Our ethical guide to London
The Lemonaid project started out seven years ago with the vision of making the most ethical soft drinks. By donating proceeds from every bottle sold to our charity, we have so far raised over £920,000 for our farmers’ local communities.
But we’re not the only ones. Our UK office in London is surrounded by other businesses, charities and cultural hubs that believe in combining creativity with a conscience. Where values meet great design, new ideas of fundraising are tried out and social entrepreneurs are born.
So here’s our top 10 of great places in London that do good.
1.TOMS store and Café
Most people know TOMS for their slip-on shoes. Look down at every hipster’s feet in the summer and you’ll spot a pair of the fellas; the comfiest canvas Alpargatas. The company was born as a social business with its one-for-one ethos donating shoes to children in developing countries for every pair sold. It now also helps to support sight, access to water and safer births. Pop into the Soho store, put your feet up and enjoy a selection of products with a social purpose as well as ethical coffee and soft Drinks.
2. One Good Deed Today
Ethical concept store, works with small, local businesses encouraging artisan production, recycling and creativity. Community minded, hosts various pop ups and events and donate 5% proceeds to chosen organisations.
3. Impact Hub
This is a vast global network of co-working spaces. Think of them as offering the friendliness of the university bar but with a whole eco-system of resources at your fingertips. Each hub is there to help social enterprises connect and grow, part office space, part innovation lab. There are loads of events for non-members too, from finance to sustainable fashion or yoga. Find them in Islington, King’s Cross, Westminster and Brixton.
4. People’s Supermarket – ethically minded grocery store, source responsibly and locally
The People’s Supermarket in Holborn has been hugely successful selling a really decent range of responsibly sourced products. So much so that it now runs pop-up supper clubs, fun fundraisers and it has its very own kitchen. Hers’s the really clever bit. The kitchen was devised to reduce food waste from the shop. The shop sells delicious ready meals every day using ingredients from the shop floor that would usually be thrown away. Be quick though. The range is sold out every day.
5. Canvas Café
Just off Brick Lane you’ll find this sunny social enterprise café and creative space. It was launched as London’s first happy café and we defy you not to raise a smile when you visit. The café menu has been designed to make you feel good but the best part? You can draw on the walls. THAT is definitely a small thrill worth experiencing.
6. Hornsey Town Hall
This characterful art deco building was once the Town Hall. Head to Crouch End in North London to find it as it’s been reinvented as an arts centre. Along with running a lively programme of events and a dance school, there are also affordable studio spaces for artists on offer. Don’t hang about though as it’s only open for a year.
7. Lexi Cinema
This not-for-profit cinema in Kensal Rise is a big screen with a big heart. Run by volunteers, the picture house shows a huge range of films from current blockbusters to opera. It’s independent and runs as a charity with all profits going to help The Sustainability Institute in South Africa.
8. Grow Hackney
Grow, in Hackney Wick, is a bar, restaurant and space for music and art. Ethically and community minded, the founders strive to work with the local community and sustainable businesses. Pop in for a cake. Or a beer. Open from Thursday to Saturday in the winter.
9. May Project Gardens
Head south to Morden to find this green project. The site has 250sqm of growing space for fruit and vegetables. The whole point of the project is to bring communities closer together. People can help out in the gardens and learn more about the environment. You can join a course, volunteer or enjoy one of the music themed events. How does your garden grow? It’s clearly flourishing.
10. The Keep Boutique
This gorgeous boutique in Brixton, south London, sells ethical fashion. In the shop you’ll find a curated selection of stylish, affordable clothes. Fashion you can keep.