It’s that time of year again. Whether we relish or dread it, many of us are gathering gifts to give for Christmas and Hanukkah.
This year, consider skipping the mall and giving something with purpose. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas and the values behind them. The Untours Foundation supports lots of worthwhile businesses, and we have many B Corp friends who share our values.
For the Kids & Fur Friends
Senda Fair Trade Soccer Balls (Untours Foundation Investee, Fair Trade)
Soccer is a global sport, and as kids grow into soccer fans, their curiosity about the world will grow. We are all interconnected, so consider Fair Trade. Senda well made by workers making a living wage. They are great conversation pieces, and the good karma may give your little shooter an added boost.
Better World Books (B Corp, Green)
Give young minds the gift of books! Treat them to tales of other places and cultures. Most of us default to the A word for books and other online shopping, but you can “shop small” on the internet too. Better World Books offers a wide variety of new and used books, and they are community-minded, donating books and funding community literacy initiatives.
Don’t forget your fur friends! West Paw sells eco-friendly pet toys and beds that are manufactures in the US. They are committed to green business, local economic development in their Montana hometown, and volunteerism. They founded the Pet Sustainability Coalition to help others in their field go green. And their toys are really cool!
The Athena by Roar (Untours Foundation Investee, B Corp)
Who doesn’t want to hold those they love near and keep them safe? The Athena is wearable tech, a device that slips discreetly onto a bag, collar or waistband and offers real time location tracking, with a button that can silently send a distress call to friends and family in an emergency. And its make invests profits in programs that teach empathy and empower women.
tonlé (Untours Foundation Investee & Award Winner, Green)
Perhaps you want to look sharp for a party. Or you want a personal gift for a stylish friend. Why not a unique and flattering piece with a story? The business model for tonlé is zero waste, though we argue that their fabric sourcing makes them negative waste. Check out their stylish women’s attire, bags, and scarves knitted from scrap fibers.
Ties from Knotty Tie Co. (Untours Foundation Investee)
Custom ties and pocket scarves are a must for the sartorialists on your list. Consider matching ties with custom-printed fabrics. Knotty Tie makes their finery here in the US, with a workforce made up largely of resettled refugees. Their community and ecological missions are as impressive as the dapper accessories they produce.
Stocking Stuffers & Hostess Gifts
Pachamama Coffee (Untours Foundation Investee, B Corp, Fair Trade)
Instead of a bottle of wine or more candles, consider the gift of high end coffee. Pachamama makes some of the best. This coffee cooperative offers organic fair trade coffee by the pound, or in a subscription service, for a gift that keeps on giving..
Divine Chocolate.(Untours Foundation Investee, B Corp, Fair Trade)
When buying your chocolates this year, look for the fair trade logo. Divine is one of the most widely available options and is a favorite of Untours staff. You can find bars at major online and brick-and-mortar vendors, or buy from their website. The dark chocolate with toffee and sea salt is my favorite.
Lucky Iron Fish (B Corp)
Iron deficiency is a common but solvable problem. I love simple solutions. This small, cute cast iron fish can be easily dropped into your pot as you boil water for soup or pasta or rice, and it adds iron to whatever you’re making. For every fish you buy, one is donated to someone in need, with the goal of ending iron deficiency in the developing world.
Impact and Memories, Not Stuff
An Untour (Untours Foundation Owned, B Corp)
Consider skipping gifts and planning a family trip instead. Kids stay free on a number of family-friendly Untours, and multigenerational travel is a fantastic way of sharing the places you love with the people you love. Go make some memories, and know that your Untours travel supports to work of the Untours Foundation.
You can also make a donation straight to the Untours Foundation, to support emerging, green, sustainable businesses that create jobs, solve problems, and lift people out of poverty. Consider a donation.
Whatever your tradition and however you celebrate it, we wish all the best this season.