With Christmas around the corner, many people are calmly (or frantically) trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Giving gifts is more enjoyable than receiving, but I think it is even better when my purchase can also help others or the community. I have researched and put together a list of five companies that give back to a person in need or the environment with every purchase.
Many people are aware of TOMS and their “One for One” movement, but if you are not, when a pair of shoes is purchased, TOMS gives another pair to a person in need throughout the world. What many people may not know though is that TOMS offers a variety of products that also give back. If a pair of sunglasses are purchased, TOMS gives a person their sight back by either surgery, prescription glasses, or medical treatment. If coffee is purchased, TOMS gives a person in need safe water for a week. If a bag Is purchased, TOMS gives a woman the opportunity to have a safe birth. If a backpack is purchased, TOMS provides training to school staff on how to respond to bullying in schools. TOMS also offers a variety of items from other companies in the TOMS Marketplace that also give back in many ways.
***Side note: I actually got a chance to meet Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS, and hear is story (super inspirational!) and also showed him this picture that I took of TOMS while in Africa. It was a pretty awesome experience!
2. Better Life Bags
Better Life Bags is probably one of my favorites in this list. This company provides two different options: (1) purchase a bag from the already made ones, (2) design your own bag. You are given a choice from different styles of bags and also the fabric to use. You are the designer and can create a unique bag or purse, but it also empowers and employs women who have faced obstacles and barriers in their lives that may stop them from earning a job elsewhere.
I stumbled across Sevenly a couple of years ago and have grown to love the company. Every week Sevenly teams up with a cause or an organization to create items and raise money. The causes range from empowering individuals with education in parts of the world, mental illness, animals and many other great causes. Sevenly typically has around 5 different designs pertaining to the particular cause of the week and prints it on various styles of shirts and other items depending on the cause. With every purchase, Sevenly donates 7% of the proceeds to the cause. Sevenly also offers a subscription box called “CAUSEBOX,” which would be a great gift idea that continues to give month to month!
4. Out of Print
Out of Print is an awesome company that I found and fell in love with. They offer a variety of clothing (tees, socks, leggings), accessories (bags, scarves, jewelry), and a variety of other items (notebooks, mugs) that all either have a book cover printed on them, a design related to a certain book, or a design relating to books in general. This is a great idea for that book lover in your life and with every purchase, Out of Print partners with Books for Africa and donates a book to a community in need.
WeWOOD is the most unique company that I discovered through my research. WeWOOD offers a variety of watches made out of scarp wood. The watches range from solid colors to wood that has a design printed on. WeWOOD also sells sunglasses that have been made out of cotton fibers. It is so ecofriendly! With every purchase WeWOOD also plants a tree and since 2011, they have planted 300,000 trees. With a goal of 1 million trees planted by 2020, WeWOOD is working hard to keep forests replenished and healthy!