A Better Future?
Welly's Innovators Leading the Way
In a world where we are inundated with fresh tragedies, natural disasters and political upheaval, how great is it to live in a city where so many people care about each other and the world around them. Wellington is a hub of innovation and creativity, and the people here are just bursting with fresh ideas to make the world better!
I’m not sure what’s in the water here, but whatever it is, it’s obviously infectious. Every month I’m learning about another amazing new social venture that is challenging the status quo. The diversity of “do good” companies in Wellington is world class. It goes to show any product or business can be turned into a force for good. The hardest thing about writing this list was narrowing it down, but here goes! These are some of my favourite socially driven ventures in Wellington. Get ready to fall more in love with the people and places that make Wellington, well Wellington!
Stories Espresso Bar
It's not a secret that we do coffee well in Wellington. But for those wanting to support a great organisation while enjoying their coffee fix, you should definitely check out the team at Stories Espresso Bar. So much more than just another coffee bar, this place was conceptualised to create a solution to the youth unemployment crisis.
They provide first-time employment and training for young people, providing young workers with transferable skills and a paycheck. Drop by 40 Cuba St and check them out.
Wellington Chocolate Factory
The best chocolate in all of Wellington (possibly even the world) is organic, ethically traded and also just happens to be right next door to my office.
Wellington Chocolate Factory bean to bar chocolate is the highest quality (and most delicious) I've honestly ever tasted. Handcrafted in the heart of Wellington, you can even watch these beauties being made. Get your chocolate cravings satisfied and check them out at 5 Eva St or buy some online.
My favourite is the Havana bar, because the only thing better than supporting one ethical business, is supporting two with a co-lab!
For all your ethical catering goodness, look no further than the wonderful ladies at Pomegranate Kitchen.
Providing job opportunities and employing former refugees, this business provides group catering and individual lunch deliveries for Wellingtonians. The food here is influenced by a range of different cuisines; you’ve GOT to try the baklava! (Que mouth watering visions of the most perfectly flakey, sweet, nutty, and lick-every-single-finger delicious baklava that you’ve ever had.)
The Misprint Co.
For your ethical stationary needs, The Misprint Co have you sorted. If you need some good-looking notebooks (and who doesn’t?) or have piles of paper you’re wanting to get rid of, these ladies can help.
Turning waste paper into jazzy notebooks is what this company does best, check out these beauties done as a co-lab with Egmont St Eatery, which is also happens to be our favourite breakfast place in town.
Notebooks can be purchased here.
This team make what we think must be the world's most ethical cola.
Karma Cola not only believes that a drink should taste good, but that it should be good for the land and the people where its ingredients are grown. We couldn't agree more. Profits from Karma Kola are reinvested back into the communities in Sierra Leone that grow Karma’s cola nut.
Karma Cola is available in all the best cafe’s around Wellington, see here for for a full list of stockists.
One of my new favourite social enterprises to come out of Wellington - Mr Foureyes.
This team offers prescription glasses at a fair price utilising a "buy one, give one" model and donating glasses to kiwi kids in need. The team has recently been part of an epic collection for unwanted glasses which will see over 2000 people in the Pacific matched with new specs.
If you've got some lying around the house you no longer need, send them their way or feel free to drop them in our office and we'll make sure they get them.
For those that feel guilty about throwing away food scraps but don't have the time, energy or space for your own compost bin, do I have a solution for you!
The Kaicycle team collects food scraps from the CBD and composts them at their urban farm.
You're provided with a bucket which is collected (on bikes so zero carbon emissions yay) weekly. The first week is even free.
Little Yellow Bird (that's us!)
I'm 100% bias, but I'm still going to say it. Little Yellow Bird is a uniform supplier that makes workwear and merchandise differently (well, let’s just be honest, better!).
Using organic and fairtrade fabrics, LYB works closely with farmers, designers and artists to create bespoke business apparel that is both people-friendly and planet-friendly.
If you weren't already convinced that we live in the coolest little capital in the world, I sure hope you are now. So many game changers happening here we're pretty positive that Wellington is leading the way on how to make business profitable, while at the same time caring about people and the planet.
We know we've missed off plenty of epic businesses doing well in the capital, please let us know your favourites on Facebook and we'll be sure to do a part 2.
Samantha Jones is the Founder & CEO of Little Yellow Bird, a company that produces fair-trade, ethically made, organic clothes & uniforms for conscious consumers. She lives in Wellington and is a champion for ethical fashion and social enterprises in general.