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!
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.
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).
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 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!
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:
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.
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:
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!
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:
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: