Since today is #GivingTuesday, it seemed appropriate that I would kick off my series of holiday posts with gifts that give back. Over the past few years, I have become obsessed with these sort of gifts that keep on giving. It all began with a birthday gift from my brother gave me: a cooking stove from Oxfam America. On my birthday I received a card with a picture of the stove and a message saying that this stove would help displaced women keep warm and cut down on their need for firewood. It is one of the best birthday gifts that I have ever received!
Since this gift, I have discovered a few other companies that also help you give back like TOMS, Giving Keys, Sevenly and many more. Here are some great ways to give gifts this holiday season that will actually make a difference for both the receiver and someone in need:
- Sevenly: Every week Sevenly teams up with a different charity. For that week, Sevenly will give $7 to that charity for every item purchased from its curated collection of t-shirts, jewelry, prints, accessories and more.
- Raven+Lilly: Raven+Lilly is a socially-conscious lifestyle brand that empowers women through design.The site sells eco-friendly apparel, jewelry and homemade accessories made by marginalized women in developing nations. Purchasing one of this company’s items helps provide these women artisans with a sustainable income.
- Laughing Man Coffee and Tea: A company created by Hugh Jackman which sells coffee, tea, chocolate and gear to help entrepreneurs around the world. 50% of their sales go to education, community development and new business development.
- 31 Bits Jewelry: Unique, fashionable jewelry created out of 100% recycled paper, posters and magazines by internally displaced women in Northern Uganda.The women earn a sustainable income, enabling them to provide for their families. 31 bits cares for the women holistically through counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorships. After five years in the 31 bits program, the women are ready to graduate and have their own business.
- FEED Project: The Feed Project sells bags, accessories and apparel with the intent of feeding and educating people in need. They are known for their classic FEED 1 Bag that provides food for 1 child for 1 year.
- The Giving Keys: This business employs people transitioning out of homelessness to engrave old, recycled keys with a word of hope to make a pendant for a necklace. The best part is that these necklaces are not meant to be kept, but rather given away to someone who needs the message.
- Out of Print Clothing: Out of print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion by creating products, like t-shirts and stationary, featuring iconic and often out of print book covers. For every product sold, they donate one book to a community in need through their partner Books for Africa.
- Give Prints: This for-profit business offers a selection of photography prints and apparel. It gives 50% of its profits to charities around the world.
- Open Arms: This company provides women refugees resettled in America with a living wage and uses repurposed materials to create ethical fashion items. Check out their skirts, dresses and accessories online or in their retail stores.
- MiiR Water Bottle: MiiR offers cutting-edge water bottles in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. The purchase of a MiiR water bottle provides one person in the developing world with clean drinking water for one year.
There are so many items that you can purchase that give back to our neighbors in need around the world. For more ideas, check out my 2012 post on gifts that give back or take a look at the variety of items offered in the new TOMS Marketplace.
Join the Conversation: What are some of your favorite gifts that give back this holiday season?