7 Socially Conscious Mother's Day Gifts She'll Love
This Mother's Day, give Mum a gift that doesn't cost the earth and, in fact, helps it. Be inspired by Asia for Good's socially conscious gift guide - all lovingly made by social enterprises from across the region.
1. Saomao Apsara Earrings (Cambodia)
These earrings, inspired by the jasmine flowers worn by traditional Cambodian Apsara dancers, are made from old ammunition. Decommissioned missiles, bullet shells, and the like, are melted down into a sheet and then hand-cut and punched by young silversmiths from underprivileged Cambodian villages. Saomao provides training and apprenticeships so that these youth are able to work and complete their education at the same time.
Price: £22 (approx. 32USD)
2. Sensatia Botanicals Anti-wrinkle Serum (Indonesia)
Bali-based Sensatia Botanicals skincare uses only natural ingredients and buys from local farmers at a fair price. Employees at this profit-sharing co-operative actually hold 20% of the shares, giving them a sense of ownership, pride and financial security. Sensatia Botanicals are also very involved with helping the communities they work with achieve basic living standards – for example through building proper bathrooms, fixing boat engines and more.
3. Mori Notes Red Malaya Pursebook (Philippines)
This beautiful pursebook (a notebook with a purse for stationery, your phone, money, or credit card – genius!) is handmade from 100% recycled materials, by mothers from the Barangay Apolonio Samson and Barangay Tatalon communities in Philippines. Mori Notes is a social enterprise that reaches out to low-income mothers to help them earn more for their families and for their own dreams. We think it's a truly befitting gift for Mother's Day. The notebook is available through Matcha5, a social enterprise aiming to bridge the gap between rural artisans and a wider global market.
4. Nox – Dine in the Dark Mother's Day Set Lunch (Singapore)
Ever dined in the dark? This shared experience will have you and Mum start off with a prosecco in the lounge area (still lit) before being led into the pitch-black dining room, guided by trained blind and visually-impaired hosts who work for Nox. It's a three-course meal comprising 12 dishes – which will be revealed to you only after the meal with images and descriptions. We'll spoil a little of the surprise by including one picture in this article – you'll have to guess what the rest are yourself!
Price: $88++ per person (approx. 66USD++); mothers dine free for every three paying guests
5. Purpose Jewelry Forget-me-knot Cuff (India)
We suggest you get a pair of these – one for mama, and one for you. These gorgeous, sleek cuffs will help serve as a reminder of your relationship. The bracelets are handmade by women rescued from sex trafficking in India, and who are now healing through counselling, mentoring as well as being empowered through training skills and education from Purpose Jewelry's [stet] programmes. The social enterprise is based in the US but has a sanctuary in Mumbai, India.
Yes, there is a recipe in there which calls for spiders, but don't worry, the rest are much less adventurous for home cooking, and substitutions are suggested if you can't find the ingredient you need. The recipes of mostly Cambodian classics, were created in collaboration with local teachers and students of Friends International's education and training programmes. These children and youths were previously living on the streets and other marginalised areas.
Price: 35USD (softcover)
7. The Nail Social Luxe Manicure and Pedicure (Singapore)
You can never go wrong with a bit of TLC for mama and obviously only the sweetest treatment will do. The Luxe mani-pedi consists of nail shaping, cuticle care, exfoliation, a foot masque and (woohoo!) a massage using natural ingredients. You'll be supporting marginalised women in Singapore who had difficulty finding work, and who are now empowered through The Nail Social's training initiatives.
Price: 130SGD (approx. 97USD)
If you want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia, check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.
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