They say it’s better to give than to receive and we fully believe that. But, we also love it when we can give AND receive at the same time, so we’re always looking for holiday gifts with purpose for your recipient and others.
It feels good to buy and give back at the same time. To know that you’re giving the best gifts that give back and bring so much joy to the recipient? We searched high and low to not only find the most unique present options, but also to find gifts that give back in powerful and meaningful ways.
What To Look For When Giving Gifts That Give Back?
When we’re looking for gifts that give back, what we’re really looking for is products that come from companies who give back. At the core, it’s about the people behind the companies that drive us to buy from them, and that’s important. In a world of excess and too much, but also the desire to truly delight our friends and loved ones, finding the perfect gifts that give back can be a challenge.
Of course, you’re looking for companies that focus on sustainability and eco-friendly production protocols. We want to support small businesses, minority-owned businesses and businesses that feel there is purpose in their passions.
And, you want to make sure there are legit backstories and purpose with companies who produce gifts that give back. Always investigate the ‘who’ behind the ‘what,’ so you can be sure that your dollars aren’t just making a difference to your loved ones, but to the world.
Fair Trade Matters
If you’ve never really given thought to products that are Fair Trade, you should. One of our favorite eco-friendly and fair-trade companies is Fairtrade America. They’re members of Fairtrade International. Fairtrade International is an independent, third-party certification organization. They better the lives of workers and farmers in developing countries (think about why that dress on Amazon is only $1.37). Fairtrade America has partnered this year with five licensees to encourage ethical gift-giving and entertaining, and they’re a perfect place to find gifts that give back.
Fairtrade America upholds rigorous standards for ethical certification so you know that when you’re buying fair trade gifts, you’re impacting in a positive way the livelihood of small-scale farmers and their communities. Those in developing countries are paid at least Fairtrade Minimum Prices and that ensures that if global market prices drop, these farmers and their families aren’t thrust into deeper poverty. When you buy fairtrade, you know you’re buying something that’s ethically sourced and with eco-friendly policies.
This year, Fairtrade America partnered with several organizations and is hosting an Insta giveaway to help promote more fair trade gifts in the holiday season. They include the following:
- Gimme Coffee – Leftist is Gimme! Coffee’s signature blend. This mix of single-origin coffees from Fairtrade cooperatives in Latin America is crafted to tell a story with any extraction method from espresso to french press to filter drip. Gimme! Coffee looks for a sweet, balanced, and complex cup from Leftist with flavor notes of ripe fruit, chocolate, and spice, ending with a clean finish. Their roasters, baristas, and educators evaluate Leftist daily to keep everything consistently delicious
- Divine Chocolate – A delectable Fairtrade Christmas countdown! Each window of Divine Chocolate’s Advent Calendar reveals a new way to say “Merry Christmas” in 24 languages – and a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate heart! 5% of sales from this Advent Calendar will go towards empowerment initiatives for the women cocoa farmers of Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana.
- Fran’s Chocolates – When Fran introduced her Chocolate Salted Caramels in 1998, little did she know they would become her signature confection and inspire a popular culinary trend. Fran’s salted caramels feature soft, butter caramel enrobed in chocolate and are finished with a sprinkling of artisan sea salt. Perfect for gifting, Fran’s holiday caramel collection designs are printed on pearlized paper and stamped with elegant foils. Certified Organic and Fairtrade.
- Navitas Organics – Navitas’ best-selling product, Navitas Organics Cacao Powder, is grown in Sierra Leone with regenerative organic & Fairtrade certified practices. With this product, Navitas is proud to invest in cocoa co-ops, farmer field schools, reforestation planning, and just labor practices. Extending beyond their environmental and human-centered purpose, Navitas Organics Cacao Powder has a rich, unadulterated chocolate taste that’s delicious as a 1:1 swap for unsweetened cocoa powder in any recipe. It’s great for baking, hot cocoa, smoothies, homemade chocolates, and more!
- Terra Thread – Designed for grocery shopping, the beach, and other everyday activities, these Organic Cotton Mesh Bags are made using 100% organic and Fairtrade cotton in a Fair Trade Certified factory. It features 2 sets of handles for convenient carry over your shoulder, on your arm, or in your hands and can hold up to 40 pounds. This sustainably and ethically produced Organic Cotton Mesh Bag is made with the planet and its people in mind.
There are many benefits of choosing fair trade gifts that are beyond just helping farmers. When choosing fair trade items, you’re also helping address environmental issues, gender equality, child labor and worker’s rights and more. In communities across the world, which means you’re helping give on a global level with every gift.
This holiday season, Fairtrade America and these five ethical brands will host a giveaway on Instagram that will celebrate the benefits of Fairtrade certified products, and provide three winners the opportunity to win a Fairtrade for the Holidays prize package filled with items perfect for entertaining and gift-giving. A win-win for holiday shopping and you if you’re lucky enough to win! The giveaway will start December 1 and run through December 8.
Our Favorite Gifts That Give Back
Let’s be real…we’re always looking for products that work like the ones a traditional dermatologist would give us, but are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and give back to the environment. Hard to find…until we came across two sisters who are also healthcare professionals. Save the Wave Skincare founders Heather Dyer (a Nurse Practitioner) and Elena Avila (a Physician Assistant) created Save the Wave because they understand the value of scientifically proven ingredients to achieve the best skincare results. They use the highest quality, most effective, and safest ingredients in every product–all the stuff we need, but nothing we don’t.
Their love of all things sun, beach, ocean, and Earth motivated us to create a product line that’s safe for humans and our oceans by using reef friendly ingredients and environmentally responsible packaging. They strive to improve and innovate in ways that reduce our impact on the environment and dedicate a portion of our profits to ocean and environmental conservation. This Lip Saver Kit is the perfect gift for every person you know, and their Nourishing Everything Oil is the gift that keeps giving as it can be used just about everywhere you need it!
Upfront Cosmetics makes salon-quality shampoo and conditioner bars without the plastic waste. They are part of 1% for the Planet and have kept over 30,000 plastic shampoo bottles out of oceans and landfills. They also plant one tree for every order received.
Their products are vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free and Leaping Bunny certified. They are safe for the whole family and they recently launched a children’s collection.
Instead of using harmful sulfates, they use coconut and plant-based surfactants that are less likely to cause irritation and that provide a more gentle and skin-friendly cleanse. Upfront Cosmetics believes that you should never have to compromise the health of your hair for a quality shampoo!
Additionally, they give back to their homeland of Iraq with a summer school program that benefits mostly orphans and war victims. Their tea is Fair Trade Certified and if Fair Trade is prohibited, they developed their own certification of Fair Labor Verified. They help supply farming communities with clean water, across the globe and they are a founding member of B-Corp and OSC2. Tea that nourishes the soul and the earth.
We adore these super cute boots. They’re designed to get kids and families out and about, and we love the mission behind Lone Cone. They believe sharing is caring and that service is a way of life. Toward those efforts, they focus on causes that impact the lives of children and families in their communities and beyond. They support organizations that work to heal and protect the world. They’ve already donated thousands of boots, backpacks and lunchboxes to organizations that serve children and families in and around their community in Boise.
Give a gift that gives back with This Saves Lives, a delicious mission-based snack brand co-founded by Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel. This Saves Lives is committed to ending severe acute malnutrition in children across the globe—every purchase made sends send life-saving food to a child in need. Good for you, good for others? Buy them all.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.