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Introducing: The SIS Retail Academy Cohort 2020

We’re thrilled to announce the impactful organisations that will be joining us this week for the SIS Retail Academy 2020.

This year, we’ve taken the programme online and will be joined by 32 organisations who are eager to learn about adapting 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 2020 cohort:

Articulate Cultural Trust

The Articulate Cultural Trust is a charitable organisation that offers soft furnishings, accessories, and homewares crafted by care experienced young people. Articulate exists to support arts access and participation by children, young people and adults who are least likely to engage in creative activity work experience, enterprise awareness and social mobility.

Check out their website here.

Awen Cultural Trust 

Awen Cultural Trust runs the ‘Bryngarw Mushrooms’ project, which specialises in growing shiitake and pink oyster mushrooms. The project is for adults with learning disabilities to gain new skills, experience, independence, and confidence. In turn this will improve wellbeing, helping each trainee to reach their full individual potential. All profits will be gift-aided back to the parent charity, Awen Cultural Trust, for reinvestment. 

Check out their website here.

Bùth Bharraigh Ltd

Bùth Bharraigh Ltd is a local retailer and community space located on the Isle of Barra. They sell a range of local produce including wholefoods, books, knitwear, and haberdashery. They provide a route to market for local products whilst keeping food miles down and providing opportunities for people to have sustainable life on the island. 

Check out their website here.

Camphill Blair Drummond

Camphill Blair Drummond offers a home, meaningful activities, and opportunities for personal development to adults with learning disabilities and other special needs.They currently employ 100 people and their impact is based on the provision of meaningful work activity for people using the service. 

Check out their website here.

The Community Gift Exchange SCIO

The Community Gift Exchange SCIO is a charity supporting people with barriers into sustainable employment. They sell a wide range of goods including donated contemporary and vintage furniture, instruments, electrical appliances and even bicycles.

They directly support a small number of people into sustainable employment within their community. Their ethos is to contribute to the growing circular economy, extending the life of reusable goods and selling them at affordable prices. Through this they hope to tackle financial poverty, unemployment, social isolation and poor health.

Check out their website here.

Dastardly Line

Dastardly Line is a quilting and textiles studio offering machine rental and workshops on longarm quilting. Alongside this they work closely with the Scottish cashmere industry to create zero waste products from their factory surplus.  Dastardly Line is working to help reduce the 60 billion square meters of ‘cutting room floor’ waste created by the fashion industry whilst also offering quilting workshops to customers. 

More information is available here.

Edinburgh Printmakers

Edinburgh Printmakers is a centre for printmaking and the visual arts in Fountainbridge. They have a range of activities including printmaking classes, two galleries, a shop selling original prints and handmade products, hire spaces for meetings, events or learning activities, a cafe, a courtyard and community garden.  

Edinburgh Printmakers works with specific groups in the community such as refugees, to support them in gaining skills to get back into work. 

Check out their website here.

Fifty Figs

FiftyFigs is a new ethical fashion womenswear brand based in the UK founded by textile designer Clare Turnbull. Following her own experience with skin cancer, Clare began designing and producing UV sunscreen clothing for women who want to protect their skin from the sun.

FifyFigs range of clothing cuts down on UV exposurereducing the need for sun cream, helping the environment. 

Check out their website here.

JTS (Just Trading Scotland)

JTS (Just Trading Scotland) import and sell fair, fine and ethical food products. Their impact is felt both globally, by paying fair prices to thier producer groups in the developing world, and locally, by providing fair, fine and ethical food items and by employing local staff. 

They also educate school children in the UK about ethical shopping through the 90kg Rice Challenge.

Check out their website here.

LAW Design Studio

LAW Design Studio is a slow fashion brand based in Glasgow, founded in 2018. They work to create sustainable womenswear with timeless, minimalist style, whilst using sustainable materials and engaging with the circular economy. Any surplus and deadstock fabric from LAW’s production process is transformed into childrenswear, homeware and accessories.

Check out their website here.

Lower Impact Living (LiL)

Lower Impact Living, or Lil for short, are a social enterprise that provides tips, news, and products to help make positive changes for the planet. All profits from their online store support sustainability initiatives, for positive climate action and waste reduction. 

Lil prevent plastic from entering the waste stream and make eco-living as affordable as they can.

Check out their website here.


Mecoco offer opportunities for people with disabilities, including those with profound and complex needs the chance to experience the workplace, do something meaningful, contribute and learn new skills.  

They create a range of scented candles, wax melts, reed diffusers and related gifts. Mecoco work towards educating their community, customers, other employers on the value of inclusive employment. 

Check out their website here.

New Start Highland

New Start Highland creates social and environmental improvements within their local community through supporting people, delivering training opportunities and promoting re-use. They offer a range of good and services including reused furniture, restored furniture, paint, bikes and soap. They deliver services that enable people, who are treated as marginalised, to transform their lives through employment and training.

Check out their website here.

Print Clan

Print Clan is an inclusive screen-printing studio that nurtures creativity in people of any and all abilities. They accommodate social, design and fine art-based projects by offering access to screen printing resources and training.

Print clan provide access to expensive equipment and knowledge of bespoke practices that artists can use to produce marketable products for functional and artistic purposes.

Check out their website here.

Punjabi Junction

Punjabi Junction is a social enterprise which works with women from all ethnicities with real workplace experience via Punjabi food. They primarily offer a catering service for events but also have a delicatessen range and have a presence at markets and festivals.

They are committed to training women who may have missed out on schooling or a working career and give them a chance to regain their confidence and identity as well as qualifications, professionalism, experience. 

