With the holidays right around the corner, the pressure is on to get something special for all of those special someone’s on your giving list.
The truth is, behind every tech product, fast-fashion article of clothing, or pair of shoes, there is an environmental and social footprint it leaves on every environment and person involved in its production. Whether that footprint is positive or negative, depends on the brand.
Instead of going for mainstream negative-footprint products, look into just a few of our favorite brands that are making the world a better place one gift at a time.
1. 10 Tree
Ten Tree is an online store that plants ten trees for every purchase. As of today, they’ve planted 6,603,090 trees to reforest huge areas of Madagascar, Indonesia, Canada, and Brazil. When you purchase one of their earthy tees, hats, or sweaters, you also receive a metal token with a code on it. You can then take that code and enter it on their online tree map to see exactly where in the world the 10 trees you sponsored were planted. While most products leave a negative footprint on the environment, 10 tree products leave you feeling good about giving a gift that gives back to nature.
Bracelets from 100 Good Deeds are made by vulnerable women in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa Rwanda, Haiti, Bali, India, and New York. The wage they make from employment with 100 Good Deeds empowers the women by giving them a way to independently support their families. Apart from this, their bracelets are also designed to remind you to do good deeds. Each bracelet is made up of 100 beads and a moveable ring. Every time you do a good deed, you move the ring over until you have completed the entire bracelet and thus, 100 good deeds.
The Little Market offers a variety of products from around the world that are sustainable sourced and offer employment to artisans in exchange for their skillfully crafted pieces. From tote bags, to ceramic painted plates, to beautiful artisan bracelets, all of their products are fair trade, sustainable, and unique.
4. Krochet Kids
Krochet Kids is a non-profit apparel brand that empowers communities to rise above poverty through development programs involving the women who work in the production of their products. The founders started off as snowboarding and Crochet enthusiasts who felt the calling to help people in developing countries. They taught women in the poorest areas of Uganda and Peru how to Crochet beanies, and now they have an entire store of products.
Oliberté is a sustainable shoe company that supports worker’s rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. Every pair of shoes is made in their factory in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. These guys are the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing company. All the materials used in each product are locally sourced and brand offers a lifetime warranty on the quality of their shoes.
While shopping for holiday gifts, don’t forget to check the tag and make sure your money is supporting companies that are responsible, sustainable, and compassionate. More importantly, don’t forget that family and friends are the most important part of this season, so spend more time than money with the people you love.