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Oakland, California, United States
Planting Justice empowers people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing. They build edible permaculture gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area, work with high schools to develop food justice curricula, and create green jobs in the food justice movement. The Planting Justice holistic re-entry program trains prisoners in permaculture gardening and provides living wage jobs when they make parole. They have a zero percent recidivism rate compared to 44.6 percent for the state of California. Planting Justice operates a four-acre mother farm in El Sobrante and a two-acre USDA organic certified nursery in Oakland with more than 1,300 varieties of fruit trees and other perennial plants. They also offer a permaculture landscaping service. The nursery is on Ohlone land and Planting Justice is working with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust to transfer these two acres back into native stewardship. Planting Justice is registered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and is part of the East Oakland Neighborhood Initiative and Transformative Climate Communities.
La Esperanza, Guatemala and Timnath, Colorado, United States
UPAVIM is a self-run cooperative of women in La Esperanza, Guatemala that provides leadership opportunities, greater economic independence, and education for members and their families. They source traditional cotton cloth directly from weaving families and weaving cooperatives and produce handcrafted housewares and accessories for markets around the world. La Esperanza is located in a “red zone” of Guatemala City and is a community plagued by gangs and violence. For the women of this community, UPAVIM, short for Unidas Para Vivir Mejor, offers a place of sanctuary through camaraderie, employment, and security. Sales of their fair trade products directly support the cooperative, a full-day kindergarten through 6th grade school, a Montessori-based preschool, and a daycare. UPAVIM’s success in La Esperanza has also fueled the development of a health clinic, tutoring program, local bakery, and more. The UPAVIM Community Development Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that supports UPAVIM and other grassroots initiatives. UPAVIM Crafts is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and Weave a Real Peace (WARP).
Molienda Real is committed to organic agriculture, fair trade, authentic food, and the autonomy and sustainability of small-scale producers in Colombia. They started in 2012 with organic fair trade panela and expanded to sun dried and smoked Yukitaña pepper and other artisanal organic foods. Molienda Real partners with small-scale farmers from Cooperativa Comercializadora de Salamina (COOMERSA), Asociación de Productores de Panela de Bonafont (ASOPROPAB), Asociación Indígena de Paneleros de San Lorenzo (AINPAS), Asociación Indígena de Pequeños Paneleros (AIPAN), and Bia Masã. Their producer network includes many women, young, and indigenous farmers. Molienda Real invests in research, development, and strengthening farmer associations. They are certified by Fairtrade International, SPP, EU Organic, USDA Organic, Canada Organic, Certimex, and Biotropico.
HASERA is an organic farm and permaculture learning center in Patalekhet, Nepal that is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable agriculture and natural living. Since 1992, they have hosted and provided training for people from more than 100 countries, and many of their trainees have gone on to establish model farms and learning centers of their own. The farm uses local heirloom seeds, produces compost and herbal pesticides, and practices companion planting, crop rotation, and ecological pest management. They offer organic products, farmstay accommodation, organic meals, a seed bank and nursery, training programs, and farm design, organic certification, organic marketing, and thesis research services. Their Dhartimata sustainable workshop produces zero waste cloth menstrual pads. HASERA keeps prices as low as possible and offers discounts for people in need. Surplus is reinvested in local initiatives like seed fair events, community home stay programs, and local trail improvements. HASERA is certified through Organic Certification Nepal and is part of the Nepal Permaculture Group, Organic Association Nepal, and the International Permaculture Convergence Council.
Winchester, England, United Kingdom
The Party Kit Network makes parties more sustainable by connecting party organizers with their local party kit and raising awareness that reusables can be easier, cheaper, and a lot more fun. Party kits contain reusable tableware like plates, bowls, and cups, reusable decorations, and more. They are lent locally by individuals, small businesses, and community groups to provide an affordable and accessible alternative to single-use party supplies. Switching to reusables prevents landfill waste and reduces the carbon footprint of an event. The Party Kit Network started in the United Kingdom, expanded to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States, and now welcomes members from all over the world. The service is free to anyone operating a party kit for their local community. The Party Kit Network is registered as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. They are part of We Make Change and Social Enterprise UK.