Check out their website here.


Re-Employ’s range of bespoke gifts can be tailored to your requirements to make your gift unique and personal. They provide a range of branded work, safety and leisurewear, and can also provide branded marketing gifts. 

They offer employment for disabled individuals in the community and offer them the chance of increased skills, improved confidence and individual integration with others in a work environment.

Check out their website here.


REPAIREL is a startup social enterprise created to respond to the climate emergency and tackle fast fashion by reducing the carbon footprint of the footwear industry.  They are in the development stages of a Sustainable Footwear Online Retail platform which will act as a 1-stop-shop for buying sustainable footwear online.   

Check out their website here.

Sassy Lassy Lingerie CIC

Sassy Lassy Lingerie CIC manufacture underwear and run sewing and craft workshops in their local community. They believe in sourcing from local suppliers and try to reuse a much of their material as possible.

Their main impact in 2020 has been saving textiles from landfill, while also helping with their community wellbeing through their craft workshops. 

Check out their website here.

Seabuckthorn Scotland CIC

Seabuckthorn Scotland CIC is dedicated to the research of Scottish Seabuckthorn berries and maximum utilisation of this unique plant and production of the highest quality wild-crafted products.

They use the best local berries, picked in the peak of ripeness and deep frozen within 30 minutes of harvesting to provide customers with the freshest, tastiest Seabuckthorn juice. They also offer free foraging days for those looking to improve their mental health. 

Check out their website here.

Seawater Solutions

Seawater Solutions is an award-winning, Scottish-based, agri-environmental-tech start-up. Their integrated Seawater Farming systems use two of the world’s most abundant resources (degraded land and seawater) to create highly profitable artificial wetlands, growing the high-value samphire and other “superfood” vegetables for climate resilience and food security;  all without using a single drop of freshwater. 

Check out their website here.

Social Bite 

Social Bite Limited provide supported employment with over 1/3 of employees coming from a homeless background.  

They have a far-reaching impact and give away over 140,000 food items each year. They have also provided over 500,000 emergency food packs during the current COVID-19 lockdown, and offer customers a social alternative for catering. 

Check out their website here.

Space & Broomhouse Hub

Space & Broomhouse Hub is a charity and social enterprise which specialises in outside catering, events catering, co-working and consultancy services. They work to support people in their community which is in an area of high poverty, by creating jobs, training, and opportunities to help move them to positive destinations. They support people of all ages to enable them to flourish, thrive and achieve their greatest potential. 

Check out their website here.

Strawberry Lemonade Events

Strawberry Lemonade Events is a subscription box service that sends a party in the post. Every month their customers are sent a new theme to enjoy and to help them plan a party. They operate a “buy one, donate one” model, which sees a box being donated to a family in need of cheer for each that is sold. 

As well as this, they offer employment opportunities for vulnerable individuals in their packing facility.

Check out their Instagram page here.

The Sunshine Gallery

The Sunshine Gallery is a community art gallery based in Paisley which offers prints and original artwork from local artists. The gallery creates optimism, helps develop confidence and provides an outlet for creative expression in the community.

The Sunshine Gallery hopes to build a team that will improve mental health and wellbeing through creative thinking and to develop this idea to expand into other areas. 

Check out their website here.

The Aquaponics Garden

The Aquaponics Garden Ltd. have been set-up to develop sustainable indoor farming that empowers communities by providing a consistent supply of nutritious, local, fresh, produce.  

Their indoor farming systems will enable Scotland and the rest of Britain to be more self-sufficient in its fresh fruit and vegetable production, meaning less fresh produce will have to be imported from abroad. 

Check out their website here.

The Gifted Kind

The Gifted Kind aims to future-proof children’s happiness by protecting and gifting children with positive mental health and wellbeing, now. Their work begins in the early years, creating resources and a digital learning platform for the teaching of emotional resourcefulnessThe Gifted Kind creates calm, confident, creative, mindful, emotionally resourceful, resilient, reflective, inspired, happy children ready for the future. 

Check out their website here.

Transition Stirling 

Transition Stirling exists to help people in Stirlingshire, transition to a more resilient, sustainable way of living, providing a positive local response to climate change. They offer a range of unique art creations, furniture, household goods, textiles, tools, IT, books, CDs, woodcraft items, repair services and workshops. 

In addition to the environmental impact they also offer training opportunities and work experience for the local community. 

Check out their website here.

Uist Wool

Uist Wool is an enterprise that produces, and retails woollen yarns inspired by co-operative values. They offer woollen knitting and weaving yarns, plus finished woven goods. Their local impact includes generating income for staff and buying from local producers and makers.  

They have run educational programs over the past 10 years that have reached out to all age groups, including a conference of 100 international delegates in 2018 and regular interaction with local schools. 

Check out their website here.

Vision 21

Vision 21 supports life-changing opportunities for people with learning disabilities to realise their potential through; catering, growing, creating, learning and making initiatives. Vision 21 offers a wide range of products, produce and services including Pottery, woodwork,  

Vision 21’s trainees are given the opportunity to be a part of a vision, a team, fulfil a purpose, celebrating inclusivity and equality.

Check out their website here.

World Tree Agriculture 

World Tree Agriculture social enterprise urban farm specialising in using hydroponic technology to grow fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts, mushrooms, berries, and microgreens. 

They grow produce from around the world meaning we can grow food that we no longer need to import from other countries. They also currently run a healthy eating food bank aiming at tackling food deserts in Central Scotland. 

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.