At incognito®, charitable giving and ethical practises are central to our business ethos, whether it is environmental concern for our carbon footprint and sustainable sourcing of products, or injecting our profits into worthwhile causes. A selection of charities we have donated to in 2014 are listed below.
One of our longest standing links is with Bethsaida Hermitage. Based in Kerala, all profits from the stunning hotel and retreat are channelled directly into charity projects for the surrounding areas. In 1989, Bethsaida Hermitage was set up as a funding initiative so that they could provide accommodation and food for the people within the community. In the beginning, the first project was to house and educate 15 children from various backgrounds. 25 years later, Bethsaida is now a complex charity, funding a girls and a boys orphanage and school, as well as a 300 person public school for children from underprivileged rural communities. They also fund a hospital, a support scheme that enables poorer parents to save for their children’s higher education and community projects that provide employment and empowerment to those who live there. incognito® provides a large volume of products to the hotel and orphanages for resale or personal use which provides them with more revenue for their own endeavours, and protection from malaria.
Clement James, an award-winning London charity, delivers a rounded programme of education, employment and pastoral support to enable over 1,800 local people each year to achieve their potential. Their offices are local to ours at incognito® HQ, and they run a variety of programmes that help the community in many ways, orchestrating daytime and evening courses encouraging locals to enhance their English skills and providing employment advice. An IntoUniversity programme provides improved academic performance, chances of getting into university and their IntoWork programme increases employability, improved confidence and IT skills. These invaluable skills are incredibly helpful for those who receive them, setting in place permanent positive personal developments and pave the way to creating significant improvements in the wider community.
An Oxford based charity, Give Bees a Chance was another receiver of this years donations. Give Bees a Chance Charity recognise the importance of bees in our environment, conserve them using existing land and enabling Bee populations to exist and grow. An important element to their developmental plans is to include the general public, the local communities and schools, in actively educating them about conservation and improvement of the environment. In particular by providing land to allow for restoration and protection of the natural land without the use of man made pesticides, providing education as to the role of bees in the environment and to train the public in bee keeping. Here at incognito, we feel it is important to wider spread the understanding of environmental concerns, particularly on a community level.
In Thailand, Plant a Tree Today believes wholeheartedly in ‘Forest Restoration through Environmental Education, Biodiversity, and Community Benefits.’ Engaging in projects in various sites over Thailand, forest restoration through tree planting will help accelerate recovery of forest structure and diversity, reinstate ecological functioning and biodiversity levels towards those typical of native forest. As part of a pledge to reduce our carbon footprint, we have financed the planting of 113 trees at their most recent site of Khao Yai National Park. The majority of PATT’s reforestation work is centered on restoration of the forest, with the clear aim of re-establishing the original forest ecosystem that was present before the deforestation occurred. As some of the incognito range is produced in Thailand, we felt it pertinent to ensure that some of the plantation efforts were in an area that directly benefits from the compensation for our local carbon emission. Khao Yai is also home to a PATT nursery, which is used for producing native tree seedlings to restore degraded areas, and have more than 15000 seedlings of 50 native species of tree in the nursery, with over 90000 seedlings having already been planted!
Wipe away those tears, a personal and heartfelt Charity in Essex, provides financial and emotional support to individual cases of illness and difficulties in mobility, via the means of a Summer Ball to raise donations from businesses and people. Although they are not searching for cures, they focus on the dreams and desires of the affected children. To quote their website, ‘during desperate times when there seems to be no hope we aim to wipe away those tears and bring a sparkle into the lives of these special children, no matter how big or small.’
For a second year, incognito are donating to the Sarojini New Life Centre, another orphanage and schooling system based in India. It is a smaller organisation in Tamil Nadu that cares for the education and well being of 60 girls, so every bit of assistance they can get makes a real difference for them. For more information on any of the above charities, follow the links on the name of each organisation to find out more.