It’s that time of the year! Is there a way to shop mindfully and meaningfully this Great Singapore Sale season?

As the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) kicked off late last month and we gear up for bargain hunting, there’s a way that we can satisfy our need for retail therapy and support a worthy cause.

Through NVPC’s Individual Giving Study 2018, we found mindful consumerism to be an emerging behaviour where 3 in 10 Singaporeans bought goods and services from non-profit organisations, charities and eco-friendly social enterprises.

To continue encouraging the rising trend, here are some of our suggestions for a more mindful and meaningful GSS:

1. SAVH’s Touch Art Programme

Fancy a more tactile set of handicrafts? Purchase TouchArt items from the Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped (SAVH). These handmade products have been created by visually impaired clients from SAVH, using their sense of touch, which makes them products with more to them than meets the eye. We particularly loved their Washi Egg collections and their towels cleverly designed to look like lollipops, cupcakes, even like a dog!

Above: These towels which look like lollipops are one of the Touch Art items sold by SAVH. Those with visual impairments create them with their sense of touch.

2. Metta Cafe

If you’re on your way to the East or work and live around Simei and you’re looking for a place for a good meal, stop by the Metta Café in Simei. Serving a variety of mouth-watering local delights, including vegetarian options, the halal-certified café provides F&B vocational training to Metta School graduates aged 18 and above with mild intellectual disability and/or autism, helping them build skills, confidence and self-reliance. You can dine at the café, host an event there, order cakes and pastries and even buy “Donate a Meal” coupons which can be used by recipients for meals at the café.

3. MINDS Social Enterprise

We love the cookies and the intricately designed tea-light candle holders by MINDS Social Enterprise! Initially started as projects to provide work engagement opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities, this social enterprise now runs a serious business providing baked goodies, handmade craft works and more, with a broad customer base, ranging from corporations to wedding couples. Net revenue from the sale of products goes towards paying a monthly allowance to clients engaged in the production processes.

Above: MINDS Social Enterprise bakes cookies as part of work engagement opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities.

4. Flour Power

Looking for sweet indulgences for an event, birthday party or celebration? Flour Power is a social enterprise bakery that works alongside people with special needs and those recovering from mental illness, training them in baking and simple customer service skills to improve their chances of finding employment in the F&B industry. Purchasing their cakes, cookies and pastries provides an opportunity for their trainees to apply their skills. Indulging in their cakes, tarts, muffins and cookies means you can have your cake and eat it too!

5. Boheme Style Nomads

If you’re a socially-conscious fashionista looking for handmade jewelry and fashion accessories, look no further. Boheme Style Nomad’s handmade jewelry and fashion accessories are made by Single Mums who do not have access to formal employment, due to circumstances such as death of a spouse, lack of education or other circumstances. Boheme Style Nomad provides an avenue for an income and for flexible employment, enabling these women to work from home while they care for school-aged children.

6. Project Dignity

Project Dignity is an all-in-one platform to engage in good through local food. Organising a corporate event, business meeting or celebration? Order halal bentos, muffins and dim sum or engage them for your company’s team bonding day. If you love to cook and want to learn seriously, use your SkillsFuture credits towards their baking & cooking courses. For book lovers, check out Dignity Mama stores at NUH, Yishun, Jurong East and Seng Kang. The stores are run by youths with disabilities and encourage a socially-conscious, greener approach to buying books. Driven by its mission to restore dignity to the differently-abled, the business aims to solve unemployment through skills training & placement (Dignity Learn), job (Dignity Kitchen™ and Dignity Mama), and integration (Dignity Outreach).

Above: Project Dignity offers a range of WSQ-subsidised courses including Chinese-style dishes, Peranakan and vegetarian cuisine.

7. Sowing Room

Sowing Room works with abused and at-risk women to help get them back on their feet. Initially with The Good Shepherd Centre, they now work with various groups of low-income single mums. Purchase hand-sewn fabric and textiles, such as eco friendly produce bags, travel toiletry pouches, table runners and babies’ bibs at The Social Space and The Meatery at Sunset Way. Come 20th July 2019, Sowing Room will be at a pop-up at YMCA Proms 2019 Makers’ Market. Meet them there!

Above: Sowing Room works with low-income single mums to create beautiful pouches such as these!

8. The Nail Social

Looking for a chic manicure or looking to treat someone to some pampering? Visit The Nail Social in Bugis or Chinatown, where you can get manicures, pedicures and foot massages. The Nail Social’s employees are local marginalised women who receive vocational training and skills that improve their employability in the beauty industry. A socially-conscious nail salon, they use non-toxic polishes free from a range of harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, DBP, toluene and camphor that are safe for even children and expectant mums and serve/sell products that are eco-friendly and fair-trade or cruelty-free.

Make this GSS a more mindful, meaningful experience for you, your family and your company, by sharing your generosity. Shop and support a worthy cause this year!