Gift Guide: Gifts that Give Back

December 10, 2018


I know that many of you are busy young professional women who care about the state of the world and want to make a difference where you can. In that light, today I am proud to bring you a gift guide of gifts that give back.

Supporting brands & companies that are doing good in the world either by donating proceeds or more directly creating a sustainable business model creating jobs, is something that is really close to my heart. As some of you know, before going into law I got my Master’s Degree in International Development. I have worked with a number of non-profit organizations. In fact, many of the companies I’m sharing below were started by people I met during my time interning at Invisible Children in San Diego, California. While working at IC, I was privileged enough to meet a ton of people that were using their unique skills & talents to give back. Watching these people and these companies grow and make a difference in people’s lives has been truly incredible.

Below are 10 companies that have apparel, accessories or beauty products that are doing good in the world. Below each company I’ll share my specific top picks for gifts that give back from that company. Enjoy!

Gift Guide: Gifts that Give Back


1. Sam & Lance:

Sam & Lance curates gift boxes, and they have so many cool ones to choose from. All items are from female owned companies and they focus on products that are ethically sourced. 5% of each purchase goes towards charities that empower women and support the planet. You can see the full list of charities on their website. Some gift boxes that I think would be great as a gift idea are: The White Elephant Box (pictured below), the Self Care & Growth Box, and the Movie & Manicure Night box!

2.  PURPOSE Jewelry:

PURPOSE utilizes a social impact employment model; with their jewelry being created by young women escaping human trafficking. PURPOSE works with women in a number of countries, employing them to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. The equation doesn’t end there though. In addition to employment, PURPOSE provides their artisans care via their non-profit International Sanctuary, which provides things like health care, counseling, education & job training. PURPOSE is their to give these young women not only employment making jewelry, but other skills for them to move forward with their lives.

A piece of jewelry from PURPOSE makes an excellent pick for gifts that give back. I also really love that each piece comes with a label signed by the women who created it. It’s gives us the consumers a chance to really feel the direct impact that supporting a company like PURPOSE has. My top picks from PURPOSE for gift giving are below.

cherished necklace // galaxy studs // starry night necklace


2. The Outrage:

The Outrage is a female founded activist based apparel company. With every purchase money is donated to forward-thinking organizations. With each item, The Outrage lists what organization money goes towards, so you can easily make sure you are supporting an organization that the person you are buying this gift for would like / support. Organizations include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood & more. Products from The Outrage make perfect gifts that give back for any social activist on your list. (I personally want every one of the items I’m sharing below).

feminist onesie // RBG Ugly Sweater // women of stem youth tee


3. Dressember

You may have heard of Dressember (I’ve posted about it here). What you might not know however, is that there is also a Dressember shop! The Dressmber Marketplace shares ethical fashion – dresses & accessories – that are ethically produced. If you have a fashion lover on your list and still want to focus on gifts that give back, the dresses below would be a perfect choice.

the esther dress // the terry dress // the jordan dress


4. The Other Straw

The Other Straw is a social enterprise offering reusable bamboo straws ethically sourced from Northern Vietnam, where they work with Hmong minority groups. All of their straws are handmade from sustainably grown, organic bamboo and 50% of their profits go towards ocean cleanup projects! These straws are a great way to play our part in helping the environment and make a great gift (or stocking stuffer!) Here’s a link to their 5 pack of bamboo straws!

5. The Lemonade Boutique

The Lemonade Boutique carries a curated list of ethically produced goods. They partner with organizations that provide living wages to their employees. The employees are individuals in need of employment. For example, their partner in Ethiopia employs women with disabilities who would otherwise not have work. Their partners in Nepal & Cambodia employ women overcoming sex trafficking. Below are three items from the Boutique that would make excellent Christmas gifts:


black & blueberry wrap dress // premium spa glass candles // travel map clutch


6. Elegance Restored:

Similar to the above, Elegance Restored is another boutique full of curated goods that are ethically sourced. Additionally, for ever purchase 10% of the profits are donated to families who are in the process of adopting a child through A Family For Every Orphan. Shop 3 of my favorite items below. I think all of these would make great gifts that give back for someone on your Christmas list.

