Give the Gift That Gives Back: Your Ultimate Small Biz Holiday Gift Guide
The holiday’s are right around the corner—ready or not. While this year definitely looks a little different, thoughtful gifts might be more important than ever when we can’t see our loved ones as usual. It’s been a financially tough year for many, so why not use our holiday shopping as a way to give back? By choosing to support small businesses that are doing good things, we can make a direct impact with our dollar. Here are just a few of our favorites to kick off this holiday season.
Sitti Soap Co.
This social enterprise makes artisan, olive oil soaps, with beautiful packaging and thoughtfully curated gift boxes. Each hand made soap is vegan, sustainable and ethically manufactured. From hand-embroidered masks, to elegant wooden soap dishes and teas, they have so many great options for holiday gifts. Sitti Soap is women owned and works to combat employment inequality for women in refugee communities throughout the Middle East. Each purchase helps secure employment for refugees in a fair paying job, as well as funding English classes, computers, and other educational resources.
A small, sustainable, lipstick collection, Beautiful Rights is women-owned and led. They give 20% from each sale back to women and gender rights organizations such as March for Our Lives, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and many more. Founded and made in New York, these artisan lipsticks all come with a free “Make America Kind” Tote with each purchase.
We couldn’t make a gift guide without including ourselves, now could we?! With work from home making loungewear a wardrobe staple, our cozy, 100% Egyptian cotton, ethically made sweatshirts are the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. Each purchase gives back to Girls Inc., working to empower young women today. You can be Outspoken while you wear Outspoken–what’s better than that?
Getting socks in your stocking is no longer a gift you have to force a smile for. Conscious Step makes adorable vegan, fair trade, organic cotton socks. They don’t cost you a fortune, and they make prints suited for everyone. These socks also pack a huge punch with each purchase giving back to organizations that help fight for equality, prevent breast cancer, end poverty, save the environment, provide meals to children, among many other things. Who knew something so cute could do so much?
Purse and Clutch
Okay, this is definitely not in the budget friendly category, but this is the place to get your partner or special someone something truly new and unique. Think one of a kind purses, backpacks, totes, and belts. Each product is made as sustainably and naturally as possible. Purse & Clutch designs ethically made products in Ethiopia and Mexico to help end poverty in these regions. They partner with local artisans, who are paid a living wage.
Indigenous owned and run, B.Yellowtail supports Indigenous, Native American and First nation creators, designers and entrepreneurs. Each product centers around tradition and culture, producing artisanal beauty products, jewelry, silk scarves and masks, as well as a higher end clothing line. Let’s put it this way: we want everything on this site. This year, they also partnered with the Decolonizing Wealth Project to create masks that support COVID-19 relief efforts in Native American communities.
Hand poured artisan candles, bath sets and diffusers, that all go back to women. Prosperity Candle makes seriously creative, divine gift sets—it’s almost impossible to choose which one to give. A social enterprise, they support refugees and artisans through candle-making, by offering fair paying employment and partnerships to Burmese, Bhutanese, Congolese, Haitian, and Iraqi women and refugees in the U.S.
I don’t think I’ve seen cuter cookware in my life. From the insta-famous always pan, to glass and dish sets, these thoughtful pieces are perfect for a recent college grad, newlyweds, or to spruce up your parents kitchen. BIPOC owned, ethically produced, responsibly made, Our Place also partnered with the LA Food Policy Council to make food more accessible to families in need in South LA.
These are the perfect greeting cards for the holiday. Aya is a Black owned, ethically made, sustainable and eco friendly paper company. From greeting cards to calendars, to intention setting and manifestation journals, everything she makes keeps in mind the environment and communities of color.
We all could use a break from our screens this year, and books are a great way to unwind, educate, and entertain. Elizabeth’s, founded by activist and educator Rachel Cargle, opened in 2020 in Akron, Ohio. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to be in Ohio to support her! You can order books from her collection online and ship anywhere in the U.S. She’s also doing gift sets with products from local businesses. That’s not all, a percentage of every purchase goes back to the Loveland Foundation, providing free therapy to Black women and girls.
Call To Action:
- Support those who need it most by shopping small this year.
- Choose businesses that also give back to make the most out of your dollar.
- Spread the word! Encourage your friends and family to shop small this year, and send them this gift guide.
- Remember: small businesses have less help and resources than big brands. Order early so your gifts will arrive on time.
-Alicia Briggs, Content Creator