Aromababy skincare inspired by the birth of a baby

Raffaele Caputo a researcher, writer and editor recently met Catherine Cervasio, the founder of Aromababy, at an event and inspired by her story he wanted to share it.

When Catherine Cervasio fell pregnant for the first time, she was concerned she would have to use skincare products on her baby that contained unnatural ingredients.

Her previous life as a fashion writer and developer of a range of products based on essential oils had given her some experience in skin care products and she knew the majority were synthetic with a petrochemical base.

Through her research, Catherine discovered many products were linked to skin complaints such as eczema. However, of greater concern was the presence of paraffin in some skin creams and bathing oils, as it had the propensity to affect hormones.

“With the birth of my baby on the horizon, these issues really set the alarm bells ringing,” says Catherine. “I thought if there are no alternatives available, then everybody is compelled to use the same kinds of products. This was the inspiration for developing something that was unusual in the cosmetics industry at the time.”

This was more than 20 years ago. Catherine gave birth to a strong and healthy baby boy, and to Aromababy, an organic skincare range for babies. She was so confident about the virtues of her products that she tested them on herself and her baby.

But it wasn’t an easy road ahead for Catherine. Along with the demands of caring for her baby, she had to raise finance, source a reputable manufacturer and, most importantly, educate potential suppliers and consumers because what she was developing at the time was so new.

She tapped into the maternity and paediatric medical profession.

“I was so passionate about making a difference that I actually went straight to the midwives, patient consultants and maternity ward managers and talked to them because their expertise is not only in delivery but also in caring for babies and mothers around the time of birth,” Catherine says.

“They were really quite surprised at my discoveries; and because I had extensive research to back these up, I felt they were listening to me, and realised that maybe they needed to offer mothers a choice rather than only the conventional, supermarket-type formulations.”

Based on her research Catherine formulated her products specifically for sensitive skin and babies – using ingredients such as certified organic calendula, evening primrose oil and natural vitamin E but with no animal products, petrochemicals, sulphates, added colour, artificial fragrances, silicone, or paraffin. Today, Aromababy is a multi-million dollar business, with a premium range of natural personal care products for both mother and babies.


RC pic 1Writer: Raffaele Caputo is a writer for Present Company Included, a member of the Briarbird team, a Melbourne-based online consultancy firm, and is co-editor of the online film journal Screening the Past.

Papermaking elevates social inclusion and hope

Inspiring Peeps 

#socialinclusion, #paperworksinc, #givehope blog (1)


Why I give a damn:  Loneliness underpins so many social ills. Through breaking down barriers to social inclusion, I hoped to create a richer social experience for marginalised people through opportunities for meaningful occupation. My daughter is living with a disability, so I understand the effects of marginalisation on an individual and their families.  I feel that people with disabilities need valueable social roles in the community so they can be seen as contributing to the society like everyone else – not to mention how it improves the self-esteem and self-worth of marginalised people.

What we do: We host social hand papermaking workshops to facilitate opportunities for building friendships and we employ a small number of marginalised people in order to give them more opportunities for economic participation and choice. Our artisans manufacture stationary and seed tiles from locally harvested plant fibre (e.g. tulips after Floriade) and recycled textile (including denim jeans) destined for landfill.

 Why does it matter? Recently a Sydney morning Herald article pointed out that a 1/3 of Australians are feeling isolated and separate.  No wonder leading psychiatrist Dan Siegel describes isolation as an artificial prison. A chronic sense of loneliness can weaken the body’s immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to a range of illnesses and depression. Depression is fast becoming the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, around 1 million adults and 100 000 young people suffer from depression in any given year. An estimated 45% of people suffer from depression at some stage in their lives – 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men.   Not only people with special needs are at risk.  A change in circumstance that contributes to social isolation, comes unexpectedly – the loss of a partner, the loss of a job, a car accident, a relocation, a long-term illness. We are all vulnerable.

We have two goals:

  • We want to help our community beat the devastating physical, mental and economic impact of loneliness caused by social exclusion. The first step is to change community perceptions. We believe when people from different backgrounds and abilities get to know each other, they become more tolerant of “otherness”, more open to friendship and more aware of the various issues at stake.  
  • Provide opportunities to develop better social skills, which could promote a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Increased confidence levels may also increase peoples employability, which in turn may reduce their dependence on health and social welfare structures. the xes

