Conscious shopping in the city

When you’re seeking out that much-needed caffeine fix, making ethical choices and being socially aware can often take a backseat.

But thanks to a growing movement amongst Melbourne businesses, something as simple as a cup of coffee can have a positive effect on communities, both local and around the world. It sounds like a grandiose idea, but it’s the basis for many enterprises, including Kinfolk Cafe.

Cafe interior with tables and a decorative wall mural

The good folk at Kinfolk are helping communities by donating 100% of profits to charity

Located at the Spencer Street end of Bourke Street, Kinfolk donates all profits to charitable projects in Rwanda, Ghana, Palm Island and Melbourne. With over $100,000 raised in the last financial year, the business’s philosophy of ‘ethical consumption, sustainability and contribution’ is present in everything they do. For the customer, it’s easy; when you get your coffee or finish your meal, drop a coffee bean into one of four jars to select a project to support.

Two jars filled with coffee beans

At Kinfolk, drop a bean in the jar and choose where the profits go

Kinfolk are not alone; Shebeen is a cafe and bar that donates 100% of its profits to projects in the country of origin of the beer or coffee you purchase. East African bar Polepole donates a portion of proceeds from its range of African beers to charities back home. Ways & Means Cafe employs youth recovering from substance abuse, giving them real-world work experience and support. 2Pocket Fairtrade is an ethically-minded espresso bar and store that supports disadvantaged producers from around the world.

Brightly painted bar at Shebeen

Enjoy a banh mi and a beer at Shebeen on Manchester Lane, where all the profits help those in need

There are now plenty of ways to shop consciously in Melbourne – may your next coffee help change a life.

Where do you shop with good intent?