With holiday gatherings and gifting on your mind, it's a busy time of year... full of joy and connection, but also trying to figure what friends, family and co-workers would like to receive. And then there is always that question of where best to spend your dollars that will also feel good.
Gifts that are ethically made give back in incredible ways. If you enjoy the fun of guessing what someone might appreciate, it doesn't take much additional effort to choose a gift that's meaningful, too. Artisan-made gifts make a difference in the world and share your values unlike any other.
Here is a simple guide to holiday gifts that give back. We created it to help make ethical shopping a little easier, and to help amplify your positive impact in the world. Enjoy!
We all have causes we care about and would love to create change for. Those small, individual actions we make time for in our daily lives - perhaps to recycle, volunteer, empower girls, or help refugees - create ripples that spread throughout our communities, influence our friends and family, and truly add up.
A simple truth is that every time we shop, people and the environment are impacted. When we decide which shirt or shoes to buy, we are playing a role in a global economy that determines whether a garment worker can feed her family and send her children to school. The same is true when we choose our coffee, chocolate, candles, and gifts. More often than not, the artisans and farmers who made these products live far away in another country, yet are deeply impacted by the choices we make.
In a world of fast fashion, endless deals and clever marketing, there is more reason than ever to shop thoughtfully. A simple purchase can mean the difference between someone living in poverty or working toward a brighter future. Ethical shopping is about voting for the world we want (and not voting for the world we don't want) one purchase at a time. The reality is that we as consumers hold incredible power. We can tell companies what we care about by choosing where to spend our money.
The next time you get that gut feeling that a product is priced too cheaply, it's worth giving a listen. Sadly, many businesses exploit workers with poverty wages and unsafe working conditions that show no regard for their quality of life. Hidden behind many labels, sweatshops and child labor persist.
Fortunately, this is where conscious consumers and ethical brands are taking a stand. A gift that is meant to bring joy to someone you care about shouldn't come at the cost of an artisan and her family's livelihood. By uniting to support brands with these values, we can shape the change we want to see.
We love socially and environmentally conscious gifts, especially those that include a handmade touch. Every handcrafted product represents a celebration of an artisan's creativity. The moment you touch it, you are instantly connected to that artisan in a tangible way. Their years of skilled technique are in every detail. It's what makes ethically handmade gifts especially beautiful and meaningful.
Ethically made products are designed for good from start to finish, which means your gift will be appreciated for years. And Fair Trade and B-Corp brands often go above and beyond to ensure living wages, good working conditions, and low environmental impact.
One way to make ethical shopping easier is by checking for these certifications. Fair Trade certification means you can be sure of a brand's practices - there are 10 principles and strict guidelines companies must follow. You'll be happy to know your gift is supporting dignified employment.
B-Corp is similar - a rigorous assessment of social and environmental sustainability. Every 3 years, Prosperity Candle goes through the certification process, and we're proud to be recognized for our mission to support women artisans who are building a brighter future in the U.S. after living for years as refugees.
There are incredible resources out there when it comes to ethical shopping and finding gifts or brands that give back. Some of our favorites are Sustainably Chic, Melanin and Sustainable Style, and The Good Trade.
If you're planning to shop online, these resources offer ethical options at your fingertips (and at your leisure, with no lines!). Just remember to order a couple weeks ahead so they arrive in plenty of time.
Finding thoughtful gifts and choosing ethical shopping spreads so much joy. With each purchase you can positively impact many lives simply by how you shop this holiday and throughout the year.
As a social enterprise that supports women refugees, we've seen how lives are transformed. A child receives an education, a family can afford to put healthy food on the table, healthcare is more accessible. Every gift is an opportunity for us all to make a difference.
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