Now that Christmas is fast approaching and everyone is taking advantage of those Black Friday + Cyber Monday deals, I wanted to put together a Holiday Gift Guide for those in search of gifting ideas… with a twist, of course – these gifts give back.
One of the main reasons why I started blogging is to reach out to a global platform, inform and inspire others to give back whenever they can. During my volunteer trip to Nicaragua last winter, I learned a lot about global goods. There is simply SO MUCH out there we don’t know about; to live in this bubble influenced by consumerism alone surely isn’t the only thing we should be exposed to. Where we spend our dollars determine our vote and our voice in what kind of world we want to live in. With so much going on, why not put those dollars for good? We’re already spending money anyway; it would only be wise to contribute some to companies/organizations that give back to a cause. Whatever your cause may be or where your beliefs lie, there is something for everyone. Here are some of my top favorite social good brands –
Half United is one of my favorite retailers. Their products range from jewelry to accessories to mugs, and they are oh-so-cute and affordable. With every purchase you make, you’re donating SEVEN meals to those in need in Cambodia, Fiji, Nepal, Liberia, Haiti, and the U.S.! As someone who has personally utilized food banks/pantries, food insecurity is something that truly hits close to home. To be left hungry is something no one should endure and shouldn’t even be happening considering the relationship between food production and the human population. This is another reason why I’m a HUGE advocate for addressing one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – zero hunger. With my degree in Public Health, I will continue advocating for zero hunger and making sure no one is left hungry. I’m so in love with their mission that I also reached out to them for a coupon code for you all to use (I don’t get any commission off of it; this is literally based off my genuine love for them) – use SHAZIE20 for some discount off your first purchase today!
I personally enjoy 31 Bits products because I am in love with their story and see myself in their mission. This all started amongst a group of college seniors applying to grad school and didn’t really have an inkling of what was next. When one of their friends came back from a life-changing trip to Uganda where she came across a group of women with AMAZING jewelry-making skills, they all fell in love with the detail on the jewelry (made from old posters!!). From there, a business blossomed and now with every purchase you make, you are providing Ugandan and Indonesian artisans with access to counseling, health care, and education! Your direct sales also improve their local communities and support their families! Isn’t it nice knowing your money is actually empowering people to rise above poverty?!
Thistle Farms, created by Becca Stevens, is a powerful global community of women healing from prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Thistle Farms Global helps employ more than 1,500 women in 18 countries and embodies a community of survivors, advocates, employees, interns, volunteers, and friends from all across the world. Their mission – to change a culture that still allows human beings to be bought and sold – is apparent in the products they sell, which includes a myriad of jewelry, bath, and home products (for both him + her!). All proceeds go back into Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene, which provides housing, supplies, medical and dental treatment, therapy, education and vocational training at no cost.
Women’s Peace Collection
My trip to Nicaragua also shed some light on fair trade, the main story behind Women’s Peace Collection. Fair trade not only ensures that the artisans are paid fairly, but it also ensures safe and respectable working conditions and promotes environmental sustainability via eco-friendly production methods (go green!). With the involvement of artisans from over 12 countries around the world, women are given the opportunity to become entrepreneurs, learn business and technology skills, have access to healthcare, and are able to work from home while caring for their children. They are also able to save with the wages they earn, AND those who are survivors of human trafficking know what it means to have a beacon of hope for themselves and their families.
Prosperity Candle is a social enterprise, designed to do good in the world as they invest in women entrepreneurs to help end poverty. Using candles as their main product in addition to fragrance gift sets and oils, Prosperity Candle creates opportunities for families to thrive. From pillars made by Iraqi widows, to repurposed glass votives from Haiti, to unique rice bowl candles poured by refugees resettled in the U.S., every candle is handmade by a woman artisan rebuilding her life. This is where beautiful design and positive impact go hand in hand… and where we can all contribute to some good in this world.
Purpose Jewelry is also another one of my favorites. They provide professional opportunities to young women rescued from sex trafficking. Fact – Did you know there are over 20 million people living in slavery in the world today? It’s surreal that even with the progress we’ve made, there are still parts of the world where people are not living freely. Through PURPOSE Jewelry, YOU are able to give freedom to rescued young women around the world. Your purchase ensures every artisan receives freedom and hope for the future. Holistic care is provided through their sister non-profit, International Sanctuary, and includes education, health care, and counseling. They also pave the way for every artisan with the life skills and opportunities to succeed. They work with survivors in Mumbai, India, and Orange County, CA.
I only listed a FEW of my favorite social good brands, but there is so much more out there all easily searched via Google. With all of these options, it’s honestly really easy to make an impact. Next time you’re out shopping, why not consider these brands in mind? You don’t have to sacrifice style to make a difference; let fashion empower you and the person who made your piece. Happy shopping, loves! xo