This is the fourth annual GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK holiday gift guide from EatSleepBe.com. It is a list that takes hours upon hours (upon hours) to put together, and a post that I am proud to publish each year. Some of the brands were found through research, some are affiliates, and others generously sent items to determine whether they are quality gifts to give for the holidays.
We have the power to our dollars in a way the benefits the greater good. Every day consumers are choosing to put their dollars behind brands that care about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the greater community. This holiday season, think about purchasing gifts that give back, whether it be to the environment, to a charitable organization, or in some other thoughtful way. Gifts like these:
GIFTS FOR HER
Songa Designs International is a line of handmade fashion accessories created by under-resourced women in Rwanda. The pieces are made with 100% local materials that are environmentally friendly such as banana leaf, sisal plant, upcycled fabric, recycled paper, and repurposed cow horn. Songa Designs creates jobs for the artisans, and each is empowered to negotiate their own fair wages. Defined as “the path forward” in Swahili, Songa is synonymous with the journey towards economic empowerment for women in developing countries. Their pieces are colorful and lightweight – an absolute pleasure to wear. I absolutely love the Lilly bracelet ($42), the Orchid earrings ($42), and the Watermark earrings ($42). To see the entire line, visit SongaDesigns.com.
Cofounded by Bono, ONE is an international campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 7 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. This amazing black and white handwoven Genet scarf was made exclusively for ONE by fashionABLE, a brand that works to create economic opportunities for women in Ethiopia through a sustainable business model. And if you spend $35 or more at ONE, you can get $5 off shipping by using the code SHUS2013.
For several years I have been a fan of the folks at Connected in Hope and their fantastic mission to address the needs of women in Ethiopia. A full 100% of the profit generated from product sales is invested in programs that benefit the artisans who make the items, their families and their community. My personal favorite in the current line is the Fasika Foldover Clutch at $68. It is crafted from high quality, Ethiopian goat leather, that will get even more beautiful with age and use. It has two fully lined interior compartments with a magnetic closure and a zippered top opening.
This Kristen Bell “Acholi Tree” Peridot Necklace from Satya Jewelry embodies deep grounding and faith, paired with the peridot the stone of relationships, to brings openness and acceptance in love. It is 18” long, made in the United States, and costs $88. The Satya Foundation donates 100% of the net proceeds from this necklace to Invisible Children’s life-changing programs in Northern Uganda.
The fashionista on your list will love this IfOnly rare print from the late iconic fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s last Resort. It comes mounted with a 1-inch matte and 1-inch white frame. It is for sale at IfOnly for $200 and benefits New Yorkers for Children, which supports the child welfare community as well as programs that focus on the needs of young people in foster care.
Luv. Inc. is an online shop for unique and thoughtful gifts. Committed to giving, Luv. donates 50% of its net profits to the charity of the buyer’s choice. This yellow, blue and green colored ring holder is made of handblown glass, by Henretta Glass, and is a beautiful place to keep your rings safe. It also comes in Sweet Tart and Blue. And at a price of just $20, it is makes a fantastic Pollyanna gift or a “Secret Santa” gift.
These timeless Luv. earrings, made by Mia Lara are an elegant complement to any look. They are made of 18k Gold vermeil and Labradorite, which is known to provide protection against negativity, promote self-discovery, and aid in the strengthening of the intuition. These timeless earrings cost $132, and can be found at Luv.com.
fashionABLE (as mentioned briefly above) is about making a fashion statement as a responsible consumer. When you buy a fashionABLE product, you are providing economic opportunities for the women who make their beautiful products. Starting Black Friday, they will be offering 20% off + Free Shipping site-wide through the long weekend into Cyber Monday.
This simple, feminine braided ring for just $28 is one of my absolute favorite fashionABLE gifts that give back. It is made of gold, rose gold, and silver wires braided together, and is available in whole sizes 5-9.
I also adore the classic, almost masculine touch to the Moges scarf. It is handwoven in Ethiopia of 100% cotton. For $48, it pairs beautifully with a sweater or coat of any style.
These stunning Hibbert bags ($78) are perfect for day or evening. In comes a gorgeous bright magenta or navy suede, and is partially lined with a hand-woven 100% Ethiopian cotton scarf that is inspired by a traditional Ethiopian pattern.
The Mamuye tote is hand crafted in Ethiopia of genuine distressed leather. It is big enough to carry all of your essentials, and comes with a detachable leather pouch. This stunning bag costs $178, and comes in Cognac, Coffee Brown or Black. (Personally, I’m partial to the Coffee Brown.)
Krochet Kids works with highly vulnerable women who live in poverty stricken regions of the world. Among other items, Krochet Kids has fabulous knit headwear for men, women and children. My favorite is the wide brimmed Dahlia hat for $59.95. Plus, right now, all of their bags are 20% off. Just click here to see the selection!
