Gifts that Give Back

“Charitable gifts” used to just mean making a donation in someone’s name, but now you can purchase an item whose proceeds are donated to a cause, yet the person you are giving on behalf of will still receive a material token — it’s like double the gift. City Life is here with a list of the best gifts that give back for you last-minute shoppers.

Lush is a cosmetics company that creates wonderful handmade and naturally derived cosmetic products. It offers two products from which proceeds are donated to charity. The first is a hand and body butter called Charity Pot. One hundred per cent of the purchase price (minus the taxes) goes toward supporting humanitarian, environmental and animal rights causes locally and around the world — since 2007 it’s generated $18 million for over 1,400 grassroots charities in 42 countries — and is formulated to include seven ingredients from Sustainable Lush Fund projects around the world. Lush also created a mouldable, multi-purpose soap called FUN from which 2.5 per cent of the sales of each bar go directly to the Lush FunD.

Peace Collective
Peace Collective is a Toronto-based brand that launched in 2015. Since its first sale it has advertised that with the purchase of select Peace Collective garments, $4 is donated to Breakfast for Learning, which helps feed a hungry Canadian child two healthy meals and a healthy snack. These popular pieces allow you to show off your Canadian pride while helping children in need.

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Hanya’s Hope
Hanya’s Hope is an anti-human-trafficking charity that was founded in 2017 by Hanya Kizemchuk. Hanya’s Hope dedicates 100 per cent of the proceeds from its T-shirt sales to supportive programs that help the survivors of human trafficking move forward.

Spence Diamonds
Spence Diamonds is one of the top Canadian jewelry stores. This holiday season, Spence will be partnering with Not For Sale, a global non-profit working to end human trafficking. Spence will be donating 100 per cent of the proceeds on select pieces from its Boho collection to support the charity.

We’re sure you’ve heard that Toms gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, but that’s just the beginning of the company’s charitable outreach:

  • Giving Shoes are new and made for school and play. They provide multiple styles and offer a range of sizes to fit kids from toddlers to teens.
  • Each TOMS Eyewear purchase helps restore sight to an individual through sight-saving surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment.
  • More than 780 million people don’t have access to safe water. TOMS Roasting Co. purchases support water systems in seven countries — in the same regions where we source our coffee beans.
  • Infection is a leading cause of death among mothers and newborns worldwide. TOMS Bags purchases provide training for skilled birth attendants and the vital materials needed to help a woman safely give birth.
  • In the United States, nearly one out of every three students reports being a victim of bullying. Purchases of the TOMS High Road Backpack Collection will help provide training to school staff and crisis counsellors to help prevent and respond to bullying.

ME to WE
Each “Made by a Mama” piece is handcrafted by a mother in Kenya. The project empowers these women by paying them a fair wage for their work.

“Wrapped up in impact, intention series necklaces share positive sentiments.” Every necklace contains an ethically sourced semi-precious stone bead that speaks to your recipient’s personal journey, symbolizes transformation and wisdom, and helps provide education to a child in a developing community.

Gifts with a Cause
Gifts with a Cause lends a hand to talented artisans throughout the world by generating a marketplace in which quality fair trade products from Africa, Asia and other developing areas can be purchased by conscious shoppers around the world. The charity hopes that by making fair trade products available it can not only help artisans succeed at their craft, but also “help foster a community of educated, involved and artistic people in parts of the world that could benefit from this type of positive force.”

WeWOOD collaborates with Trees for the Future, Treedom and American Forests to plant one tree for each watch sold. The organization hopes to help restore Mother Nature and combat deforestation. Since 2011 it has planted over 420,000 trees with its partners and has a goal of planting 1 million trees by 2020.

Out of Print
“Books, worn well” — the perfect gift for the bookworm in your life, with pieces inspired by all manner of literature from Harry Potter to A Clockwork Orange. Out of Print Clothing offers cute and quirky clothing, accessories and homeware items as well as a few books, and they also have the charitable factor: as they state, since “the landscape of how we read and experience literature continues to change, Out of Print is dedicated to celebrating our favourite stories while promoting literacy in underserved communities.” With every purchase, Out of Print helps to fund literacy programs and book donations to communities in need while also supporting the authors, publishers and artists who made these works such important parts of our lives.

Ivory Ella
Ivory Ella works on many causes, but this one really stands out for the holidays since winter is now truly upon us. The company proudly supports Operation Warm in which it works to provide new winter coats to children in need, “helping improve self-confidence, peer acceptance, school attendance and overall wellness.” Each coat provides warmth for a child to play freely outdoors this winter. Support a child in need with the purchase of a beanie.

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