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The season for gifting
Yemeni coffee beans, from S$38, from Talidah Coffee, talidah.com
For the friend who cannot do without a morning cup of joe, get him a pack of coffee beans from Singaporean brand Talidah, which is Arabic for high esteem. The newly set up brand currently retails rare coffee beans from Yemen, where coffee cultivation started in the 1500s.
Founder Alhasan Alkaff, himself a Yemeni, sources coffee beans directly from selected farmers in Yemen, while the beans are roasted in Singapore. Yemeni coffee beans are often characterised with
chocolate, wine and earth notes although there are some that are more fruity in taste. Mr Alkaff wants to do more than sell coffee from his birth country. "Unfortunately politics and war have harmed Yemen's export market and curbed its potential. Coffee is one way to contribute to Yemen, and this is part of our mission," says Mr Alkaff, who with two other partners are working with Yemen Aid, an NGO.
For every pouch of coffee sold, Talidah Coffee contributes a sum to Yemen Aid's Emergency Food Baskets programme. It costs roughly US$70 to feed a family of seven for 30 days.
Gifts for the hostess, from S$27, from Maison Marcel La Boutique, Palais Renaissance, #01-004
With phase three raising the number of visitors a household can have to eight, a slightly bigger New Year's Eve home party is in sight. For the hostess friend, Mansion Marcel, the e-shop and retail boutique extension of the Merci Marcel Group, offers stylish but quirky tableware.
While online shopping is easier, do make a point to head down to Maison Marcel at Palais Renaissance to pick up the gifts, and have them gift wrapped. All proceeds generated from its pay-as-you-wish gift-wrapping service go towards Mercy Relief, where funds are channelled towards emergency aid in the event of an international disaster.
Double Soy Wick Candle, S$40, from Riau Candle Co., shop.boutiquefairs.com.sg
Scented candles are always a welcome addition to any home, particularly now that working from home looks set to continue. Available in over 20 scents, such as Amber and Ash, and Christmas Tree, this soy candle which uses a lead-free wick can burn up to 70 hours. Bonus points that it comes in a reusable container.
It comes from the Riau Candle Company, the retail arm of The Seed Basket, which is a non-profit organisation for community development in South-east Asia. All the proceeds from each candle goes towards educational, clean water and medical projects throughout South-east Asia.
Hikaru Pillow Mist, S$28, from Six, scentbysix.com
For Jason Lee, founder of fragrance label Six, scent is about more than just smelling good. "Scents can heal, soothe and improve one's mental wellness," he says. Six's newly launched collection Hikaru aims to do that. Hikaru, which means to shine in Japanese, has top notes of yuzu and lemon peel, middle notes comprising the scents of sakura tea, and bottom notes of white musk and sandalwood. Spray a little of the pillow mist on the cushions, for a chill out afternoon.
Mr Lee is also partnering with the Singapore Association of Mental Health (SAMH) to raise awareness on mental health issues. Ten dollars from the sale of each Hikaru product will be donated to SAMH.
The goal is to raise S$10,000.
SPD Limited Edition Journal, S$35, from Fairmarch, fairmarch.com
Mental wellness is a big issue this year, and mental health practitioners say keeping a journal is one way to help manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with feeling low. Rediscover the nostalgia of journaling with pen and paper by gifting this limited edition notebook that is handbound by SPD's team of experienced craftsmen and women. SPD is a local charity that helps people with disabilities to maximise their potential and integrate them into mainstream society.
Each limited edition notebook is clothed in Japanese fabric and comes in lined and plain versions.
Customers who buy a journal are giving these craftsmen and women a sense of identity and dignity, while helping them to be self-reliant.
Journey Satin Scarf, S$94, from Fairmarch, fairmarch.com
Titled A New Beginning, this satin scarf features a mix of abstract brushstrokes.
Look closer and you'll see they are an interpretation of silhouettes inspired by Singapore's lush gardens. A New Beginning is the work of 12 special needs artists, and is just one of many items that are part of the Journey brand, which represents the creative talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Through Journey, which is part of Touch Community Services, these artists can earn an income and work with companies to create exclusive products that showcase their talent and tenacity.
This satin scarf perks up any outfit, or can even be framed up as an art piece.