What to gift? What to ask for? As much as we love gifting and receiving, it can feel like a whole lot of, well, stuff. This year, sustainability is on our mind, and we put together a Give Well Gift Guide with some of our favorite businesses that are creating impact in meaningful ways. These brands will relieve your gift list and conscience at the same time. Win win!
Biolite makes high efficiency camp stoves, fire pits, solar lighting and portable power. If their products weren't cool enough, their mission is super impressive. 'Energy Everywhere' is their goal and they are solving problems of open fire cooking and access to electricity in the developing countries. We are obsessed with our Biolite Basecamp Pizza Dome for our go-to backyard and camping grill (it charges your lights and tech from the fire, crazy!). This is a tech gift you can feel good about.
We met the founder of Yewo (‘YAY-WHOA’) at a market in Nashville and wow, was their stuff gorgeous. They sell modern jewelry designs that are ethically handcrafted at their workshop in Northern Malawi, Africa. They invest in local leaders through artisan training, holistic job creation, and sustainable employment. Plus (!) they invest extra profits into local education initiatives and scholarship programs. We loved buying from these big-hearted makers!
3. Haiti Design Co.
Haiti is a special place for us and when we heard about Haiti Design Co., we were all-in. Donating to large organizations is wonderful but, as entrepreneurs ourselves, we love supporting businesses that build a community. Haiti Design Co. connects us as consumers to locally-based artisans in Haiti. Plus, their designs are gorgeous.
4. Thistle Farms
Based out of our very own Tennessee, we have used Thistle Farms products and have seen their enormous impact in Nashville. With 'Love Heals' as their motto, Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women survivors of prostitution and drug addiction that provides an opportunity for a sustainable income. Thistle Farms makes natural bath and body care. Proceeds support Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene, where women receive housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education for two years. Love heals, and so do meaningful gifts.
5. State Bags
Their Sesame Street backpacks caught our kids attention and their mission definitely caught ours. State Bags makes "beautiful, well-made, inclusively cool product while using the power of business to give back and shift narratives around social injustices." With every State bag purchase, they support American children and families in need from donating fully-packed backpacks at their bag drop rallies to starting initiatives like #WhatDoWeTellTheKids to create more conversation around social justice issues.
6. Heifer International
We have been avid followers of Heifer International for years so if you're looking to gift (or ask for) something with a tangible impact without the "stuff", Heifer is it. You can literally buy a goat for a family in India. A flock of chicks is $20 and a stove for a village is $1000. Their gift catalog has lots of buying options from animals to caring for the earth to empowering women. We love how directly these gifts impact individuals and communities and create living incomes.
7. LSTN Earbuds
For the music lovers out there. Proceeds from all LSTN Sound Co. products go towards giving hearing aids to people in need worldwide through Starkey Hearing Foundation. LSTN has helped more than 30,000 people receive hearing aids.
8. Anchal Project
We discovered the Anchal Project when their quilts were featured by Madewell. Little did we know, this brand is so much more than brilliant colors and modern design in home and fashion. Anchal Project is a nonprofit social enterprise that addresses the exploitation of women around the world by using design to create employment opportunities, products and markets that support empowerment. They make sustainable home decor and ethical fashion... and a huge impact.
9. The Parks Project
Being neighbors to Smoky Mountain National Park, we are very into the mission of The Parks Project. They create apparel and goods about the national parks to support upkeep and conservation efforts for our national parks, from bear conservation in Denali to organizing trail restorations in Muir Woods. We so appreciate their conviction and love that such cool products could do so much good for the outdoors.
10. Cement6 Bags
We could tell there was a big heart behind the bags when we met the Cement6 folks at a market here in Knoxville. Their bags are one-of-a-kind designed and made by Cambodian artisans. We love how many playful patterns you can choose from. Their bags also pack an impact punch: on top of supporting Cambodian artisans who make these bags, each bag is made from up-cycled grain bags that would otherwise go into the landfills.
11. Little Seed Farm
We met Little Seed Farm through our mutual partnerships with West Elm. Turns out they're based out of Tennessee as well, and we've loved watching their team of goats and humans grow over the years. Plus, their operation is 100% solar!
12. United By Blue
For a wide range of gifts with a purpose, United by Blue is your place. Aside from carrying several lines of responsible goods from Everyday ReUsables to their salvaged bison fiber collection, they also have a greater goal of cleaning up our waterways. Every product purchased = one pound of trash removed.