Meet Clifford Moss, co-founder of Goodsmiths – a social impact startup that exists to redefine consumption so that people and the planet can thrive.
As a registered B Corp, Goodsmiths was born from a simple idea: What if the things we bought, also left a positive impact on the society and environment around us?
The Carousel caught up with Cliff ahead of Christmas to understand ethical gifting and trends he’s noticed.
Can you explain how you help inspire positive consumption, especially around the festive season?
In 2014, we created an initiative called The Good XMAS Trail. We were so inspired by the social enterprises and for-purpose businesses popping up, we wanted to create a platform for people to easily link their purchasing decisions to positive and impactful outcomes.
At its core, The Good XMAS Trail is a curated catalogue of responsible, ethical and sustainable products and gifting options. Every product supports a wide range of organisations, large and small, who all share the same objective: driving ethical and responsible consumption at Christmas.
By exploring any of the 50+ listings on the Trail, people can quickly find their way to many hundreds of ethical products and gift options offered by that business.
What shifts having you seen in consumers’ mindsets to ethical shopping?
There’s been a fundamental shift in how people see the world – Australians are becoming more dissatisfied with the status quo and won’t settle for the norm. We’ve particularly seen a shift in millennial women.
We’ve found, over the years, that there are a growing number of Australian women looking for ethical alternatives at Christmas. Not only are they rebelling against the old ways of doing things but they’re driving positive change.
Specifically, millennial females are more sentimental, experience-focused and will opt for a hand-made gift. 1 in 3 would like to buy fewer gifts, almost half (42%) would like to consider more practical or useful options and 12% expressed the desire to buy gifts that “give back”.
What are your favourite products in The Good Xmas Trail?
- Songbird whistle necklace– a crafts-based social enterprise bringing together creativity, community and conservation. Each delightful Songbird features a little whistle on the end of its tail and is Individually handcrafted from clay, fired, then hand-painted to depict your favourite Australian native birds, no two birds will look or sound exactly the same – they really are full of their own character and personality! The best part? Songbird donates profits to Australian wildlife and conservation charities.
- Social food projects– another great social enterprise that uses food as a powerful tool for connecting people and local communities. They use sustainably produced food to conduct cooking classes, public demos and catering and their revenue from all workshops and catering is used to run fabulous foodie community events.
- CARE Australia – a voucher from CAREgifts do a world of good, helping save lives, fight poverty and achieve social justice around the world. It’s a true example of how gifts can make a difference by going where they are most needed to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity. You’ll help families grow healthy food, send their children to school or access life-saving healthcare and clean water.
What advice would you have for people wanting to shop more ethically?
We must not underestimate the impact we can create with just a few conscientious purchasing decisions. Shopping ethically starts with educating yourself and supporting the products and companies that align with your values. Here’s what you can do to become a more ethical consumer.
1. Look who’s behind the organisation and who you are buying from. Once you know the people behind the brand, you’ll get to know their impact and purpose.
2. Shop less – overconsumption takes a toll on our wallets and the planet. Before buying something, think about whether you really need it. If you do, look for options that have a lesser impact.
3. Be patient – you’re not necessarily going to be able to get the product really quickly like you could by ordering from major retailers. Know that you’re ordering quality and this can take time.
4. If you get something you love – tell your network and share their story. Even by leaving a review can go a long way.
Find ethical and sustainable gifts at The Good Xmas Trail – goodxmastrail.org