Founder:  Marja Rouse

#socialinclusion, #paperworksinc, #givehope


 IGD Paperworks collage

Kisaku | Indonesian Art and Craft

Meet Felicia and Lenny – Kisaku 

Why we give a damn

We founded Kisaku with two objectives in mind. Promote the tradition and assist the artisans.  We wish to promote and raise awareness of Indonesian rich culture and heritage. While we have lived away from home for more than 15 years, we can’t wait to introduce Indonesia’s rich culture to the world. Especially as we see that the age-old traditions have nowadays been creatively reinvented and transformed into modern everyday wear and creations. We also wish to assist the artisans and craft makers in Indonesia to gain access to skills-enhancing education. We believe that each and every one of us has a responsibility to take part to shape the future generation. At the same time, we also hope to support the community and preserve the tradition and heritage. We believe that the world will be a much better place if we all strive toward helping one another

What we do

Kisaku is an online store for Indonesian artisans and craft makers to showcase their tradition-inspired and heritage-infused fashion collections. We hope to provide them the access to the global market and help them reach a wider customer base who values fair trade products created ethically in a sustainable way.

Kisaku is derived from the Indonesian word “Kisahku” which means “My Story”. We are all about prints and patterns that carry with them stories of yesteryears told from generations to generations, creative and indigenous designs that accentuate our personalities and we’re all about lending a hand to the future generation who will keep our stories going.

At Kisaku, we work with passionate Indonesian designers and artisans specialising in crafting batik and other tradition-inspired /heritage-infused fashion collections. Our partners are exclusively selected for their commitment to quality and their passion for the culture, heritage and tradition. Their designs and creations are curated with love with detailed intricacies and full of meaning. They are also chosen for their ingenuity in crafting the fabrics and materials into modern wear to bring only the best for your next statement piece.

For every purchase through Kisaku, we set a part of our profit toward a MicroEduLoan that will allow the creative talents to access skills-enhancing programs.

Why it matters

We are confronted with the ugly truth – heritage will die and the tradition will be extinct if we don’t do anything.

More and more traditional craft makers are deciding to stop using their craft and traditional techniques, such as hand weaving and natural fabric dying, to create products, due to numerous factors. Most of these handmade and traditional crafts take a long time to create and are slowly replaced by mass production. Minimal insights into what products will appeal to the wider market, especially the younger generation, result in products being undervalued by the customers. Lack of access to broader marketplace also results in limited possibilities to sell their products. All these factors combined slowly push the artisans and craft makers to leave the industry, taking along skills, techniques and stories that were passed down from generation to generation.

Founders: Felicia and Lenny




good spender marketplace 

#KisakuHeritage #ArtisanMicroEduLoan #keepthetsoriesgoing

Quote   “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


image: mission partner @dvipa_id





Less = More | creating a new wedding culture

Planning a wedding? Consider sustainable, ethical and minimal options

Profile Snippet

Less stuff more meaning 

why we give a damn

In recent years, the trend towards wedding consumerism has led to many questioning the traditional wedding. With an average wedding spend of $35,000, it’s not surprising that some couples are choosing to return to smaller, more intimate weddings. Here at LSMM we celebrate we’re all about inspiring new wedding traditions. We would love to see weddings become an event with a deeper purpose, a force for social change. Let’s bring back the minimalist wedding, the intimate gathering, and the elopement. Where the wedding becomes a community affair and guests bring a plate. Or where guests give experiences over things. Where the day becomes a representation of the values the couple stands for, such as looking after our global family, leaving a lighter footprint, or being hands-on in giving back to a cause they are passionate about.

what we do

We’re a wedding blog with a difference. At LSMM we value simplicity and substance over the pretty details, and feature weddings where couples have scaled back, consumed mindfully or have given back. Wedding blogs are often a bride’s source of inspiration when it comes to wedding planning, so we’d love to bring small, intimate weddings to the forefront, and celebrate the difference these weddings are making in caring for our earth and people. Currently, we are also working on an ethical gift registry where couples can choose artisan and fair-trade products supporting social enterprises, incorporate charitable giving, take eco-getaways, or volunteer on their honeymoon.  We’re instigating a grass-roots movement around ethical weddings which we hope will simply become the new normal.

why it matters

Because our planet and global village are calling for some TLC. Couples planning a wedding have huge consumer power, and with 120,000 weddings/year in Australia, a change in wedding culture will make a tangible difference. Here’s to world changers!


Founders:  Sandra Henri and Amy Wilson


Sandra Hendri co-founders of Less Stuff More Meaning

Sandra Hendri co-founder of Less Stuff More Meaning


Field Trip | Youth | Make Your Mark

The Field Trip

Youth leadership, youth employment,
youth group Australia

Profile Snippet

We asked met Paul Kooperman at the 2015 conference and asked him – Why he gives a damn..


We met Paul Kooperman through the 2015 conference and asked him why he gives a damn.


