolivia. From promoting locally-owned lodges to collaborating with community tourism initiatives, Aracari actively seeks to maximise the benefits of tourism while creating meaningful, memorable journeys.

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The people of Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca make the Peru experience unforgettable. Photo credit: Aracari Travel

 

 

Campi Ya Kanzi

Located at the foot of the legendary Chyulu Hills, Hemingway’s “”Green Hills of Africa,”” Campi ya Kanzi is a partnership with the Maasai community of Kuku Group Ranch, promoting environmental conservation and sustainable community development through ecotourism. Campi ya Kanzi was built using only sustainable materials collected locally, it employs locally (90% are local Maasai), pays tourism revenues to the community and supports a community trust. The camp fulfills all water needs through rain cropping and storing it in PVC bladders and only uses renewable energies; photovoltaic panels for electricity and solar boilers for hot water.

The camp is also in partnership with Pack for a Purpose, an organization that partners with tourist destinations to allow guests to bring supplies desperately needed by the local communities. Campi ya Kanzi has been built for and by the Maasai community with the mindset that the ultimate protection of the environment requires the consideration of wilderness, wildlife and culture, and puts this into practice throughout every aspect of the camp. 

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Photo credit: Campi Ya Kanzi

 

Mayshad Paris

As a lifestyle designer, Mayshad Paris’ Nezha Alaoui designs and addresses her collections to inspire women who seek success, as an attitude that they naturally spread. As a continuity to their freedom, love and success, Mayshad Handbags are created in the most luxurious, ethical French know-how and handmade in the most prestigious Parisians workshops, to bring empowerment as a fashion statement. Beyond her collections, Nezha Alaoui is also entrepreneur of lifestyle magasine Mayshad Woman, a platform for women to empower other women; and the Mayshad Foundation, whose mission is to educate and train women in rural, underdeveloped areas of the world and help them pursue their projects. 

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Photo credit: Mayshad Woman

 

Nosouj

At its heart, Nosouj is a sustainable luxury brand with a respect for nature and modern design. Bridging the gap between style and social responsibility. Just as the fibers are weaved to create the ancient dokuma fabric, the principles of environmental consciousness and luxury design come together to create Nosouj. Bringing to life not only authentic designs, but small ailing communities by recreating job opportunities for sustainable living once again, breathing new life into ancient techniques with modern design. Preserving heritage with an exclusively handmade process, an integral part of the Nosouj message in the inherent belief that the future of fashion is a place where design and respect for Mother Earth meet.

Nosouj believe that artisanship is at the root of luxury, people are looking for a brand and products that are truly differentiated. At Nosouj they put special emphasis on working with exceptional artisans that help to build a brand that provides dignity to people who need it most, with products that are able to stand on their own and are desirable on their own terms.

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Photo credit: Nosouj

 

 

Gilda & Pearl

Gilda & Pearl is ethically and expertly created with silk fabrics sourced from suppliers in London and Manchester, English laces from Nottingham and French laces from Calais and Caudry. Supporting UK manufacturing, and supporting craftspeople rather than automated factories.  It’s a very difficult balance for any brand to play due to the pressures of margins, expected delivery times from retail partners and lead times from suppliers. Gilda & Pearl masters their supply chain well, striving at every turn to support an ethical chain of partners without compromising on quality — using only the best fabrics, silks and laces.

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Behind-the-scenes in the Gilda & Pearl studio. Photo credit: Gilda & Pearl

 

 

 

Fiona Fung