The Do-Gooder’s Gift Guide: 25 Gifts that Give Back
While yuletide cheer does go a long way, we’re always looking for ways to give back during the holiday season, especially when so much of this time of year is centered around shopping for gifts for all of your friends and family. That’s why for this next gift guide installment, we’re focusing on 25 beautiful, well-designed products that not only look good, but do good too.
1. Lemlem Betty Split Scarf ($102): This gorgeous scarf combines bold colors with sheer textiles to create a light and airy look you can wear any time of year. It’s one of our favorite finds from Lemlem, a company that is dedicated to preserving the art of weaving in Ethiopia.
2. ESTWST Pochampally iPad Sleeve ($65): This handy iPad sleeve has a detachable cotton strap, allowing it to be worn as a bag or taken off and just used as a sleeve. The textile that makes up the sleeve was woven at a fair trade women’s co-op in Andhra Pradesh in South India. Each purchase supports fair wage job opportunities and skill development for women in Andhra Pradesh.
House of Wandering Silk WalletHouse of Wandering Silk, the company behind these wallets, works with Green the Gap who has a small production of unit of migrant, Muslim workers who live in the slums of Delhi. Purchasing this wallet goes towards training and a living wage for these workers from Green the Gap.
5. MiiR Stainless Steel Water Bottle ($18): I personally have one of these water bottles and love it! They come in a bunch of bright colors, and one dollar of each MiiR bottle purchased provides one person with clean water for one year.
7. Uzma Travel Journals, Set of 3 ($24): Whether you like to jot down brilliant ideas on the fly, still take notes on paper, or like to have a sketchbook on hand at all times, these journals make for a great gift. Each journal is handmade with 100 percent recycled cotton paper and textiles by marginalized women in Northern India. Proceeds from this collection go to fund literacy programs for the women artisans and children in the community.
8. TOMS Beachmaster Champagne Crystal Sunnies ($119): TOMS is one of the original brands to introduce the one-for-one model. For every pair of glasses or sunglasses purchased, TOMS will give sight to one person through prescription glasses, sight-saving surgery, or other medical treatments.
10. Maleng Fold Over Clutch, Diamond Print ($38): We are seriously obsessed with the diamond print on this clutch! And, like all the gifts on this list, purchasing it actually helps someone. Not only are these eco-friendly bags handmade by at-risk women in Cambodia, but proceeds go to fund healthcare and literacy programs for women and children in that very community.
12. Tory Burch Agenda ($125): This smart organizer is a do-gooder too! All profits from the purchase of this shade will benefit the Tory Burch Foundation, which supports the economic empowerment of female entrepreneurs and their families in the U.S.
Far & Wide Sri Lankan Cotton-Twill TowelsBarefoot, and buying a set of towels directly benefits these communities.
14. 31 BITS Bonanza Bib ($68): 31 BITS works with artisans in Uganda to create bold, fashionable products such as this bib, and in turn these artisans earn an income enabling them to provide for their families. Described as beneficiaries, 31 BITS cares for each artisan holistically through counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorships.
15. Lemlem Ishi Beach Bag ($141): Another item from Lemlem, this beach bag is ready to hit the road on all your warm weather adventures. Again, each purchase from Lemlem supports the preservation of the art of weaving in Ethiopia.
17. ESTWST Kathmandu Bamboo Backpack ($95): This handsome rucksack would make for a great weekender (if you pack really light!) or a daily bag, as it’s got a padded and waterproof fleece-lined laptop sleeve. The textiles that created this backpack were woven in a small village in Western Nepal. Each purchase supports fair wage job opportunities, skill development, and free housing to weavers and their families in the Kathmandu Valley.
18. Far & Wide Uzbekistan Beehive Throw Pillow ($99): The Ikat pattern has become almost as popular as herringbone and houndstooth in recent years, but is actually one of the oldest and most elaborate forms of textile design originating in Uzbekistan. These pillows are hand-woven into beautiful patterns and motifs using natural materials, and each pillow purchase helps keep this tradition alive.
20. WWF Golf Umbrella ($50): The World Worldlife Fund has been around for ages, but who knew they had stylish gifts in their online gift shop? Featuring a menagerie of animals, proceeds from this umbrella go to support global conservation efforts through WWF.
21. TOMS Jacquard Desert Wedges ($84): Like with their glasses, for every TOMS shoe purchased, a pair of shoes (or winter boots!) is given to a child in need.
24. Kidogo Kidogo Up and Away iPhone Case ($30): Up, up, up, and away! For every kidogo kidogo phone case sold, they buy a phone (or phone credits) to give to a woman in Tanzania who could not otherwise afford it. Very cool.