Duncan Thorp talks about the latest campaign promoting Scotland's inclusive social economy
Social Enterprise Scotland is working in partnership with our fellow social enterprise umbrella bodies across the UK to deliver the new #SocialSummer2018 campaign.
The new campaign follows a digital roadmap, featuring different social enterprises each day, showcasing their amazing variety and diversity. The aim is to inspire the public to get out during their holidays and visit social enterprises across Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales.
Our brilliant social enterprise community is thriving and making a real difference. It offers a wealth of activities and shopping experiences during the summer holidays including sports centres, gift shops, places to stay, theatres, outdoor activities, cafes and many other places to visit.
The campaign is now up and running, with the Scotland part of the tour taking place from 9th to 31st of August. We’ve already identified a great mix of 23 Scottish social enterprises that are open to the public and will form the roadmap. Other social enterprises won’t miss out as we’ll promote any that are public-facing - a unique opportunity to showcase our movement to a big UK-wide and global audience.
The campaign is designed to be practical, fun and engaging but there’s also an important message behind it. More people buying from social enterprises is about building a new, inclusive economy and a healthy, equal society. It’s about encouraging consumer power to change the world.
When we need to buy things there are many alternative ways to shop. Want a new iPhone? Buy a Fairphone instead. Gin or beer drinker? Buy some Ginerosity or Brewgooder beer. Get energy from one of the big six suppliers? Switch to cheaper, greener Our Power. With a bank that puts profits before customers? Switch to ethical Triodos Bank and your local credit union.
When we buy gifts we can choose ethical marketplaces instead of Amazon
Ethical Consumer Magazine exists to help people make better shopping choices. It allows readers to compare high street retailers on a range of criteria and find ethical alternatives. There are groups of consumers like Ethical Living Scotland and directories of co-ops and social enterprises are available online too.
When we buy gifts for family and friends we can choose ethical marketplaces instead of Amazon. The online Big Issue Shop, Traidcraft, Ethical Superstore and One World Shop are some of the increasing number of places for sustainable goods, with a mix of ethical, environmentally-friendly and social enterprise products.
We should challenge our own behaviours, be pro-active not passive consumers and reduce our consumption. We can influence those around us, family, colleagues and friends and this can have a ripple effect too. With debt and low pay, changing our shopping habits will also benefit us financially.
Choosing where you spend your money can bring about real change - sending the message that big business and government should put people and planet first. There are countless small, individual shopping decisions that can have a big impact. Consumer choices that are not only affordable and easy to do but choices that can make the world a much better place. This is the real way to take back control.
Connect with the new #SocialSummer2018 campaign - see the roadmap so far plus the latest campaign updates on Twitter and follow Social Enterprise Scotland for news updates too! Please share the campaign now using #SocialSummer2018
Duncan Thorp is Policy and Communications Manager at Social Enterprise Scotland