GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK 2011

Last year I shared a gift guide full of gifts that giveback to social justice projects, and this year it’s back by popular demand. Let me tell ya, that’s music to my ears because there are SOOOO many great companies out there that are not only designing RAD products but they are making a positive difference in world while doing it. That’s something that I believe in as a business owner, and that I challenge anyone else reading this that own their own too. What ways can you give back not just for Christmas, but year round?!

Get inspired and in the Christmas gift giving spirit with some of these world changing gift ideas!

1 // FashionABLE scarves – FashionABLE makes scarves for kids, women and men in almost every color you can think of. fashionABLE works with women who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty.  So, when you purchase a scarf you are providing jobs for women, and then they send the profits back to holistically rehabilitate more women!

2 // Hello Somebody watches – Hello Somebody creates the coolest looking watches in so many bright, eye-popping colors. They are great for guys and gals, and the perfect gift for those that are always late like me. haha! BRian, my husband has a few and he ALWAYS gets compliments on them. The company’s overall mission is to feed and educate children, by providing an avenue of knowledge, in order to break the cycle of poverty and hunger within their generation. Every purchase you make goes toward that cause, and you can go above and beyond and donate more too!

3 // TOMS – You may already own a pair of TOMS shoes, but did you know that they have been coming out with new styles?! They now sell these awesome desert boots for women and men. Plus, they also sell eye wear now! Their buy one give one business model is still the same. So, if you buy one pair of glasses, you’re giving eyesight to a child, and if you buy a pair of shoes, you’re giving shoes to a child in need. AWESOME!!!

4 // FEED bags – FEED makes these cool tote bags that help raise money for food for countries in need. Their mission is simply to FEED the world, and with every purchase you know exactly what country your money is supporting. Kind of cool, huh?! Not to mention, I promise that people are going to be asking you where you got such an awesome bag!

5 // Bobbi Brown lip gloss & lipstick – It’s obviously a gift that any gal would love. So, why not make it a gift that also supports breast cancer research at the same time?! Bobbi Brown makes amazing makeup products, and so you know that you’re buying a quality gift with significance. With every purchase, $10.00 is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation!

6 // Wallets for Water – This is a company that I have gotten to witness grow from the ground up because it was started by a good friend of mine, Jeff Gokee. His heart for India is HUGE, and his product is RAD! Every wallet is made out of a men’s tie. So, not only is WFW recycling, but they are making a great product that gives clean water to people in India! Sustainability, social justice and fashion in one?! Oh my! Sign me up!

7 // 31 Bits – Boy do I love this company! I love the women that run it. I love the jewelry that they create. I love the positive change that it makes in the lives of women in Uganda. If you’re looking for some beautiful, fashionable jewelry look no further than 31 Bits. Not only does 31 Bits employ women in Uganda that need jobs to support themselves and their families, but part of their time with 31 Bits is literacy education, financial and vocational training and emotional support and care – giving these women a foundation to build upon.

8 // Warby Parker – First of all, how many people love glasses?!?! Even just for fun?!? Warby has started offering sunglasses too, so now you can give the gift of fashionable eye wear to anyone, and give the gift of eye sight to someone in need. Warby has a buy one, give one model. I can’t imagine not being able to see the world and all of its beauty. If there is something that I can do to help change that, I want to be a part of it.

9 // Krochet Kids International – Hats are one thing that I always look forward to in the winter. I’m sure you’re wondering how I can fit all of this hair under a hat, and that’s a very good question, but more importantly, how do these hats help the world? Well, they are empowering women in Uganda by giving them jobs. In fact, every hat is hand signed by the person that made it! Cool, no?! And, these hats are also helping kids in Peru!

1o // Project 7 - Do you like water? How about gum? What about Coffee? Most people I know consume all of those things on a regular basis. Project 7 makes these everyday consumer items, and gives back with every purchase. You guys, their coffee is sooooo good. Brian and I enjoy a cup every morning, and I look forward to it every day. They are called project 7 because they focus on making a difference in 7 areas – Feeding the Hungry, Healing the Sick, Hoping for Peace, Housing the Homeless, Quenching the Thirsty, Teaching them Well and Saving the Earth. Coffee is the perfect gift for friends, co-workers and parents with young children. haha! Seriously though, how awesome that every piece of gum or cup of coffee goes to one of these seven areas?!

11 // Compartes Chocolatier - These dark organic chocolates, from Compartes in California, showing a map of Africa, have creamy fillings of caramelized plantain, Kenyan coffee, cardamom-coconut, crunchy African cocoa nibs and African caramel. The sales help to support a women’s center in Darfur. Boxes are $20 for 5 ($30 for 10 and $50 for 20). Each box comes with one or more “relief bead” bracelets, which sell separately for $10 and provide two months’ education for a child in Darfur.

Alright….Happy shopping. Please add more RAD companies doing amazing things in the comments for people to check out! Lets spread the love this holiday season.

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