  • Young people want to find their passion, peers and path.
  • Young people need meaningful employment
  • The world needs givers, initiators, innovators, instigators and drivers
  • We all have extraordinary potential we need to fulfill 
  • We get what we give and benefit from empowering others to benefit
  • We need leaders to create more leaders
  • Communities need proactive contributors
  • We create opportunities for ourselves by creating them for others
  • Young people need positive role models, but can also be great role models for others
  • Kids have ideas about how the world should be and can be empowered to express and action their ideas



What do I do? The Field Trip is a weekly program which runs every Sunday 3:30-5pm in various locations. The program is about young people finding their passion, peers and path and feeling empowered to be our next generation of thinkers, doers, creators, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, philosophers, philanthropists and leaders. It matters because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?

It matters because if not now, then when? If not us, then who?

The Field Trip Founders: 

  • Paul Kooperman, an author, playwright and screenwriter with significant experience in leadership, management and community development and
  • Beth Heflin Cauvel, currently managing the Study Abroad Program at Shepherd University.
15 kids from Macedon Ranges are teaming up with a Men's Shed and architect to design and build a cubby house, which will be auctioned off and all proceeds given to homeless charity Urban Seed. Bridget (12) and Lauren (10) Bourke; Liam (11) and Logan (9) Johnston; Arie Sawyer (11); Chloe (11), Lily (9), and Zak (10) Hansen at work on the cubby. Picture Jay Town.

15 kids from Macedon Ranges are teaming up with a Men’s Shed and architect to design and build a cubby house, which will be auctioned off and all proceeds given to homeless charity Urban Seed. Bridget (12) and Lauren (10) Bourke; Liam (11) and Logan (9) Johnston; Arie Sawyer (11); Chloe (11), Lily (9), and Zak (10) Hansen at work on the cubby.
Picture Jay Town.


Every person born into this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. It is the duty of every person to know and consider that she is unique in the world in her particular character and that there has never been someone like her before. For if there had been someone like her before, there would be no need for her to be in the world. Every single person is a new thing in the world and is called upon to fulfil her particularity in the world.

Martin Buber


#MakeYourMark #YouthLeadership #YouthEmployment #YouthGroupAustralia  



Twitter: @thefieldtripp  

Instagram @the_field_trip 

Facebook: thefieldtrip2015 

The latest Field Trip project :

This term Field Trip members aged 10-24 are becoming the authors of their own lives, writing the book “Where I Live” about their homes, towns, lives, communities and world perspectives. An intimate insight into how kids think, feel and express themselves.

Where I Live”  check it out and or  buy it

Penh Lane | empowering people through business

We believe in honest design, fair trade and empowering people through business

Penh Lane – beautiful products; handcrafted with love.

Snippet Profile

Sela, Jane, Aza and Kunteah.   2011

Jewellers from Khmer Creations with Jane Darbyshire. (L-R) Sela, Jane, Aza and Kunteah.


We give a damn because everyone has the right to enjoy their job, be paid fairly for their time and effort, but above all, everyone should have the opportunity to grow and explore what they want in their career and ultimately be fulfilled – people shouldn’t have to work just to get by. We also give a damn about our stylish customers! Everyone should have access to ethically made, high-quality products and be happy with the knowledge that the producers have earned a fair wage, in fair conditions and have loved every minute of their work.

What we do

We partner with artisans in Cambodia to produce ethical fashion products for the Australian (and international) market. We bring stylish fashion to you and ensure the artisans benefit from your exquisite taste.

Why it Matters

For a great number of Cambodians, there are limited opportunities for safe, satisfying and rewarding employment. Many people, especially vulnerable women, only have the option of entering exploitative industries such as forced sex work or garment factories to earn an income. Through trading with Cambodian social businesses, we help to drive the demand that fosters a fair and rewarding system where everyone benefits, including the customer.

Directors:  Jane Darbyshire, Terry-ann Holloway and Matt Linfoot
Penh Lane – beautiful products; handcrafted with love.
We believe in honest design, fair trade and empowering people through business.

Clare Voitin |One World|Organic|Bees|Real Food

One world worth savouring.

Inspiring Snippets

Clare Voitin The Providore, Swan Bay Farm and Scarvelli Cafe

Clare Voitin The Providore, Swan Bay Farm and Scarvelli Cafe

Why I give a damn?

We’ve experienced many peaks and troughs through our farming endeavours. I’ve found a purpose and greater understanding of our natural world, as well as an appreciation of the trials and tribulations endured through farming and primary production.

To see and experience first hand the challenges faced, I’ve discovered that my connection firsthand with the land and the city has given me the opportunity to have a voice and share what I believe is important for consumers to hear.

