Looking for a unique gift that will also give back to someone in need? There's a huge range of companies that work to better the world through their social activism, whether employing fair trade artisans or supporting grassroots organizations. And by giving a gift that supports a cause, you are also investing in the well-being of those less fortunate. In the end, isn't this what the holiday spirit is about?
With such a wide range of products and charities, it's not difficult to find something that is close to the heart of the gift recipient. For instance, Ivory Ella gives back to animals by donating to a charity that prevents elephant poaching, while STATE supports education by supplying an American child in need with a backpack full of supplies for every bag sold. The list continues full of chic, fun, and stylish items that won't just make great gifts, but also a great impact.
Stores to Buy From With Gifts That Give Back
Pura Vida began selling handcrafted bracelets made by artisans around the world in 2010. Founded in Costa Rica, they now have over 900 global artisans working and have expanded into clothing and accessories. Not only does the company generate employment opportunities for these artisans, but they also donate 1% of their annual revenue and have partnered with more than 200 charities and donated over $4 million. You can purchase single bracelets, packs, and even sign up for a monthly subscription service.
Hand in Hand
Not only does Hand in Hand produce vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free lotions, body washes, soaps, and fragrances, but they also give back. Since 2011, the company has donated over 17 million bars of soap through the global child-advocacy group My Neighbor's Children and Eco Soap Bank. They've also helped build new clean water wells in over 23 countries. The company itself was inspired by the knowledge that 5 million children a year die from water-related illnesses, so co-founders Bill Glaab and Courtney Apple decided to create a household product to make a change.
Inspired by the Women's March, My Modern Met co-founder Alice Yoo founded Skylar Yoo. By pairing artistic hand lettering with bold, inspirational phrases, the company sells apparel and accessories meant to empower women. Intended to spread a positive message and support women, 10% of all net profits go toward Planned Parenthood.
The Tote Project
Adorned with uplifting phrases, these totes and pouches are sewn in India by women who have left the sex trade. Aside from providing these women with employment opportunities, 10% of The Tote Project’s gross profits are donated to the charity Qualified to help survivors of human trafficking in the United States.
Founded by photographer Ami Vitale and visual journalist Eileen Mignoni, Vital Impacts is a non-profit that uses the power of art to support community-oriented organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving human and wildlife habitats. Award-winning photographers—and My Modern Met favorites—like Christian Vizl, Xavi Bau, Shaaz Jung, and Steve McCurry are just some of the artists who have their work for sale on the platform. In just a few years the organization has raised $1.5 million that they've used for grants to Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots program, Big Life Foundation, Great Plains Conservation's Project Ranger, Sea Legacy, and Direct Relief
Specializing in pop-culture-themed products, Box Lunch donates a meal through the Feeding America program for every $10 spent. Thus far they’ve donated over 125 million meals through the program, which works with local food banks.
Lucky Iron Fish
Did you know that nearly two billion people suffer from iron deficiency and anemia? With a simple invention, Lucky Iron Fish is combatting this issue globally. Their small iron cooking tool infuses food with the proper amount of iron and can be used again and again. It's perfect for those who need more iron in their diet, whether you are a vegan or an athlete, and for every Iron Fish purchased, the company donates one to communities in need. So far, they've donated 55,000 Lucky Iron Fish through their non-profit partners.
Found My Animal
This New York-based company produces high-quality pet products that are made in the USA and celebrate adopted or rescued animals. In business since 2006, they are known for their durable leashes and collars made from hand-dyed nautical rope. You'll find unique, stylish items for both dogs and cats, while also giving back. Found My Animal supports numerous animal shelters and charities across the United States and has started the Rescue Orange Project, which sees them donate an orange leash to a dog in need for each one sold. And if you are looking to adopt, they have a section on their website dedicated to animals looking for homes.
Hiptipico specializes in vibrantly colored handmade goods from Guatemala, primarily made by artisans from indigenous cultures. The ethical fashion brand sells everything from handbags and shoes to colorful camera straps, all 100% handcrafted and created using traditional techniques. As the company is located full-time in Guatemala, they are able to cultivate deep relationships with the artisans, who set their own prices and hours. You can even learn more about the artisans who make each piece on their website.
Adventurist Backpack Co.
Since it was founded four years ago, Adventurist Backpack Co. has helped provide over 210,000 meals to families in need through a partnership with Feeding America. The company specializes in minimalist backpacks that make the perfect gifts for travelers, hikers, and students.
Parachute brings soft, comfortable sleep essentials and home decor direct to consumers. From soft robes and loungewear to tableware, all of their items have a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Parachute also believes in giving back and has partnered with the United Nation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to send life-saving malaria-prevention bed nets to those in need. They also have a mentorship and grant program designed to support BIPOC-owned businesses.
A pair of socks is a classic holiday go-to that can cause groans when opened, but what if those socks actually made a difference? Conscious Step sells organic and fair trade certified socks knit in India for both men and women. Collaborating with a wide range of charities, you can select your socks based on the cause, from treating HIV to providing clean water. For every pair purchased, a fixed fee goes directly to the partner charity, helping make a tangible change around the world. So far, Conscious Step has donated over $800,000 to its partners.
