“Some people were really into it. Some people really were not.”
Nohelia Rambal knows that not everyone is quite on board with the name of her ethical companies directory, the Do-Gooders.
The former marketer – originally from Venezuela – launched the site in 2019, but this year listed it as a company and now works on it full time.
Having left the corporate world behind, Nohelia was doing consultancy work when the pandemic struck. She had been running the site as a side project until then.
“All consultancy work that I was doing stopped in lockdown. I had a couple of clients but was still building my portfolio and lost momentum,” she said.
“The difference between dedicating a few hours per week to all my time was so big and I could improve traffic to the site.
“Whatever improvement I make to the platform is passed on. Any success I have is success for them too.”
With many looking for last-minute Christmas gifts, The Do-Gooders aims to bring ethical businesses together in one place. Categories include promoting diversity, supporting refugees, all organic and vegan.
There are also ethical banking and energy suppliers, and even pet services.
Some of our favourite business listed on the platform are below:
- Bread and Roses – working with refugee women as they rebuild their lives in the UK, runs training programmes in floristry
- Birdsong – a London clothing company which works with skilled women makers in the UK that face barriers to employment, paying them a fair wage
- From Babies with Love – Beautiful toys and clothes for children and parents, where purchases support orphaned and abandoned children around the world
- Paws and Pause – Dog care centre with a social mission around mental health, based near Loughborough Junction.
While 2020 has not been straightforward for Nohelia, continuing to build this new business with a three-year-old daughter and splitting work time with her partner, she does feel that shopping habits are altering.
“The pandemic has helped people wake up a bit. The type of people we can now reach out to is bigger; more people care more,” she said.
“Our mission is to make it easy. It doesn’t have to be a part-time job to become eco-friendly, we have done the work for you.
“Do a little search and you will find something.”
While Christmas shopping is on everyone’s mind, the challenge being set by the Do-Gooders is to make just one ethical swap.
A step up from the usual gift guide, Nohelia says this year she wanted to do something different.
“We want to challenge consumer behaviour and get people to act differently.
“This might be even not buying presents. It can be around how you buy the gift, how you wrap it.
“It can be about Christmas dinner or how you plan your travel next year.”
With a new brand director on board, and a plan to make the site perform better and faster, Nohelia aims to make the Do-Gooders ever more inclusive, easier to use, and to reach more people looking to shop sustainably.