The funky microfiber Mobile Edge Komen Paris Backpack has a dedicated SafetyCell computer protection compartment that easily fits laptops up to 16-Inch PC and 17-Inch Mac. It also has a separate section for files, books, or magazines, plus a workstation section for accessories, cables, pens, and more. At $91.99, it also comes with a Lifetime Warranty! 10% of the retail sale is donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
UNICEF Market’s online store is for people shopping for unusual, well-designed and beautifully crafted items. Part of the proceeds from purchases made at UNICEF Market goes to both the talented artisans and to help UNICEF save and protect children. And right now you can SAVE 10% at UNICEF Market by entering code GIVE10 at checkout!
This sterling silver ‘So Many Moons’ cuff bracelet is handcrafted in Indonesia. It costs $149.99, and purchasing this gift can provide enough polio vaccine to vaccinate 187 children against polio.
The ‘Quiet Paths’ clutch is made in Guatemala from hand-woven cotton in beautiful shades of aqua, brown and purple. This bag will give some funk to any outfit! At $39.99, this fabulous gift can provide 27 children with doses of the measles vaccine.
Another wonderful gift that gives back is this gold and silver bands ring, ‘Sun & the Moon on Your Finger’ is designed and crafted by Sukartini, on the island of Java, in Indonesia. This gorgeous ring is meant to evoke a feeling of serene beauty (and it most certainly does). It retails for $105.99 and provides 72 doses of measles vaccine 72 doses of measles vaccine to children.
The bright colors of India are present in the ‘Joy’ necklace from UNICEF Market. This artisan crafted modern wood and leather pendant necklace costs just $22.99, yet it can provide 15 children with doses of the measles vaccine.
GIFTS FOR HIM
100% of the proceeds from Hero Giveaways merchandise goes to directly to the Healing Heroes Network, to help fund their mission of healing injured service members through their programs. I love the “American Ride” long sleeve shirt and the distressed, worn look of the graphics on the back of the HLN hoodie. Check out the entire line of items at http://www.herogiveaways.com.
For every Panda Bamboo Watch ($160) purchased, Panda helps Pencils of Promise provide educational opportunities for children in need, creating schools, programs and global communities around the common goal of education for all. This Bamboo watch has a minimalist design fused with sustainable elements, blending Bamboo and Portuguese cork with a Swiss Movement internal mechanism for an exceptional timepiece.
Made with 100% reclaimed recycled materials by Alchemy Goods, this eco-friendly toiletry bag is perfect for traveling with grooming and bath products. It is water resistant, has a zipper pull made from a recycled tube valve, and a fully lined interior. It costs $38 at Luv., who donates 50% of net profits to the charity of the buyer’s choice. It is the perfect gift for someone who travels a lot and needs a safe place to keep their toiletries or for someone who has a lot of toiletries and needs a place to put them to keep track of it all.
For every one tree Vers uses to create their handcrafted wood cases for iPhone, iPhone Touch or iPod, they replant 100 through a partnership with The Arbor Day Foundation and the US Forrestry Service to re-forrest areas damaged by fire and other natural disasters. As a huge fan of the Arbor Day Foundation and these handsome cases, this gift is sure to be a special one.
A full 100% of the NFL‘s proceeds from Salute to Service products are donated to three military non-profit organizations (USO, Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project). The NFL’s Salute to Service items include hats, jerseys and sweatshirts. A few of my faves are this Green Bay Packers New Era 2015 Salute To Service On-Field Pom Knit Hat, Chicago Bears Camo 2014 Salute to Service On Field 39THIRTY Flex Hat, and the Salute to Service Legend Performance STS Dri-Fit T-Shirts.
GIFTS FOR THE FITNESS ENTHUSIAST
Give Activewear is a new women’s brand dedicated to ending world hunger. Each purchase of Give Activewear products provides life-saving supplement meals to severely malnourished children in Uganda. Their line features inspirational sayings like, “Give”, “Be the Change”, and “Do Good” on each piece. You can view the entire collection here. I have the Give Live muscle tee. It is super soft and incredibly comfortable. This tee costs $25.95 and provides 8 life-saving supplement meals. I also love the floral athletic leggings ($48.95) and of course, the Human Kind accessories bag ($19.95). Plus, you’ll get 10% off your first order just by joining their email list! Make an even bigger impact by taking a photo of yourself in GIVE Activewear and tagging it on social media with @GiveActivewear. They will donate an extra 3 meals to a child in need.
Anyone who has used a BOSU Balance Trainer knows that it is a way to combine toning and flexibility into a highly effective workout on an unstable surface. It can be used with the platform side either up or down for various exercises. This bright pink BOSU Balance Trainer comes with a 4-in1 Workout DVD, 2 workouts from the Xplode Series DVD, an owner’s manual and foot pump. Hedstrom Fitness is donating $9 dollars for each pink BOSU sold through retail to the Susan G. Komen organization.
So on trend right now are the fabulous looking stainless steal water bottles from S’well! They come in several colors and patterns. The Teakwood version is not only cool because it is painted to imitate wood, for every Wood Collection bottle sold, S’well will plant a tree via American Forests. Take THAT to the gym!!
