Furniture store, THE One, explain why sustainable shopping can help communities
Time Out Bahrain staff
Finding a company that shares your commitment to charity is rare. Time Out takes a look at which outlets are most deserving of your dinars, and talks to THE One about how the company is helping to push fair trade.
With outlets across the region including Bahrain, THE One furniture store has established itself as a reputable retailer for homewares, and today each store has a section where hand-made products are sold. Over the years, THE One has been involved with many community and charity events and has just launched new projects under its Onederworld banner. Buying products such as cushion covers and bracelets, all painstakingly embroidered by hand, will support Palestinian women from the Kalandia refugee camp. Each cushion cover takes two months to embroider, while each wrist wrap takes about one-and-a-half days to complete. Clare Abad of THE One explains more.
How do you source the products and ensure the funding reaches the craftswoman? We buy the products from the Kalandia Camp Women’s Handicraft Cooperative, then ship them to our stores across the Middle East. All the profits then go back to the Co-op, a non-profit organisation that aims to raise the educational, social, cultural, health and economic standards of women and children in Palestine.
What has the response been like from the public? It’s been great. People love these beautiful handmade products that support a good cause. That’s why we’ve continued to sell them and even expanded the range.
What other projects does THE One have in the pipeline? We recently kicked off two new Onederworld projects in Rajasthan, India, where water projects and the construction of a new classroom is already well under way. THE One, Al A’ali Shopping Complex, Seef (17 587 178). For more information on The Onderworld, see www.theonederworld.com.
Whether your own kids need new threads or you’re looking to pick up a gift for someone else, this online store based in the UAE sells high-end cotton baby clothes made by women who are assisted by an NGO in Pakistan and an NGO in Zanzibar. Items from the former have an ‘oriental’ feel, according to the store’s founders, while products from the latter feature more striking patterns and bright colours. The funds raised go towards providing literacy education, healthcare and much more for the women in each location. And if the child you’re buying clothes for is something of a jet-setter, or lives too far for you to present the gift in person, you’ll be pleased to hear the company ships worldwide. www.babouka.com.
As well as a focus on sustainable, environmentally-friendly products including homewares, garden, stationery, gadgets, office, pets and gifts, this organisation sells items from suppliers such as fair-trade initiative Rising Tide, which employs artisans at a fair rate, and uses recycled saris to create new handbags. They’re based in Dubai but with plans to expand to Bahrain or shop online through The Green Ecostore, Eko’s partner. Eko Tribe itself also offers services that go beyond retail, including carbon consulting for companies, carbon audits and emission reduction strategies, as well as carbon offsetting. www.ekotribe.com, www.thegreenecostore.com
Al Ghalia Gives Back
For an option that’s much closer to home, check out the AG Gives back initiative from Al Ghalia which sees each of the company’s brands donating a day’s takings to local good causes. In January Cafe Lilou in Al A’ali Mall supported SMILE, February was the turn of Dessange to hold a Zumbathon for Bahrain Cancer Society. On April 7 Monsoon (pictured below) donated its whole day’s takings to the Dream Society and this month Cafe Lilou in Adliya will be supporting the Batelco Orphanage on May 5 plus during Ramadan the whole company will be involved in various initiatives to give back to the community.