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Five socially conscious local brands

With the season of giving just around the corner, we highlight socially conscious local shops and brands that are in it for charitable and sustainable causes

Megafash
1/5

Megafash

The concept

Shop to your heart's content here – you're giving back to society with purchases from the indie labels on offer. From online to offline, this lifestyle marketplace displays local and international names across its three outlets, which revolve around themes like nature, adventure and fashion.

Labels stocked here include Statement Tees, Plain Supplies, The Lost Nomad and Troopers, with items covering a range of watches, jewellery, bags, wallets, shirts and phone cases.

The contribution

Cat fanatics, get yourselves some quirky feline jewellery pieces by Alfie De Meow, a label that supports cat welfare group CATSI by donating 10 percent of its merch sales quarterly. If you’ve got green coursing through your veins, check out Matoa’s wooden watches made of repurposed wood waste.

Those who love the sun and the sand can pick up Lagu’s beach-friendly mats – they're quick-dry, allergen-free and sand-repellent, which means you’ll be leaving those tiny grains by the sea to protect and prevent diminishing shorelines (yeah, apparently that’s a thing).

Three outlets, including #01-05 Wisma Atria (9420 6053, www.megafash.com). Orchard. Daily 10am-10pm.

The Nail Social
2/5

The Nail Social

The concept

Get your shopping fix and your nails done at this start-up by entrepreneurs Cheryl Ou and Germaine Monteiro.

The contribution

The Nail Social works with social services to focus on supporting underprivileged women. It offers vocational training for women with unemployment woes, such as single mothers and ex-offenders, to become full-time nail technicians.

But that's not all. The space stocks products that promote a good cause. The fair-trade jewellery by Anchora is the work of artisans from around the world living under the poverty line. Flip-flop brand Soule donates a portion of proceeds to initiatives that provide sturdy shoes for impoverished children and natural disaster survivors. And the floral arrangements on sale come courtesy of Hello Flowers, a local enterprise that employs and trains the needy. That’s a world of good packed into one little salon.

L2, 42A Haji Ln (6717 3221, www.thenailsocial.co). Bugis. Tue-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat & Sun 10am-8pm.

100 Good Things
3/5

100 Good Things

The concept

Change the world, one good thing at a time – that's the motto of this Singapore-based lifestyle store. 100 Good Things was set up by Joan Koh, a globetrotter-turned-social-entrepreneur with the desire to uncover the untold stories behind traditional handicrafts and their makers. She carefully curates the selection, which includes personal care items, artisanal foods and fashionable accessories.

And if you need your faith in humanity restored, hop on to her blog, where she writes uplifting pieces on her travel experiences around the region, and her interactions with villages and their communities.

The contribution

Birthed out of a desire to help poverty-stricken Asian communities, the shop sells fair-trade, eco-friendly items handcrafted by artisans. You'll find an interesting selection that includes silk protein soap, recycled paper necklaces, bangles carved from repurposed bomb casings, and more.

#01-685 Blk 2 Balestier Rd (9383 1047, www.live100goodthings.com). Novena. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, other hours by appointment.

Matter
4/5

Matter

The concept

Pants to see the world in. That was Matter's way of introducing itself over a year ago. Since then, the local label has released several collections, all revolving around that one comfy item of clothing for travellers.

Then and There is its latest line, a collaboration featuring four unique prints, each symbolising the home country of the artist. Repping our nation is Yah Leng Yu from Foreign Policy Design Group, with a combination of deconstructed kopitiam tile patterns.

The contribution

Matter uses craft techniques like block printing, ikat and jamdani, in collaboration with communities in the region. Working together, they create modern pieces with time-honoured methods to make rural textile artisanship sustainable, one pair of trousers at a time.

Available at TANGS Orchard, Curator’s Den and Kapok. www.matterprints.com.

Heads of State Millinery
5/5

Heads of State Millinery

The concept

Make a statement with a sculptural headpiece by designer Chee Sau Fen, who founded the brand with the aim of handcrafting unconventional hats, headbands and tiaras.

Each piece is an architectural vision, with shapes and shades that range from bold and dramatic to delicate and feminine – the latest collection, for instance, is influenced by archery... and birds.

The contribution

Recycled raw materials and ethically sourced ones form the backbone of the production process. The brand's NeoTribe collection was made by an indigenous community in the Philippines, from handloom fabric of the country's native abaca plant.

Chee has also brought her work abroad, training stay-at-home mums in Cebu in the art of hat-making, for an alternative source of income.

Available at The Emporium and W Store. www.headsofstatemillinery.com.

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