We only have one world to live in – it’s well and truly time for us to take much better care of it. It’s no longer about us, but about the future, and the generations to come.

Why I do what I do?

At Swan Bay Farm, I’ve discovered a passion for growing food. It’s what I love – it gives me energy and purpose and a sense of achievement every time I harvest our own grown organic ‘real food’. I’ve also seen how strongly this experience of food growing can impact on a child.

Why it matters?

We have become so disconnected with the foods we eat, yet it’s such a fundamental resource. We should be committed to keep these basic skills alive through our kids and for future generations. Growing food encourages a connection with nature, inspires creativity, increases physical activity and reduces stress. To share this experience with children is a most precious gift.

Founder Clare Voitin:  Scarvelli Cafe & Swan Bay Farm & The Providore


Clare Voitin and family @SwanBayFarm

Clare Voitin and family @SwanBayFarm precious to her world

photo 1: Jason Malouin     Photo 2:  Beth Jennings     Photo 2: Julie Renouf



Ali Capp | Sustainable Style | Women Weaving

 #communitytocouch #womenwhoweave #sustainable #style

Inspiring Profiles

IG IGD The People’s Fabric Weaver

My name is Ali and my social business, The People’s Fabric.

I give a damn because I’m not sure how not to give a damn. I used to think how easy life would be to turn a blind eye on injustices in the world however I have only been fulfilled by the people I have met on this path, who continually inquire, consider and unapologetically take action for what they believe.
What do you do 
I founded The People’s Fabric, sourcing traditionally woven fabrics through women’s economic empowerment programs in West Borneo and incorporating them into my own line of ethical homeware products such as cushions and throws. Each piece is accompanied by a profile of the weaver and an outline of the woven motif’s meaning in Dayak culture.
Why it matters
In partnership with a women’s weaving cooperative and a not-for-profit organisation, we provide pathways to financial independence for women through initiatives such as communal savings groups. Not only does this provide women and their families with a more sustainable income, it also means they are less likely to rely on other sources of income that may degrade the environment, such as work in logging, palm oil and animal trafficking.
Founder: Ali Capp

Ruby Silver | #GirlsForGirls | Education |India

Inspiring Snippets

My name is Jess and I run a social enterprise called Ruby Silver that supports the education of women and girls in India. We are connected to Social Traders and Good Spender.

Jess Exton : Co-Founder : Ruby Silver with Gulafsha, Bushra, Muskan, Abdulla and Jupdta

Jess Exton : Co-Founder : Ruby Silver
with Gulafsha, Bushra, Muskan, Abdulla and Jupdta

why I give a damn

I give a damn because the girls that we support give a damn. I’ve known most of the 70 kids at Nav Jagriti NGO in Delhi since 2009 and despite coming from large families where education is not a priority, I’ve seen them fiercely strive to give their all in school. These girls are becoming an inspiration to their families and communities through their dreams to become teachers, nurses, doctors and mothers. The NGO gives them access to school but it is their determination and enthusiasm for life which is why I give a dam about supporting them.

what I do

I co-foundered and manage Ruby Silver, a social business which uses 100% of its profits to purchase and deliver educational resources to NGOs in India. My team and I manage 100% of our supply chain, from jewellery design and sales in Australia to the purchase and delivery of resources to NGOs in India, as requested by them. We aim to show our customers that they significantly contribute to supporting education every time they purchase from Ruby Silver; just 20 sales will purchase a warm blanket each for 63 children, allowing them to sit on the floor to study and to sleep well during winter.

why it matters

Giving girls the chance to attend school is not only important for them, but lifts their entire community. These young women are smart, strong and excited to learn. Ensuring that they are able to complete school and are supported throughout challenges them to dream big and work hard. It matters because these girls are going to be great.

founders names – Jess Exton and I work very closely with my business partner Yogen Kumar


Website  |     Instagram   |   Facebook

#rubysilver  #girlsforgirls  #sterlingsilver #GoodSpender  #SocialTrader

treeHIVE + Michael Norton


ed im IG IGD Michael and Fraser

What inspires me to do what I do?

I deeply care about this beautiful planet we live on, and my dream is that we can find a way for people and planet to thrive together. I believe we must evolve individually and collectively for this to happen, and my inspiration comes from helping people to live and work more consciously.

What do I do?
I’m a coach and facilitator specialising in Career Change, Leadership Development and Cultural Transformation.   I inspire and support my clients with powerful human development tools that enable them to discover their full potential. I work with a diverse range of tools and modalities including Positive Psychology, Signature Strengths, Mindfulness, the Enneagram, Emotional Intelligence, Neuroscience and Nature Connection.




TreeHIVE Event
Michael Norton
Human Potential Specialist