Vegan-Friendly Gifts to Feel Good About: These Presents Give Back
In a holiday season where it’s easy to fall into a buying frenzy, take a moment and consider putting your dollars into gifts that also support a cause. So many incredible social-good brands have come onto the scene in the last decade. TOMS shoes may have been a pioneer in the social enterprise space with its “one for one model”, but since, many incredible mission-driven brands have emerged.
We tracked down some ultra-cool do-gooder brands, all vegan-friendly, and making some great products all while supporting important causes.
Adventurist Backpack Co.
Adventurist Backpack Co. designs high quality, fashionable, backpacks—made from polyester and vegan leather— that also have a great social cause: For every backpack sold, they provide 25 meals to families in need across the US.
The padding front/back makes for nice protection for electronics and fits up to a 15" laptop in the laptop sleeve…along with all your other travel necessities.
Since its launch two years ago, they have been able to provide over 100,000 meals to families in need across the country.
We can all agree we need less plastic in the world, right? Purifyou’s glass water bottles and other eco-conscious products are helping to do just that. Both their water bottles and reusable shopping bags make a perfect eco-friendly gift. Purifyou is a US family-owned and operated company that prides itself on sustainability, and best of all, a portion of their profit goes to building water wells across the globe to provide clean drinking water to impoverished communities.
AZEERA is a century-old family-owned jewelry brand run by 3rd generation Indian-American gem traders. AZEERA makes beautiful, customizable jewelry always made with conflict-free gems and handcrafted by local artisans in NYC. Each gem is boutique quality, sourced from ethical producers and hand-selected by their team. You can easily customize every piece with a choice of 11 different colored gems and 8 precious metals. Consider the Black Onyx stone, which is a great value, and can be placed in a selection of ring settings and men’s cufflinks. You’ll have lots of fun instantly creating your own piece, like this classic and elegant Black Onyx Halo Pave Varida ring with diamonds and 14k yellow gold, here.
AZEERA is serious about more than just great gems and craftsmanship: they also give back, donating a portion of each item sale to the Jewelers for Children, an organization that supports St. Jude’s and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Pieces are available for sale on their website.
Folded Hills Wine
Folded Hills hails from the wine-rich central coast of California. Launched in 2017, the Santa Ynez-based Folded Hills is committed to bringing clean alternative wines into the world. Their organic wines have no additives, no residual sugars, and are all vegan. (Side note: not all wines are vegan; this article explains.) In keeping with sustainability, Folded Hills is a working ranch that promotes local farmers and local buying. Their farmstead offers fresh produce from around the area as a way to support and advance local farmers in the region.
Membership to the Folded Hills wine club makes for the perfect holiday gift. With their highly-rated wines (like their 2017 August White, 90 points from Wine Spectator) your giftee won’t be disappointed, and hopefully will pour a glass or two for you! You can also visit the ranch, Folded Hills Homestead, in Santa Ynez Valley, just outside of Santa Barbara, for a private tour and tasting. Or, pop into their wine tasting room and shop in the Santa Barbara town of Montecito.
MADI Apparel (which stands for Make a Difference Intimate Apparel), is a line of elegant, eco-friendly underwear, and loungewear, that donates a new pair of underwear to women in domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and rape crisis centers for each MADI garment purchased. The “buy one, give one” model allows them to make a substantial impact on those everyday items that women need. So far, MADI has donated over 6,000 pairs of underwear to women in need through 26 partnered organizations.
MADI’s loungewear is made in the US from viscose from bamboo, a delicious high-end fabric that is self-wicking, anti-microbial and quick drying. MADI is also a woman-owned small business and they hire woman-owned cut and sew teams to manufacture the underwear in the US. Checkout this super-soft Cloud-Comfort Bamboo Pajama Set ($155), a perfect gift, here.
All items are sold directly on their website.
The Obakki Foundation
The Obakki Foundation empowers women and families in South Sudan, Cameroon and Uganda to transform their circumstances. Part of the way they do just that is through selling hand-made items, like scarves and table runners, with 100% of the net proceeds going towards the Foundation project affiliated with each item. Funds also directly support the business initiatives of women in Bidi Bidi, the largest refugee settlement in the world. By strategically investing in sustainable solutions, they facilitate clean water, educational support, medical care and economic initiatives.
Obakki designs are simple, beautiful and modern, and each comes with a card explaining how it’s helping the community. The Night Printed Scarf ($89) for example supports the village of Nutka, in South Sudan. With every 500 scarves sold, The Obakki Foundation is able to drill a well, bringing clean water where none existed, dramatically changing life in the community. The Indigo Table Runner ($120) is stunning, made from authentic African mud-rich minerals cloth collected from the bottom of rivers and applied to locally-woven cloth, which then bakes in the sun to create the distinct patterns. Hand-loomed and dyed in Mali, each piece is unique.
More information and all items are available through The Obakki Foundation.
kai is a beauty line that started with fragrances, but branched out and now makes cruelty-free lotions, body wash, hair care and more. All their products are vegan and free of parabens, sulfates and other harsh ingredients you want to avoid. They’ve teamed up with the Jimmy Miler Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to help people affected by mental illness to experience the joy of surfing and the healing powers of the ocean. With it’s partnership, kai has committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from sales on its website to the Foundation.
Spread The Love
For that person that has everything and might appreciate a consumable good the who family can partake in, Spread The Love makes delicious vegan, non-GMO—and everything else good for you—peanut butter and jams and this year they are offering a gift pack complete with an adorable ladle and reusable gift box – packaged up beautifully so you don’t have to do a thing!
What’s more, they just launched a giving back campaign: one dollar of every unit sold (from their website and amazon) between November 28 - December 31 will be donated to St. Joseph Center, an organization that provides working poor families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community.
Sun & Swell Foods
Sun & Swell Foods makes little snack packs that are a perfect stocking stuffer, or add as part of a vegan-friendly DIY gift basket. There are many great flavors, but the Date & Cashew Snack Bites are the best. Plus, their snacks are not only good for the body, they are good for the soul: they give 1% of revenue to environmental causes. Currently, they support the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) which helps rescue and rehabilitate sea lions and other marine mammals off the coast of Santa Barbara, Calif. In addition to being vegan—and doing some good in the world—their snacks are made with 100% real food, organic ingredients and free of added sugars and preservatives.
You can purchase on Amazon, their website, and 500+ stores across the country
Wild Beautiful Free
Wild Beautiful Free is dedicated to creating a kinder, brighter future for all animals. Their first eco-friendly line of organic, vegan candles was created to bring awareness to endangered species and animal cruelty. A portion of your purchase is donated to ethical nonprofits that support animal welfare, conservation and compassion. Their candles use a blend of pure therapeutic grade citrus and floral essential oils. Each candle is made with organic coconut wax, lead-free cotton wick and 22k gold foil artwork.
Available direct on their website.
Let’s all take some time to purchase with a purpose this season. And, drop us a line in the comments and let us know about any other social good, vegan-friendly brands you are gifting this holiday season.