Socially Conscious Gift Guide

If you don't have time to give handmade gifts to everyone on your list this year, why not give something that will help those in need? Consider shopping at one of these sites instead of the big box stores and you'll be making a difference in someone's life:

Uncommon Goods is an online marketplace featuring handmade, recycled and up-cycled products from around the world that gives back through its Better to Give program, allowing you to designate a portion of the purchase price to one of several non-profit organizations. The needlework on this embroidered bird clutch was made by fair-trade artisans in Peru.

Grain Design is a company dedicated to social and environmental responsibility. This bangle is made from 100% reclaimed electrical wire. They also offer textiles and other beautiful items for the home.


I absolutely love Shop With Meaning's site, which is a collection of companies offering humanitarian/eco-conscious/socially-responsible products.


Ten Thousand Villages is one of my favorite local shops, offering fair trade goods from around the world. Shop their website to find this bag, made by members of a handicraft cooperative in Laos, plus hundreds of jewelry, accessories, and other gift items.


Project Have Hope works with women in Uganda. The sale of their jewelry, such as these colorful paper bangles, allows the women to feed their families and send their children to school.

Global Goods Partners is dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting social justice, and funds women-led market initiatives in local communities in 18 countries. These handwoven traditionally patterned silk scarves are made by women in Cambodia.


The Ecoist partners with multinational brands, such as Coca-Cola, Frito Lay, and Aveda to repurpose all their industrial waste, using it to create these fashion-forward handbags. Their fair trade practice employs artisans in impoverished communities around the world, and the company lives out their commitment to the environment by planting a tree for each handbag that is sold.


Think of the number of people worldwide that can have a better life if each of us purchased even one gift from this list.

Happy shopping! And happy holidays,

Debbie Blair, Managing Editor



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