With only 7 nights until Christmas, now is the time to get the last of your gift shopping done and I’ve got a great list of gift ideas that are not only different to the rest, but will also make you (and the recipient) feel a little warm and fuzzy inside because each gift gives in more ways than one…
The idea came from my cousin, Anders Uechtritz, who asides from being super intelligent and charming, works for a non-profit social purpose organisation in Australia, whose mission is to improve the lives of people in need through various services and projects. A few days ago, Anders sent out a family email with links to various social enterprise organisations whom he thought would make great alternatives to buy gifts from this Christmas – I loved it!
Social enterprises are businesses which put people and the planet first. By purchasing gifts from a social enterprise, we can give fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts while also directly contributing to the great work done by the enterprise.
So for those of you who are still struggling to find that perfect gift for someone who is hard to buy for, or just needing to do some last minute Christmas shopping before the big man in his big red suit trips down your chimney… I’ve gone and done a little research of my own and collated my Top 10 picks for your socially conscious gifting this year...
1. SEEME #HeartMovement fair-trade necklace:
My husband actually gave me one of these as an early Christmas present a few weeks ago because he was so excited, he couldn’t wait until the big day. He knew I’d love everything about this delicate necklace and what it represented... and boy he knows me well. The SEEME #heartmovement was launched in January 2014 with several fashion icons like Nicole Kidman and Alessandra Ambrosio quick to be photographed for the brand. Karl Lagerfeld, Missoni and Tommy Hilfiger have since collaborated with SEEME and the jewellery is handcrafted by women (often single mothers) who have suffered violence and were ostracized from their communities. Through training, SEEME women learn the craft of jewellery making following ancient tunisian techniques. Thus, while fostering their country's traditions they also secure a workplace for themselves and a future for their families.
2. Aerende Rustic Wooden Chopping Board:
A beautiful timber chopping board makes a great gift for those who take pride in their kitchen and/or house decor. Alternatively I'd sue this gorgeous board as a lovely rustic option for serving cheese! Crafted from sustainably sourced Scottish elm, this chopping board shows the grain and the shape of the original elm tree and was hand-crafted by volunteers recovering from mental illness at Fruitful Woods in Edinburgh.
3. Soneva Fushi Escape:
If you’re looking for something more extravagant to surprise your loved one(s), then maybe this deserted island hideaway in the Maldives is the perfect choice. It’s a place that my husband and I have had on our list for some time because everything about it looks and seems ideal! An award-winning resort with picture perfect sand and beaches… a Biosphere UNESCO protected pristine reef… and an eco-friendly existence which emanates the essence of barefoot luxury. Even more impressive than the resort itself, is the Soneva Foundation established by the owners of Soneva to deliver meaningful projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact. By choosing any of the Soneva resorts for your next holiday, you’re supporting a business that through its foundation is proactively making huge impact on our world via their inspiring global projects.
4. Thankyou ‘OH JOY’ Duo Gift Set:
This Botanical Patchouli & Vanilla Hand Wash + Lotion will make the perfect Secret Santa or Kris Kringle gift. 100% of the profits from Thankyou products goes towards ending global poverty, by helping to get safe water, sanitation, food and child and maternal health programs to people in need.
5. Global Seesaw Earrings:
Fashionable and chic, these Carter-Blue earrings will give any outfit a touch of style. Made by women who are beginning a new life at Starfish Project, each purchase is an investment in a mission to transform lives and restore hope to exploited women.
6. Conscious Step Socks:
Everyone loves socks for a stocking filler! But these socks are extra cool because they are ethically made and sold for leading non-profits around the world, as a fun way to raise awareness for the work they are doing. You can choose which non-profit you’d like to support by selecting the socks from each non-profits design range. On the back-end they pride themselves as leaders in Fairtrade and organic production using a unique non-toxic dying process, making their products a lot more durable and odor resistant, as well as preventing harm to our environment.
7. Sniffy Wiffy Body Gift Pack:
High-quality, gorgeous bath and body products which are providing vitally important health information in a forward-thinking, innovative way. Sniffy Wiffy's mission is to increase the number of ladies and gents who know about (and self-check for) the signs & symptoms of breast and testicular cancer.
8. Samanata Yogi Premium Yoga Apparel:
Inspired by the strength and courage of women and supporting artists and designers around the world, Samanata Yogi dedicates 10% of all their profits to Project Futures, a not-for-profit organisation that works tirelessly towards the eradication of human trafficking and the empowerment of its survivors. Recycled and eco-friendly fabrics and processes are used by Samantha Yogi to reduce environmental impact also.
9. Forage Cookbook:
For all you chefs out there, you can support village development in Nepal through agriculture enterprise when buying this stunning cookbook. Forage brings together recipes, stories and beautiful imagery from producers, food folks and 100 of the best chefs from across Victoria, Australia. Forage is an initiative born from a group of Aussies who during their time in Nepal, were inspired by the strong connection between the subsistence farmers, their food and the land that provides it.
10. Prosperity Candle:
Every candle purchased helps provide a living wage for the women artisans who are crafting them and whom have resettled to the United States from refugee camps in the hope of building a brighter future for themselves and their families. This social enterprise delights customers through design, fragrance, and stories that brighten your heart and soul, and they believe in contributing to the common good, prioritizing purpose over profit, and striving everyday to help end poverty.
Happy shopping and Merry Christmas!!!