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Social enterprises call on shoppers to spend sustainably on Cyber Monday



Christmas shoppers have been invited to ‘buy social’ on Cyber Monday – a day when UK internet users are expected to make 113m visits to retail websites.

The charity Business in the Community, together with trade body Social Enterprise UK, has launched an online Christmas gift guide to invite people to purchase from social enterprises and socially-orientated businesses.

Social Enterprise UK recently launched its Buy Social campaign to encourage big businesses to think about sourcing products and services from smaller firms that create positive impacts on society. The initiative was launched in response to figures that suggest only 49% of social enterprises currently trade with the private sector.

As part of the Buy Social campaign, a new guide to Christmas shopping, called the Buy Social gift guide, aims to move customers towards festive gifts that helps to deal with national and international social issues.

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said, “When you spend with a social enterprise, your money goes towards supporting its mission, helping to tackle some of society’s most pressing problems like youth unemployment or fuel poverty.

“As a consumer what you buy and who you buy it from matters a great deal. Your spending decisions can make a big difference to the lives of others, especially those in need.”

Launched on Cyber Monday, the busiest day of the year for online shopping, the initiative promotes a set of products that not only make good gifts for family and friends, but also help to improve the lives of disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad.

Cyber Monday concludes a busy Christmas shopping weekend which began with Black Friday – a day of traditional mass consumerism, primarily in the US but often replicated in the UK. It is followed by Fair Tuesday, launched in 2012 by fair trade non-profit Global Goods Partners as an ethical alternative.

On Monday, Visa expects £312,500 to be spent per minute on its cards online. It added that online shopping now accounts for more than 25% of expenditure in the UK.

Further reading:

Businesses urged to ‘buy social’

Social enterprises generate £2.7 billion to plough back into society

Social entrepreneurs celebrated with awards at Good Deals conference

Black Friday consumerism typified by tussles at Walmart

Ethical consumerism’s long journey to the mainstream