Each year for the holidays I put together a gift guide of socially responsible gifts that give back. Whenever we shop, we have an opportunity to use our purchasing power to create positive change. It might be by impacting the lives of women through economic empowerment or purchasing sustainable agriculture as a way to help preserve the environment. Whatever the cause, there are opportunities to support what you believe in as you do your gift shopping. It makes the giving even sweeter when you know your purchase makes a direct positive impact on someone else’s life somewhere in this world. It’s like giving twice.
2016 (social) Good Gift Guide
I was bursting with excitement when the box with my order from Macy’s arrived. I Carefully unwrapped the smooth gilded soapstone heart box that now sits on my desk, a talisman from Haiti. On our recent trip we visited the very river that soapstone was sourced from, and had watched the stone carvers sculpt misshapen rocks into beautiful smooth hearts by hand. I saw the completed gold-leafed hearts ready to be shipped for the Heart of Haiti holiday collection, and couldn’t wait to order one once I got home. It has been a thrill to meet the artisans and follow the creation process through to the finished piece of art now placed in front of me. I’ve gained a deep respect and appreciation for the creativity, resilience, and hard work of the Haitian artisan community. I cherish my golden Heart of Haiti heart as a beacon of beauty shaped in a place where life is not always easy. Every item in the line is like this, hand crafted with hope by the amazing artisans that we had the chance to meet.
The partnership with Haitian artisans through Artisan Business Network and Heart of Haiti was established after the earthquake in 2010 to provide long-term sustainable economic opportunities for the many talented artisans of Haiti. The Artisan Business Network works to empower Haiti’s artisan culture to improve the wellbeing of the community as a whole. Visit the ABN website to see more beautiful work from Haiti’s artisan community.
3. The Red Sari
Gorgeous felted scarves and fun holiday accessories make this one of my favorite discoveries this year. The Red Sari creates sustainable jobs for women in Nepal while also providing skills training and leadership workshops for Red Sari team members.
The Vintage Sari Collection, our signature line, is a result of our collaboration with a woman’s felting group in the Kathmandu Valley. Together we discovered the process of fusing wool fibers with vintage silk saris resulting in beautifully textured scarves and one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories. – www.theredsari.com
4. Zesa Raw
The Foodies in your life will love gifts from Zesa Raw:
Zesa Raw products are responsibly sourced from small-scale farmers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with the belief that pure, natural, simple, and raw crops are better for our health and for our environment. They make beautiful gifts too!
Zesa Raw was created out of a continuing commitment to the agricultural production of sustainable crops by small-scale farmers, thereby improving the quality of life in rural farming areas of the Caribbean and the Latin America basin. – Read more from the Zesa Raw Social Mission