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Ethical Shopping

7 ethical and eco-friendly shopping choices for World Homeless Day

World Homeless Day is a chance to count our blessings and do something positive for those in need. Here are 7 ways how.

The summer is officially over, the weather is drawing in and, for the ultra-organised, Christmas shopping is already on the agenda.

So, for this year’s World Homeless Day, why not get some gifts in the bag and make a positive difference at the same time?

Here are seven sellers from The Big Issue Shop whose work or products directly benefit those experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably housed.

Stand4 Socks

Stand4 Socks are on a mission “to change the world one pair of socks at a time”. Founder Josh Turner started the company from his bedroom in Manchester, after discovering the sore need for clean, dry footwear among people experiencing homelessness.

So for every pair of socks sold, Stand4 Socks donate a pair of thick, anti-bacterial socks to people experiencing homelessness around the world. 

“Socks are the most requested item by homeless shelters and this is because they are rarely donated,” he said. Stand4 Socks has now made sure over 150,000 pairs have been donated to people who need them.

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Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

Cafe Art 

Café Art is a social enterprise set up to empower people who have experienced homelessness by getting them involved with art, photography and entrepreneurship.

Its MyLondon project was set up in 2013 to give 100 people who have experienced homelessness photography training and a camera to take photos across the capital. The goal is to create an exhibition and a calendar which tells the stories of both the photographers and their communities and raise awareness of how they live.

They have cards and calendars available to buy which mean vulnerable people who need to earn an income can earn money from their own creativity, and all profits go back into the project.

Street Art

Every week in The Big Issue magazine’s Street Art page gives talented, marginalised individuals an outlet for their creative expression. At least half the profit from each sale goes to the artist and the remaining profit is used to continue the mission of The Big Issue; to give people in poverty, the opportunity of a hand-up.

There are dozens of art works available.

Bryan Adams

Six years ago, Bryan Adams was approached by Trudie Styler to take photos of homeless street vendors and create a portrait story for The Big Issue magazine.

That story inspired a more in-depth photographic look at these people who live on the streets of London and sell the magazine, and a book of the photos and was published in 2021. All proceeds from book sales go to The Big Issue’s charity arm, The Big Issue Foundation.

The Big Issue Shop

The Big Issue is turning 30!

Shop our specially designed t-shirt collection and more at bigissueshop.com

Leiho

Joey and Thuta founded Leiho while at university, determined to make a positive difference. For every water bottle sold, they give boxed and refillable cartons of water to someone experiencing homelessness who is at risk of dehydration in the. hot summer months out side. For each pair of socks, they donate another pair to someone who would otherwise freeze or be at risk of infection through the damp and bitter winter.

Jollie Socks

Jollie’s is a “more-than-profit” enterprise passionate about creating fun and tangible opportunities to support local homeless charities and care for those facing homelessness. They’ve started with socks. As the company says: “wear a pair, share a pair”.

Slanj

For each item sold from Slanj’s Homeless Tartan range, including masks, bowties, cushions, ties and scarves, 20 per cent goes towards a homeless charity.

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Support us today

Over the last 30 years, your contributions have been vital in providing opportunities for those facing poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Support us to help thousands more. Buy a copy from your local vendor, donate or subscribe online today.

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