GIFTS FOR THE HOME & HOSTESS
This beautiful sweetgrass basket is handmade by female artisans in Rwanda exclusively for the ONE Campaign. ONE raises public awareness and works with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa. ONE is a global grassroots movement of more than 7 million people from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum. They’re artists and activists, faith and business leaders, students and scientists, all coming together because something can and should be done about extreme poverty and injustice. At $36, this is a gift that can be given to anyone, alone or filled. I happen to have one of these lovely baskets on my desk right now, and it continuously receives compliments and attention from guests. (Plus, you’ll get $5 off shipping by using code GIVE10 at checkout.)
From Life is Good founders and brothers Bert and John Jacobs, this inspiring book of wisdom celebrates the power of optimism: the driving force behind their beloved, socially conscious clothing and lifestyle brand. Bert and John share their unique ride—from their scrappy upbringing outside Boston to the unlikely runaway success of their business. The brothers illuminate ten key “superpowers” accessible to us all: openness, courage, simplicity, humor, gratitude, fun, compassion, creativity, authenticity, and love. The book costs $25, though you can also get the book and a select Life is Good t-shirt for $35!
Not only does Life is Good products spread optimism, the company donates 10% of all profits to help kids in need.
The Jake’s mugs from Life is Good are amazing host gifts, alone or as a set. You could even package them with a gift of coffee or tea! They all have fun yet simple and positive messages, inspiring you to have a great day! They range from $10-$12, but several of them are on sale right now for as little as $4.99!
Teleflora‘s Pink Grace Bouquet features pink roses, pink spray roses, hot pink carnations and soft pink alstroemeria accented with assorted greenery and arranged in a pretty pink cube. When you send this bouquet, Teleflora will donate 15% of the purchase price to support the vital work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
The Heart of Haiti initiative from Macy’s is includes an incredible selection of handmade products using primarily recycled materials. The collection includes both jewelry and home décor items such as quilts, metalwork, bowls and servers, paper maché items and ornaments. The collection is available exclusively at select Macy’s stores and Macys.com through a unique partnership with Fair Winds Trading and The Clinton Foundation. Two of my favorite current items are these paper mache trays. They can be given alone or filled with treats for the recipient. There’s a zebra pattern for the more funky recipient and a tree of life for the more conservative recipient.
The folks at Rescue Chocolate donate 100% of the net profits from the sale of their amazing chocolate bars to animal rescue organizations around the country. Their unique chocolate is vegan, natural, organic, Kosher Parve, and contains no artificial preservatives. This Rescue Chocolate gift pack comes with five, 10 oz. bars for $60.
Every home needs a fancy chess set. This stunning ‘Onyx Echoes’ chess set is handmade from onyx and marble. The Sierra Family of Mexico carefully crafts each piece of these sets, giving them true heirloom value. It costs $88.99 at UNICEF Market, and can provide enough polio vaccine to protect 111 children against polio.
These handblown ‘Ready for Toasting’ celebration flutes, also from UNICEF Market come in a set of 6 for $77.99. Mexican glass artists Javier and Efr n have captured a rainbow of confetti in these lively champagne glasses, adding an instant mood of celebration to any table.
Thistle Farms‘ Holiday Bath Salt Gift Set ($18) includes two seasonally inspired bath salts: Candy Cane and Ginger Spice. Thistle Farms’ bath salts, a luxurious blend of Dead Sea Salt, Dendritic Salt, Pacific Sea Salt and healing Epsom Salt, invite your to sink in, detoxify, and unwind. Thistle Farms is a community of women survivors of addiction, prostitution, and trafficking based in Nashville, Tennessee. Their products show that love is the most powerful force for change in the world.
Half of profits from ONEHOPE Wines are donated to support our environment. Every bottle of ONEHOPE Wines plants a tree. They have several fantastic gift items in their collection, including the gorgeous California Glitter Edition Chardonnay for $59, and the Holiday Dinner II Wine Mixed Pack for about $45.
GIFTS FOR THE KIDS
Walls that Unite is changing the world through art, taking creativity and giving to the next level. The Peace Wall kit supports relief efforts throughout Nepal while supporting the local community of Lumbini’s children. The Bisate School Program Kit will bring not only books, but a literacy wall to the students that inspire generations to come. Help create a Community Center in Kenya that will educate, nourish and enable the community of Kikoko to Flourish. The Walls that Unite art kits come with everything you need to create your very own masterpiece. Just send them the artwork and it will be transferred to a tile and brought to its chosen destination. The kits range from $15 to $35 and can be bought at http://wallsthatunite.com.
These Puppet Making Kits by Cate & Levi ($20 each) are made from 100% reclaimed wool. The kit also contains a needle, thread, pattern, instructions and Cate and eyes; everything needed to create your own one-of-a-kind puppy puppet! These kits are a great way to create memories with your children and create something special together.
So there you have it – the fourth annual GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK holiday gift guide from EatSleepBe.com. I sure hope you like the selections, and that you consider giving a gift that gives back this year.
Fashion that Gives Back at Nordstrom
The Great Big List of Buy One, Give One Brands
Why Responsible Consumption is Vital to Our Development
The Gifts that Give Back 2014 Holiday Gift Guide
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