It’s easy to get lost in the mayhem of searching endlessly for the gift that’s just right for your recipient. We can lose the entire point of the season: giving. Not just gift giving but giving back to those in need via causes and organizations that are devoted to making big changes in the world. Why not combine the two this holiday season by giving a gift that gives back to others?
We’ve assembled a roundup of gifts that are not only extraordinarily special, but they also have greater meaning—they all donate proceeds to admirable organizations. These are our favorite gifts that do good (and feel good gifting) this holiday season.
West Elm x ASPCA Mug, $12
If you love animals, then you probably love the ASPCA, the organization dedicated to the ethical treatment of all animals. It has teamed up with West Elm to give a percentage of proceeds to a handful of seasonal gifts. From animal-themed ornaments to colorful, charming printed mugs, the collection is a must for the pet lover in your life.
Each bottle of soap basically accomplishes the same thing: cleaning your hands—except this Soapply version takes it a step further. Did you know that 1.4 million children under 5 die every year from diseases that could be prevented through the simple act of handwashing with soap? Soapply founder Mera McGrew heard that heartbreaking statistic and decided to enact change by the simple but revolutionary act of providing soap. With a purchase of soap, the brand donates money to fund water sanitation and hygiene initiatives across the globe in actionable ways for immediate changes.
Feeling inspired by their movement? Purchase the gift of a subscription for a bigger impact of change.
Another soap making big change is Method’s Glass for Good ($15). The limited edition collaboration with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is not only unique, with a cylindrical glass bottle, but it also is dedicated to empowering 60,000 students, teachers, and families each year via educational programs.
Philanthropy is built into the DNA of Chantecaille, which means its makeup is both gorgeous and financially supports an endangered animal or environment that needs protection and financial aid. Previous collections have benefited mountain gorillas in the Virunga National Park in the Congo and Rwanda, and its new lip collection supports Space for Giants, a nonprofit fearlessly dedicated to preserves the migration paths of African elephants. A worthy focus, as only 4 percent of the African elephant population is still alive today, says Space for Giants.
Kiehl’s Kiss Me Set, $25
Who doesn’t need lip balm this winter? Thankfully, Kiehl’s has some of the most nourishing and hydrating. The trio just so happens to give back in a major way too. The purchase of one of these sets will provide 205 meals for Feeding America, the nonprofit looking to end hunger. The bow on top? This year’s bright, vividly fun holiday packaging kits are designed by American artist Andrew Bannecker.
Got a tea fan in your life? Give them the tea brand that is used by some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world (it’s the only tea two-Michelin-star restaurant Noma serves). Each batch of organic tea is handpicked by a tea farmer from around the world that is paid a fair-trade yearly income. If that wasn’t enough, Rare Tea Co. has a dedicated charity, Rare Charity, that gives back to the tea-producing communities the brand works directly with. It also gives scholarships to the children of tea producers to enact positive, educational change to the community as a whole.
Give the gift of sleep (is there any greater gift?) this year with an effective sleep spray. This one specifically gives back to the fight against AIDS, with $1 of each purchase going to (RED), which provides days of life-saving medication to someone living with HIV.
You’re already on Amazon, but did you know if you go to smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice, with no additional cost to you?
So you can buy the gifts you were already eyeing, but they all go to help a great cause.
Another chic tote to carry around your everyday objects, but this one has some greater meaning: Clare V. has partnered with Every Mother Counts to donate 100 percent of net proceeds from sales of this bag to EMC, which focuses on making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother everywhere.
20 percent of sales of this Baxter of California kit will be donated to the (RED) global fund in support of the fight to end AIDS (this kit specifically provides over 40 days of life-saving HIV medication). Beyond doing incredible things, this kit has BoC best sellers: pomade, beard-shaving cream, and grooming oil—literally a must-have kit for anyone who likes to look sharp.
FEED Market Tote, $78
Heading to the market or grocery store? Don’t forget a reusable bag like this FEED tote. But this is no ordinary reusable tote—this one provides 50 meals to those in need. A worthy cause when we consider that 795 million people around the world go hungry every day.
We mused about activist Pamela Bell in our Winter 2016 print issue, and her company, Prinkshop, that lets you wear causes on your sleeve—literally. The brand not only looks chic, but an impressive amount of proceeds from each design goes to a coordinating cause. The “You See A Girl I See The Future” shirt? 50 percent of all profits go to Girl Up, a United Nations foundation focused on uniting girls to change the world. There are 15-plus designs all going to different causes. Changing the world one tee at a time.
Make a donation
Unicef, where you can donate and also shop items produced by artisans and give back to those in need. Sonoma County Resilience Fund works to address the mid- to long-term needs of those impacted by the devastating wildfires. ASPCA works to end animal cruelty. Oxfam works to end poverty globally. National Wildlife Fund, where you can symbolically adopt an animal or shop the market, both sections ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. You can get more specific, too, and give a goat or pair of goats ($85 to $170) from World Vision, which helps families produce milk for themselves, but owners can also sell the goat milk for income. Fun fact: One goat can produce up to 16 cups of milk a day.
This story was originally published December 18, 2017, and has been updated with new information and products.