Yorkshire’s jam-packed with social businesses doing incredible things. Supporting them means doing your bit to create a better, fairer, more sustainable world. Here we celebrate their good work and tell their stories. Take a look!
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DARK PEAK GEAR
It started with a few self-confessed gear geeks wanting to design the best outerwear on the planet, but they realised that as a business they had a responsibility to improve society and give back. So Dark Peak is built on the simple promise: for every item of clothing sold, they’ll donate another to a person affected by homelessness.
LUCY & YAK
Starting life in Barnsley, Lucy & Yak make dungarees, boilersuits and organic tees that get noticed. But they’re not just awesome, they’re stitched with social values too. Their North Indian tailors are paid 4x the state minimum and their new factory is soon to be equipped with solar panels. Watch out for their up-and-coming range of fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles!
This Leeds-based sustainable fashion business is part of the UK’s largest vintage events company. They’ve been touring the UK since ’09, supplying more than 45 cities with affordable & ethically sourced clothing. Everything is sold by weight for £15 per kilo, meaning even top brands are incredibly cheap. By shopping from the past we can be kind to the future – and look pretty fly in the process!
PRINTED BY US
This award-winning social enterprise is incredible for so many reasons. Not only do they run screen printing workshops to help homeless and vulnerable people get back into work, but they print on ethically-sourced organic material. All the profits go back into running more workshops which means ever more beautiful prints and social goodness.
With EYEYE, style, ethics and quality are less pricey than you think. This super cool optician makes shopping for specs an eye-opening experience. Sure, the customer care is second-to-none (bring your bike and dog) and yes – they offer quality recycled frames with transparent pricing, but it’s their focus on giving back to the community through their ethical, local supply chain that makes them truly stand out.
Handmade genuine leather bags, satchels, backpacks, holdalls, saddle bags & totes.
Bringing a range of Scandinavian and European labels to Harrogate. Simple and Stylish, Chic and Cool, Wearable and Ageless.
BAG IT DON’T BIN IT
At BIDBI we make branded cotton canvas bags as an eco-friendly, fairly traded alternative to plastic carrier bags.
There are so many used garments out there just waiting to be re-used. This Leeds-based fashion design brand finds these garments and gives them a new purpose. Wanner Label sources all materials second-hand then takes them apart, cuts them open and sews them together to create new garments. Swedish. Unique. Sustainable.
FOOD & DRINK
Our name, Yorkshire MORE represents the fact we are so much 'more' than just your regular jam/chutney making business. In short, we are a social enterprise supporting mental health charities. Our jars are jampacked with fresh fruit and vegetable goodness - all locally sourced.
BEANIES WHOLEFOODS CO-OP
Beanies is a busy wholefoods shop and greengrocers in Walkley. A workers co-operative, Beanies has been selling wholesome, fresh produce since 1986.
Unwrapped is a zero-waste shop in Sheffield that stocks deliciously local vegetarian and organic food. Founders, Bex and Kirsty, met whilst doing PhDs in ecology. Inspired by their love of nature, they started working with suppliers to pioneer reusable packaging systems and create a circular economy on our doorstep. Oh, and their DIY peanut butter is to die for. Go get some!
Veg Box Scheme, Farm, Bar, Events Venue, Kitchen and Rooms to Hire. Run as a co-operative.
CHURCH – TEMPLE OF FUN
100% Vegan Bar, Eatery and Arcade. This ethical brand offers one of the best dining/entertainment experiences in the UK.
Grow Sheffield is a citywide campaign to promote community food growing projects and volunteering. Growing food ourselves, in everyday spaces, enriches our relationship with what we eat and our environment.
THE INCREDIBLE NUTSHELL
The Incredible Nutshell is an independent vegan-run grocery shop located in Heeley, Sheffield, UK. The shop is Sheffield’s first and (as yet) only 100% vegan food shop.
The innovators at Blend Kitchen don’t just provide delicious food in the heart of Sheffield, they’re on a mission to use their culinary skills to enhance the community. By providing training and employment opportunities to people who don’t always get them, they’re able to improve health, life skills and social cohesion.
