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.
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.
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
Save The Waves Lip Saver Kit
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!
Packed With Purpose Gift Boxes
The idea for Packed with Purpose grew from a desire to create a social impact, and to recognize the importance of gifting in fostering meaningful relationships.
Packed With Purpose Boxes create deep societal impact through the everyday act of gift-giving. From empowering women in need of a second chance to supporting sustainability efforts, the gift boxes have transformed lives, enriched communities and preserved our environment. They are a certified woman-owned personal and corporate gifting company.
Each box has an artful Impact Booklet that's included brings to life the inspiring stories behind these Purveyors, providing a unique experience for gift recipients. Your recipients will know that their gift does good and your intention in sending that particular gift was to create a meaningful impact.
Every one of their gifts creates an impact because of the products we source. For example, they sell rich chocolates to provide job training to survivors of abuse, notebooks that are made from sustainably sourced wood that drives reforestation efforts, crisp granola that provides employment to those who were formerly incarcerated, and so much more.
Recipients receive not only a physical gift but also the experience of discovering these incredible organizations across the U.S. and the world that are doing good while making quality products.
We're FOREVER looking for gluten-free gift ideas and so we love Packed With Purpose's gluten-free box. We
Alter Eco Chocolates
These gift boxes are great to buy and then give bars as stocking stuffers for every stocking you know! Each gift box purchased means Alter Eco will plant one tree in the Peruvian Amazon--that's where Alter Eco's fair-trade farmers grow organic cacao. Alter Eco has planted 30,000 trees in that region since 2008, and all Alter Eco chocolates and truffles are made with the cleanest, most simple and fair-trade organic ingredients. No one needs that crap candy in their stocking; Alter Eco's chocolate is delicious and good for the environment too!
Goli's wildly popular apple cider vinegar gummy vitamins help with gut health and supports the immune system. The superfood vitamins are rich in antioxidants, vegan-friendly, and non-GMO, plus both gluten and gelatin free. Goli combines organic pomegranate, beetroots, citrus, pectin prebiotic, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B9 for a delicious yet simple everyday immune boost.
And best of all, for every purchase, Goli will make a 1-for-1 vitamin grant to provide a child in need with a 6-month supply of vitamins through Vitamin Angels, a global charity providing life-changing vitamins to pregnant women children under 5 who are at risk for malnutrition.
Founded by dad entrepreneurs , SoCal-based, Humblemaker Coffee Co., recently released the first-ever line of premium functional cold brew shots. A subscription to these cold brew shots is the perfect gift for health-conscious, busy dads who need a balanced boost of energy!
The line consists of Boomtowne (Multivitamin), La Fonda (Antioxidant), and Black Sea (Cognitive Wellness). Each product offers pure, natural energy with zero sugars and a potent vitamin-rich supplement. With a subscription, you receive an 8-pack if your favorite flavor of vitamin-infused cold brew shots for $25.50 (reg. cost $30) every 1-4 weeks.
Humblemaker cold brews are made using only the highest quality, responsibly sourced, fresh roasted organic coffees. Their proprietary process is cold from start to finish - closely regulating temperature and time to ensure ideal extraction and flavor. The filtering process yields a perfectly balanced, full-bodied and boldly flavorful cold brew.
Humblemaker also proudly donates 10% of annual profits to their program, #TenForAutism to enable children with autism to experience surfing, music, and the great outdoors. Funds raised are distributed directly to a network of autism-based nonprofits and to Humblemaker sponsored events developed for children on the autism spectrum.
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!
Lastly, all products are shipped in plastic-free, compostable mailers--good for you and good for the earth!
Numi World Collection Organic Tea
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.
Lone Cone Boots
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.
Isabelle Grace SURVIVOR Necklace
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 Survivor (BECAUSE I AM) necklace is perfect 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.
Lazy Turtle AJ Hoodie
And speaking of supporting sea turtles, consider gifts from Lazy Turtle. Founded by eco-warrior and mompreneur of three Megan Elwell, Lazy Turtle comes from a teachable moment after Megan's daughter Juju discovered a sea turtle nest on the beach. Megan used that opportunity to share about how pivotal our parts in saving the sea turtles are, and their family decided to do all they could to #saveourshells-starting with a line of sun-safe beachwear for active families. Portions of the proceeds go to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, as well as to beaches in Hawaii as Lazy Turtle also partners with The Aloha Collection. Mission-minded merchandise? Yes, please!
Hippy Feet Socks
Hippy Feet is a Minneapolis-based Benefit Corporation dedicated to supporting the homeless. They provide transitional employment to young people between the ages of 16-24 who experience homelessness in the making of their incredibly awesome socks. Every product purchased means you're helping them help young people build new lives, and so in a sense, you're parenting young people with each purchase. In a year full of uncertainty, programs like Hippy Feet provides are more pivotal than ever.
Hippy Feet doesn't look to be a forever employer to young people, but to give them some incoming, opportunity and job training that will help them experience the basics of human dignity and move into stable housing and full-time employment. All socks and apparel items are made in the U.S. with environmentally friendly materials and practices, and they've already been able to add over 1,800 hours of employment for young adults in Minneapolis, Chicago and Duluth.
Each pair you buy comes in a package signed by the young person experiencing homelessness who helped, and that means the special dads in your life will get an eco-friendly product with an incredible story.
Seriously, who doesn't need socks that do such good?
Related: The Best Gifts For Kids Of All Ages
Ethos Radiation Reduction
Pela wants to create a waste-free future. Plain and simple. They want their technology to make this a reality, and they develop products that are made of environmentally sensible materials. They believe in better, and their phone cases and radiation reduction products are made without everyday waste and to help protect us and the earth.
Ethos is a radiation reduction tool that blocks up to 80% of the Electricmagnetic field coming from your cell phone. This patented Alara technology pairs with your Pela Case to redirect harmful radiation away from your phone, to reduce radiation, not reception. Safer for you, safer for the earth.
And, Pela donates 5% of sales to donations such as Save the Waves and Surfrider Foundation.
Two Blind Brothers Shirts
These are some of the softest shirts you'll ever feel. The founders of Two Blind Brothers make them so because the feel of something is so important, particularly when your sight is not as strong when shopping. They know this first hand, and thus, Two Blind Brothers makes a difference.
Bradford and Bryan Manning are visually impaired, and their charitable apparel brand, Two Blind Brothers donates 100% of the proceeds to curing blindness. That's right--every penny from every shirt that's sold goes to cure blindness. They've overcome a childhood diagnosis of Stargardt disease and in the process, created a line of ultra-soft, feel-good items that include braille tags and make a difference in the world. They're inspiring in their mission, but lucky for us? Their products are incredibly amazing too.
BABOR Eye Shadow
We love cosmetics that are clean and green and really give back. That's why we think BABOR's eye shadow quads and creamy eye shadow are a lovely touch of luxury for any mama.
But what we love most is that they give to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. In September, BABOR founder and CEO Alicia Grande relaunched the Beauty From The Heart campaign and has brought total 2020 contributions to Feeding America to over $300,000!
BABOR is Europe's #1 professional skin-care brand and has donated over 990,000 meals with 15% of net revenue going to underserved communities across the country.
Clean, green products that give back to our own communities? Yes, please
Andalou Naturals Products
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.
Nourishing and incredibly nurturing...a great stocking stuffer option as well!
This Saves Lives Treats
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.