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The SB 2013 Holiday Gift Guide:
10 Gifts That Truly Keep On Giving

We like these gift ideas because they’re thoughtfully and responsibly produced, they each have a story and many embody the true spirit of giving by benefiting people in need through buy-one-give-one models or increasing the financial stability of artisans around the world … and all are under $100. So in no particular order, here are our socially and environmentally conscious favorites this season:

We like these gift ideas because they’re thoughtfully and responsibly produced, they each have a story and many embody the true spirit of giving by benefiting people in need through buy-one-give-one models or increasing the financial stability of artisans around the world … and all are under $100. So in no particular order, here are our socially and environmentally conscious favorites this season:

Faire collection

  • Fair trade jewelry and accessories from the Faire collection — Formerly known as the Andean Collection, Faire has expanded beyond its geographic roots, now designing products that are responsibly sourced from artisan partners in Vietnam, Swaziland and Peru, as well as new regions within Ecuador, such as the Amazon. CEO Amanda Judge and her Brooklyn-based design team collaborate with more than 225 artisans, and create designs that reflect both the culture heritage of the country of origin, as well as the style influences of New York City. In addition to reducing poverty in the disadvantaged communities where they work, Faire Collection offers programs such as educational scholarships and no interest loans, which are funded through your purchase.

Yumbutter

  • Yumbutter — Every time you buy one of Yumbutter’s peanut, almond or chocolate butters, you're helping to feed a malnourished child in the developing world through their BuyOne:FeedOne initiative. For every jar sold, the company purchases a RUTF (ready-to-use therapeutic food — a specially formulated packet/sachet made from peanut butter fortified with protein and other vitamins and minerals), and is working to build more comprehensive plans to treat malnutrition including educational classes for mothers, seeds & gardens, and microloans.

OATies

  • OATies — new from OAT Shoes, the company that created the first biodegradable and plantable shoe, these are the world’s first biodegradable baby shoes that grow up as a tree. When your baby grows out of them, you can plant the shoes together with seeds to plant your baby’s tree of life right from their shoes. OATies are made for babies 0-6 months old. They’re made from organic cotton, flax linen and organic hemp dyed with GOTS-certified dyes.

Bombas socks

  • Bombas Socks — You might be thinking, socks? Really? But not only do Bombas (derived for the Latin word for “bumblebee”) Socks have a bunch of cool, “high-performance” features such as “stay-up” technology, a blister tab, a honeycomb arch-support system and a y-stitched heel, for every pair sold Bombas donates a pair to various charities, youth leagues, homeless shelters, schools and other organizations across the country.

Jjangde

  • Preorder a beautiful, handwoven basket from Jjangde — a social enterprise that is tackling two of West Africa’s largest problems — lack of access to education and employment — by connecting handmade goods from rural communities in Senegal to global markets, and using the profits to fund schools in the communities where the goods were made. With a test run of baskets, Jjangde was able to fund a summer program that fully funded one year of school for 110 students and gave 300 students extra support for the upcoming school year. Now poised to scale up its operations, Jjangde has launched an Indiegogo campaign, through which you can preorder a basket.

rice bags

  • Handmade recycled rice bag totes — These fair trade, reclaimed rice and feed bags are handcrafted by female artisans in Cambodia. Extraordinary carrying capacity in a clever bucket design that will stand up on its own, these sturdy, box-sewn bags can accommodate two to three times what a standard paper grocery bag holds.

Sprout watches

  • Sprout watches — Constructed from a variety of sustainable materials such as biodegradable corn resin, bamboo, cork, organic cotton, mother of pearl, conflict-free diamonds and Swarovski’s lead-free crystal, Sprout has responsibly crafted time pieces to suit every taste.

Aquafarm

  • The aquafarm from Back to the Roots — your own personal, tabletop aquaponic fish tank ecosystem, a closed-loop method for growing your own herbs and greens. The kit comes with everything you need, including seeds and a coupon for a free fish from Petco. Now available at Macy’s, Whole Foods and Petco stores nationwide, or use the discount code SBHolidays10 for 10 percent off and free shipping on orders over $75 from www.backtotheroots.com through December 16 — while you’re at it, pick up a mushroom kit, too!

Sumbody

  • Handmade cosmetics and skincare from Sumbody — all-natural and earth-friendly, Sumbody never uses parabens, petroleum products, animal oils, sodium laurel/laureth sulfates or artificial preservatives, and they buy organic and locally produced ingredients whenever possible.

TOMS Marketplace

  • Want more ideas? Check out the TOMS Marketplace — a curated collection of over 200 products from more than 30 socially conscious companies, each with a meaningful story and an ethos and commitment matching TOMS’ to giving to those in need, spanning a wide range of causes and geographic areas of impact. Or for more great alternative gift ideas, peruse the suggestions from the SoKind registry, with great ideas for everything from gifts of experience, gifts of time and skill, and handmade, second-hand and charitable gifts.

What are your favorite sustainable gift ideas this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Happy holidays from the SB team!

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