We seek to strengthen the resilience of communities, from cities here in Ontario to our neighbours across the globe. We do so through putting 100% of proceeds right back into the hands of those who crafted the artisanal goods we offer. We also partner with businesses who support our international development campaigns through donating a portion of their sales.
This initiative was first established to address the impact of the pandemic on newcomers, which exacerbated economic and social disparities.
Branching out beyond the pandemic, we have expanded the initiative to represent the diverse communities of Canada we champion.
All proceeds of a Birch Tree artisan's sales go directly to them. The Birth Tree Initiative is about advocating for inclusion in the market economy and giving individuals a platform who may have experienced barriers selling their handmade goods both online and in-person.
Social enterprises and small businesses struggled amidst the shutdowns and restrictions brought on by COVID-19. Back in July 2020, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) estimated that approximately 158,000 small and medium-sized businesses were at risk of closure.
Artisans with a lack of, or limited online presence struggled to promote their brand and maintain sales. To help address this issue, the Birch Tree Initiative. As the tree symbolizes new beginnings, we hoped this initiative would help them enter, and flourish within the local economy.
This project was initially supported with funding from the London Community Foundation.
A network of
Our Good Neighbors & Friends initiative establishes partnerships with businesses who wish to support our various international development campaigns through donating a portion of the proceeds of their sales on the Goods4Causes platforms.
The Good Neighbors & Friends initiative was introduced to offer established businesses to support our advocacy campaigns address gender equity across the globe.We are always looking for new organizations to work with and to expand our community-oriented network.
We love working with other vendors and organizations who believe in the value of socially-conscious practices and want to contribute to strengthening global communities.
When you're a Good Neighbors & Friends artisan, you can:
+ Choose the cause you'd like to support
Good Neighbors & Friends artisans get the opportunity to pledge a portion of the proceeds from sales made on the Goods4Causes platforms to one of three major initiatives. These initiatives are managed by our parent organization, Good Neighbors Canada.
+ Sell on any other platforms
Goods4Causes does not have non-compete clauses in our vendor agreements, making it possible for our artisans to sell on as many platforms as they wish.
+ Improve brand perception
With access to our platform, ability to be featured on our social media, and connection to a global charity, our artisans get access to resources that may not be available to small businesses or independent creators. We provide exposure and a strong charitable brand image that our artisans can associate with their own businesses and grow alongside our shop.
We are proud to partner with a number of wonderful businesses, including Purdy Natural, a small business located in the heart of London, Ontario.
Rokhsana, the founder of Purdy Natural, developed an exclusive soap in which she donates 50% of the proceeds to our Better Life for Girls campaign.
"We do a lot to help our community here at home in London, and we love being able to support overseas in anyway we can. Being able to supply sanitary products for girls is definitely something we wanted to be a part of." - Rokhsana
Partners in Canada
Goods4Causes values collaboration and is always looking for ways to help our local communities in Ontario. The following social enterprises do incredible work and we are happy to promote the products they create.
At Skilled Accents, refugee women create décor products from recycled fabric. Materials are collected from furniture and drapery stores, reducing waste. Products are signed by the women who made them.
Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) has a variety of products and services handcrafted by youth in their training programs to help them build skills, confidence, and independence. All wood is locally sourced and FSC Certified.
The Global Picture
Although Goods4Causes was established to support income generation in various communities, some of the products we carry are linked to other causes through our Good Neighbors & Friends partnerships. Proceeds from these products support the following campaigns:
MERRYCOOP is a Good Neighbors "merry" cooperative. Under its umbrella, social enterprises from around the world sell their handmade goods in other countries. All proceeds are reinvested in technical training, materials, equipment, and product development.
In a small village, some residents were struggling with an average monthly income of $17. They decided to start a cooperative to create handmade felt products, like coasters and slippers.
Textiles are the focus of this initiative in South America to empower women, generate income, and create opportunities. Made 100% by hand by Guatemalan artisans from Escuintla, Sololá, and San Marcos.
Artisans started a cooperative in 2017, after the factory they worked for closed down. Because of the harsh winters in their community, they focus on several cashmere products like beanies, gloves, and scarves.
The cooperative was created by mothers who live in the Mirpur area, in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. They started making jute products, such as bags and pouches, to supplement their low household incomes.