Gifts That Give Back
While presents are certainly fun to receive, they can be even more enjoyable to give — especially when those purchases benefit a good cause. This holiday season, more companies and brands than ever — from subscription box services to tech startups — are partnering up with humanitarian organizations and non-profits as a way to give back to those in need.
This year, Travel + Leisure is offering its most comprehensive gift guide ever. The goal? To make sure you can find the perfect present for everyone (yes, even your mother-in-law) on your list. Below, our picks for the best gifts that give back.
Parks Project Park Lover Beanie
2016 was the year of America’s National Parks Centennial, so why not continue showing these majestic landscapes some love by purchasing apparel or accessories from Parks Project, an organization that gives back by funding various projects (like habitat restoration, wildlife conservation, youth education and visitor programs) in our country’s national parks. Their beanies, which are super-warm and suitable for all ages and genders, make a great gift for just about anyone.
To buy: parksproject.us, $34
Kiehl’s Since 1851 x Faile Collection For a Cause
For Kiehl’s 8th annual limited edition holiday collaboration, they teamed up with Brooklyn-based artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, featuring custom art and packaging by the duo. 100 percent of the profits from the collection will go to Feeding America, a hunger relief organization. One purchase of the Kiehl’s Collection for a Cause—which includes travel-friendly sizes of their Daily Reviving Concentrate, Ultra Facial Cream, Crème de Corps, and FAILE sticker—provides 415 meals to families in need this holiday season.
To buy: kiehls.com, $45
Thistle Farms Angora Wool Shawl by Himalayan Naari
Thistle Farms is a social enterprise that employs women recovering from addiction, homelessness, trafficking and more. The company first started out as a residential program, but, upon realizing that many of these women had artisanal skills, they started launching their own products—all of which are completely handmade (including the packaging) by their residents. Support the housing, medical care, therapy, education, and job training that the community offers by purchasing any of their products. For this winter, however, we’re obsessed with this Angora Wool shawl, created in partnership with the Himalayan Naari.
To buy: thistlefarms.org, $74
Golden Thread Stand Up Strong Personalized Pendant Necklace
The Starling Project Orange Flower and Amber Candle
The Starling Project, a new line of home candles, provides under-resourced countries with solar energy. That's a pretty big deal, considering nearly 1.3 billion people don't have access to electricity.
To buy: starlingproject.org, $55
Love Goodly Bi-monthly Subscription
Love Goodly is an eco-friendly beauty, wellness, and lifestyle subscription box service, though you can also purchase individual items, too. Five percent of every purchase goes to a cause; Love Goodly's most recent partnerships are with Cure Cervical Cancer and Farm Sanctuary. The company only carries brands that are cruelty-free, organic, non-gmo, and vegan; some of our favorites include Juice Beauty, S.W. Basics, and KINDri Los Angeles.
To buy: lovegoodly.com, bi-monthly subscriptions from $29.95
Benjarong White Elephant Teacup and Lid from Thailand
UNICEF Market offers a wide array of products, from jewelry to home goods, hand made by artisans around the world. Proceeds go to both the artisans themselves, and UNICEF, which helps save and protect children. We especially love this gorgeous, hand painted, lidded teacup from Thailand (made by Panida Tamjum). This purchase can also provide 27 doses of measles vaccines to children in need.
To buy: market.unicefusa.org, $39.99
WeWood Marsh Automatic Watch
For each watch purchased, WeWood plants a tree to combat deforestation. Each watch is created from reclaimed or recycled materials.
To buy: us.we-wood.com, $300
Alex and Ani Unicef Blue World Peace Kindred Cord
Rumba x Action Against Hunger Gold Jane Watch
Lume Shawl in Rouge
Made of 100 percent Vietnamese silk, this shawl works as either a wrap or a scarf.
To buy: globein.com, $60
Mercy Ships Anchor Charm Earrings
Mercy Ships, a global nonprofit that operates the world’s largest private hospital ship, is staffed entirely by volunteers and brings free medical treatment and health care training to regions where care is limited or nonexistent. The website offers a variety of gifts that give back, like clothing and jewelry. of which the entire proceeds go to the charity. We especially love these stylish, silver anchor earrings, an ideal gift for the New England beach bum or sailor in your life.
To buy: mercyships.org, $28
Single Origin Explorer’s Kit from Grounds & Hounds
20 percent of proceeds go to a local partner in your area, supporting dog rescue operations. So you can support your pup as you sip each morning.
To buy: myshopify.com, $27
Soap Co’s Black Poppy and Wild Fig Shower Gel Trio
All of Soap Co’s product are crafted by people in the U.K. who are “blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged,” giving them an opportunity for employment in a traditional workshop.
To buy: thesoapco.org, $45
Signature Handwoven Basket from Mexico
Globein, a tech startup committed to providing business opportunities to artisans around the world, offers beautiful, colorful, handcrafted goods. Their hand-woven baskets can be used for home storage and create-your-own gift-basket packaging.
To buy: globein.com, $12
Hand Blown Beer Glasses from Mexico
We absolutely love these hand-blown beer mugs from UNICEF Market, made by artists Javier and Efren from Mexico. With craft beer more popular than ever, demand is high for growlers and steins, and these glasses are sophisticated and special. Plus, each purchase can vaccinate up to 97 children against polio.
To buy: market.unicefusa.org, $77.99 (set of six)
Origins Feel Good Candle
Hand Painted Mug from Tunisia
These beautiful, handmade mugs, produced from Tunisian artisan organization Le Souk Ceramique, are much more than just drinking vessels. Overly sized (so a perfect gift for the coffee addict in your life), these are covered with intricate, hand-painted Tunisian designs. You can also use them as a small vase or decorative knick-knack.
To buy: globein.com, $18
Large Cotton Hammock Swing from Mexico
Fair Trade Beaded Necklace
This fair-trade necklace is only $15, and the stylish staple supports local artisans in Honduras.
To buy: globein.com, $15
When you buy a toothbrush from Boka, the company provides one to those in need. You can shop their products a la carte online, or, better yet, opt for the subscription service and never forget to replace your brush again.
To buy: boka.com, subscriptions from $14.50