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Introducing: The SIS Retail Academy Cohort 2019

We’re thrilled to announce the impactful organisations that will joining us this week for the SIS Retail Academy 2019.

This year, the three-day programme will be attended by 16 organisations who are eager to scale their impact by accessing retail and corporate markets.

The SIS Retail Academy aims to inspire, offer practical insight and knowledge and the opportunity to meet with retail and corporate buyers. The programme is designed to provide the very best training, guidance and support for social entrepreneurs.

So, without further ado, introducing the SIS Retail Academy 2019 cohort.

RA Animalia Apparel 2

Animalia Apparel believe in supporting people from all walks of life, promoting healthy living, both mental and physical and to do their utmost to support sport and fitness in local communities.

They offer sport and combat clothing including tracksuits, leggings, dri-fit t-shirts, casual t-shirts, hoodies and zippers. Their combat range that includes rashgaurds, compression tops and leggings, MMA shorts and Muay Thai shorts. They focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour within communities.

Check out their website here.

RA Birsay Heritage Trust

Birsay Heritage Trust was founded in 1998 to restore the operation of the Barony Mill, which had been abandoned. The Mill is now in good heart providing traditional stone ground bere and oats, and, in summer, serving as a popular tourist attraction. Beremeal is an ancient form of flour, made from an ancient type of barley, which is low in gluten and high in folic acid. They are said to be the only producers of bere in the UK.

Check out their website here.


Established in Glasgow, Scotland, The Blankfaces is UK’s first non-profit fashion label. The Blankfaces design and sell tees, sweats, pin badges, hats, bags and more, designed or inspired by the homeless community. They are a growing social enterprise, and whilst they still work with and take inspiration from the homeless people of Glasgow, they now sell online and are looking at wider-UK expansion.

Check out their website here.

Books by Stellas

Books by Stellas CIC is a student led social enterprise that aims to break the stigma and raise awareness of Autism and other special educational needs. They have produced a book aimed at children, to help them understand their sibling, family member, peers or classmates on the spectrum.

Children with Autism in mainstream education often feel isolated from their peers as there is a lack of understanding from them. Therefore, Books By Stellas CIC have a ‘Buy 1, Give 1’ Scheme, whereby for every book sold, another is donated to a Primary School to educate children about Autism, improving those on the spectrum’s mental health and school experience. One of their members has a brother with Autism and she outlined the need for such resources when she was younger and set out to make a difference.

RA Bread Maker

The Bread Maker is a commercially focused social enterprise producing high-quality artisan bread and bakery goods. The purpose of their business activities is to provide meaningful training, educational and social activities to adults with learning disabilities who are excluded from mainstream society. Their produce is sold in some of the top restaurants and coffee shops within Aberdeen and the shire.

Check out their website here.

Cyrenians Farm

Cyrenians Farm is a social enterprise located just outside Edinburgh. It’s a working farm producing organic fruit, vegetables and eggs, along with products such as honey and preserves. It’s also home to a community of vulnerable young people, many with experience of homelessness. The Farm grows food and helps the community to grow people, providing a range of opportunities for individuals to develop skills and confidence as a step towards a settled lifestyle.

More information is available here.

Freedom Unlimited Enterprises

Freedom Unlimited is a social enterprise business offering a large range of wood-based products including boot-jacks, coasters, photo-holders, plant-hangers, candle holders, garden benches, coffee tables. They aim to provide training and employment opportunities for people with criminal convictions; pioneering a new way of using social business to combat one of the major root causes of re-offending behaviour. They focus on affirmation inclusion and identity, integrated within live work/training sessions and empowering people to discover and live their lives with a renewed purpose driven mindset.

Check out their website here.

GlenWyvis Distillery

GlenWyvis offer their Goodwill Gin and will soon, following development, offer whisky. They are community-owned, being built to bring distilling back to the Highland town of Dingwall. They are inspired by their beautiful landscape, and motivated to preserve it. GlenWyvis is a pioneer of sustainable distilling; wind, hydro, solar and biomass energy power their operations.

Check out their website here.

Goodwash Company

The Good Wash Company is a Welsh luxury wash and lifestyle brand, on a mission to change the world one wash at a time. They offer luxury wash products including handwashes, soaps, shampoo and conditioners. Goodwash products are sourced from only the very finest natural ingredients from land and sea. Their cruelty free products boast an abundance of natural health benefits that will leave your hair, body and soul feeling totally replenished. 100% of profits go to local projects that improve the lives of animals and people.

Check out their website here.

You Glow Girl

Glow is a registered charity that currently operates in Belfast empowering women and girls with life skills to increase confidence and self-esteem. They sell merchandise with You Glow Girl logo including sweatshirts, t-shirts and jute bags. GLOW came from a common desire of women in their local community to address issues facing their peers such as low self-esteem & confidence, mental health, isolation and a lack of purpose.

Check out their website here.

Grace Chocolate

Grace Chocolates are handcrafted chocolates, handmade by women who have touched the Scottish criminal justice system and are choosing to make positive changes in their lives. Through making and selling their chocolates, the women receive support, training, work experience and the opportunity to raise their self-esteem and resilience which helps lower the barriers they face in finding meaningful employment.

Check out their website here.


Lilypads are high quality reusable sanitary pads, shaped to improve comfort and made in the UK. At the end of your cycle, simply pop your LilyPads in the washing machine to make them as fresh as new. You’ll save money on pads and cut down on your environmental impact. Each LilyPad bought also supports their work in rural Kenya, tackling period poverty and stigma.

Check out their website here.

Power a Life

Power a Life is a mobile accessories brand specialising in portable power (power banks) and a range of phone cases, charge cables, solar chargers and solar lights. It’s a buy to give model, with every power bank sold, the company gift a solar light to a child in a developing country; allowing them to walk home from school safely at night and study after dark. All children who have received a Power a Life solar light have seen improvements in their homework and class test scores resulting in them staying in school for longer and significantly improving their opportunities.

Check out their website here.

Social Stories Club

Social Stories Club make socially conscious gift boxes where every product inside the box has a unique story of social impact such as rescuing wonky rejected fruit to providing work opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
They offer businesses the opportunity to not only give a high-quality gift but also make a positive social impact through the act of gift giving.

Check out their website here.

Tregroes Waffles

Tregroes Waffles is a small, family run Bakery based in the beautiful rolling hills of the Teifi Valley, South-West Wales, offering waffles and crackers. They have been producing Waffles in the area for over 30 years using only the best ingredients, and they have become a proud part of the local community. They strive to support the local community wherever possible, and their workforce – the backbone of the business – is all employed from Llandysul and the surrounding area.

Check out their website here.


Usel offer kit and carry bags, along with a wide range of mattresses and beds. They are Northern Ireland’s largest supporter of people with disabilities or health conditions into employment. It exists solely to help people with disabilities and health-related conditions move into and sustain employment. Every year, they employ, support and train over 1200 people with disabilities or health conditions across Northern Ireland

Check out their website here.

This year’s SIS Retail Academy has been made possible through the generous support of the Scottish Government and Asda. Stay tuned and check out our Twitter to hear more about the SIS Retail Academy and the participants’ progress.