Tevy dress in black // phone gem // della cardigan


7. Krochet Kids

Krochet Kids looks at the big picture and has a business model that gives back at all stages. Their products, their non-profit partner, and their community work in unison to help people break the cycle of poverty. They began with a focus on Northern Uganda, an area that has my heart thanks to my time at Invisible Children. Krochet Kids now employs people in both Uganda and Peru in creating their goods. Each item comes with the name of the person who made it and you can go on to their website to learn all about that specific individual’s story and send them a message to say thank you. SO cool! Below are  some of my favorite Krochet Kids items for gift giving purposes:

Flor top // giraffe stuffed animal // men’s plaid shirt

8. The Flourish Market:

The Flourish Market is a boutique that carries goods from over 50 brands from all over the world, that have been vetted and found to provide dignified jobs and fair wages to inspiring the artisans and makers in vulnerable communities. They actually carry some of the pieces mentioned above by Krochet Kids & PURPOSE! Below are my top picks for gifts that give back. My favorite is probably the “But First Coffee” mug. I love this because we see mugs like this all the time in Target, Winners, etc. and I know I buy a lot of them – but if I can switch and buy this mug and similar ones and have that money I’m spending actually do some good I am all for it. Vote for the change you want to see in the world with your wallet my friends!

             dipped earrings // notebook // tote

9. ABLE:

ABLE is a lifestyle brand that works to end the cycle of poverty by providing economic opportunity for women. All goods are produced by women located in Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, or their headquarters in Nashville. Something that stands ABLE apart from other brands & fashion enterprises is their decision to publish wages. They are committed to complete transparency in this regard and are encouraging other companies to do the same. Some great gifts available at ABLE are:

fozi tote // sherpa jacket // engraved portrait tag necklace


10. The Giving Keys:

The Giving Keys is an organization on a mission to help homelessness. They use a social impact employment model – employing people transitioning out of homeless to create their pieces. By purchasing their jewelry you are supporting this social enterprise and helping provide jobs. Their jewelry is focused on keys.

Each key is printed with a word of hope or inspiration, with the idea that it can serve as a reminder by wearing it. The idea is that you wear it while you need it, and then eventually gift it to someone else who may need that reminder. When choosing this as a gift that gives back, you can give someone a really meaningful gift by choosing a word specifically to inspire and encourage them. Some of my favorite pieces are:

dainty key necklace // original key necklace // petite key bangle necklace


24 comments so far.

24 responses to “Gift Guide: Gifts that Give Back”

  1. Cathy says:

    This is such a great guide! I love hearing about products that give back. Can’t wait to shop these!


  2. Mollie says:

    I LOVE the idea of giving gifts that gift back this year! There are so many cute options out there – Loving everything from Rose & Fitzgerald!

    xx Mollie

  3. rebecca says:

    oh my gosh yes! this gift guide is so refreshing. thank you for sharing!!! xx rebecca

  4. annie says:

    These are all so great! It’s so wonderful to pick gifts that give twice!

  5. What a creative and great gift guide!! I love the idea of a gift that gives back!! I will definitely be purchasing something from the giving keys!!

    xoxo Sarah

  6. shirarosen88 says:

    So much yesssss to gifts that give back!!!

  7. LOVE these! The Giving Keys is a faveee!

    • Lee says:

      Thank you Ruthie! And yes! The giving keys are great. Such a cool organization, an amazing cause, and beautiful pieces!

  8. Danielle says:

    Amongst all of the gift guides this has to be one of my favorites! Love being able to give back this season. Rose + Fitzgerald has such gorgeous pieces!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

    • Lee says:

      Aw, thank you SO much Danielle, that means so much! I’m so glad you like the guide. Good luck finishing up all your holiday shopping!

  9. Lauren says:

    My favorite type of gifts!! I’ve been loving Kiehls this year giving back to feeding America 🙂


    Lauren |

    • Lee says:

      Aw that’s awesome Lauren! I didn’t know Kiehl’s had a charitable component, I’ll definitely have to look into that.

  10. Stephanie says:

    I’m shocked that I’ve only ever heard of one of these companies. They all sound phenomenal, and I love that they work to give back! Thank you for sharing!

  11. This is such an amazing post with some great gift ideas! I absolutely love the gifts that give back. Those are some of my favorite types of gifts to give.

  12. I can get behind a brand that works to do good! I love the Rose & Fitzgerald items, they’re beautiful and anyone would be happy to get them as a gift.

    Pumps and Push-Ups

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