We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
The pressure to find the perfect gifts for friends and family during the holiday season can be intense. It's easy to go to the closest shopping centre or the biggest online retailer for super-saver discounts, but you never really know where the money from your purchase will end up. The dollars that you spend during the holidays can add up quickly, and can have an impact that extends far beyond the retailer's pocket—depending on where you choose to shop.
Here are four startups that are making the world a better place with every purchase:
Hydrated World is an apparel company with a mission to eliminate the water crisis. Founded during an Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) term in 2013 by Aleks Poldma and Spencer Kelly, Hydrated World works with Safe Water Project to install bio-sand filters in Africa to purify water.
All of the project funds stay in the local African economy, and each filter provides a community with safe water for over 25 years. Hydrated World has installed 14 filters in South Sudan and Malawi—providing 280,000 litres of safe water per year—and have an additional 25 filters on the way.
Hydrated World's latest release, the limited edition Fine Fettle Crew Neck, promotes using style and wardrobe to represent strong personal values.
Off the ej
Emma Halenko is an architectural design student inspiring people to cut down on industrial and consumer waste. Emma's jewelry company, Off the ej, offers pieces made from found materials, such as license plates, CDs, and tires.
Emma grew her business during an E Co-op term, and hopes to inspire people to rethink their consumption habits by reusing or repurposing an item before throwing it out or buying something new. Each purchase of reinvented jewelry is a step toward a more sustainable future.
So, don't worry if you are a last-minute shopper— any one of these gifts is sure to put a smile on someone's face, and add a little more happiness to the world.