Now that December’s here, the pressure is on to find the perfect gifts for our families, friends and work buds. Sometimes, we know exactly what to buy…and other times we have no idea and just grab the nearest gift card or poop emoji mug. This year, we’ve done the search work for you, no last-minute Christmas Eve rush necessary. Whether your weather zone is winter or summer, we've got something for you here. The best part is: It feels great to give gift that gives back.
Okay, we could spend this whole blog post talking about ourselves, but there’s a lot of social enterprises out there making epic product ranges and impacts on the world. For the uninitiated, a social enterprise is a business where giving something back is part of the model, whether it be by directly providing opportunities for economic empowerment or working with charities. Buying from social enterprises is your best bet for a gift that doesn’t suck, because contributing to a worthy cause and getting something from it makes us feel good.
Image Source: Patagonia, WinterKids.com
Let’s start with two of the big-name game changers: Patagonia and Everlane. From bikinis to mountain climbing-appropriate sleeping bags, Patagonia not only has the perfect gifts for adventure lovers, but they also ensure that every step of production is environmentally and socially responsible. Thousands of factory workers benefit from their participation in Fair Trade, with livable wages and, depending on the factory, programs such as free daycare and hygiene promotion. But that’s not all! One percent of sales go to a range of environmental causes worldwide.
Everlane is all about fair wages and working conditions too, and even though you might have missed it, their Black Friday Fund raises extra money to improve employees’ lives outside of work. Depending on the factory, this could be anything from providing moped helmets to building a basketball court on factory grounds. Everlane’s specialty may be basics, but as a company they’re anything but basic.
What about smaller businesses? Well there’s plenty of lesser-known social enterprises that are just as amazeballs. Sacred by Design has a range of accessories and homewares, but their stand-out line is LOVEBomb Jewellery. Handmade by artisans in Laos from unexploded bombs, the workers are not only paid fairly, but some of the profits go back to funding education and sanitation projects.
Moeloco sells thongs (that’s flip-flops to our non-Australian customers!) that are not only beautifully designed, but with every sale a pair of shoes is donated to an orphan in India who previously did not own any. OMG, you are literally being Santa; he’s real and it’s you.
Source: Threadharvest/Foundation for Young Australians
Threadharvest stocks a wide range of clothes, accessories and gifts, which support a variety of causes. You can protect the environment, ensure fair working conditions or empower women or marginalized people.
If you want to be really traditional, buying a Youngcake supports Youngcare, which provides disability support to young people, keeping them out of nursing homes.
Source: One Girl/BusinessChic
Of course, One Girl’s Gifts That Don’t Suck is a great way to save on postage, where you can “gift” your friends something from backpacks to sanitary pads to bricks (yes, bricks). And here at The Rushing Hour, every item purchased donates enough money to keep a girl in school for a month through One Girl, which makes it a very meaningful gift that gives back to those who need it most.