Seattle-based business Material Good took a simple idea and turned it into a way to give back to their local community. Their assertion is that you feel more connected to a cause when your giving gets you something back in return and leads to a sort of snowball effect of charity and community involvement. So how do they walk that talk to get the ball rolling?
Enter the Little Shirley.
Each of these vases is hand-crafted by skilled local artists, from its humble start as a 1/4 lb ball of clay to its vibrantly-glazed finish.
These tiny vases pack a bigger punch than just being pretty: Originally created to honor the memory of founder Lauren Burman‘s late grandmother, Shirley Larson, Material Good uses their trademark Little Shirley vases as a way to give back–for each purchase, 10% of proceeds go to organizations focused on cancer research and awareness.
Material Good makes it a priority to use local materials and support local businesses whenever they can. Their studio space is also filled with recycled, upcycled, and refurbished supplies–including their kiln and wheels!
I took a couple of years of ceramics classes in college and one of my favorite parts of class was working with the clay scraps from the week prior to help recycle them into fresh clay through remixing, rewedging, and repackaging. I was excited to see that Material Good uses a similar process to make sure that as much clay as possible is recycled and utilized.
Available in a wide variety of rich colors, Little Shirleys would be great for the upcoming holiday season–a charity-minded, sustainably-produced gift that keeps on giving. Material Good’s online store is currently being revamped, but you can still pick up Little Shirleys from various locations throughout Washington, Oregon, and California or order them online at Nordstrom.