Gifts with a Conscience

It’s been a busy week at Of Cabbages and Kings with lots of exciting new things arriving in store. But what has got us really excited are three brands that are all in some way either sustainable, being mindful of their consumption, or they are ethically or socially conscious, supporting exciting forward-thinking projects here and abroad. So let’s introduce these three brands and give you the opportunity to give gifts with a conscience this Christmas.

Dove Earrings and Dove Pendant by Pivot

Pivot

Pivot are a London based jewellery brand established in 2019 by Alice Moxely. The idea behind Pivot is to give homeless people an opportunity to ‘pivot’ their lives away from homelessness through making and enterprise.

Each piece is designed by Alice and made by a homeless person living in temporary housing. The jewellery is designed to be easily assembled and put together with minimal need for specialist tools. Each maker is paid the London Living Wage and is supported through coaching, financial support and guidance. This gives part-time, flexible and meaningful employment for those who find it difficult to access, and helps create swifter pathways out of temporary accommodation.

Each piece of jewellery comes in a box marked with the individual maker’s name.

“I was homeless and hopeless. I didn’t imagine myself that I would be making jewellery and selling it in shops. Being part of Pivot has helped me mentally and has given me self confidence in working with a team and being part of a social enterprise. I remember like it was yesterday, first time walking into jewellery session. I was shy, nervous and didn’t know what to expect but with each class I have seen myself improving. I have something to look forward to in 2020 and can rewrite my life again.”

Pivot Maker – makepivot.org
Sustainable Plain A5 and A6 Notebooks by Vent for Change

Vent for Change

Vent for Change is a sustainable stationery brand based in Bristol. Founded in 2014 by environmental entrepreneur Evan Lewis, it started with just an ageing run-down facility producing pencils from recycled CD cases.

“Pencils are the most iconic educational tool going back centuries and I wanted to do something with them, something inspirational.”

Evan Lewis Founder

Evan took on months of research with NGOs and charities with a plan to help children worldwide after devastating natural and man-made disasters, especially those whose access to education had been affected.

He realised that pencils alone would not solve the problem, but what was needed was money. Money to rebuild schools, money to pay teachers and money to provide essential materials. Now Evan raises money to support children’s education projects worldwide through the sale of his stationery products.

Not only does Vent for Change support charities, but the products they make are also ethical and sustainable. They use recycled leather and board for the covers, and the paper inside 100% sustainable FSC certified.

Small and Medium Light Wooden Vase by Priormade

Priormade

Priormade is the brainchild of Beck Prior, a Bristol based design and fabrication artist. Beck creates beautiful handmade wooden products using a range of sustainable, low impact and recycled materials.

‘I want to change common opinion and highlight that responsibly designed products can be more valuable, well made and striking than those made irresponsibly.’

Beck Prior founder of Priormade

Beck’s ethos is to produce contemporary designs without compromising on sustainability or quality. Her laminated designs are produced from layers of sustainable and responsibly sourced plywood that are laminated together with a water based adhesive. No waste is created during the making process and all offcuts are used or donated to a ‘reusable waste’ charity.

The vases are produced from reclaimed wood from dedicated wood recycling projects. This makes them all unique and each piece of wood has an interesting back story. The small vases were once part of Battersea Power Station roof!

For more sustainable gift ideas check out our Sustainable Gift Guide.

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Introducing Pretty Bee Fresh

“The journey of a sustainable future starts with a conscious decision everyone of us has to make, followed by small changes to our lifestyle. Our mission is to encourage people to live a more sustainable life, respecting nature and the invaluable resources Mother Earth provides. We believe in giving back to our planet and want to contribute in every little way we possibly can. It is now more important than ever to protect our vulnerable ecosystem, especially trees which have supported and sustained life throughout existence and are paramount to our survival. We’ve therefore chosen to work with Trees for Cities, supporting them in their incredible work, planting trees on a national and international scale in an effort to tackle climate change!”

– Katharina, Founder of Pretty Bee Fresh

Founded by Katharina Rauch, Pretty Bee Fresh is a London based beeswax wrap company. Producing natural beeswax products with a strong ethos in sustainability. As a business, they try to reduce their carbon footprint as much as they can and reuse/recycle materials instead of ditching them after first use, while also supporting other organisations and charities.

They have partnered with Plastic Oceans UK who are experts in plastic pollution. Plastic Oceans UK help to reduce the reliance on plastic and educate about ocean health through teaching, collaboration with science and partnerships with business. Pretty Bee Fresh have joined the Plastic Oceans Re-circle Programme, showing their support and core values for this pressingly urgent issue.

They have also partnered with Trees for Cities by donating a percentage of their takings to help plant trees in urban areas. Trees for Cities work with communities to cultivate lasting change in their neighbourhoods – whether it’s revitalising forgotten spaces, creating healthier environments or getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food.

Beeswax wraps are a great addition to your kitchen. They are reusable, washable, environmentally friendly and biodegradable – a sustainable alternative to plastic and tin foil.