THE REAL JUNK FOOD PROJECT DONCASTER
TRJFP Doncaster offers an alternative to the ‘buy & throw society’ by urging people to ‘save unused food’, ‘share some tasty nourishment’ and enjoy a ‘feel-good social vibe’. This multi-award winning project aims to show just how much good food goes to waste locally. You can join them at one of their food-sharing events. Simply ‘pay as you feel’ with your money, time or skills.
ARTS, MEDIA & EVENTS
ART HOUSE SHEFFIELD
Our vision is to create artists, to find hidden artists, to enable people from all backgrounds to develop their ability and enjoyment, perhaps for the first time.
Opus Independents is a not-for-profit, independent organisation working in culture, politics and the arts, encouraging and supporting participation, activism and creativity through mediums including in print, online and live events.
As well as a music venue and space for hire, Hagglers Corner is a creative community of makers and doers, all residing under one roof and a lovely courtyard on the edge of Sheffield City Centre.
A free magazine made in Sheffield, promoting independent art and trade. Now Then is a much beloved ethical brand and part of the Opus Independents.
With heart-warming gigs, inspiring film nights and fresh comedy shows Regather Co-op are a pillar of Sheffield’s community. Part veg box scheme and sustainable farm, part brewery, bar and kitchen, they cover pretty much everything fun, wholesome and social. All this while leading the way for local co-ops, ethical trading, social enterprise and not-for-profits.
TICKETS FOR GOOD
Looking for an event with a social impact? Every ticket bought through Tickets for Good benefits charities and social projects. This innovative social enterprise encourages event organisers to get involved and then drives donations through online sales. Oh, and they also run The Ticket Bank, providing tickets to disadvantaged people FOC!
SAIL – SUSTAINABLE ARTS IN LEEDS
Working together to create a zero-carbon/zero-waste future for the creative and cultural industries, Sustainable Arts in Leeds (SAIL) unites sector leaders on a shared mission. They use their collective strength to speak with one voice, deliver Climate Emergency training, engage the public and play their part in the roadmap to a zero-carbon Leeds. Together, they are reducing their impact on the planet as individuals, as organisations and as a sector.
Soup Events are live crowdfunding of projects chosen by Sheffield People. The Grants are made up of peoples’ entry donation on a live pitch night. Four budding entrepreneurs pitch their big idea and, at the end of the night, the audience casts their vote. The winning pitch receives 100% of the door receipts, giving the winners a much-needed confidence and financial boost.
This Scarborough-based charity is on a mission to make the invisible visible. By bringing together leading artists, technologists and scientists they explore ideas around climate change and the environment. From eye-popping paintings to jaw-dropping films their work is truly transformative. Get inspired at one of their large scale events, community activities or educational programme.
TECH & LIFESTYLE
When entrepreneur, Steph Varley, mixed her passion for tech with her desire to do social good, INC360 was born. Fast forward 2 months and she was joined by Reema Vadoliya, a colleague with her own experiences of mental health and isolation. Today this Leeds-based social enterprise supports young people who are experiencing isolation and anxiety by connecting them to community events using immersive video.
Looking for an adventure with a global impact? Earth Changers delivers sustainable tourism at its very best. Yorkshire founder, Vicky Smith, has made it her mission to deliver life-changing experiences with world-changing consequences. The packages are truly inspired and booking with them means supporting conservation and communities in unforgettable places.
Panjango creates beautifully designed games that make it fun for children to explore the world of work. Better yet, they place as much emphasis on their social objectives, as their financial ones. They’re committed to helping disadvantaged young people and have provided numerous free workshops to schools across Sheffield.
Want to send some love in the post? BearHug’s personalised gift hampers are the equivalent of a hug in a box. Opening one up to reveal the outstretched paws is enough to make grown adults sob with joy. This team of independent makers believes in the power of kindness, offering inclusive employment and accessibility to those with chronic illness. Better still, for every 50 BearHugs they sell, they donate one to someone affected by serious illness.
This community interest company helps disadvantaged people in York share the economic benefits of tourism. They offer training opportunities, manage small projects and provide personal development support to marginalised people all over the city. It’s ‘tourism with a difference that makes a difference’.
TECH FOR GOOD LEEDS
Tech for Good Leeds is a quarterly get-together to celebrate tech projects (and people) that aim for positive social, health and environmental impacts. Their events are open and friendly sessions where like-minded folk can get together, learn and collaborate. The end goal: using tech to make the world a better place.
