The increased consumerism is the result of continuous, creative brands that catch the attention of the people. While there are brands that are solely focused on building their empire, there are also kind brands that work around specific social issues.
- Marymond – Flower Grandmas Project / Almond Project Tree
Marymond is an organization that supports human rights and mainly works to bring justice to the victims of the Japanese Occupation Era. “Mary” comes from the word mariposa, which means butterfly in Spanish, and “mond” comes from the word, almond. Together, it signifies that just like a butterfly that spreads flower pollen far, Marymond also strives to spread their stories far and wide.
Flower Grandmas Project which is a project where they introduce victims of the Japanese Occupation Era and assign them specific flowers as a way to characterize them. Project Tree is a project designed to help those in child abuse. Through these projects, Marymond has educated the public and brought much attention to the the forgotten part of Korean history. Bringing awareness to these social issues is implemented in their tagline: “Stand for Human Rights.”
Celebrities including Park Bo-gum, TVXQ Yunho, TWICE Dahyun, BTS V, G-friend Eunha, and EXO Xiumin have been spotted sporting Marymond merchandise.
- Marco Roho – Lovely Granny Campaign / Supporting Older Generations
Marc Roho is an organization that employs elders or grandmas, who produce handmade jewelry. With the significant gap in employment rate as the age increases, many elders have been either forced to retire or are left with no jobs. To combat this issue, Marco Roho has taken into their own hands to provide employment opportunities to the older generation, giving them a new meaning and joy in life. This organization shows that age does not defy talent and diminishes the assumed incapability of the elders. Each and every product represents the hard work of the elders and is of delicacy.
Celebrities that have worn this brand include IU, AB6IX Donghyun, actor Jung Hye-in, Penomeco, Myname InSoo, WINNER Kim Jin-woo, and Red Velvet Wendy.
- Meridiani – In Support of Abandoned Dogs
Every person is special, and so are animals. Sadly, there are many cases in which pets are neglected and abandoned by their owners. They go into a state of isolation and despair as they have no one to feed and care for them. Meridiani is an organization that uses part of its profit to help and support abandoned dogs. As their tagline goes “Present one’s life as a gift,” one’s life is too precious and special for it to be abandoned.
Celebrities that have been spotted sporting Meridiani merchandise include Wanna One Park Ji-hoon and AB6IX Jeonwoong.
- Bmarket – In Support of Social Issues
Bmarket is an organization that uses part of its profits to contribute to the social issues both within South Korea and globally. Many of their works include supporting abandoned dogs, providing pads, helping to prevent hunger amongst those in poverty, working towards improving the environment, and more. Through different merchandise geared towards certain social issues, they help to educate people and remind them that even one purchase can impact someone in a positive way.
Celebrities that have been spotted supporting Befriend merchandise include comedian and Celeb Five member, Song Eun-yi, comedian Kim Sook, and GOT7 Jinyoung.
- Sihope – In Support of Leukemia Patients
Founded by former Korean basketball player Park Seung-il, who is currently battling leukemia, and Jinusean member Sean; Sihope is an organization dedicated to help leukemia patients. Through various methods, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge and organizing marathons, Sihope has worked to help educate people about leukemia and the ways in which they can help. Donations go into building a hospital for the sole purpose of treating leukemia patients and research.
Celebrities that support this organization include SNSD Seohyun and Sooyoung, actor Sunghoon, Kim Jae-young, Yang Dong-geun, S.E.S. Bada, singer Min Kyung-hoon, and EXO Suho and Sehun.
There are many organizations that are fighting to bring changes in South Korea as well as around the world. Helping those in need does not always have to involve big donation; rather, bringing awareness to social issues by educating people around us can have a bigger impact. Eventually, these small acts of goods will pile up to bring a better impact in the world. If you could create an organization that supports social issues, what would it be?
Written by Jessica Lee