Denver, Colorado, United States
Women’s Bean Project changes women’s lives through transitional employment and empowers them with the stepping stones to self-sufficiency. Their food manufacturing social enterprise hires women who have struggled with chronic unemployment. Program participants receive full-time pay as they develop job readiness skills, discover their talents, and strengthen their confidence through on-the-job training, life skills classes, case management, and career service assistance. At the end of seven months, they graduate into an entry-level, career-building job. Ninety-five percent are still employed one year after graduation and are able to support themselves and their families and serve as role models for future generations. Women’s Bean Project specializes in dried bean soup and chili mixes, instant rice and bean cups, spice blends, baking mixes, and natural snacks. Their products are sold online and in 1,000 stores throughout the United States. Women’s Bean Project is registered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and is part of many networks including the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Community Shares, Social Enterprise Alliance, REDF, and Stand Together.
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
TigerMountain Foundation cultivates better communities through incubator farms, flourishing community gardens, and agri-landscaping initiatives in Phoenix, Arizona. They focus on healthier eating, improved wellness, neighborhood beautification and revitalization, workforce development, and empowering communities through service learning experiences and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). Participants complete a Personal Strategy Roadmap, learn about financial literacy, microenterprise development, and healthy living, and work with a mentor to reach their personal and community goals. They sell fresh food through farmers markets, offer it at lower costs through local pop-ups, and provide it free to participants and people in need. TigerMountain is a minority-led initiative that is located in traditionally underserved communities and includes people of color, women, senior citizens, at-risk youth, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrant and refugee farmers, reentry populations, veterans, and people with disabilities. Gardens have wide paths and low bed options to accommodate wheelchairs. TigerMountain Foundation is registered as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
Fabriulous is a sustainable and ethical sourcing service that connects fashion brands and designers with traditional artisans in China. They specialize in innovative products that integrate heritage handicrafts and modern design. Fabriulous is committed to fair trade practices, environmentally responsible materials, preserving traditional techniques, and empowering artisan communities. They work with ethnic minority artisans in rural Guizhou that are known for their handwoven textiles, natural dyes, storytelling batiks, horsetail embroidery, and other heritage crafts. Fabriulous sources vintage materials for upcycling, supplies wholesale fabrics, and works with artisans to create made-to-order products with flexible minimum quantities, seamless communication, supply chain transparency, and environmentally responsible packaging.
Oakland, California, United States
Voice of Nature (VoNat) is a community-based biodiversity conservation and sustainable development organization in Cameroon that is dedicated to building a greener, safer, and more sustainable planet for all. It was created by a group of young people that wanted to use their skills, knowledge, and experience to find solutions to environmental challenges in their own communities and engage others to do the same. They work with kids and young adults to protect local species, address environmental pollution, and contribute to climate adaptation and mitigation through training, storytelling, media and arts, field research, tree planting, and community outreach. The VoNat Media Group maintains an online news platform, publishes a magazine, and develops the next generation of environmental journalists.They also support food security and livelihood development through public awareness campaigns and training programs on sustainable agriculture and environmentally responsible income generating strategies. VoNat is registered as a not-for-profit organization in Cameroon.
Seeds & Stories uses regenerative fashion as a tool to promote gender equality, community development, and environmental regeneration in Bigodi, a rural village in western Uganda. They create social and economic opportunities for local women with a commitment to fair pay, flexible working hours, and the possibility to work from home. Products are made from natural fibers that are responsibly harvested from the surrounding area including bark cloth from the mutuba tree, banana fiber, papyrus stems, palm leaf, millet straw, and raffia. They prioritize harvested rainwater, plant-based natural dyes, and raw materials that have regenerative properties in local ecosystems. Seeds & Stories provides vocational training programs, literacy classes, and training on permaculture design and regenerative agriculture. They are registered as a community-based organization and reinvest all surplus into social and environmental community projects.
