Each year, I have the pleasure of putting together the annual Gifts That Give Back Guide. As always, this year I was surprised, delighted, and overwhelmed by the number of businesses using their gifts and passions to bring beautiful products into the world while also empowering communities in need.
It’s always my hope to include a range of gifts at different price points, so you can truly find something for everyone on your list. In this year’s guide you’ll find everything from cozy throws to hot sauce, purses to peanut butter. Every single item you see on this list helps make the world a little better, whether it’s providing education for children in poverty or a living wage job for a survivor of human trafficking.
If you find yourself drained by unruly check out lines and wish lists devoid of thoughtfulness, I encourage you to spend some time shopping through this guide. I think you’ll find yourself inspired, hopeful, and encouraged, just as I am every year. Plus, you can shop in your PJs! What could be better?
I found so many new businesses this year that I wasn’t able to include many of my old favorites. My Gifts That Give Back Guides from 2016 and 2015 provide another wealth of resources for you to shop this year. You can also check out my Pinterest board for more of my favorites! I hope you enjoy shopping with a purpose and giving back this season!
Gifts descriptions are left to right, top to bottom
Where are my fellow list makers? You’re going to fall in love with FRANK, a line of gorgeous notebooks and stationary. I absolutely love their daily planner (which includes gratitude lists for each day), and their To Do notebooks are perfect for keeping track of daily goals. This New Zealand based company donates one book to a child in need for every book purchased.
One of my favorite home splurges is a lovely smelling hand soap. The lingering smell of a refreshing hand soap can brighten my mood hours later. I’m thinking my next splurge might be Love Heals Citrus Wood hand soap from Thistle Farms. Every purchase from Thistle Farms helps employ women survivors of prostitution and addiction. Be sure to check out their room sprays, bath products, natural bug spray, and home and textile products as well! The lip balms would be a great stocking stuffer.
I’m a sucker for a pretty patterned napkin, and this collection of Balinese Cotton Napkins from Fair Trade Winds would brighten up any table. Fair Trade Winds has a range of clothing, accessories, home goods, and stationary with each purchase supporting a living wage for a traditional artisan.
This picture, featuring Sackcloth + Ashes royale gray throw, makes me want to dive under the covers and hibernate for the entire winter. For every soft and cozy throw purchased, Sackcloth and Ashes gives a throw to a homeless shelter.
I love stocking up on unique and punny cards to gift to friends throughout the year. The heartfelt and sweet cards at Good Paper are made by women escaping human trafficking in the Philippines or young adults orphaned by disease in Rwanda.
Guys, I’m ridiculously excited about this find: Life Saving Peanut Butter…for real. Help Good Spread has developed a peanut butter based product that contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients needed for children suffering from severe malnutrition. Every purchase of their incredibly tasty, organic peanut butter spreads (HELLO, CHOCOLATE PRETZEL!) helps give children life saving nutrition. How incredibly awesome is that?
Each of these gorgeous brass bangles, aptly named The Coffee Tree Bracelet, helps fund a coffee tree in Rwanda. The Kula Project identifies and equips leaders in Rwanda to start their own businesses and provide for their families.
I am in love with Mata Trader’s fair trade dresses, skirts, and jewelry. I’ve had my eye on this Rosalie Raindrop Dress for awhile now. I think it’d be perfect with leggings and boots, AND it has hidden pockets (can I get a hallelujah??). Each of Mata’s pieces are made by artisans in India and Nepal, and every purchase helps support stable income for families in need.
JOYN partners with artisans in India to hand make gorgeous leather bags, wallets, and satchels like this Anna Fountain Leather Handbag.
I am always on the lookout for comfy lounge pants with pockets, and these Into the Woods pants from Global Wonders Jewelry definitely fit the bill. Global Wonders has a huge selection of lovely necklaces and earrings, as well as totes and scarves. Items are handmade by survivors of human trafficking in Nepal, and 100% of the net proceeds of every purchase goes to support the work of the SA Foundation global recovery program.
The Giving Keys truly embodies the spirit of paying it forward. Each of their gorgeous key necklaces and bracelets are stamped with a word of your choosing, like “hope,” “fearless,” or “dream.” The company encourages you to thoughtfully pick out your word, and give it to the person who needs to wear a reminder of their strength. Every purchase supports employment for men and women transitioning out of homelessness.
