Valentine’s Day has always been a divisive day of celebration in recent years, splitting the public broadly down the middle between the hopeless romantics and those who see it as another commercial enterprise to generate more money for large retailers and restaurants.
So where does Valentine’s Day originate from? The concept of a ‘day of love’ actually dates back to Ancient Rome with some, shall we say, controversial practices taking place to indicate a man’s feelings for a woman. As the years went by, the Normans continued celebrating the tradition alongside various other incarnations of the day around the world. It was in fact Chaucer and Shakespeare who really romanticised the day of love through their extensive writing in the Middle Ages. The industrial revolution in the 19th century saw the invention of factory-made cards which went mass market in 1913, when Hallmark in the US began producing the paper Valentine’s cards on scale. The day has evolved ever since into what we recognise today.
Here at Social Supermarket, we have team members who split across both of these categories which got us thinking: What if there was a way to help both groups through gifts which have social impact. Even better for the hopeless romantics (as what says love more than a beautiful gift which helps society or the environment) and an alternate reason for those ‘non believers’ to celebrate the day of love whilst having real impact on key global issues.
To help you out, below we have outlined some of our favourite Valentine’s Day gifts with a little more about the brands who make them:
Page and Bloom
Flowers are always a winner on Valentine’s Day but what about a red rose which lasts forever? These roses are made from pre-loved maps and books, that provide fair employment and opportunities for women who have experienced domestic abuse.
If soaps and body washes are more your thing, why not try one of the wonderful gifts sets from Soap & Co or The GoodWash Company. These delicious smelling soaps, body washes and shampoos have good at their core; Soap & Co products are handcrafted in the UK by people who are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged. Whilst The GoodWash Company create jobs, employing people at risk of poverty or a living wage.
Maybe something sweet is their soft spot, in which case try the award-winning gift boxes from Harry Specters who support people with autism by employing them in the making of chocolates.
Planning date night for the big day? These stunning jewellery pieces are made by transforming magazines into original accessories and interiors. Based in Swaziland, all their products are hand made by local women, empowering them through skill sharing and providing a living wage.
Elvis and Kresse
Looking for a Valentine’s gift for your weekend away? The Elvis & Kresse Medium Wash Bag is made from genuine decommissioned fire-hose and lined with waste parachute silk. In addition, 50% of profits go to The Fire Fighters Charity.
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