Sheablossom creates livelihood opportunities, empowers women and youth in rural Nigeria, and produces premium quality shea butter, coconut oil, and African black soap. The shea butter is sold locally as an alternative to imported personal care products and is supplied in bulk to cosmetic companies and other international buyers. Sheablossom has developed a climate-smart processing facility in a rural shea producing community that includes a nursery for workers’ children, a dining room, and changing facilities. They collect production waste water in a sediment tank, sun dry the sediment, and use it as a source of heat energy to reduce the use of firewood. Sheablossom started the Shea Network Initiative to train shea nut pickers and processors on best practices and international standards and help them form registered cooperatives and clusters for improved market access. They also started a not-for-profit organization called Initiative for Gender Empowerment and Creativity. Sheablossom participates in networks for small business owners and women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
ReOrigin specializes in environmentally conscious baby clothes, toys, and nursery essentials. They use special natural fabrics made from aloe vera, orange peel, eucalyptus, banana leaf, and rose petal fiber and natural dyes made from plants with medicinal properties like marigold, haldi, manjeeshtha, harda, and dhavali. Their clothing and blankets are soft, supple, and ideal for tropical climates. Their crochet toys are made from organic cotton, and their child-safe wooden toys are made from reclaimed wood and wood remnants. ReOrigin collaborates with local artisans to come up with meaningful designs. All products are handmade in India.
Novato, California, United States
Sustainable Exchange is a locally owned store in downtown Novato that makes “delightful, affordable and sustainable” goods available and accessible to all. They offer a bulk refill station for natural hair, body, and home care and a unique selection of sustainably sourced food, clothing, accessories, home goods, and gear. Sustainable Exchange researches every product that comes into the store and offers a range of local, fair trade, organic, cruelty free, vegan, and zero waste options. They donate to local environmental action groups and use their platform to raise environmental awareness.
Saint Michael, Minnesota, United States
Changing Narratives Africa is committed to shifting narratives about Africa by celebrating the continent’s contributions to the global food ecosystem, showcasing innovations and cooking methods, amplifying and scaling proudly African food and beverage brands, and ensuring that more people globally experience the diversity and richness of Africa’s gastronomic heritage and exciting future. Their Narrative Changers Food Fellowship supports African food and beverage brands with market entry, branding, packaging, certification, placement, and global distribution. They also organize virtual food forums to promote knowledge sharing, market linkages, and business connections between producers, processors, chefs, traders, wholesalers, retailers, and food bloggers operating in Africa and their counterparts in North America and Europe.
New Delhi, India
Minus Degre aims to incorporate recycled plastic into the circular economy and address plastic waste pollution in India. They collect, segregate, and transform plastic waste into functional products like buttons, jewelry, coasters, candle holders, desk organizers, planters, artwork, furniture, panels, and more. Products are handcrafted from locally sourced plastic waste with no additives or external colors, which means they can be locally re-recycled at end of life. Minus Degre is committed to changing public perceptions about plastic and waste and creating a market demand for collected and segregated plastic. This will reduce the need for virgin materials and prevent plastic from entering landfills, waterways, natural environments, and food systems. Minus Degre uses a portion of profits to cover education expenses for their workers’ children and support local children in need.
Hadley, Massachusetts, United States
Going Beyond Sustainability helps businesses identify opportunities to develop profitable products and services while addressing environmental and social issues like climate change, hunger, poverty, and racism. They offer skills training, copywriting, marketing, consulting, partnership development, and public speaking services. Going Beyond Sustainability raises awareness about social entrepreneurship and green business through articles, newsletters, books, and conference events. They donate to environmental and social justice organizations and provide pro bono support to Jewish Activists for Immigration Justice.
Fifth Origins creates fashion and home accessories that combine style, sustainability, and social impact. They work with women artisans in rural India to produce handwoven capes, wraps, shawls, and scarves, hand knit hats and socks, beaded bracelets, and natural soaps, scrubs, and incense. They also offer handwoven muslin blankets from Turkey. All products are artisan made from sustainably sourced natural materials according to conscious design principles. Fifth Origins donates a portion of profits to support artisan communities and other causes. Their Cape of Hope initiative develops child care centers within artisan units to enable more women to join the workforce.
