Thursday, November 21, 2013

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Top Gifts that Give Back

1. Given Goods
some goodies from Given Goods
If you're looking for a unique handmade gift this holiday, then check out Given Goods, an online marketplace of gifts that give back. Every product offered on the site makes a tangible social impact every time it's purchased. When you find a gift you want to purchase, the website will tell you specifically how the purchase price of this item is giving back. For example, purchasing a lovely wine carafe set might provide job and vocational training for underserved members of the Boise, Idaho. Products range from home goods to jewelry, and the impact area ranges from the United States to Africa to South America. It's truly global.

PACT's women's loungewear

I've posted about PACT before on this blog, but I'm going to do it again. This loungewear company just has the cutest and comfiest sweatshop-free clothes for men, women, and babies. Plus, every purchase supports positive global causes. It seems kind of funny to say, but "change starts with your underwear". This fall, PACT and Whole Planet Foundation will raise $50,000 to lend a hand to low-income entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses. Every purchase contributes to a fund that will turn into micro-loans for these people. You get organic socks and underwear, and they get a chance at starting their dream.

3. Frontier Co-Op
This is also a gift that could be for foodies, but because of the company's "give-back" philosophy, I had to add them under this gifting category. Frontier Co-Op builds relationships with farming co-ops around the world through its Well Earth sustainable sourcing program. It donates money in a variety of countries to help local farmers and families in those communities. For example, Frontier donated $20,000 in India to purchase a delivery truck that delivers hot meals daily to 4,500 schoolchildren. The company also donated $49,000 to dig 49 wells in Madagascar, bringing clean water to 25,000 people. The company also sells packaged organic spices and seasonings, herbs, foods, teas, essential oils, and body care products through three different brands.

I was able to try out some of Frontier's All-Natural Smoked Paprika, which has this AMAZINGLY smokey scent, and its Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon, which has such a strong and luscious cinnamon scent and flavor. Under its Simply Organic brand, I was able to try out the Southwest Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip. All you do is add greek yogurt to the powdered mix, stir, and serve with your favorite veggies or chips. It was so good! The Simply Organic brand also offers certified gluten-free food items, including seasoning mixes, dips, sauces!

Claw Money
Screen-Printed Tote Bag
4. Andaz Holiday Bazaar
Andaz Holiday Bazaar is a virtual pop-up shop offering locally inspired unique gifts for the fashionista, beauty maven, foodie, art aficionado, and music lover. This online holiday bazaar is hosted by, with proceeds going to Women for Women International. Andaz, a hotel company, has worked with Women for Women International since 2011, providing women in war-torn countries with economic opportunities to help them reach their full potential and be positive catalysts for change. Andaz works with a community of women in Iraq who create laundry bags placed in all Andaz guestrooms around the world. This pop-up shop is Andaz expanding on its charity work and highlighting the artists it works with on a regular basis.

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