Members test products with purpose 

Members have been joining in to test some of the great social enterprise-created products that are on sale in some of our stores. 

Watch the video to find out what they thought about them and the great work that’s being done in society by the businesses that make them 

Social enterprises are businesses that invest their profits for social good. In October, social enterprises from across the UK will join together for a week of activity to promote ‘buying social’ – encouraging consumers to purchase products that make a real difference in society. We invited members to test some products, and provide us with reviews to help spread the word about social enterprise and its impact. Here’s what they said. 

The products

Toast beer

Our friends at Toast brewery produce a fine selection of ales and lager, all of which are brewed using surplus fresh bread. Not only are they making something wonderful from something that would otherwise contribute to food waste; all of their profits go to charities fixing the food system. 

Craft lager

Like the fact that it is made from surplus bread and it’s planet-saving – that’s good. It’s quite refreshing, I’d definitely drink it.”  Jenni, Co-op Member from Coventry. 

Brewgooder

Brewgooder is on a mission to bring clean water to 1,000,000 people by donating the profits from its lager to clean water charities. 

Cleanwater lager

Ooh, that’s unusual, I like that! I like that very much. This one, I might buy frequently. I’ll tell you what…. I’ll drink this one ‘til the cows come home.”  Stephen, Co-op Member from Keighley. 

BECo Soap

BECo Soap’s products create real jobs for real people in the UK who are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. They are also vegan, paraben- and SLS-free and hypoallergenic. 

I would buy this product [instead], just because of the values that this company stands for that they’ve put on the packaging, it’s cruelty-free, you get a lot of product and it smells great. Victoria, Co-op Member from Bury Saint Edmunds 

 Very ethical, made by people up and down the UK who have different conditions that might impair their ability to get full employment. Really pleased to see this in a product. Very good product, I’d recommend purchasing this if you ever see it in your local Co-op.” Scott, Co-op Member from Coventry 

Hey girls

Hey girls is a social enterprise that produces sanitary products, such as tampons, pads and menstrual cups. Girls in the UK are missing school because they can’t afford period products – Hey Girls are tackling period poverty by giving a girl or woman one pack of products for every pack bought. 

I’m so pleased to find out about Hey girls and the work they’re doing to tackle period poverty. I didn’t realise it was such a massive issue. It’s great to think that by changing what I buy I can help make a difference to other women.” Marie, Co-op Member from Truro 

Buy social for a better world 

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The ‘Buy social for a better world’ campaign will involve a week of online activity and will also be supported by an exciting augmented reality (AR) experience featuring social enterprise products in-store at The Co-op. This is being championed by Michael Sheen, Caitlin Moran, Chris Addison and Sali Hughes who, through AR, will tell customers about the impact buying social can have. They will also encourage shoppers to look out for the Buy Social badge to recognise other social enterprises. 

Keep an eye out for the campaign in your local store, and, if you get the opportunity to, please consider ‘buying social’, and helping these amazing enterprises continue to do such amazing work. 

Co-op members have the opportunity to Join In with their Co-op in all sorts of different ways. If you’re a member, visit your member account and check out the ways you can shape your Co-op today. 

To find out more, visit: https://socialenterprise.org.uk/campaigns/buy-social-for-a-better-world/ 

Ed Powell
Partnerships Manager