By Jessica Festa & Brittnay Bailey

Looking for unique gifts that give back to charity?

Then you’re in the right place!

Shopping for the perfect present can be stressful.

Of course, you want it to be something meaningful; however, it’s tough finding the perfect gifts that give back — that are also something your loved ones will adore.

Good news: Epicure and Culture has made things easier by rounding up special gifts that give back to communities around the world and fit a variety of budgets, styles, and tastes.

Any you’d add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Unique Gifts That Give Back

Here are some of our favorite gifts that give back. From housewares to clothing to jewelry and beyond, there is truly something for everyone.

water being poured into a glass
Material’s glass sets allow for stylish drinking. Photo via Material.

1. Full & Half Glass Sets from Material

Material sells high-quality kitchen essentials that are not only functional but look great too. Each piece is stylishly designed with beautiful details, from BPA-free cutting boards crafted from upcycled plastic and renewable sugarcane in bold colors to a straight-walled pitcher with a wavy handle made for the perfect pour.

The brand is also passionate about giving back and has donated over $184,772 to organizations that work at the intersection of food and underserved groups across the United States.

One way they do this is through their annual Kinder Kitchens campaign, where for a certain period the entire site goes on sale and shoppers can direct a portion of their savings to charity.

But, you don’t have to wait until their next campaign for your purchase to make an impact. If you purchase either a Full Glass Set or Half Glass Set in Lilac, 100% of the profits go to Apex for Youth, which empowers low-income Asian and immigrant youth in NYC to unlock their potential and explore new possibilities.

Click here and use code “EPICUREANDCULTURE” to snag 20% off your Wolven Threads order!

2. Wolven Threads Activewear

Is your giftee a yogi, beach lover, or active traveler who is passionate about the planet?

Then you’ll want to check out Wolven Threads.

Made up of a team of artists and activists, this activewear and swimwear brand is all about making high-quality garments featuring bold and beautiful prints — that are also sustainable.

Not only are their products climate neutral, but they’re made with recycled PET plastics and feature minimal packaging.

Additionally, Wolven Threads is a member of 1% For The Planet, meaning that they donate at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes.

Love discounts? Get 20% off with code “EPICUREANDCULTURE” (cannot be combined with another sale or discount).

gift guide
Charm bracelet. Photo courtesy of Baker n Baker.

3. Charm Bracelets From Alex And Ani

If you know travelers who want their jewelry to reflect their wanderlust side even when they switch from hiking boots to heels, consider Alex and Ani bangles.

Their Take The Wheel Charm Bangle is designed for gypsy souls who want their jewelry to reflect their free spirit. 

Alex and Ani donate 20% of the proceeds from each bangle sold to The Herren Project, an organization assisting those taking the first steps toward a life of sobriety, and funds preventative educational programs on the signs of addiction.

corc yoga renew mat is a gift that gives back
This 100% organic yoga mat also gives back. Photo via Corc Yoga.

4. Corc Yoga’s Renew Mat

Looking for a 100% organic yoga mat that also puts good into the world? Then you’ll love Corc Yoga’s Renew Mat, made of cork.

This means the mat is not only sustainable — no trees are cut down in the process and the material is recyclable, renewable, and biodegradable — but also solves a number of common mat issues. 

For instance, if you tend to slip and slide during yoga class, the Renew Mat’s honeycomb surface helps combat that. 

Moreover, it’s hypoallergenic, hormone- and chemical-free, and is resistant to moisture. 

Personally, I love the thickness of the mat, giving my body a comfortable cushioning while being sturdy enough to handle the changing moves of a yoga flow. 

Each Renew Mat also comes with a little travel card introducing you to a destination in Portugal, where the mats are made. 

You can click here to read more about what makes cork such a great material to use for yoga mats. 

Feel good knowing that a portion of proceeds gets donated to projects that support mental health initiatives in Portugal (via Desafio Jovem) and the USA (via the Youth Mental Health Project). 

fire department coffee is a gift that gives back
Photo via Fire Department Coffee

5. Fire Department Coffee

There are loads of great gifts to choose from on the Fire Department Coffee website.

Along with their java — including a number of coffees infused with tequila, bourbon, rum, and other booze options — they sell mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, neck gaiters, stickers, and more.

