Presents With Purpose: The Best Gifts That Give Back

We've found amazing gifts that give back when givingWe know there’s nothing better than watching the joy on someone’s face as we’ve just given them the best gift ever.

But what about when those best gifts are also ones that have purpose? Doesn’t it feel good to give gifts that give back too? To know that you’re giving the best gifts that give back and bring so much joy to the recipient? Yes, we think so too, and 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.Navitas cacao powder is fair trade

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 Conscious Step Socks (which work to end violence against women), Endangered Species Chocolate Bites and Truffles, Navitas Cacoa Powder,  Fran’s Caramels, Kicking Horse Organic Coffee, and other goodies from the Fairtrade America shop.

Related: 5 Charitable Wine Brands That Give Back

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.

Our Favorite Gifts That Give Back

Numi Organic Tea was launched in a tiny Oakland apartment by a brother and sister team–Ahmed and Reem Rahim. Iraqi-born, they’ve prioritized sustainability and community involvement on local and global levels. They use all organic ingredients, and they give back in Oakland with the NUMI Curriculum. (Nature Underlies My Inspiration, if you were wondering.) This connects low-income students with the natural world with artistic expression. It also teaches those students about civic engagement through organic gardening, arts and social studies. The pair recently launched a youth-led farmers’ market program and they are enlarging their local involvement to schools in the entire Bay area of California.

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.

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Lone Cone BootsLone Cone boots are great for kids

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.

Lone Cone wants to encourage the love of outdoors and for kids to get outside no matter the weather, and that’s why these neoprene mud boots are the best. Who needs more gadgets? These (obviously) screen-free gems will keep kids warm and dry, and they give back in the process.

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Baja Llama ShirtsThrow some fun gifts that give back in the holiday mix

Related: The Best Gifts For Kids Of All Ages

Consider the Izzy Box if you’re looking to support minority-owned and women-owned businesses that give back! They offer quarterly boxes that include beauty, grooming, hair, fashion, skin, health and food products for both men and women.

All of the products in the boxes are made with natural and organic ingredients. The Izzy Box is committed to supporting not only women-owned and minority-owned companies, but to the sustainability of products as well. The products are certified organic and made from organic materials.

And, they dedicate 5% of their profits to local and national non-profit organizations. Even more fun, during the holidays, YOU as a customer can choose from a list of charities you’d like to donate 1% of your purchase to–winning for all! And you don’t have to buy a subscription. You can buy a one-time box for $29.99 to check things out before you head into their quarterly boxes ($49.99/quarter).


Maybe you’d like to gift yourself with something pretty fantabulous too? You might want to look into Andalou Natural Skincare products. We love Andalous’s A Path of Light Hand Creams, and 100% of the profits from those creams supports women and girls’ equality and education. To date, A Path of Light has gifted over $783,832 toward socially responsible projects and people. Yes, in just five years, they’ve donated nearly a million to charitable organizations that lead the charge for global change.
You know how everyone says they really want an electric toothbrush (because that’s what dentist’s recommend) but they don’t want to spend the money? Perfect opportunity to gift this amazingly well-designed, high-performance electric toothbrush (and subsequent subscription for replacement heads). Brüush is raising the bar for oral care–providing luxury products at affordable price points, but even better, every subscription refill of the replacement heads leads to the donation of a dental kit to communities in need. Our teeth and our gums are so intrinsically related to our overall health; this is definitely a gift that keeps giving in many ways.
Isabelle Grace founder Claudia Montez says the beautiful jewelry she offers is consciously and hand-made by local artisans. She says that the jewelry designs are based on all aspects of life and the Strength and Dignity Cuff is one that shows solidarity for friends and family who battle or have battled cancer. The purchases of the Inspired line of jewelry supports those who are afflicted with cancer, as well as survivors of cancer, and each piece is individually crafted by an artist who loves what she or he does. Each piece is one of a kind, and 15% of every purchase goes to the American Cancer Society.
Talk about Mom Power! Life Straw leaders Alison Hill and Tara Lundy have made public health their life and purpose. They guide a global team of women who lead the R&D, product development and outreach of LifeStraw with public health and safety in mind. LifeStraw is award-winning and life-saving in the water filtration department and makes contaminated water safe to drink. The moms travel across the world as fierce warriors for families everywhere and help communities have access to clean and safe drinking water. They don’t just stop there though–in light of natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian, they use LifeStraw funds and buy desperately needed supplies like generators, diapers and medical supplies and are ready to help at any given moment. In fact, Alison had a newborn at home, but that didn’t stop her–those powerful women hit the plane and took to helping however they could. They believe collaborating together makes a huge impact.
Every purchase of a LifeStraw product results in ONE YEAR of clean water and health and hygiene education for a child in a developing community. They are a Climate Neutral Brand and work to save the planet as well.
Their Home Pitcher is not only gorgeous but protects your drinking water against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, heavy metals and herbicides and pesticides (yes, even well water can be affected). It’s a gift you’ll want to give (and receive)!

Photo: DGLimages/Shutterstock


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