Ethos recommends 5 initiatives you should know

Lucy Chesters is the editor of Ethos magazine, a quarterly business magazine which tells the stories of ethical, sustainable and value-driven businesses from around the world. Ethos was launched online in 2015, and in print in 2017, and has a readership spanning 22 countries worldwide.

She shared with us some of her favorite social initiatives she’s covered, including an ice cream sandwich company which employs refugees, to a soft drinks company which gives back to the communities that grow its produce.

Raven + Lily goes directly to the source, and buys its produce from female artisans, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds in areas including south east Asia, India, Africa and Latin America. Through empowering women by giving them a job and an income, Raven + Lily has helped myriad women out of poverty and into a position of power, respective of their individual cultural norms.

International Sandwich Brothers

Oslo

International Sandwich Brothers, is an ice cream sandwich company which employs refugees and asylum seekers from around the world. The perfect example of integration in practice, International Sandwich Brothers hires people who may not necessarily have the correct papers to work, or the local language capabilities to secure a job, and gives them the opportunity. Through working at International Sandwich Brothers, refugees and asylum seekers are gaining invaluable language skills, making friends and learning local cultural norms, which helps towards a successful integration into society.

Parley for the Oceans

New York

Parley for the Oceans is a collective of scientists, environmental experts, actors, artists and everything in between. At the helm of Parley is Cyrill Gutsch, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him for our inaugural issue of Ethos, in February 2017. What struck me the most about Cyrill was his passion and determination to eradicate single plastic use in the supply chain, and to highlight the danger of ocean plastic pollution. Working with big brands including Adidas, G-Star and Bionic, Parley has repurposed ocean plastic waste into materials for trainers and clothes. But most importantly, Cyrill, through Parley, has brought the ocean plastic problem to the fore; speaking at UN summits and travelling the world to highlight the dangers of plastics to not only our environment, but to the future of humankind.

Birmingham

‘Social media for good,’ Podnosh is a company based in Birmingham, UK which helps people become active citizens and advocate for social and civic good through modern forms of media. It was really interesting to meet Podnosh founder Nick Booth, and learn how the company works with community groups, charities, local government, the NHS and housing associations, to grow the civic conversation.

Karma Cola Company

Wellington

The cola nut is at the heart of one of the most enigmatic soft drink recipes in the world, yet despite 1.9 billion cola drinks being consumed daily, globally – over a million a minute – the farmers producing the crop in Sierra Leone, see no profit from their yield.

Simon Coley, along with brothers Chris and Matthew Morrison, founded the Karma Cola Company, a soft drinks company which gives back to the communities that grow its produce. Through the success of the Karma Cola Company grew the Karma Cola Foundation, which puts the power in the hands of the Sierra Leonean community that harvests the cola nut; democratically asking them to decide where to spend the profits of the drink they helped to create.

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