Our directors and owners of Elk Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras, have just been featured in this month Australian House and Garden! Magazine! Read the full article on how Elk has paved the way for Australian labels to support their manufactures and workers here:
Melbourne firm Elk has blazed a trail on the retail scene since it launched 11 years ago, selling wooden jewellery in its distinctive lozenge and disc shapes. It’s now leading the way as an ethical small business, having donated $135,000 to some of the worlds’ poorest children during the last four years.
Led by husband-and-wife team Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras – a marketer and jeweller respectively – Elk quickly expanded into apparel, leathergoods and homewares. At each step of the way the couple has aimed to “provide support for the human side of the business”. That has meant aligning themselves with ethically operated businesses as well as providing financial support to communities in the Philippines and India.
All of Elk’s jewellery is made in the Philippines by two family-run-businesses. “The people we work with are very honourable. They look after their workers and support their employee’s kids to go to school,” says Marnie.
After a few visits to the Philippines, Marnie and Adam noticed many children were not at school. After investigating charities in the Philippines and India – where Elk’s leathergoods and footwear are made – the couple gave their support to UNICEF.
Elk became a UNICEF platinum sponsor in 2009, but Marnie and Adam wanted to do more. “We came up with the idea of a matched-donation program,” says Marnie. “Our online customers are asked to make a gold-coin donation when they make a purchase and we match that donation.”
The project was launched in 2011 and has raised $135,000 making Elk the largest small-business contributor to UNICEF Australia. UNICEF Australia’s partnership manager Eammon Bryant says Elk’s initiative is amazing. “By thinking outside the box in its e-commerce and giving customers the chance to top-up at the checkout with a UNICEF donation, Elk can have a profound long-term impact on the lives of children.”