Kakou is a social enterprise that’s making mainstream music and creative arts accessible for all. Not only do they design and manufacture innovative products they also research and build collaborative opportunities for disabled people. All this while hosting a range of creative workshops for people of all ages and abilities.
HOME & GARDEN
HECTOR & CEDRIC
Hector and Cedric design and build Oak framed buildings, extensions and timber frame structures to the highest standard. We use only wood and from sustainable sources and build using traditional and modern techniques to create inspiring and unique structures.
We’re a property developer like no other. We use beautiful design to create places that make it easy to live a sustainable life. Always bold and innovative, we’ve won more awards than we can count on all our fingers and toes. But for us it’s not the awards that matter, it’s the mission: tackling climate change. That is the ultimate prize.
GREEN HOMES SHEFFIELD
Green Homes Sheffield is a new way of helping you to make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient. Our network brings together people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and their energy bills, with people who have already made the first moves, and trusted companies who helped them do it.
SHEFFIELD SUSTAINABLE KITCHENS
The clue is in the name. Sustainability is key for these award-winning kitchen designers. They specialise in using recycled material with breath-taking results. Check out the recycled glass and paper worktops. Or how about feature shelves made from reclaimed lab-bench hardwoods? They source their timber from local, sustainable sources, bank ethically, have an electric fleet, rehome sawdust to a local farm and even compost their coffee grounds. Hats off!
LEDA is a multi-disciplinary co-op of architects and building services engineers with a vision. Their portfolio of sustainable buildings is a joy to behold. But they don’t just look great, they adopt Passivhaus practices to minimise energy use through heat and light. Check out their designs first hand at Little Kelham, Roco and the University of Bradford.
West Yorkshire Community Accounting Service (WYCAS) supports organisations to manage their finances more effectively and efficiently.
THE YORKSHIRE MAFIA
The Yorkshire Mafia brings together executives and stakeholders from the Yorkshire Business Community to meet, network, share experience, learn, build relationships and ultimately trade (where appropriate).
Viewpoint Research CIC is a telephone-based research agency We are a trusted delivery partner of local authorities, housing associations, universities, third-sector organisations and private businesses, and can cater for any organisations’ needs.
Aid Works is a social enterprise which provides project support and learning services to international organisations, and helps local and international aid workers to reach their potential through training and e-learning.
CHARITIES & ORGANISATIONS
We represent, promote and connect social enterprise across the region. Social enterprise is our passion and through our membership and help we want to see every social enterprise meet their potential and flourish.
Yorkshire Forward is the regional development agency for Yorkshire & Humber. Find out what we do to help grow the economy in our region, and how our work contributes to the Regional Economic Strategy.
SYFAB can help you find useful information about funding, learn the skills to become a successful fundraiser, and get specific help with your funding. We provide information, advice and training on funding and fundraising to community and voluntary organisations
In 1972 South Yorkshire Housing Association was formed with a clear purpose – to provide homes for those most in need. With this aim in mind we’ve defined our purpose as “With SYHA you can settle at home, live well and realise your potential”.
WYCCP is a ‘through the gate’ resettlement organisation, established in 2005, which aims to reduce re-offending and contribute to building safer and stronger communities across West Yorkshire.
Rooted in Yorkshire and based in Sheffield, Our Mel is a leading social enterprise dedicated to exploring cultural identity, Black history and what it means to be a person of colour in Britain today. Inspired by two local lasses on a journey of self-love, Our Mel was born in November 2016 over a pack of caramel biscuits and a cup of tea, Yorkshire of course.
SheffGives is on a mission to encourage generosity and compassion. The aims of their campaign are best summed up by their three hashtags. #payitforward, #givealittle and #bethesmile. But they don’t just inspire day-to-day social goodness, they work with charities around the city, connecting budding volunteers to causes that make a real difference.
Having worked in a safe house for those affected by trafficking and slavery, Lara couldn’t turn away from the wider problems of survivors. She founded Snowdrop Project to provide long-term support through counselling, education and employment. To date, the project has helped countless people move on from their past and lead happy, free and fulfilled lives. Truly heroic!