19 Gifts That Give Back—That Your Friends Actually Want
These gifts that give back to charities and causes bring deeper meaning to your holiday traditions.
With the holidays approaching, you're probably thinking about what gifts to get your loved ones this year. We all know finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list is never easy, especially for that one friend who already has everything. But did you know there are tons of options of gifts that give back from great brands that donate to or support in some way different charities? A lot of popular companies work with charities and non-profits to support both local causes and global initiatives, and your charity gift options are more diverse than you'd expect. From sparkling wine and ground coffee to school supplies and fashion accessories, these gifts with a cause don't limit your options–in fact, they enhance the entire gift-giving experience and are just as easy to scoop up as regular ol' gifts.
Charity Christmas gifts are also a little opportunity for you to play Santa Claus, spreading joy and holiday cheer to those in tougher situations that you–and you don't even need to hitch a bunch of reindeer to a sled or enlist thousands of elves for help distributing the gifts! Plus, gifts that give back send an inspirational message to younger gift givers and recipients that just one person can actually make a difference in the world.
With these gifts that give back to important causes and charities, you can get holiday presents that your friends and family members actually want that go on to have an even greater purpose and impact. Here are some of our favorites.
A Gift That Gives to the Environment: S’well Water Bottle
Reducing the use of plastic is a big topic these days, and it seems like many people are trying to do what they can to be more eco-friendly. A S’well bottle makes the perfect gift for so many reasons. Not only do they come in a variety of cool designs and keep your beverages cold for up to 24 hours, but the brand does good for the community, too. S’well has provided over 320,000 reusable bottles to NYC public schools across all five boroughs, with the hopes it will eliminate the number of single-use plastic bottles.
To buy: From $25; amazon.com.
A Gift That Gives Light: Starling Candle
Candles are a go-to gift because, well, who doesn’t love a candle? And though some candles tend to be somewhat pricey, Starling candles are on mission to illuminate more than your living room—they help light the world. Each candle is hand-poured and composed of soy wax, recycled glass, cotton wick, and ethically-sourced essential oils. But that’s just a small part of what makes these candles special. A portion of the proceeds help develop solar power systems in countries like Rwanda.
To buy: $55; starlingproject.org.
A Gift That Spreads an Initiative: Found My Animal Dog Collar & Leash
We all have those friends who love their pet more than they love most people. So, why not get their little fur-child a gift that benefits animals in need? Found My Animal sells a variety of pet accessories that are not only beautiful but also spread an important message: Rescue rather than purchase. When you visit the company's site, you can support animal adoption in so many ways, like through fostering, donating, and even just spreading the word on social media.
To buy: From $56; foundmyanimal.com.
A Gift That Gives Hearing: LSTN Satellite Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The LSTN Satellite Speaker is the ideal gift for the music lover in your life. It’s wireless and super compact, so it’s perfect to take to the park, on vacation, or wherever you want really. The best part? Proceeds from all LSTN Sound Co. products go towards giving hearing aids to people in need worldwide through Starkey Hearing Foundation.
To buy: $100; amazon.com.
A Gift That Gives to Grassroots Organizations: LUSH Charity Pot
With winter comes dry, itchy skin. Lush Charity Pot body cream will not only keep skin smooth and soft, but the ingredients are sourced from the Sustainable Lush Fund projects. This initiative supports regenerative agriculture around the world and 100% of the proceeds are donated to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights.
To buy: $8; lushusa.com.
A Gift That Gives to Disadvantaged Kids: State Backpack
Whether you need to find a gift for a 40-year-old or a 4-year-old, STATE Backpacks are a great option. These backpacks and accessories are colorful, functional, and beautifully designed. Plus, for every STATE bag purchased, the company donates a fully stocked knapsack to a child in an at-risk U.S. neighborhood.
To buy: From $50; shopbop.com.
A Gift That Gives Opportunities: Bird + Stone Cleopatra Bracelet
A Gift That Gives Educational Supplies: Yoobi Planner
The school year may have already started, but there’s never a bad time to get your kid some new swag. From school supplies to DIY kits, YOOBI has some of the coolest stuff out there. Plus, when you buy, YOOBI gives. Through a partnership with the Kids in Need Foundation and the company's network of resource centers, YOOBI classroom packs are distributed to schools in high-need areas all across the country.
