This Black Friday, we’re not focusing on selling our products. Instead, we want to show you how consumers can be a force for good by shining a light on other small businesses that do good too. We’ve handpicked some of our favourite small businesses to spotlight, and even managed to get some time in with them all to learn more about them… But that’s enough from us!
Learn more about the businesses below and why you should be supporting them this Black Friday.
Trap Fruits London
Trap Fruits London was founded by Peigh and Baff who are both Ghanian and proud Londoners that grew up on seasonal British classics like apples and Afro-Caribbean staples like plantain. They came together with the idea of mixing the two cultures and offering it to everyone in their city as one convenient drop. And that’s exactly what they do; deliver fresh fruit to your door. Hear more from them below…
What inspired you to start your Trap Fruits and how did you both meet?
We've known one another for about 18+ years, I'm godfather to Baff's firstborn daughter Yaya. This all started from a love of fruit, not being able to source particular items of tropical fruit locally or at a reasonable price.
What has been one of your highlights of running Trap Fruits so far?
It's hard to say, but if we were to give one highlight it would definitely be donating over 160 boxes of produce to families in need during the October half term in 2020.
I read somewhere that you’re working on a plan to help the youth in your community with employment. Can you tell us a little more about this and how it’s going?
Yes, it's something we hold dear to our hearts, the way we see it if we can give the youth something positive to do, they'll refrain from any bad activities. As we grow the employment opportunities will grow too.
Previously, you’ve said that Trap Fruits London ‘is a culture, not a phase’. Can you tell us what you mean by this?
For us it's all about balance, this isn't a health fad or phase. We're not here preaching saying everyone needs to lead healthy lifestyles, but what we are saying is that you can make healthier choices. We're not totally saints' we like a drink, we like a dance, but we also understand the importance of balance. A realistic and sustainable lifestyle approach.
What’s next for you guys?
We'd like to keep building and growing, we're only getting started and there's loads more work to do. But it's super exciting and we're in it for the long run.
From Babies With Love
From Babies with Love is the sustainable gifting brand that donates 100% of their profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. We chatted to Cara Brazier, the Head of Engagement to learn more…What was the inspiration behind Babies With Love?
When our founder Cecilia became a mother, she experienced the universal emotions of parenthood, a deepened concern for the welfare of children everywhere. With her newborn son in her arms, she watched a tv appeal advert from one of the large children’s charities and felt shaken.
Every parent we speak to resonates; it’s much harder to see children – any child – suffering. No matter our gender, culture, religion, geography – our human reaction is the same. When out shopping for her son Cecilia had an idea – what if we could buy beautiful baby products, and at the same time help a vulnerable child – that would speak to these emotions and make us feel pleased that we could do some good with the money we are intending to spend anyway. Cecilia assumed it would already be possible, but on researching, found it wasn’t - and so From Babies with Love was born.What is the impact Babies With Love has had so far?
Thanks to our customers From Babies with Love supports 26,000 children in 40 different countries. The need is much greater and so we have much more to do, and to grow our business and help more children we’re launching beautiful new collections and exciting new partnerships which we can’t wait to share with you.Has there been any challenges you've faced along the way?
The scale of the issues social enterprises are tackling can feel insurmountable and weigh heavily. But we’re all working together in a broader theme of shifting the role and impact of commerce in society, and being one small part of the innovation and impact social enterprises are creating is something we find extremely exciting.What advice would you give to others who are starting their own business?
There are several places to get support that I would recommend reaching out to. Social Enterprise UK’s website is a great place to start learning what’s available and has many helpful resources.
Birdsong London revolutionises the way we produce and consume fashion. Their mantra is “no sweatshops & no photoshop”. They design clothes that go against the fast nature of the fashion industry. To make the clothes, they work with expert women makers who face barriers to employment, from artists to printmakers, paying them London living wage to bring their designs to life. We chatted to Co-Founder and Creative Director Susanne to discover more....How did you and Sophie meet and start your business?
Sophie and her previous founders met on social entrepreneurship grad scheme Yearhere and started Birdsong 7 years ago. They had experience in the women's charity sector and could see that funds were being cut left and right and at the same time the people they were working with had so many untapped creative skills. So they decided to start a marketplace to sell the beautiful items women's groups and charities were making to funnel some more revenue into these groups that needed it. After a few years they raised funding for a Designer to start their own brand collections and that’s where I came along. After experience working in the fast and slow fashion space- Birdsong is my dream company and 5 years later, I’m now a Co-founder with Sophie- we make a great team.How is Birdsong working to change the way fast-fashion consumers think and behave?
We do a lot of campaigning, educating customers on our social media and lecturing at universities and larger companies. We see ourselves as an activist brand, not only creating beautiful socially conscious, sustainable products for living wages, but trying to make the fashion industry as whole a much less damaging place. We all have to work together to find a solution. We try not to blame the consumer, but question the systems that have caused our crisis in the first place.Any challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Any? Many. Every day is a challenge if I’m honest, running a sustainable fashion brand. The effects from the pandemic are still being and will be for a long time. But on the flip side every day is also a pleasure and we feel honoured to be able to do it.What’s next for Birdsong?
We have some exciting plans in the pipeline- I think 2022 is going to be a big year for change, growth and most importantly positive impact.