Holiday Gift Guides 2016: Giving Back

Spread the love with these good cause, good vibe presents

Oftentimes forgotten in the madness of December is that the true meaning of the holidays is giving. While gifting your favorite people (and non-people) presents they’d love, giving to charities and strangers is just as important. We strongly recommend making a donation in a loved one’s name this year, but if you also want to give a gift that benefits more than just the recipient, check out our Gifts That Give Back guide in the BUY section—full of beautiful treats that also benefit charities and initiatives aimed to make our world a better place. From gun control to women’s reproductive rights, feeding kids in need and offering employment in developing communities, the positive vibes are abundant.

Collection For A Cause Skincare Set

A joint venture between Kiehl’s and Brooklyn-based art collective FAILE (aka Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller), this collection of luxe skincare products sees 100% of net profits going toward non-profit Feeding America. The set ($45) includes Daily Reviving Concentrate, limited edition Ultra Facial Cream, limited edition Creme de Corps, and a limited edition FAILE sticker; the total value of each set sold translates to 415 meals for those in need through the charity. Yes, it’s a beautifully designed kit of lavish items, but the charitable element remains undeniably important.

North Beanie

Made in Cloquet, Minnesota, Askov Finlayson’s North beanies ($29) have a retro gather-round-the-campfire feel, but there’s a very forward-thinking message here as well. With every hat sold from the North collection, a donation is made to the Climate Generation to support their Keep The North Cold initiative, which educates the younger generations about climate change. The beanies are available in various colorways, but our pick is the navy and black version, which will match almost everything in your winter wardrobe.

Keep Going Pin

A very simple message on a pin ($5): Keep Going. Not only is it a little daily motivation for all kinds of tasks, but it’s an essential reminder that we need to continue our fight to end gun violence. The Everytown movement wants to build safer communities and keep innocent people out of harm’s way—a very reasonable mission, considering almost 13k people have been killed due to gun violence in the USA this year.

SmileSolar Mini Watch

Requiring no battery, this Smil mini watch ($40) is powered by the sun and operates for more than three months after a full charge. Available in countless colorways, this watch is more than a functional accessory—Q&Q donates a portion of profits to Table For Two, which is an organization that delivers school meals to children in need in Africa and Asia.

Orangutan Polo Shirt

ARKWEAR (an apparel company whose name was inspired by Noah himself) donates 5% of their sales to the Wildlife Conservation Society—a global non-profit that aims to save wildlife that’s vulnerable or facing extinction. This year, they are focused on a few specific animals that are in danger: sharks, rhinos, elephants and orangutans. Their polo shirts ($95) are embroidered with the creatures, in an attempt to draw attention to their plight—and add a little personality at the same time.

Hand-Painted Eleanor Bag

Made from 100% vegetable tanned leather, this version of FEED’s “Eleanor” bag ($325) is a hand-painted limited edition. Available in black or brown, the bag can be carried as a crossbody or tote and features the work of artists Yeti and The Beast. Purchasing this bag results in 75 school meals being provided for kids in need all over the world.

Clouds and Rainbow Scarf

From one of our favorite NYC brands, 100% fair-trade accessories maker Slow Factory, the “We Are Home” collection uses NASA satellite images to create beautifully patterned silk scarves ($140). From cloud vortices near the South Pacific’s Heard Island to the Outer Aleutian Islands to dusty deserts, the scarves are fascinating and pretty. Plus, money from the scarf and tie sales support an education initiative, which benefits Syrian refugees thanks to American Near East Refugee Aid (aka ANERA) and UNICEF. Slow Factory’s founder, Celine Semaan Vernon, is a refugee herself, so the initiative is especially close to her heart—therefore donating $10 from each sale was a no-brainer.

Orange Flower + Amber Candle

Not only a beautifully scented candle ($55) housed in a sophisticated holder, Starling’s products directly benefit developing communities. Founded just last year, the company has already raised $100k and donated it to organizations including UNICEF in order to provide solar energy for people in Chad. The candles are hand-poured in Brooklyn, but their reach is much further.

Lee Backpack

Made form buttery leather this cinch backpack ($225) is more than one bag—it’s reversible. Depending on your look for the day, it can be worn on either the black or mauve side. Better yet, it’s part of State’s #GiveBackPack program, which means for every bag sold, the ream at State hand-delivers another backpack full of pencils, notebooks, socks—you name it—to an American child in need.

Black Tassel Earrings

Penh Lenh—an organization that empowers marginalized and at-risk women in Cambodia through education and vocational training—handcrafts oftentimes dainty but statement-making beaded jewelry. For something a little different than the rest of their collection, these tassel earrings ($39) (made from gold-plated hardware and black agate) are a little festive and 100% of the profits are invested back into the organization.

Signet Ring

J. Hannah’s minimal, sophisticated Demi signet ring ($198) is available in 14k gold or sterling silver—and it’s a covetable piece of jewelry, being solid and not hollowed in the back. The 5mm x 5mm face can be engraved with any letter chosen, or left blank. Also, 10% of profits is donated to Design for Progress—an organization that supports and protects groups and issues in need of post-election help.

Eroticize Equality T-Shirt

Gloria Steinem once said that we need to “eroticize equality” rather than women’s bodies. This T-shirt from Prinkshop ($35) makes the statement, plain and simple, for all to see. The best part about wearing this particular belief on your chest is that Prinkshop gives 30% of their profits to Lady Parts Justice—an organization that uses humor and transparency to educate women about how their rights are being removed, and encourage people to form alliances in order to keep each other safe.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image courtesy of Slow Factory