I love Gifts that Give Back. There are so many companies that have a social mission these days and support those in need through funding special programs and schools, water wells and job training/creation.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Ashley Pittman – I’ve had the privilege to visit Ashley’s studio. It is quite inspiring. Her jewelry is handmade in Kenya by more than 75 artisans, providing them with fair wages, expansion opportunities, and business development training. Designs feature repurposed horn, semiprecious gemstones, bronze and materials indigenous to East Africa. 10% of all profits fund the Ashley Pittman Foundation to help fund the Kamboo Dispensary and Kathiani Primary School in an area of Kenya particularly hard-hit by prolonged drought. The dispensary serves a population of over 4,000 people who previously had no access to basic healthcare.
Toms – Blake Mycoski seems to have started this movement with his One for One. With Shoes, Eyewear, Bags, Apparel, Accessories for Women, Men and Kids and even Coffee, there are items for everyone on your list.
Gaia For Women – GAIA creations are handmade by resettled refugee women in Dallas, TX, using vintage, repurposed, and sustainable materials. Their mission is to empower marginalized women through employment, encouragement, and dedication to their long-term success in our own local communities. Through a living wage and continued training and development, our goal is to lead the women to financial independence and self-sufficiency. The name “GAIA” – meaning “Goddess of the Earth” – was chosen as a way to honor all women, from the ones who craft GAIA products to those who purchase or receive them. Gaia makes fabulous pillows, bags and necklaces.
Warby Parker – Let’s face it. We all know someone who needs reading glasses but finding a great pair isn’t easy. A gift certificate for reading glasses from Warby Parker is a great solution and help people with vision needs in developing countries. Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.
Give a Gift that Gives this year!