Alampil, Sri Lanka
Charlie’s Pure Organics is a farm in the Mullaitivu district of northeastern Sri Lanka that promotes organic farming methods and supplies poison-free food. They have been producing organically for family and friends since 2014 and now sell the surplus at affordable rates with low profit margins. Products include rice, sesame, fruits, vegetables, organic fertilizers, and earthworms. They also supply bee honey from families in Nedunkeni. Charlie’s Pure Organics conducts consultation services, training programs, and seminars on organic farming. They provide free organic fertilizers and earthworms to low-income farmers interested in organic methods and free rice and vegetables to local people in need. They fund community service projects through the Alampil church. Charlie’s Pure Organics is verified by the Department of Agriculture Mullaitivu.
Digo Living produces natural products that promote sustainable living, reduce plastic waste, and support women artisans in Nepal. They specialize in cloth bags made from hemp, jute, unbleached cotton, and upcycled materials. The bags can be custom printed and ordered wholesale as an alternative to plastic packaging materials and shopping bags. Digo Living also produces felted wool dryer balls, which reduce drying time and replace single-use dryer sheets. They employ women from low-income communities and are committed to providing fair wages, safe and comfortable working conditions, and opportunities for training and development.
Widnes, England, United Kingdom
Spice Kitchen produces freshly ground and blended spices, teas, sea salts, and drinks in the United Kingdom. This artisanal food company was started by a mother and son team to honor their Indian heritage and inspire people to cook and share meals. Their reusable spice tins are wrapped in an upcycled silk sari cover and come with a free recipe guide that contains quick and easy family favorites. Spice Kitchen pays a living wage to all workers, has implemented a profit sharing scheme, and offers benefits that include coaching and therapy. They donate a percent of each spice tin purchase to The Akshaya Patra Foundation to help end food poverty in India and the United Kingdom.
Kataragama, Sri Lanka
Amba Sewana is a 2-acre farm near Kataragama in southeastern Sri Lanka that is committed to organic production practices and creating livelihood opportunities for the local community. They produce heirloom rice, vegetables, spices, and herbs as seasonal crops and banana, pineapple, lemon, mango, soursop, wood apple, guava, jackfruit, breadfruit, and coconut as perennial crops. Amba Sewana avoids single-use plastic and composts kitchen and agricultural waste. As they expand, they hope to support local school children in need. The farm is verified under an organic participatory guarantee system (PGS).
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Circular Design India spotlights Indian innovations for a circular economy. Their multidisciplinary team of volunteers curates content and makes it relevant to the local context. Circular Design India uses their platform to showcase business model innovations, like rental and repair services, material innovations, like plant-based fabrics made from agricultural waste, and product innovations, like biodegradable and plastic-free alternatives.
Vakarai, Sri Lanka
Thumai Natural Farming Producer Group is a cluster of small-scale organic farmers in eastern Sri Lanka committed to growing affordable natural food and protecting the environment. They produce their own compost, liquid fertilizers, and biopesticides from locally available materials. Crops include dry zone vegetables, leafy greens, and legumes. Members also grow cassava, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, passion fruit, banana, papaya, guava, lemon, orange, soursop, mango, breadfruit, coconut, and moringa. Thumai Natural Farming Producer Group is verified under a local organic participatory guarantee system (PGS).
Kolonnawa, Sri Lanka
Bodhi Foods specializes in affordable spiced tea, spiced coffee, and herbal tisanes made from natural, local ingredients like cinnamon, pepper, ginger, clove, nutmeg, mace, green cardamom, ranawara, holy basil, and blue lotus. The blends are developed for their flavor and health benefits. Products are sold loose leaf in plastic free packaging. Bodhi Foods sources raw materials directly from producers to increase the share of the value chain captured by rural communities. They provide school uniforms, books, and supplies to workers and producers with school age children.
Mutur, Sri Lanka
Vivasaya Tholan is a farm in Trincomalee district of northeastern Sri Lanka that uses organic methods to ensure “an unpolluted environment and healthy future generations.” They produce dry zone vegetables and sell them to local community members with minimal margins. Vivasaya Tholan uses biodegradable waste to produce compost and develop the soil, prepares natural pest repellents from locally available materials, and continuosly tests new practices and collects data on the results. The farm is verified under an organic participatory guarantee system (PGS).
Panadura, Sri Lanka
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