Is it possible to turn shopping into an opportunity to do good and help others instead of just checking off a chore list?Of course! For 2015, here are my suggestions of three companies with great gifts that also help people in need. Family and friends can take note that I currently own none of the the items listed here...hint, hint... :)
1) Noonday Accessories
I had the good fortune to meet Julia Jenkins, a Noonday representative, at dinner when she was wearing some absolutely stunning jewelry. I was even more stunned by the stories behind the pieces. All of the Noonday Collection is made from artisans - mostly women - in developing nations who need a chance at empowerment. A partnership with his company offers them work with dignity and create beautiful things! I'm particularly fond of the Emebet Necklace for $42, which is made by a group of HIV+ women in Ethiopia. Julia told me that when these women lost hope struggling with the disease and the stigma of it, they left their families to travel up a particular mountain where the sick have traditionally gone to die. But instead, they found both free, life-saving anti-retroviral drugs and an opportunity to make a living by crafting with dignity. The metal comes from spent artillery shells that they retrieve and mold. I also love the delicate Calypso earrings for $30 which are made from ethically harvested water buffalo horn in Ethiopia. There are many beautiful bags, scarves, and jewelry pieces which support the artisans, plus 10% of every sale helps support adoptive families as well.
Folks that know me are aware that I've got a strong geeky side to me. I love t-shirts with maps of stars, retro library references, and other tech things. I also love pretty things, too! Cyberoptix understand this and have used geeky inspiration to create lovely fashions that everyone can enjoy! All styles can be ordered as ties or pashminas. Ties are $30 and pashmina scarves are $44.
The folks at Cyberoptix also give back plenty to their community of Detroit where they create their fashions. They work with several local charities that benefit youth employment, schools, and transitional work programs.
|Radiation Warning Pashmina|
|Dinosaur Bones Tie|
|Library Stamp Card Pashmina|
This is a great gift for the camper, hiker, germaphobe, or survivalist on your list! LifeStraw is a pocket-sized, personal water filter capable of filtering 1,000 liters of water, which is enough water for a person for an entire year. It uses a hollow fiber technology for filtration that uses no chlorine nor iodine. It traps 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria - including E. coli - and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. PLUS, for each one sold. a year's wroth of clean drinking water is provided to those in need.
A standard LifeStraw is $19.99, but you can get one with a water bottle attached for $34.95 or one made of steel for $54.95.