The Goodsmiths - Antonia-Simon-Cliff-Caroline

Foodie Profile: Goodsmiths

Our chat with Clifford Moss, co-founder of Goodsmiths – a website that helps you  find and choose social enterprises and B Corps when eating, drinking, celebrating and shopping.

1. Cliff, could you tell us a little bit about Goodsmiths. How, when and why did you start?

I started working in marketing and sales in the 90s. Products weren’t just products anymore, they were brands. And brands were all the rage. In late 1999 my little creative agency was given the opportunity to work on a Government project to help people understand the impact our lifestyles were having on our environment. It was fascinating. It seemed like such a great idea, but too early to really get traction. I was hooked though. I loved the concept that the decisions we make can, and will, have either a positive or negative impact; and that thinking about the impact we could be responsible for was really, weirdly, empowering.

That turned into an insatiable fascination about the possibility for businesses to do good too, and do well at the same time. Surely it was possible? Surely there was a way that businesses could thrive while also leaving a positive effect on their communities, society and the environment?

It took some time, a ton of learnings and a lot of refining for this fairly broad idea of doing good and doing well in business to crystalise into Goodsmiths.

The question we kept asking ourselves was how could we make it easier for people find these good businesses, which meant we also had to consider the flip-side of that question: how could we make it easier for these businesses to reach more customers? So, Simon Davies and I started Goodsmiths this year (2017), after working together since 2013. We built on the success of The Good Xmas Trail, which was a seasonal campaign that we ran in 2015 and 2016. We wanted to simplify how people would find and choose social enterprises and B Corps for their eating, drinking, celebrating and shopping.

We feel incredibly fortunate to have got to this point. It’s taken a while and we’re a long way from being an overnight success 🙂 but we’re doing something we really love – day in, day out. 


The Goodsmiths Christmas campaignImage credit: Goodsmiths

2. What is being a Goodsmith?

Being a Goodsmith is about making more ‘good’ happen in the world. Just like a blacksmith works with iron and steel to create tools, a Goodsmith creates a positive impact through what they do.

What’s so unusual about Goodsmiths is that the brand name connects with both the suppliers and creators of good things as well as the demanders and users of those goods.

As a Goodsmith, whether you’re supplying good stuff or choosing to buy responsible and ethical products and services, you’re making a statement about the sort of world you want to inhabit, the sort of ‘stuff’ you value and want around you, in your home, on your skin, even on our children’s bottoms. Each time you make a purchase decision that reinforces that statement, you reinforce in yourself that you are ‘that kind of person’ and that kind of person has a name, they’re Goodsmiths.

We wanted to capture the spirit and the values of living ethically, responsibly and sustainably. It could be installing solar panels on your roof, or as simple as quitting using plastic drinking straws, or of course, shopping with social enterprises and B Corps.

There aren’t many brands out there, and certainly not in the social sector, that are this strong and this clear. It’s not so crazy to believe that ‘Being a Goodsmith’ could become part of the vernacular is it? I mean, how else would you describe a cohort of people and businesses who exist to do good?


3. What kind of impact have you made to social good businesses, NGOs, etc since you started Goodsmiths?

We’re about building a community and a home for all these like-minded people and businesses. Since we’ve started we’ve grown incredibly quickly. From 35 to 80 organisations on board in the last few months, with a fairly steady flow of more coming on board every week. It’s too early to say exactly what impact we’ve had down the line in terms of social value created but we’re on the case and measuring as we go. We’ll certainly be able to to tell every single business on board how much traffic they receive and, with a little help from them, we can monitor if that traffic converts to sales and if not, why not.


The Goodsmiths STREAT and Monochrome coffeeImage credit: Goodsmiths


4. There has been a huge shift globally towards businesses with a social good focus in the last few years. Which are some of your favourite social good businesses and what do you think has contributed to this global shift in doing good?

This is so true. The ‘social sector’ is very much what you would describe as a ‘sunrise’ industry. It’s emerging, growing quickly and it looks bright. This seems to be happening in developing countries all over the world. Businesses are realising that their customers are expecting a lot more from them. A soap that just gets us clean isn’t enough. We expect very much more of our brands and the businesses producing them. Why is this? I don’t think there’s a short answer as I believe it has to do with a number of factors but suffice that the word ‘social’ is the key.

The internet has made us more informed and more visible. Our ability to see into each other’s lives, across borders, boundaries, viewpoints…we are able to socialise and understand our social circles and those of others like never before. There’s nowhere to hide anymore. Some Goodies to watch out for: Interface, Patagonia, BCorp, Kering and so many more.


5. When purchasing products with a social good element what are some tips you can impart on making sure the social good businesses are delivering on their promises?

It can definitely be tricky. Accreditations like B Corps and Fair Trade are a strong indicator of social good businesses, as they need to go through a rigorous process for it. But it’s worth remembering that it can be difficult and costly for smaller businesses to get accredited. The best of them though are upfront and transparent. So look out for information on how the business invests their profits, and the impact that they have left on the cause they believe in. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, or do some research online if there’s anything you’re not sure about.

If you’re browsing, you can rest assured that the businesses included have been vetted by us prior to inclusion on our site, and are either social enterprises or B Corps. 

We’re fans of Shop Ethical and Good On You, too.


The Goodsmiths The People's FabricImage Credit: The People’s Fabric


6. With Christmas around the corner, what are your picks for some Goodsmiths approved gifts?

Hmm, so many – but here’s four:

 – Fairtrade coffee beans from STREAT, and stay for some lunch while you’re there 

–  Striking homewares by The People’s Fabric

 – A mixed dozen of quality wine from Goodwill Wine 

– A minimal unisex watch by The Timekeeper 


Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThe Goodsmiths team

7. What is next for the Goodsmiths? 

We’re currently focusing our efforts on the festive season, with ‘Christmas cheer to last all year’! Last December, Australians spent a whopping $25.6 billion on shopping. Just imagine the difference people could make if they spent a fraction of those Christmas dollars at responsible, sustainable and ethical shops and restaurants.

Follow us on social and subscribe to our e-news to stay up to date. We often have giveaways from the 80+ ethical businesses we collaborate with, so don’t miss out.




Instagram: @BeAGoodsmith

Twitter: @BeAGoodsmith