If you’re shopping for a traveler, the Coffee Of The Month Club is a great way to explore the world through coffee.

Personally, we love the Bourbon-Infused Coffee, specifically topped with a bit of frothed chocolate almond milk and served with some biscotti for a caffeinated treat.

The best part?

10% of all proceeds go to help injured and ill firefighters and first responders.

Jewelry that gives back
Photo via World Vision

6. “Circle of Hope” Wraparound Ring from World Vision

World Vision is a global Christian humanitarian organization passionate about ending poverty and injustice, with 87% of its operating costs going toward programs that help people and communities in need.

One way you can support World Vision’s work is by shopping for handcrafted gifts on their website.

Here the organization sells a variety of artisan-made gifts that give back, from Indonesian windchimes to African soapstone boxes to a “Circle of Hope” wraparound ring (pictured above).

The ring was designed by TV personality Sadie Robinson and made by local artisans in Jaipur, India.

Not only is it a stunning piece that will glimmer on your giftee’s finger, but profits from the ring go toward providing food and education to the female artisans who make them.

Talk about gifts that empower women!

Gifts that give back to the planet
Photo via 1 Tree Mission

7. Bracelets from 1 Tree Mission

1 Tree Mission is on a, well, mission to plant as many trees as possible — and you can support their efforts and get a beautiful gift in the process when you make a purchase from their online shop.

In fact, for every bracelet purchased a new tree is planted.

The bracelets feature semi-precious stone beads and are each made by hand using recycled cord.

You can choose from 10 distinct styles, each inspired by a different tree. In fact, you’ll learn more about each tree by reading the text printed on the 100% recycled biodegradable packaging the bracelets come on.

For instance, a bracelet inspired by the Cherry Blossom shares that the tree originated in Japan, where it’s known as “Sakura,” and the edible blooms signify hope, renewal, and the spring season.

This particular bracelet is made with Matte Tiger Eye (symbolizing wildlife and willpower), Red Carnelian (symbolizing earth and creativity), Howlite (symbolizing knowledge, patience, and balance), and Emporer Jasper (symbolizing ecological awareness).

These budget-friendly pieces are unisex and budget-friendly, meaning you can get one as a stocking stuffer for everyone on your list and make a huge impact on the planet.

8. Spice Box Subscription from Spice Madam

This food subscription box company guides recipients on a culinary journey to a new destination every month.

Boxes include ingredients, fun facts, and recipes for making your kitchen global.

Closer to home, Spice Madam gives a portion of its proceeds to Café Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary facility that provides life skills, education, and employment to at-risk youth.

9. Packed With Purpose Gift Boxes

Packed with Purpose is a corporate gifting company with a social mission to give back to individual communities around the U.S.

Each Packed with Purpose gift box contains handcrafted products curated from non-profits and social enterprises that employ people with disabilities and other barriers to the traditional workforce.

For example, A Sweet Thanks, Deluxe includes:

  • Greyston Bakery’s chocolate fudge brownie and brown sugar blondie. Greyston’s Bakery offers employment to those with histories of incarceration, homelessness or drug use and provides housing, health services, childcare, workforce development training and more for bakery workers.
  • Katherine Anne Confections’ rosemary + sea salt caramels. Committed to using ingredients from local farmers and fair trade cacao, Katherine Anne Confections creates decadent treats in recyclable and compostable packaging.
  • Lambs Farm’s buttery English toffees and chocolate covered pretzels. With more than 56 years of service to people with developmental disabilities, Lambs Farm has grown from a small pet shop in Chicago to a 72-acre campus where opportunity flourishes for nearly 250 men and women.
  • Together We Bake’s cinnamon-pecan granola. Together We Bake provides second chances to women with histories of trauma, abuse, or addiction.
  • Women’s Bean Project’s chocolate covered espresso beans. Women’s Bean Project gives impoverished and chronically unemployed women the chance to gain vital workplace skills through the production of gourmet food and handmade jewelry.
  • Cooper Street Cookies’ cinnamon chocolate chip biscotti. Cooper Street Cookies Cooper Street Cookies partners with Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) to employ adults with special needs or disabilities.
  • The Floured Apron’s half a dozen vanilla/chocolate harmony cookies. The Floured Apron provides women from underserved communities with an opportunity to forge a more secure career path within the culinary industry.
celestial silk pillowcase is a gift that gives back
This Celestial Silk Pillowcase gives back to many charities. Photo via Celestial Silk.

