This Christmas, I’ve decided to buy as many gifts as I can from companies that give back either by providing a fair wage and employment to those who would not have those opportunities otherwise, or by donating proceeds to an important cause. I’m going to buy presents anyway; I might as well give to those in need while I’m at it. So, I’ve corralled twelve of my favorite gift ideas from around the internet with links below. Most of these are gifts that women would love, but I did manage to find a few good items for men and children, too. If you shop from any of these companies, you can know that your dollars will help someone in need while you also provide a truly beautiful, high-quality Christmas gift for your loved ones.
High Point Supply Company is a Dallas-based, for-profit company that sells “goods that help you fight poverty and injustice for His glory.” Check out their mission statement to see how and why they do what they do. The gorgeous leather tote you see above was “Handmade in Ethiopia” and “provided an honorable job to a man or woman in need.” The stacking rings support the “recovery and rehabilitation of sex-trafficking victims in India.” The website allows you to browse by item type or by the cause each item supports.
A21 is not primarily a store, but an organization that helps free women from sex trafficking. The goods in their store, however, are attractive, on trend, and tell a story about the women whose lives A21 is helping to change. I particularly love their freedom t-shirts, and I love knowing that I can support their cause while also wearing something cool.
The flats at fuchsia, like these lovely mint green ones, are hand-made in India by local artisans. Fuchsia provides fair wages, profit-sharing, and medical allowances for their craftsmen, and they boost the local economy by getting all their materials locally. Plus, the shoes are unique and gorgeous.
Noonday’s jewelry never disappoints, and when you buy it, you can know you’re helping those in need. Noonday explains it best themselves:
We partner with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. By developing artisan businesses through fair trade, we empower them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them. Together we’re building a flourishing world where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs and we are connected.
Ten Thousand Villages is one of the more well-known shops of its kind, promising that “every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, stable income.” Their products tend toward the folksy side, but even non-bohemians would love the scarf above as well as many of their beautiful pieces of handmade furniture.
I love these olive wood and bone serving spoons from Cross Culture Market, which says their mission is to “create sustainable social change by providing much-needed income to craftspeople, their families and their communities all over the world with the help of missionaries and other charitable causes.” All the profits of their goods support various charities.
Raven and Lilly excels at providing high-fashion pieces that are sustainably sourced and fair trade. They provide work for “1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.” And their work is truly global. The lovely mango and grapefruit-scented candle, pictured above, is made by formerly-homeless women in the United States.
Both the men’s tri-fold wallet, made from recycled tires, and the adorable alpaca penguin come from Global Goods Partners. The wallet helps support Friends International, an organization that helps get Cambodian kids off the streets and into school and their parents into jobs. The stuffed penguin is handmade by a Peruvian artisan. And, like many of these other organizations, Global Goods Partners works to provide fair-trade employment and economic opportunity for all their partners.
I drink Hope Coffee every Sunday at church. My personal favorite blend is their Honduran Bold roast. Hope Coffee works with small Honduran coffee farms that “transform and sustain the lives of local farmers who are involved in or ministered to by the Camino Global – related churches (HOPE Coffee’s parent non-profit) in Honduras.” Camino Global is a Central American Missions Organization, so your investment in Hope Coffee is an investment not only in the lives and families of the Honduran farmers, but also in the lives of many who hear the gospel as a result of Camino Global’s work.
The men’s shirt pictured above is one of the best examples of products for men that I found in my search for fair-trade goods. I love the hint of plaid just inside the collar and sleeves. I also think it’s something that several of the men in my life would actually wear! Servv is distinctive because it’s a “pioneer in the fair trade movement, with origins in 1949 as one of the first fair trade organizations in the United States.” Read all about it here.
So there you have it: twelve of my favorite options for making your Christmas shopping this season give a little more to the world around you. Happy Shopping!