Welcome to this year’s Gifts that Give Back Guide! For the last six years, I have gathered up my favorite gift ideas from small businesses who give back to communities around the world.
Each year I am overwhelmed by the creative, beautiful, and innovative products I find. When you shop from these businesses you get more than a unique gift for a loved one. Your dollars also support people around the world–survivors of human trafficking, women refugees, transitioning homeless, and children in underprivileged neighborhoods.
As always, I’ve tried to spotlight some new organizations this year, but I’m also never able to include all of the incredible organization and social enterprises I find. If you’re looking for even more ideas, please check out the Gifts that Give Back Guides from 2017, 2016, and 2015 or scroll through my Gifts That Give Back Pinterest Board for inspiration!
I’ve picked a few of my favorite products from each business, but I hope you’ll take the time to explore each of their websites. Be inspired, be encouraged, and gift with purpose this season! I hope you enjoy picking out gifts for every special person on your list this year!
Ten Thousand Villages partners with artisans around the world, providing faith trade wages with every purchase of their variety of jewelry, accessories, clothing, and home goods.
Hand in Hand– Every purchase of Hand in Hand’s sustainable soaps, lotions, scrubs, and sanitizers help provide soap and clean water to communities in Haiti.
My pick: Clean Hands Set ($24.99)- Might as well treat ourselves while we’re doing all this hand washing, right? These hand soaps keep your skin nourished while washing away germs. Plus, they come in beautiful, recyclable aluminum bottles, with fun scents like Rosemary Lemon and Island Mimosa. This would be a great set to break up and use for stocking stuffers! Want to treat someone? Try one of their Sugar Scrubs (12.99).
Every purchase from House of Light Goods supports empowered employment for single mothers and provides a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable children in Primo Tapia, Mexico.
Adelisa & Co. is known for their handmade leather shoes and macrame goods, all of which are ethically made by Nicaraguan artisans. Every purchase helps support a fair wage and lasting change for families in Nicaragua.
My pick: Macrame Hammock Swing Chair ($120) This indoor or outdoor children’s swing chair would be the perfect addition to a cozy reading nook. I’m also obsessed with these adorable leather Mary Janes ($66) (they make them in adult and kid sizes!).
Treetops Collective is a Michigan based organization committed to welcoming women refugees. They use creativity and asset based community development to help women heal, develop their skills, and establish a strong social fabric. They’re fostering cross-cultural relationships and helping change the narrative around refugees in our communities. This is good-neighbor work at its core, and I am 100% here for it.
Handmade Palestine supports Palestinian artisans, cooperatives, and designers struggling to make ends meet under military occupation. Every purchase helps local artists make a fair trade wage and support their families.
Hands Producing Hope‘s line of jewelry, apparel, wall hangings, and baskets are all ethically made, and provide dignified work, education, and hope for women and families in Costa Rica and Rwanda.
My Pick: I love a classic, neutral necklace that can be dressed up or down, and this Radiance Necklace ($56) definitely fits the bill! The Honey Pocket Swing Dress ($56) also looks so comfy and cute. I could see myself wearing this one year round!
Justea offers artisanal teas from Kenya, including oolong, black, green, and even purple! They’re committed to building relationships with every tea farmer, providing living wages, and keeping profits within local communities.
My pick: I can’t wait to sample the Purple Tea Trio ($15.99), which has more antioxidants and less caffeine than green tea. Plus, purple chocolate tea? Yes, please.
Humble Hilo has a gorgeous collection of Guatemalan textiles, including bags, dresses, sandals, pillows, and more. With each purchase, you can choose to support one of their three missions: child nutrition, education, and microfinance for women.
My pick: The Hilo Hip Satchel ($55)- Umm, I’m sorry, WHAT? Do I like fanny packs? I think I do. This hip satchel is so cute, and can also be worn as a cross body. This would be PERFECT for travel. I wish I had known about this Hilo Dress when I was pregnant! It looks like the ultimate cute postpartum wear.