To buy: From $2.99; YOOBI.com.
A Gift That Gives Eyesight: Modo Sunglasses
Modo glasses may be on the pricier side, but they’re like wearable art. Not only that, Modo participates in the BUY A FRAME – HELP A CHILD SEE Program, which works to provide early school vision screenings, secondary exams, treatment and education to children in need. Talk about a bright future!
To buy: $375; modo.com.
A Gift That Inspires Hope: One Hope Sparkling Wine
'Tis the season to attend holiday dinners or parties with friends and colleagues. You can never go wrong by bringing a bottle of wine for the host. With One Hope, you can “cheers” and give back to charity–the company has donated more than $3 million to several causes, such as providing 46,000 people with global health care. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can even send a gift box of wine.
To buy: From $25; onehopewine.com.
A Gift That Builds a Better Future: Giving Keys
A Gift That Saves: Grounds and Hounds Coffee
The coffee lover in your life is about to sip on something deliciously special. Ground & Hounds Coffee Co. makes and sells quality fair trade and organic, specialty coffees. To give back, 20% of the company's sales help support animal rescue initiatives and organizations that provide a second chance for dogs in need.
To buy: From $14; groundsandhoundscoffee.com.
A Gift That Gives Jobs: Punjammies Pants
Punjammies have a very clear mission—empower women. The bold, beautiful colors in each garment are made by brave women in India. When a pair of Punjammies is purchased, it helps invest in job creation and skill training for women in India who are at high-risk or survivors of sex trafficking.
A Gift That Gives a More Sustainable World: Sprout Pencils
Sprout make plantable pencils. Yes, you read that correctly. Once you’re done using your Sprout pencil, you can plant it and watch it grow into herbs or flowers. You can even customize the pencils to say whatever you want. The perfect gift for your environment-loving friend or one with a green thumb!
To buy: From $15; amazon.com.
A Gift That Gives Resources: Satya Jewelry
Satya has a range of jewelry, from beaded stretch bracelets and tassel necklaces to gold pendants with zodiac designs and delicately-adorned earrings. The jewelry is beautiful, and so is the company's mission. A percentage of all sales goes toward the Satya Foundation, which raises money to create more opportunities for children around the world. The foundation's projects include Ashrams for Autism, which helps empower the autism community through yoga, and Ramana's Garden, a home and school for at-risk children in Northern India.
To buy: From $45; amazon.com.
A Gift That Gives Kindness: Sevenly Outfitters
What's better than a cute, cozy sweatshirt? A cute, cozy sweatshirt that promotes kindness and empowers young voices. Sevenly creates super cute clothing and accessories that give back to important causes such as Sit With Us, a non-profit app that facilitates in-person conversations in schools to eliminate bullying. But that's not all. Sevenly also works to support causes for autism, cancer, environment, and more.
To buy: $60; sevenly.org.
A Gift That Gives Livable Wages: LXMI Nilotica Glow Gift Set
Many of beauty brand LXMI's luxurious products are already big hits at retailers like Sephora–like the Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil overnight treatment ($48; sephora.com) and the Goddess Glow moisturizing illuminator ($42; sephora.com)–but it turns on the company also backs a charitable cause. LXMI works to preserve Nilotica trees in Uganda (which produce the nourishing main ingredient in many of the brand's products) and pays women three times local wages to harvest the nuts, providing them with sustainable income. Try some of the brand's best-sellers in this new gift set, which includes the Pure Nilotica Melt, a travel size of the same treatment, the Goddess Glow, and a copper application wand.
To buy: $98; lxmi.com.
A Gift That Gives Warmth: Love Your Melon Beanies
Knitwear company Love Your Melon is on a noble mission to give every child battling cancer in the US a knit beanie and has so far given over 156,000 of their hats to children around the country. Additionally, the company donates 50% of all profits to charities working toward ending pediatric cancer and has given over $4.7 million to the cause to date.
To buy: From $30; loveyourmelon.com.
A Gift That Gives to Our Oceans: Final Straw
Plastic, especially plastic straws, have been on the outs as more people realize the environmental impact. That's why this company is on a mission to create less waste in the world with a straw that will "last you a lifetime." The compact, collapsible stainless-steel straw even comes with a carrying case you can clip right onto your key chain.
To buy: $25; finalstraw.com.