10. Celestial Silk Pillowcase

There are many reasons to invest in a silk pillowcase:

  • It’s better for skin and hair as silk pillowcases are breathable and non-irritating 
  • It can reduce wrinkles by helping skin to retain moisture 
  • It regulates temperature 

When you purchase a 100% pure Mulberry Silk Celestial Silk pillowcase, you’re also giving back. 

In fact, the company donates 10% of proceeds each month to charities like the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Justice and KARM.

Additionally, they gift pillowcases to chemotherapy patients as part of the HairToStay program.

Photo courtesy of International Rescue Committee

11. International Rescue Committee

International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) work spans 40+ countries and 28 U.S. offices.

The IRC is the only organization in the field that leads across emergency response as well as refugee resettlement.

For the holiday seasons, the IRC is offering a range of food-related gift options — with you gifting others in need.

How about stocking the fridge for a newly resettled refugee family, or providing a welcome basket with cookware to help them prepare meals in their new home?

Another idea:

Help empower young women through schooling or aiding them in caring for their children.

12. ONEHOPE Wine

ONEHOPE was founded in part by women as a company that creates thoughtfully crafted products that empower people to do more good.

Each of ONEHOPE’s wines supports different causes through its proceeds, from finding homes for shelter animals to planting trees in global reforestation projects.

To do its part to make the world a better place for women, every ONEHOPE purchase creates a measurable social impact to benefit charitable causes and nonprofits.

Recommendation:

The Best Sellers Case, which includes:

  • Vintner Sparkling Brut
  • Vintner Sauvignon Blanc
  • Reserve Arroyo Seco Chardonnay
  • Vintner Rosé
  • Monterey Pinot Noir
  • Vintner Cabernet Sauvignon

13. Alter Eco Best Seller Box

In a joint effort with PUR Project, Alter Eco organic chocolate works with cacao partner, Acopagro Coop, to replant and conserve a portion of the Peruvian Amazon.

This effort improves the quality and yield of crops, boosts biodiversity, and provides a retirement plan for farmers in the form of sustainable forestry once the trees mature.

With every Best Seller Gift Box sold during the holiday season, Alter Eco will plant one tree with their cacao partners in Peru’s ACOPAGRO Cooperative.

 

14. American Backcountry’s Trails at 50 Shirt

This limited edition Trails at 50 Shirt by American Backcountry was created through a partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

The purpose:

To support the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Act.

In celebration of the act’s golden anniversary, American Backcountry is giving 10% of every shirt sold back to these trail organizations to assist in their work protecting and preserving the trails.

grow fragrance
Photo via Grow Fragrance

15. Grow Fragrance 

You never know what funky smells you may encounter on the road.

And hey, sometimes you just want a little spritz of lavender to help calm your travel jitters.

For a conscious solution to eliminating odors and adding fresh scents to rooms and linens, check out Grow Fragrance.

This B-Corp-certified company offers full-sized as well as carry-on friendly travel-sized bottles of plant-based, toxin-free air freshener.

And they don’t smell like fake chemicals (because they aren’t!).

Bonus: 1% of all sales get donated to 1% for the Planet, an organization working to “build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.”

Have any gifts that give back to add to this list? Please share in the comments below!

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Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann splits her time between New England and New York City, and has gotten much better at packing light with her back and forth trips. She has jaunted across Europe and up, down and across the United States and even as far as the South Pacific. She's grateful for being able to dispense travel stories and advice through media outlets and companies (as well as putting her BA in English to good use). Her blog She Is Going Places serves as her way to encourage others to get out and exploring!

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7 Comments

  1. Gifts with a meaningful thought. Lovely article. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Umm unique ideas I like it, thanks for sharing this ..!

  3. Your post is very interesting and useful Best article on this video

  4. Your post is very interesting and useful მაცივრის ხელოსანი Best article on this video

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Was in search of something like this and I’ll be testing out the spice box subscription from spice madame.
    Good Day

  6. Great information, congratulations for your great work!

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