I love the look of these Speckled Pom Beanies from Love Your Melon. Love Your Melon seeks to give one of their cozy beanies to every child diagnosed with cancer and gives 50% of all their profits to organizations fighting pediatric cancer.
Is there anything more attractive than a man in an apron? This butcher apron is perfect for anyone who loves to cook. This style of apron is my favorite for serious kitchen work, and this affordable option comes in several great unisex colors. Amana ya Juu is a social enterprise with locations in Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, and the U.S., each of which empower women refugees by giving them marketable skills, a living wage, and a healing community. They also offer products for the home, jewelry, accessories, and children’s items.
This garlic hot sauce is not only great for spicing up eggs. It also helps feed the hungry and empower the oppressed. Caldo is a New Jersey family business specializing in a range of hot sauces. A portion of every sale is donated to organizations like World Vision and Urban Impact.
Conscious Steps makes crazy comfy socks for men and women. Every sock makes a difference–from giving water to protecting oceans to ending poverty and treating HIV.
Mamahuhu doesn’t employ shoe makers. Instead they empower Columbian shoe artisans to set up their own workshops, achieve independent growth, hire more workers, and become business leaders of their own shop. So far, they have helped start 11 workshops in Columbia which have created 115 jobs. Oh, and they make some really fine looking shoes, too.
How sexy would you feel drinking from these Dark Whiskey Horn Tumblers from Global Goods Partners? Made from cow horn by artisans in Uganda, these beauties would definitely bring a new level of cool to your bar cart. All purchases from Global Goods Partners‘ line of jewelry, apparel, and accessories for men and women help support sustainable jobs for women.
Preemptive Love Coalition is one of my favorite organizations. They are committed to being present in some of the most dangerous and vulnerable regions of the world, bringing life saving heart surgeries, job opportunities, education, and hope to displaced and traumatized people. I get a little teary every time I read or talk about their work, because it is so powerful and so necessary. Request one of their gift catalogues and weep your way through every story of refugees remaking their lives through handmade soaps or candles or washcloths. This Kinsman Charcoal soap made by refugees in Iraq is the perfect pick for the men in your life.
Sudara is known for their line of comfy lounge pants, each in unique patterns and made by women in India working to stay free from sex slavery. The company also makes comfy shorts, capris, robes, and pants for men and kids, like these green plaid men’s punjammies.
Have an artist in the family? Yoobi offers a huge range of coloring and art supplies, notebooks, and backpacks for anyone who loves color and crafting. I’m particularly fond of these marker stamps. For every item purchased, Yoobi donates a school supply to support a child in need here in the United States.
Grab one of these extra durable soccer balls from One World Futbol, and they’ll donate another ball to an organization working with youth in a disadvantaged community.
Roma makes durable rain boots for the whole family in an array of pretty patterns and colors. I’m eyeing this bright yellow pair for our little guy. For every boot purchased, a pair is given to a street child or orphan.
Bears for Humanity makes cuddly, 100% organic cotton teddy bears and animal friends like this adorable stuffed lion. Every bear is made here in the United States by an at risk woman or mother, and for every bear purchased, one bear is given to a child in need.
I’ve already expressed my deep love for Preemptive Love Coalition above, but I had to also include these handmade peace dolls, made by Israeli and Palestinian women. Each doll has a special name meaning “peace” in a different language, and a heart stitched onto the front as a symbol of the maker’s love for others.
The Coney Island kid’s backpack from STATE comes in super fun colors and is refreshingly not plastered with Disney’s latest hit characters. STATE also offers bags and accessories for adults, and through their buy one give one program, every purchase provides a child in need with their own backpack. I also recommend checking out their #whatdowetellthekids project, which is helping adults adults dialogue with their children around tough topics like disability, violence, and racial justice.
Finally, I always like to mention the World Vision gift catalogue as an awesome resource for the person who really does seem to have everything. The catalogue allows you to pick a category you’d like to give towards, such as hunger, clean water, education, or medical care and then choose a gift you’d like to donate. The site has everything from Life Saving Medicines for $25 or a Goat and 2 Chickens for $110. These also make fantastic gifts to give as a family. It’s a great way to teach kids about giving back and a wonderful tradition you can practice every year.
I hope you enjoy shopping for the ones you love this year, and please, help spread the word about these wonderful organizations by sharing this post with your friends!