Every baby swaddle purchased from Mama Maya provides a clean birthing kit to a woman in a developing country.
My pick: Spot Swaddle– Is there anything better than a swaddled baby? These 100% organic cotton muslin swaddles are gender neutral and come in a cute carry case.
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is a radically inclusive coffee shop that employs 120 people with disabilities. I cry every time I read about Bitty & Beau’s story. They are doing beautiful, meaningful work–changing the way people see, value, respect, include, and love other people.
Cheekbone Beauty is an indigenous owned beauty company known for their high quality, cruelty free beauty products. They are committed to creating less waste, supporting indigenous use, and limiting their profitability by donating to a variety of organizations and causes.
My Pick: Holiday Gold Glitter Beauty Kit ($70)- Want to treat someone to a little sparkle? This would be the perfect way to glam up for the holidays.
Imagine Goods is founded on the belief that “when we buy a product, the cost of the item should be able to sustain every person connected to it with a living wage.” YES. I am smitten with their line of skirts (I have one of their wrap skirts, and it’s wonderful), dresses, and aprons, and they also have the cutest baby clothes!
My Pick: The Sheer Duster ($48) would fit seamlessly into my look-classy-while-being-ultra-comfy plan, and IT HAS POCKETS. I also love this Wristlet Gift Bag for Nurses ($30). Your nurse friends definitely deserve this thoughtful care package.
Krochet Kids– Year after year I come back to Krochet Kids. Their line of clothing, bags, and accessories is so cute and cozy, and I can’t get enough of their mission. Krochet Kids provides life-changing job opportunities to women throughout the world. I also LOVE that they have apparel and accessories for men, women, AND children on their site!
My Pick: Kid’s Fox Hat ($28)– I might literally die of cuteness if my child put this on. They also have adorable stuffed animals (see this knit alpaca ($35)), and I can personally vouch for the quality of their slouchy 5207.7 beanie ($24).
Root Collective makes gorgeous leather shoes and bags. They partner with small workshops in Guatemala City and Pastores and ensure all of their shoemakers are paid above and beyond fair trade wages.
My pick: Lili Mule in Olive Leather ($148)- These boots immediately caught my eye. I love the design, and they’d compliment almost any outfit.
Preemptive Love Coalition’s Mission is one that is near and dear to my heart. They show up on the front lines of some of the world’s most violent conflicts and provide emergency relief, job opportunities, and community rebuilding. They have a range of refugee-made soaps, candles, and knit animals in their shop, as well as apparel.
My Pick: This Love Anywhere Sweatshirt is what I reach for on cold, gray days. It’s ultra soft and cozy, and I love the inspiring and challenging message. Other favorites? The Sisterhood Peace Doll (stitched by a community of Israeli and Palestinian women working together for peace), and the Kinsman Charcoal Soap ($10) made in Iraq by men displaced by war.
Sseko designs beautiful bags, jewelry, and apparel. Every purchase supports employment for women in Uganda as well as college scholarships for continued education.
Hon’s Honey– Based in Baltimore, MD, Hon’s Honey provides dignified work to women at risk of addiction, poverty, human trafficking, and abuse. Their products include raw honey, candles, soap, body scrubs, and beard salves.
My pick: Healin’ Ointment ($15)- This natural ointment can be used to soothe cuts, scrapes, sunburns, rashes and even bug bites! This looks like the perfect gift for a new mom! These Beeswax Candles are also gorgeous and would look stunning on a holiday table.
Tegu makes simple, beautiful magnetic blocks for kids. Every purchase helps create stable jobs in Honduras, improving the livelihoods of not only the 200 employees that work at their factory but also the 361 family members that rely on them.
Thistle Farms is a social enterprise providing safe housing, employment opportunities, and a supportive community to women in recovery from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. Their website says it best: “Together, we rise up against systems that commoditize, criminalize, and abuse women.” They have a large collection of essential oils, beauty products, candles, home goods, scarves, and accessories.
Note: All pictures are courtesy of the individual website. They retain all rights.