The most festive time of year has come around once again!
The holiday season is full of the best stuff; for a lot of us it means a break from work, catching up with loved ones, and fun in the sun. However, it is also a time of year where consumerism is at a peak. There is immense pressure to cave into the frenzy of mindless Christmas shopping, which is draining for you and your wallet.
This festive season, Welcome Merchant are encouraging you to do things a little differently. We’ve compiled a list of gift ideas created by our refugee background entrepreneurs, to help you slow down and shop ethically this holiday season. Read on below to find out more.
A Tuk is a homewares and fashion brand that was founded by Nyibol Deng, an Ethiopian and South Sudanese woman. A Tuk was launched in 2019; the name is drawn from a Nuer word meaning ‘begin’. A Tuk’s accessories are vibrant and unique – you’ll find headbands, scrunchies, hats and tote bags that feature colourful, upcycled textiles. A Tuk is committed to being a sustainable brand, from design to production; all aspects of the products have been crafted to have a minimal environmental impact. Shop A Tuk here.
Billiano Designs is a jewellery brand founded by Nigerian woman Bilikis Gbadamosi. Bilikis founded her business in Sydney after immigrating to Australia from Nigeria. The jewellery of Billiano designs has been described as “wearable art”, with the designs featuring colourful beads, precious gemstones and wire. All pieces are crafted by hand and are a testament to Bilikis’s extraordinary beadwork. Follow Billiano designs on Instagram and grab your own statement piece here.
Sassy Organics is an organic, vegan online store that stocks a range of health, skincare and home products. The store’s founder, Aida, is a former Bosnian refugee (you can read about her story here). You’re sure to find a perfect gift at Sassy – the website has categories for hair, makeup, mothers and babies, men, health and much, much more. Peruse Sassy’s website here.
Bandesh Wine & Spirits
If Christmas spirit is what you need, visit Bandesh Wine & Spirits. This online liquor store features wine and spirits that have been made with love by Kurdish refugee, Farhad Bandesh. Some of the most unique booze on offer is the Kurdish Arak – the first ever made in Australia – and botanical Kurdish Gin. By shopping with Bandesh Wine & Spirits, you will support Farhad in his quest to stay in Australia – sadly, under current legislation, he is not allowed to stay due to the fact he was detained offshore when he first arrived in Australia. Buy Bandesh Wine & Spirits here.
Persia’s Pantry stock delicious stocking-stuffer presents for you and your loved ones to enjoy this Christmas. The selections are sure to make unique additions to your pantry, and include Persian syrups, desserts, vinegars and seed/nut/spice mixes for your morning yoghurt or museli. Founder Arad fled persecution in Iran in 2012, and spent 15 months in detention before being released. By shopping at Persia’s Pantry, you are supporting Arad to continue his advocacy for the refugee community. Check out the Persia’s Pantry range here.
If nothing yet has struck your fancy, you can support Welcome Merchant this Christmas by buying one of our limited edition ‘Power’ t-shirts for yourself or a loved one. Designed by two talented refugee/migrant background artists, Iraq-born Raneen Shamon and Ghana-born Emmanuel Asante, this design is brimming with meaning and symbolism. Available this Christmas only, shop this gorgeous tshirt here.