Purpose has become more important than ever over the last two years.
How has consumer spending changed toward purpose, and what is The Freedom Hub doing to leverage this opportunity.
Since the day we opened our first cafe in 2015, The Freedom Hub has been talking about the time when customers will choose where they buy, based on their values. But we thought that would be another generation away. However, the pandemic has fast-tracked this concept.
According to the latest Commbank Consumer insights Report March 2022 …..
“The pandemic caused consumers to reset their priorities …… (&) when it comes to alignment with brands on social causes that matter to consumers, many are now increasingly deliberate in where they shop and what to buy”
We have felt this trend with our catering menu now in big demand and the desire by consumers, businesses, and large corporates to align their spending with our cause. Ethical gifts, ethical catering, ethical coffee, ethical wines, and our ethical online shopping are back in demand.
Below you will read about our NEW ethical cafe in Ultimo; our catering, retail range, event venue, and how they all work toward the purpose of ‘ending modern slavery and helping victims recover.’ There are also some “Save the Dates” for you to join us at.
With an estimated 55,000 victims of slavery in Australia, we have a long way to go in our vision of cafes and survivor schools in every State, so read on and see how you can be a part of this mission.
The Impact of the Pandemic
The pandemic has helped consumers understand what it is like to be in isolation or to live with the fear of going out. Seeing what it is like to have no income, no medical care, and watch loved ones die. Victims of modern slavery experience all this. Empathy has aligned customers with humanity. Smart consumers realise that if they pay more for goods and services, employees are (usually) being paid a fair wage, and local communities benefit economically.
The Power of Purpose
Our newest cafe in Ultimo is an example of the power purpose has. It is a private cafe on the ground floor of a large business. The company, APRA AMCOS wants to align with our cause due to their reporting obligations and the values of their young employees. 350 employees, and all their visitors, can now hear about their impact on ending modern slavery and purchasing ethically sourced food that supports the cause. All their events can now be catered for ethically and their donations toward our cause have been very generous. This is an example of a company that is doing more than complying with the modern slavery act. They understand the power of purpose. Gen Y & Gen Z are demanding this change.
100% of profits from our cafes, events venue, online shopping, wholesale coffee, and our ethical business consulting; support our cause of ending slavery and helping victims recover.
Consumers and employees feel good and do good when they know their spending has more than a self-centered purpose.
The Freedom Hub Social Purpose Impact through our cafe and catering in Q1 was about 1,250 people a week. (excluding events – see event report below). We are still only 50% in revenue from where we were pre-pandemic when we were 60% self-funded. But we believe as workers return to work and community awareness grows by end of Q2 this will be closer to 3,500 people per week. Then, if the Commbank report is correct, our business future is looking very strong as we will attract more and more conscious consumers.
What is the Most Relevant Purpose for consumers?
According to the Commbank report, the top social cause for consumers is FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES. In fact, The Freedom Hub meets the top three most relevant causes as these have been values that we established our business principles on from the beginning.
Ending Modern Slavery is a fight for fair employment practices that will reduce poverty and increase the economic viability of local communities. All the suppliers for our food, beverages, and retail must also align with these values and assess the risk of slavery in their supply chains. (see our Ethical Business Services update HERE.).
Events with a Purpose
Parties and weddings are back. Most 2020 events rolled over into 2021, then many of those had to roll into 2022. Slowly people are beginning to bravely lock in dates again. Those that moved fast made our Q1 very busy as we hosted 13 events in 8 weeks. Staffing was our biggest issue with sickness and having lost all our event staff for two years. So we have engaged the beautiful Samantha Thompson (pictured) to run our major events that need a lot of planning. She comes with years of experience as an event planner.
” What an exciting start to the year it’s been for our events team at The Freedom Hub. It’s been great to see the events industry bounce back in a big way after all the lockdowns and restrictions. We have been seeing multiple events each weekend from Bar-Mitzvahs, to birthdays to engagement parties, and one that turned into a surprise wedding for guests. You name it, we’ve been able to cater to all our clients’ unique requests. We have loved running all of our events and can foresee this momentum continuing into the next quarter. If you have any event, big or small; it would be our pleasure to meet with you and create something special and unique for you and your guests. ” Sam
Gifts and Retail that have a Social Purpose
When we started The Freedom Hub we wanted to find a way that EVERY Australian could do something to help the cause of ending slavery and helping victims recover. Our founder had over 40 years of retail experience, 10 of which as a procurement manager for Grace Bros and nationally for Myers. So selling ‘ethical’ retail both in-store and online became our plan.
“That way if someone as far away as Broken Hill or Alice Springs hears about modern slavery, they can immediately jump online to buy a useful decor item or gift and be part of the solution. I didn’t want people to feel powerless when they heard about the millions of people enslaved. Sadly, many are skeptical about donating to a cause but buying something beautiful and ethical is a win/win for everyone, including the Australian economy.” – Sally Irwin, Founder
Catering for a Purpose
The Freedom Hub is Social Traders Accredited and we won the NSW Business Chambers Social Enterprise of the Year in 2018 for the Sydney Region. So we have one of the largest catering menus on offer in Sydney. This year the demand for our catering has increased by over 60%. It is rapidly becoming a major fundraiser for the survivors in our Survivor School.
Save The Date …
19th May | ‘Friends” Trivia Night |. Grab a group of friends at your place and zoom in for a night of fun trivia. | fundraiser tickets on sale soon
2nd July | The Freedom Fair | Waterloo Venue. | Meet ethical vendors, with a heart to help people and help the world.
30th July | Fivers for Survivors | National Campaign | Gather your work friends &/or family, have a party and donate $5 to end slavery
Follow our Instagram FB or Linkedin page for details as we get closer to these dates.