SingaporeMotherhood | Parenting

November 2015

Buy Gifts That Give Back This Christmas!

For most Singaporeans, the impending festive season spells an additional reason to indulge in some guilt-free shopping. Most of us would probably have made mental notes of what to get for our loved ones, friends and colleagues whilst window shopping in malls. It sure is a nice feeling to be presented with a gift carefully wrapped up in glittery wrapping paper and topped off with a ribbon bow bearing a gift tag with your name on it! But, what if your choice of gift not only brings joy to its receiver but also plays an important part in bettering the lives of the underprivileged in our society?


There are numerous local as well as international organisations around which provide members of the lower rungs of society job opportunities in the form of making handicrafts and gift items for sale in online stores. Apart from such organisations, there are also retailers who pledge to donate a certain portion of revenue from the sale of a specific range of products to the less fortunate in third world countries around the globe. So, this Christmas, why not purchase gifts that give back? If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve put together eight commendable stores for your selection!

1. Cha Cha Cottage


The name “ChaCha” was chosen for this e-store as “cha” is the first syllable of the word ‘charity’. The enterprise has groomed a team of women who work from home to custom-make candles (featured above) and beauty soaps according to the specifications of clients. Working from home allows them to spend time with their children. There are plans to extend their product range to include lotions, shampoos and shower gels as well in the near future!

Who It Helps: single mothers (divorcees, widows and unwed mothers) and women in financial need, especially those whose husbands are out of work due to illnesses

Products sold: decorative, scented & aromatherapy candles, beauty soaps

Price range: SGD $9.90 – $29.90

Social cause: to empower single women in financial need to rebuild their lives and re-establish their self-esteem in order for them to journey from confusion to confidence

2. Beansprout Marketplace


Beansprout Marketplace curates good manufactured by good people for good reasons as they believe that shopping can be fun while contributing towards a better world. The online store helps social enterprises and non-profit organizations sell their products and services; they take care of the marketing so that they can concentrate on doing good! You’ll find quite an interesting range of gift choices, from a set of vintage five stones (featured below) to shoe bags (featured above)!

Who It Helps: the homeless, victims of human trafficking, people with disabilities, the poor, disadvantaged women

Products sold: accessories, bags, ceramics, clothes, pet collars, stationery, travel products, toys

Price range: SGD $5 – $100

Social mission: to help people put their money where their hearts are



3. Shop For Social


Shop For Social seeks to support worthy social enterprises and non-profit organisations through innovative marketing and value-add of their products and services. Selected items from a different social enterprise will be featured every one to two weeks on their e-store, so you can look forward to scouring the site for fresh gift choices at any time of the year! The grunge-style clutch in military print featured below is one of my personal favourites! Pair it with a tank top, jeans and heels for an edgy yet feminine look!

Partners: Mother & Child Project, Friends of The Disabled, Human Nature, The Everyday Revolution, WeWorkz

Products sold: accessories, bags, bath & body care products, clothes, greeting cards, pouches & cases, toys

Price range: SGD $5 – $50

Social mission: to raise the profile of social organisations and their championed causes, and to increase sales in order to create a positive impact on the social value chain


4. The Brave Collection


The founder of The Brave Collection, Jessica Hendricks, combined her love of jewellery and philanthropic spirit to create a collection to celebrate the courageous women of Cambodia. The jewellery is handcrafted by talented artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Each piece in their collection is carved and woven by hand using traditional metalwork techniques with brass, silver and gold vermeil materials. Choosing just one is going to be quite a challenge, ladies – they all look so exquisite and lovely!

Who It Helps: Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities

Products sold: bracelets and necklaces

Price range: USD $38 – $130

Social mission: to provide job opportunities for talented artisans and to fight human trafficking in Cambodia


5. Cotton On & Typo


You would definitely have stepped into Cotton On and Typo outlets previously, but are you aware that these stores champion charitable causes? Yes! The Cotton On Foundation began its international projects in 2007 with a donation towards medical equipment for Mannya village in Southern Uganda. Their focus has since turned to education for Ugandan youth. Their products come at extremely affordable prices and are just perfect for those of you involved in multiple Secret Santa gift exchanges! (your wallet will be thanking you!)

Who They Help: underprivileged youth in Southern Uganda

Products sold: totes, mints, Christmas ornaments, candles, bracelets, mugs and tea

Price range: SGD $1 – $5

Social mission: to develop 20,000 educational institutions in Southern Uganda by 2020


6. Gift And Take

Gift And Take (GAT) was founded in 2006, when Singaporean Lance Ng returned from a missionary trip to a home for the physically disabled in Indonesia. He wanted to help in a sustainable way, and believed that neither charity nor tourists buying artwork, were the solution. Together with two like-minded Singaporeans, he started GAT, a business enterprise that would deal either directly with disadvantaged people or through audited agencies sheltering them, to create handcrafted products in accordance with their skills. GAT also offers customised wedding as well as corporate gifts!

Who It Helps: abused mothers & maids at crisis shelters and the mentally and physically handicapped in Singapore

Products sold: stuffed animals, cushions, bags & pouches, bookmarks and eco-friendly gifts

Price range: SGD $10 – $50

Social mission: to restore dignity to the disadvantaged by helping them to gain financial and psychological independence and to redefine the value of a gift

7. The Body Shop


Looking for bath & body care products for your loved ones this Christmas? The Body Shop is your one-stop solution! Their fabulously packaged gift sets are absolutely delightful and are sure to bring a smile to just about anyone you may be shopping for. Purchase any of their Christmas gift sets and you will be helping a family in Ethiopia gain access to clean drinking water. That sure sounds like a win-win situation to us! We know you can’t wait to get started, so click here for a list of The Body Shop outlets!

Who It Helps: families in Ethiopia with no access to safe drinking water

Products sold: gift sets – eau de toilette, men’s shaving kits, shower gels, lip balms and hand creams

Price range: SGD $15.90 – $121.90

Social mission: to provide 3.65 million days of safe water, assisting 1,000 families with access to safe water over the next ten years




Here’s one exclusively for the little ones in your life. No tot would say no to an adorable stuffed toy from IKEA, so you can’t be going wrong with this choice. While you put a smile on the face of a child in your life, you would simultaneously be helping IKEA donate one Euro to charitable organisations that aim to provide education for children living in poverty. So, before you head off to a department store to look for stuffed critters, have a heart and browse IKEA’s collection here. Santa will most definitely be putting you on the “nice” list!

Who It Helps: children worldwide living in poverty with no access to proper education

Products sold: stuffed toys

Price range: SGD $1.90 – $34.90

Social cause: to donate one Euro to “Save The Children” and UNICEF to improve education for children living in poverty


All information and prices quoted are accurate at the time of publication.

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Buy Gifts That Give Back This Christmas!