01: BACK HOME-GROWN CRAFTS
Jot down thoughts the good, old-fashioned way while supporting a local artisanal business. The folks at Bynd Artisan use traditional bookbinding methods to assemble notebooks, off ering customers a variety of covers, binding wires, rivets, fastening flaps and, of course, paper to choose from. That tattered copy of your favourite book bought eons ago? Bookbinder Adelene Koh of dddots can help to restore and rebind it. If that personal letterhead needs refreshing, local studio The Gentlemen’s Press, which uses the traditional printing technique of letterpress to create custom stationery, gets the job done handsomely.
02: TAP FOR A BETTER WORLD
Do a good deed a day, but if ideas have run dry, this app is a repository of random gestures of goodwill, from picking up a piece of litter to telling coworkers “good night” before you leave the building.
Or Volunteer Broadcast System. Think of it as an Uber for social service. If you happen to be in an area where local non-profit Food from the Home is distributing unsold bread to the needy, why not take some time to pitch in too?
Run, cycle or simply walk around your office block to raise funds for NGOs such as Save the Children and Habitat for Humanity.
03: SUPPORT TIMELY GOOD ACTS
For watch fans who might wrestle with any guilt arising from the consumption of high-end goods at a premium, we recommend checking out the latest crop of charity-linked timepieces.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph “Le Petit Prince” is the latest addition to IWC’s watch series inspired by the Antoine de Saint- Exupery novella The Little Prince. Proceeds will go to causes supported by the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation. Distinguished by a diamondset spider motif, the Richard Mille Tourbillon RM19-01 features the creative input of actress Natalie Portman. Free the Children, a charity Portman supports, will receive part of the proceeds from this limited-edition watch.
Taking a different tack, Chopard makes a difference at the start of its supply chain. Since last year, it has launched special editions of its premium L.U.C. series, featuring the use of Fairmined gold. In other words, perhaps it’s time to go shopping.
04: GO LOCO FOR LOCAL
Support local produce. This is one thing that should never get old because the notion that our tropical city state can grow temperate produce is refreshing, especially to a new generation of urbanites who grew up not knowing anything about agriculture. Open Farm Community by Spa Esprit Group held its first social market last month, which saw a gathering of over 25 vendors, including urban farm Edible Garden City peddling local produce like eggplants, and Momoco selling wild honey and homemade jams with unusual flavours like jackfruit and lap cheong.
Even upmarket department store Robinsons is waving the Singapore flag by supporting producers like Ette Tea Company, which makes fragrant teas like Pandan Chiffon and Nasi Lemak. Online portals like Naiise and Crateful also shine the spotlight on local artisans and make it all the easier to materialise our support. We are big fans of the scrumptious honey and sea salt almond butter by Nutteree.
05: SPREAD THE JOY
WEAR A SMILE
Whether you’re skiing alpine slopes or strolling along frosty streets this month, putting on a puffer jacket from Moncler’s Friends With You collaborative capsule collection will let you bring sunny cheer to fellow humans bundled up in brooding dark coats.
#01-17 Ion Orchard.
SMELLS LIKE SUCCESS
Studies have shown that fragrances can invigorate the atmosphere, improve productivity and stimulate discussion. Energise the workplace by spritzing yourself – or gifting someone – with scents such as Penhaligon’s signature fragrances, available in charming Nutcracker-themed packaging this season.
#03-16 Ion Orchard.
AND NOW, FOR SOME REST
A new, discreet anti-snoring device lets fellow travellers on your next red-eye flight get their sleep. Palm-sized Nora detects snoring and inflates an insert placed below the pillow, thus gently adjusting the position of the head and opening the airway further to stop snoring. Voila! – the night/flight is saved. Available on Kickstarter.
06 HUSH – SILENCE IS GOLD
Social venture Hush Tea Bar wants you to surrender speaking and mobile phones to practise mindfulness and embrace silence. Organise a session, which is conducted by the hearing impaired, in the workplace: Not only is this an opportunity to take a breather from a hectic schedule and be in tune with one’s mind and body, fellow colleagues can bond over quiet time spent together. Giving up the mobile phone can be unsettling at first, but the precious 30 minutes where you get peace of mind, bond with co-workers and create employment opportunities can’t be beaten.
07 GET A POLISHED EXTERIOR
There’s no point putting on a fine suit if nails are chipped and cuticles are ragged. Being well put together extends beyond the hair and face – having neat, clean nails completes the look. Feel even better when you have nails groomed at The Nail Social. The social enterprise works with women’s shelters and social services to provide single mothers and women from low-income households with training and fulltime employment as manicurists.
42A Haji Lane.
08: Join the Power Revolution
The solar energy revolution is dawning at last, and installing Tesla’s lithium-ion battery Powerwall at home will be a first step in that direction. While solar panels aren’t new, the Powerwall is said to be a more efficient system to store power. In time, an entire network of Powerwalls may result in cities and towns coming off fossil fuel-powered electricity for good.
09: GO AU NATURALE
If you’re considering a new pool, consider an eco-friendly swimming pond. Split 50/50 to accommodate vegetation and swimming, this green option banks on plants and rocks, instead of chemicals and filtration systems, to naturally clean itself. How nice would it be to emerge from the pool sans the smell – and potentially harmful effects – of chlorine on your skin?
10: GREEN THE BLING
Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but they are certainly not the earth’s. While growing awareness has led to more sustainable practices, gem mining can lead to land disturbances, destruction of natural habitats and pollution. Buying vintage can give new life not just to jewellery pieces from the past, but the planet as well.
Moreover, you won’t find the same piece elsewhere. “Most vintage and antique pieces that have survived until now are entirely handmade, and some styles like the Art Nouveau enamels or those from the Belle Epoque era are near to impossible to reproduce,” says Brenda Kang, founder of Revival Vintage Jewels & Objects and a former Christie’s specialist. And if chosen wisely, that sparkling heavyweight you picked up at an auction could skyrocket in value in a few years. Says Kang: “Well-made Art Deco earrings, rings, and bracelets set with diamonds and gemstones have held their prices very well.”
(header image credit: www.forex-ad.com)
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation
- Bynd Artisan
- Charity Miles
- Hush Tea Bar
- IWC Pilot Le Petit Prince
- Moncler’s Friends With You
- Nora The Smart Snoring Solution
- Open Farm Community
- Penhaligon fragrance
- Revival Vintage Jewels & Objects
- Telsa Powerwall
- The Gentlemen's Press
- The Nail Social
- Volunteer Broadcast System