I don't know about you, but material things have a lot less meaning to me in the days since the election. The world needs help, not things. That said, shopping has been proven to be a short-term antidepressant, and we could all use a little pick-me-up right now, right?
With Black Friday around the corner, we decided to take a little departure from our usual Gift Guides. Besides donating to a worthy cause (perhaps in Mike Pence's name), here are other great gifts that also give back to communities around the world.
1. Brix Beanie, $28 Krochet Kids
Krochet Kids works with highly vulnerable women who live in poverty-stricken regions of the world including Peru and Uganda. Their program empowers women to gain resources and rise above poverty. Each piece they sell is hand-signed by the woman who made it. You can check out more of their business model here.
2. Vacuum-Insulated Bottle, $29.95 Miir
Besides helping to avoid plastic waste, these BPA-free bottles are a great way to help water projects in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The donations go toward various solutions including biosand filters, construction, and rehabilitation of water systems and supporting hygiene and sanitation programs. Miir also has products that donate to education and mobility.
3. Porcupine-Beaded Fringe Necklace, $85 Global Goods Partners
Similar to Krochet Kids, Global Goods Partners works with female artisans in marginalized committees to help them advance. They work with over 40 partners in 20 different countries. Gifts range from jewelry to home decor and even kids toys.
4. Mina Shorts from the Punjammis Collection, $34 Sudara
Sudara works with women who have escaped India's sex trade. The company started with a simple pattern that could be used to teach anyone wanting to learn how to sew. They now employee hundreds of women and are working hard to create more partnerships and help hundreds of women gain a new community and safe place to work and heal.
5. Women's Hannah Teter X Bombas Socks, $28 Bombas
Did you know that socks are the number one requested item at homeless shelters? Bombas is working to fix that. With every pair of socks purchased, they donate one pair to a shelter. (Their socks are also legit -- I wear them in the winter).
6. Day Tote in Red, $42 Causegear
Causegear helps fight global poverty through its 5x Jobs model which helps provide food, water, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education to its disadvantaged employees. It aims to provide sustainable employment, and each product comes with a description of who crafted it.
7. Joj Scarf, $65 Ketzali
This Guatemala-based company helps several Guatemalan women's cooperatives with design and product quality seminars that help them improve and return value to the handmade product. These seminars give technical advice for the development of new textiles and clothing that help increase production and create new work sources for women and men contributing to decrease poverty and immigration to other countries. They are committed to fighting child labor, gender inequality and poverty. Most of their products show how the profit will be allocated among various charities and production.
8. Adventure T-Shirt, $28 Hands Producing Hope
This company based in Costa Rica aims to eliminate poverty specifically within the Guaymi community. It teaches life skills classes, pays fair wages, works to empower women, and prioritizes education among employees.
If you're excited about the ideas behind these products but don't see something you love, check out more recommendations at marketplaces like Latch & Co. and Shop With Meaning. And of course, continue to support small business, particularly those owned by people of color and LGBTQIA individuals!
Don't have money right now? Spend some time with a local charity and volunteer your time. One that I'm particularly interested in right now is the International Rescue Committee which helps refugees acclimate to life in the United States. I still have faith that the United States can be a beacon of hope for people even though it looks bleak right now. I've traveled around enough to know that a lot of people in the world have it off way worse than we do here, so the least we can do is welcome them with open arms and prove to them that we're not all orange assholes.