The holidays are here with only 32 days left until Christmas.
I went to a big holiday shopping extravaganza the other day with aisles and aisles of stuff. Choices beyond choices and it wouldn’t have taken me long to spend my entire gift budget without making a dent in my list.
I just couldn’t bring myself to shop there. Something inside of me was not plused by the idea that someday this little jewel or that bauble might end up in a garage sale someday. Or how cute and adorable is that but really what do you do with it?
The thought of stepping foot in a big box chain store for a gift makes me want to poke my eye and for oh so many reasons.
I want to know where the stuff I buy comes from. I want to know that what I’m buying is improving social and environmental standards for others.
I want to share my list here with you. These are a few of my favorite things from some organizations that do just that—fair trade organizations who can use our help.
Give a gift that gives!
I hope you have as much fun shopping as I did making this list. If you find something you like, do me a favor and leave me a comment here on my blog!
Why I love them? FASHIONALBE invests in women. They empower women both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity. With scarves, leather goods, jewelry and home goods I know you’ll find something you love for someone you love!
My favorite thing: Mamuye Tote
2. Beagle Freedom Project
96% of dogs used for testing in labs are beagles. The Beagle Freedom Project is a mission to rescue beagles from being used in animal experimentation in research laboratories and to give them a chance at life in a loving home forever.
Why wouldn’t anyone love BFP?
Everyone needs a 2016 calendar!
I love them because 100% of the profits from the sale of goods go to send people on missions in third world countries as Haiti and Africa. I know the leadership of this organization are they are tops. Honest and Godly.
My favorite items that they sell:
These pot holders just make me smile.
These adorable cuddly monkeys, elephants and zebras! Kids are bound to love these.
They have quite a selection of sweet journals that are helping to save the elephants in Sri Lanka.
Karl and Thusitha believe that providing sustainable paper-making and artisan jobs making paper will give value to saving elephants. Their paper is composed of 30% fiber from elephant dung, and 70% post-consumer paper.
The paper is poo paper. They use elephant dung which is a commodity that is freely available.
Why I love?
It’s custom for a Cause. This Detroit based company empowers women who have barriers to employment, both cultural, because of language barriers and education. By your purchase, she has purpose and is able to provide for her family.
90% of the bags are made in the homes of the women who make them.
The power just keeps on making a different.
My favorite is hard to choose but I like the Capsule Tote…the upper and lower parts are able to be customized included the hardware!
Help the homeless, get some fun fun socks!
In Austin, Texas, Mitscoots helps the homeless. Next to food and water they discovered that there was no greater need than for a clean pair of socks. With every purchase an equal quality item will be given to someone on the streets in need.
Mitscots makes gear with a mission: GET + GIVE + EMPLOY
These are so fun! They come in kids sizes too!
6. Texas Strong Benefits United Way of Hays County Disaster Relief Fund
Why I love?
A mom of two took action to help raise money for victims of the Texas flooding at the same time memorializing her mom Dixie who suffered from Alzheimers.
100% of the profits are going to the United Way of Hays County Disaster Relief Fund to help flood victims in Hays and Caldwell counties.
Lauren Flake – a mother of two and seventh generation Texan, woke up in the middle of the night by the storms and saw the devastating images on Facebook like we all did. The flooding near the San Marcos nursing home where her mother Dixie battled early on-set Alzheimer’s until her death in 2013, really struck her. So she created Texas Strong ladies tees through the on line design platform called Teespring.
Her quote is beautiful.
“My 3-year-old is very into superheroes,” Flake says. “But she tells me all the time that she’s not pretty, so lately our motto has been ‘Pretty Strong’ – because girls can be both beautiful and strong.”
This Ethical Handbag Boutique puts artisans from around the world to work. These artisans are treated with respect and are paid a living wage for their region. While their products are under $150, on average, for every $200 spent in their shop, they’re able to help employ an artisan full time for one month.
Beautiful clutches & purses.
My favorite bag though is this “Austin is for Huggers”
Purpose jewelry is handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. 100% of the proceeds benefit International Sanctuary, a non profit that provides holistic care for young women rescued from sex trafficking.
My favorite? Horizon Earrings
9. The GOEX
The GO Exchange (GOEX) is a global boutique dedicated to Orphan Prevention. World class designers help local workers among the poor – mostly single moms – make beautiful, hand-crafted products that embody their own uplifting beauty.
Key fobs, aprons, totes, jewelry + homegoods. Adorable Christmas stockings too.
My fave? Aiza Chiffon Ribbon to go with your Sseko sandal base
10. The Giving Keys
Who knew a hotel key around the neck of actress Caitlyn Crosby could start a movement making a difference. They employ those transitioning out of homelessness. The keys speak life. Strength. Courage. Fearless.
My favorite? The Classic
Bags, bags and more bags! I can’t get enough of these beauties & their beautiful colors.
JOYN was founded by a couple from Arkansas, The Murrays have dedicated their lives to bringing lasting change to impoverished Rajpur, India. They began by making bags and today they continue to sell beautiful handmade products by artisans who do 100% of the work, from weaving to block printing to stitching. This brings JOY to those who make the products, and JOY to those who buy them.
My favorite? The Mary Poppins Gold
3Strands is a fashion brand with a ause to fight sex trafficking around the world.
With your purchase of a handmade bracelet will empower, teach and employ young women who have been rescued from the evils of sex trafficking.
My favorite thing:
Crew neck tee…freedom + Love & empowerment