A New Dimension of Festive Giving [Shop Social]
With Christmas being a time of giving, imagine if you could give while doing good and making the world a better place. It’d be a no brainer, right?
This year, we’ve been encouraging Scotland to shop social this Christmas. We launched a new website, Shop Social Scotland, to offer inspiration on social enterprise products and experiences. Our efforts tie in nicely with Social Enterprise UK’s #PresentsWithPurpose campaign, an extension of the #BuySocial campaign, which looks to encourage the general public to buy from social enterprises, and ultimately, contribute to a more inclusive economy.
Last year, on average, the UK spent £14.2 billion over the festive period. This Christmas, UK consumers are set to spend an average of £567 per person, with 53% of that dedicated to gifts. Wouldn’t it be nice if a proportion of that spend went to not only buying lovely gifts, but also towards improving social issues across Scotland and further afield?
All too many people aren’t yet aware that social enterprises – businesses that work to a social or environmental purpose – offer ethical yet quality alternatives to every-day products and services, including gifts.
Shopping social doesn’t mean that you need to compromise on quality or style, and if you already have a gift in mind, you’ll likely be able to find a social enterprise alternative. You’ll be giving the gifts you wanted, but they’ll be making a meaningful difference to communities across the world. Social enterprise products, services and experiences are also a great way to give something memorable at Christmas time.
With over 5,600 social enterprises in Scotland alone, Christmas is a great time to make a difference. Whether that means buying your Mum beautiful soap from a social enterprise that provides work placements for adults with disabilities, or your brother a cosy pair of socks that mean another pair will be donated to a homeless person, or even stocking up for festive celebrations with beer that supports in bringing clean water to communities in Malawi.
One of the main challenges in creating a more inclusive society and economy through social enterprise is the general public’s awareness and understanding of social enterprise. While those of us who work in the sector are regularly presented with new, ethical products and services, the general public don’t yet have many opportunities to learn of these options.
During a visit to SIS customer and local creative talent supporter, Scottish Design Exchange, at the end of November, the Scottish Government announced additional funding of nearly £400,000 to support new social enterprise initiatives. It is hoped that this funding, which will support programmes such as our Social Enterprise Retail Academy, will make socially-conscious products and services more accessible to all.
We hope that the Shop Social Scotland website, the #PresentsWithPurpose campaign and your support in spreading the word will increase the number of people supporting social enterprises to create greater impact during the festive season.
For inspiration, please check out our new Shop Social Scotland website.