15 Valentine’s Day Gifts That Spread The Love
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is socially conscious. OH YES. Check out Asia for Good's socially conscious gift guide for a Valentine's Day present with a great big heart.
This February 14th spread the love far and wide and all across Asia. These gifts, all from social enterprises across the region, will send love to your special someone but also help children in East Timor, disadvantaged youth in Vietnam, women in India, and even people fighting terminal illness.
So let the Asia For Good team play cupid and matchmake you with a socially responsible Valentine’s Day gift. From flowers to chocolates and even that conflict-free engagement ring – we have you and your good hearts covered.
[Prices calculated without taxes and delivery fees]
A couple that travels together, stays together. Pick from a variety of experiences on Local Alike, a community-based tourism platform that connects visitors to locals who provide responsible travel options that are environmental, social and culturally sustainable. Regardless of which adventure you choose (hiking for social good in Chiang Rai, maybe?), the fees go towards causes like improving these locals’ infrastructure and providing basic education.
2. Apriki Cooperative Drop Pearl Earrings
These exotic Meniran drop pearl earrings empower small handicraft producers. In addition Apriki trains, provides financial support and supports environmental conservation projects.
There is nothing sexier than a good meal with a cause: benefit disadvantaged youths with a full-flavoured set meal at Seedlings Hoi An (Vietnam). Launched as The Banyan Tree's first social enterprise, Seedlings is a training restaurant where Hoi An youths work and learn in the kitchen or front of house. After 18 months of employment they graduate from Seedlings’ programs and have a transferable skill that will give them opportunities in the hospitality industry. Banyan Tree also operates a Seedlings in Phuket
Price: From VND250,000 per person (approximately USD12)
How sexy is this upcycled vegan suede bracelet with a vintage bullet scroll? It's sold by Matcha 5 - a wonderful e-shop that curates hand-crafted beauties (like this). Products on Matcha 5 benefit and empower rural and underprivileged artisans.
5. Mata Traders Gold Athena Cuff
Handcrafted by a fairtrade artisan co-operative in India, this regal gold-plated brass cuff was created to celebrate a woman’s originality and empower them. You’ll not just be providing fair wages, health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions, and daycare for women in India, you’ll also support a company that gives the women a voice and helps build their self-esteem.
6. Kakoa Chocolate Gift Set
We featured this in our ’Wallet-Friendly Christmas Gift Guide’, but this one is so yum it just had to mentioned again. Kakoa is an Indonesian bean-to-bar chocolate company that works to improve the livelihood of Indonesian cocoa farmers. The gift set is the way to go, but we’d recommend starting with the chilli chocolate to get your temperatures rising.
Price: IDR239,000 (approximately USD18)
Ready to pop the question? Do it with an engagement ring which uses fair-trade gold and conflict-free gems. (If you don't know why this is important, you clearly haven't watched Blood Diamond) Melville Fine Jewellery in Hong Kong can design a bespoke ring to suit your beloved.
Set up by a trained social worker, Hello Flowers marries the therapeutic effect of flower arrangement with a flexible work schedule. This accommodates individuals (like those from families with violence) who cannot commit to full-time work. The result: delicate, ethereal bouquets put together with an intention of peace and love.
Price: SGD85 to SGD125 (Approximately USD60 to USD88)
This is more than just a classic winter scarf. It's made of 75 per cent shokay (“yak down”) which is sourced directly from Tibetan communities in the Qinghai region, and hand-combed from the Himalayan yaks. (Whoa!) The other 25 per cent is made from bamboo - a sustainable plant that environmentalists favour.This transparent supply chain ensures excellent quality and extra income (by 10 to 30 per cent) for the Tibetan herders.
Inspired by the signet ring that ancient kings worn to seal documents, this engraved ring (pick from ‘Loved’, ‘Peace’, ‘Kindness’, ‘Patience’ or customize it) is more than just a token of love for your partner: Saught is a wonderful Singapore-based social enterprise that works closely with NGOs to advocate freedom from war and poverty. They also help with the re-building of war-torn areas and countries hit by natural disasters.
Give your beau a little something something with these 100 per cent natural massage oils that are sourced directly from farming communities in The Philippines. The lemongrass in the Calming Massage Oil is harvested by farmers in Cauayan and Negros Occidental.
Price: PHP199 (approximately USD5)
12. Socialgiver Social Gift Card For A Hotel Stay
This Thailand-based service is a triple whammy: buy a social gift card for a stay, meal or activity at a discounted price; enjoy the experience; and then give back to the causes you care about most. Up on the site now: a tranquil getaway at the Sampran Riverside worth 4,800 baht (approximately USD135).
Price: 2,800 baht (approximately USD79)
The seven artisans at Personalised Love are special-needs youth who create beautifully embroidered luggage tags, keychain accessories and iPad holders. This Singapore-based artisan studio believes that through embracing each of the teenagers’ talents, the youths can be nurtured into professional craftsmen.
Frame this: a photo of you and your partner in the embroidered magnetic photo frame produced by China’s only World Fair Trade Organization member, Danyun. As a member of WTFO, the Yunnan-based company promises payment of a fair price, gender equality and no child or forced labour.
This Singapore-based cake shop is so-named because owner Lisa Tan does not believe in using artificial colouring, artificial flavours, fondant or gum paste. Some believe leaving out those chemicals makes cakes "ugly", but we think it makes them awesome! Part of the shop’s profits goes towards the nutritional fund at Shallom School in Timor-Leste, Indonesia. For this sensuous occasion, pick the Big Daddy super chocolate-y cupcakes with Nutella and Valrhona. Order three days in advance.
Price: S$38 (approximately USD27)
Want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia? Check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.
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