Although ‘the more, the merrier’ is a great outlook to adopt when it comes to gifts on Christmas, it does feel a little better also to score some karma points when giving and also receiving.
Thankfully, there’s an abundance of thoughtful and meaningful gifts out there that you can get for your loved ones that contribute to a good cause. Time to shop smart!
3Pumpkins: Illustrated zines and handprinted cards
Art organization 3Pumpkins is a non-profit that engages with the community, especially the vulnerable sections. The Tak Takut Kids Club (TTKC) – ‘Tak Takut’ literally translates to ‘not scared’ – is a community space run by 3Pumpkins and is a place where kids from ages 7 to 14 come after school to get homework help, meet friends, do some gardening, cook and more. TTKC is also home to some very talented artists and storytellers. Currently, the organization are holding a fundraiser for the upkeep of the community club and the kids have compiled their drawings and sketches into two zines that are available for purchase. Find kooky comics and amazingly drawn portraits in the contents – and pick up a pack of handprinted cards as well for messages to your loved ones.
Rough beauty: Mari bar
Local soapmakers (and also makers of other beautiful and natural things) Rough Beauty have an amazing selection of bar soaps that are not only great for the skin but also smell good too. The Mari scent – a blend of orange, bergamot, grapefruit and lavender – is named after a rescue cat and 10% of all sales from the Mari range go to community cat rescue and TNR (trap, neuter, return) efforts in Singapore.
Mossery: Refillable journal
You can never have too many notebooks but with Mossery, you can keep to one with its refillable format. All you have to do is choose a cover that speaks to you – and there’s a lot to choose from. Mossery has collaborated with plenty of artists and illustrators of different styles so there’s a notebook cover for everyone. The brand gives back to marginalised communities and has held several fundraisers over the years.
Riau Candle Co.: Scented candle
‘Tis the season for scented candles! Riau Candle Co. has been in the business of good scents for a while now. They also channel 100% of their sales to projects that seek to empower women and families in impoverished areas of Riau Island. Marginalised women from the community are employed to make the popular hand-poured soy candles using locally sourced essential oils. Choose from scents with wonderful names like Mountain Rain, Spice Market and Island Driftwood.
Pass It On: Scented candle
More candles for Christmas – why not? Pass It On is known for its ‘plantable candles’ that are zero-waste. That’s because the lid is made from plantable and biodegradable seed-infused paper which can be planted after the candle has burned out. The holder can be used for storage or even a pot. The scents are inspired by destinations around the world that are endangered due to climate change.
Cat Mama Shop
Cat people and parents get a bad rep for being a little obsessive about their fur babies – and the Cat Mama Shop enables this. And the more you shop from here, the more goes into helping the Cat Welfare Society and all its efforts to help the community and rescue cats in Singapore. The catalog is delightful and affordable – there is a scratching board which looks like an “onsen house”, a treadmill scratcher board and a hermit crab sleeping bed. It’s going to be hard not to spoil your cat. There’s also stuff for humans too like bags, notebooks, pins and more.
The Art Faculty
If there’s a place you can do all your gift shopping at once, it’s The Art Faculty. It is a social enterprise by Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) and all the products in the catalog are designed by artists and creatives with autism. Find dim sum print umbrellas, Peranakan tile tumblers, animal prints on pouches and so much more.