This medium size wrap is available in five different pattern designs. Measuring 260mm x 260mm it’s ideal to cover larger open bowls or wrap your sandwich for lunch. All wraps are handmade in London from 100% pure cotton, organic jojoba oil, pine resin and beeswax from local bees. They are washable in cold water and last up to a year.

How To Wrap: Wrap and fold around any food or bowls using the warmth of your hands to create a breathable seal. Due to the natural antibacterial properties of the beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin, your food will be kept fresh for longer. Suitable for fridge and freezer.

Beeswax Wrap – Green Monstera Print – £8

Beeswax Wrap – Blue Leaf Print – £8

Beeswax Wrap – Tree Blossom Print – £8

Beeswax Wrap – Seagulls Print – £8

Beeswax Wrap – Boats Print – £8

If you would like to learn how to make your own beeswax wraps, we also stock Pretty Bee Fresh’s DIY Beeswax Kits.

These kits will teach you how to make your own wraps at home. The contents include three cotton squares along with beeswax, brush and instructions to send you on your way to creating a sustainable alternative to cling film.

Contents

  • 3 pieces of pure cotton fabric in the sizes: 130mm x 130mm, 170mm x 170mm, 250mm x 250mm.
  • A piece of parchment paper.
  • A wooden brush and 4 cubes of the finished wax mixture.
  • Full instruction card on usage and care.

All you need is a cheese grater and a baking tray.

DIY Beeswax Wrap Kit – Floral – £15.90

DIY Beeswax Wrap Kit – Leaves – £15.90

DIY Beeswax Wrap Kit – Maritime – £15.90

Following on from the success of their wraps, Pretty Bee Fresh have also produced an Organic Nut Milk Bag Kit. Ideal for making your own vegan milk at home.

Explore the world of making milk at home with this Organic Nut Milk Bag kit. This DIY straining bag by Pretty Bee Fresh will help you create delicious vegan drinks and milks in your own kitchen. It can also be used for whipping up cold brew coffees, broths, juices and even vegan cheese. A great and fun way to reduce plastic waste and a fantastic alternative to store-bought drinks.

Contents
One medium-sized organic GOTS certified cotton nut milk bag in natural colour. Size 260mm x 360mm. 
A small recipe booklet for some inspiration to get you started in the kitchen. 

Organic Nut Milk Bag – £11.90

One last bee friendly kitchen item that can’t ‘bee’ missed is the The Bee Friendly Tea Towel by Stuart Gardiner.

Bee lovers rejoice with this tea towel. Listing an array of bee friendly plants perfect for encouraging more bees into your garden. A beautifully designed organic cotton tea towel, illustrated with flowering plants to help you choose year round colour. Don’t have a garden? You can still help the bees! A 75p donation is made to Friends of the Earth with each tea towel sold.

The Bee Friendly Tea Towel – £12.00

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The Make Bank: Tackling Creative Poverty

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We are very excited to tell you about a new social project aimed at addressing some of the issues surrounding ‘creative poverty’ and young people’s access to art and design subjects and careers. The Make Bank has been set up by Kirsty Thomas, a former art and design teacher, and founder of creative studio Tom Pigeon. Kirsty’s research revealed that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of secondary pupils dropping out of creative subjects. She discovered that while some pupils were being advised that the creative industries did not offer a viable career path and that perhaps they should get a ‘proper job’, on other occasions it was because they simply didn’t have, or couldn’t afford the tools they needed to complete the course. This is where The Make Bank comes in.

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The Make Bank Founder Kirsty Thomas

By providing Art and Design Kits for disadvantaged pupils, The Make Bank can help students who want to pursue creative education. Working with schools across the country The Make Bank has created quality art and design kits devised to meet the needs of all young people aged over 13 following the National Curriculum in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. For pupils studying GCSE, A Level, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications they have created five subject-specific kits, so whether it’s art, design, photography, textiles or ceramics the students have the right tools for the job! Any pupil can apply for a Make Bank Kit in partnership with their teacher and it will be sent directly to their school.

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Alongside the kits the project also works with industry professionals to share inspiring stories, creative journeys and career advice, nurturing, inspiring and encouraging creative talent in young people and helping them recognise the wealth of opportunity that exists within the creative industries. To raise money for the kits Kirsty has teamed up with some of UK’s most exciting artists, illustrators and designers on the Make Bank Print Project, some of who we know very well here at Of Cabbages and Kings. You can find these ones, The Language of Colour by Stuart Gardiner (below), in our shop too. However, if prints aren’t you’re thing and you would like to donate directly just follow this link

 

We love this project, however materials alone will not create a new and diverse generation of creatives. Young people need guidance, support, inspiration and knowledge to enable them to pursue a creative career. The Make Bank is calling on everyone within the creative industries and beyond to stand up and do something about Creative Poverty. This is our opportunity to create a thriving industry that is equal, diverse and fair.

Would you like to get involved?  Visit the The Make Bank

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