Stock up on fun, colorful school supplies for your kids—from lunch bags to notebooks and colored pencils and Yoobi will give back to a child in need. Yoobi—pronounced “you-be”—means “one for you, one for me.” And for every item purchased, a Yoobi item will be donated to an American classroom in need. Since 2014, they’ve donated enough to impact over 3 million kids through their partner the Kids in Need Foundation. It’s a great place to load up on fun stocking stuffers that have a purpose.
What if fashion could be ethical and sustainable in addition to being stylish? Nisolo is out to prove that this is possible with their collection of men's and women's shoes, bags, and belts. This B Corp provides a 100% living wage for the people who produce their products and have a 0% net carbon commitment. They follow a strict sustainability framework, which allows consumers to feel good about their purchases. Customers in the United States can also participate in their Shoe Reclamation Program, which allows people to donate their old shoes to Soles4Souls. This nonprofit then distributes donated items to various programs around the world to help individuals and communities in need
The Brave Collection
Handmade in Cambodia by artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities, 10% of profits from The Brave Collection jewelry goes to help combat human trafficking in that country.
With over 26,000 products, UNICEF Market is an online collection of gifts, handcrafted by artisans from around the world. Each purchase supports the artisan as well as sends vital supplies to children.
With poachers continuing to impact elephant populations, Ivory Ella is trying to make a difference. 10% of their annual profits go to Save the Elephants, an organization in Kenya that helps protect these elegant giants. They’ve donated over $2 million to Save the Elephants and continue to contribute to a range of other charities through special capsule collections.
The Company Store
The Company Store has been in business for over 100 years, and through its Company Cares program, they support numerous charities. Whether giving out bedding and towels in Haiti through Partners in Health, donating 10% of sales made on Juneteenth to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, or donating a comforter to homeless children in the United States (via their Buy One, Give One program), there are many reasons to feel good about gifting from their catalog.
Toms was one of the first companies to popularize the “one for one” model with its shoes, and the mission continues today—although it looks a little different. After giving nearly 100 million pairs of shoes to people in need, it has continued to make an impact with its Giving Team which integrates its resources into programs for underserved communities around the world.
Featuring up to $250 worth of socially-conscious products for women, Alltrue is a quarterly subscription box that also features literature on the social causes aided by the products inside. There are different subscription options or you can buy a one-off box filled with goodies. Alltrue also partners with charities to help them raise more funds.
Help children around the world get a good school meal when you purchase bags and accessories from FEED. All of their products—many of which are artisan-made—list how many meals will be provided thanks to your purchase. FEED is partnered with the UN World Food Programme, UN Children's Fund, and Feeding America to fulfill its promises to help end child hunger in 63 different countries. To date, FEED has provided 100 million meals to children in need.
For every backpack purchased, STATE delivers a backpack filled with tools for success to an American child in need. Their #WhatDoWeTellTheKids project aims to shed light on social injustices and marginalized populations around the US through sharing stories.
Red and Olive
Calling their adorable stuffed toys BFFs, Red and Olive seek to empower the women in Peru who create the dolls. They are a fair-trade company that wants to help break the cycle of poverty that artisans experience, thus improving the lives of these families for generations to come.
Working with charitable organizations such as Food Bank for New York City, Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry, and New York’s City Harvest, Delicacies designs whimsical foodie jewelry—including necklaces inspired by pasta. Every purchase provides 20 meals to help feed the hungry. And each season they pair with a celebrity chef, donating at least 10% of profits to that chef’s favorite hunger-relief charity.
Sackcloth & Ashes
Sackcloth & Ashes founder Bob Dalton was inspired to help the homeless population after his mother experienced homelessness. Upon calling his local shelter to assess their need, he found that they could use blankets the most. So, with every purchase of their blankets, one is donated to a homeless shelter in your community. The company has the goal to “Blanket the United States” by donating one million blankets to shelters by 2024.
Love Your Melon
Apparel brand Love Your Melon is dedicated to supporting children with cancer. The company gives a hat to every kid battling the disease, and 50% of net profit from its products is donated to nonprofit organizations that “lead the fight against pediatric cancer.” Although it's best known for its pom beanies, Love Your Melon also has face masks, headbands, blankets, and more.
Fire Dept. Coffee
Veteran-owned Fire Dept. Coffee has a mission of providing great-tasting coffee to everyone. The orders are roasted by a team of active and retired firefighters, and the company is known for its tasty spirit-infused roasts. But beyond creating great coffee, Fire Dept. Coffee supports first responders who have been injured on the job (physically or mentally) or are facing other health challenges.
Like the convenience of Amazon but still want to give back? AmazonSmile is an easy way to support your favorite charity while browsing the same products and paying the same price as you would normally. Just simply navigate through the AmazonSmile website, using your normal Amazon login, and select the charity you’d like to receive a donation based on your purchases. 0.5% of the purchase price on eligible products will automatically go to the charity of your choice.
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This article has been edited and updated.
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