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The Philanthropic Gift Guide

december 5, 2018

It’s no secret that, for many of us, as we get older the holiday season becomes a little less magical and a little more of a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the family time, yummy feasts, and joyous spirit, but in particular this year I struggled with Christmas shopping a bit more than usual. As a day-to-day consumer, I’ve made a point to become more sustainable and aware of sourcing, which has greatly shifted my purchasing habits and my attitude on the whole stunt of Christmas consumerism. No one loves giving gifts more than me, and yet, the last couple years spent living increasingly minimalistic (out of a suitcase) has left me feeling a little burdened at the prospect of buying more things we really don’t need - often at the price of the deterioration of our environment or exploitation of those less fortunate. So this year I decided to only purchase gifts that give back, offer sustainable business practices, or some solution in bettering our world. Here’s where I shopped:

  • For the outdoorsmen and women in you life check out Parks ProjectThey sell cool tees, hats, drinkware, and houseware, all of which benefit the protection of the US National Parks.

  • For homebodies shop BC Candle which employs and supports the developmentally disabled. They have a range of scents and lines, including ManCans (with more masculine scents) and SheCans (with uplifting messages).

  • For the bookworm or student, purchase a gift card from Biblio. This online bookstore promotes sustainability and works to bring education and literacy to impoverished indigenous communities in Bolivia, where they have built 12 libraries and initiated book drives benefiting the homeless and imprisoned.

  • For the cosmopolitan fashionista (aka, ME) support Raven + Lily, a Texan brand who empowers women on a global scale by engaging with local artisans in impoverished communities to produce unique fashion goods and homeware in exchange for fair wages, healthcare, and other tools to thrive. (*below)

  • For the waterbaby, shop United by Blue’s outerwear and accessories with profits benefiting the removal of ocean trash and plastics pollution. Their product range is very broad, from bison socks, to fashion jewelry; all-natural skincare products, to canoe paddles - there truly is something for everyone.


  • For the woman warrior you know and love, check out Sseko Designs, selling simple and beautiful jewelry, leather goods, and fashion items hand crafted by artisan women in Uganda, enabling “them to earn money through dignified employment that will go directly towards their college educations and ensure they will continue pursuing their dreams.” I especially enjoy the BRAVE Jewelry Collection as it features interchangeable pieces and charms, lending to varied and classic accessorizing. 


  • For the Netflix-and-Chill crowd, support Sudara, manufacturing cute and cozy loungewear supporting and freeing female victims of sex slave trade in India with employment and education.

  • For the ultra-stylish mother, this tote bag from Clare V is 100% chic AND 100% of net proceeds from sales goes to Every Mother Counts, the initiative to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.

  • For kids of all ages, purchase blankets and plush toys from Everything Happy. Their “One to love, One to give,” model offers a lesson in gratitude by packaging two items with each order - one for the child and one to give away.


  • For the person who has everything, give them the gift of giving with a TisBest gift card! You choose the amount, they choose the charity. Easy, thoughtful, heartwarming.


  • For Christmas decor, check out TraidCraft. With a focus in fair trade and sustainability, their mission is to change “people's’ lives through trade, save vanishing traditional skills from extinction, and celebrate a world of creativity and culture.”


  • For parties and entertaining, check out One Hope Wines. A portion of proceeds go to various charities. This is also a great option if you are mailing a gift, as you can order online and they have cute little packages and box-sets for your wine-lovers.

Happy Holidays and Much Love!


Xoxo, L

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