5 Holiday Gifts that Give Back

Although I think every day is a holiday, the “official” holiday season is amongst us. Every year, it’s the same thing – we’re running around, grabbing battleships for our cousins or perfumes for our mothers or necklaces for our grandmothers. Sure, all of these gifts are fantastic, but this year, I challenge you to give a gift that gives back. Here are a few ways to spend your money knowing that it’s going to a good cause:

Rock Your Drop:

I have a super informed uncle who is always up-to-date with new organizations and movements! Last year, he gifted me a metallic teardrop. Although it looks super cute as a choker, I began to love it more when I realized what it actually stands for.

So, for all of my jewelry lovers, check this out:

“The Drop of Consciousness is a movement for peace inspired by a sculpture created by the co-founder of Noah’s Arc Foundation: Cecilia Rodhe. The pendant is a metal teardrop whose scarred surface recognizes the pain of losing someone to violence, while the precious metal and solid feel of the drop symbolize strength and commitment to positive change.

Proceeds from the sale of the Drop of Consciousness™ pendent support the mission of Noah’s Arc Foundation.”


Whether for travelers who are exploring the depths of the rainforest or, more importantly, for the villages who live in the rainforest, clean drinking water is vital.

Consider gifting a reusable water bottle or a travel-friendly “straw” water filter for your travel buddies. In addition to living the “hydration is key” lifestyle, you’ll be giving back. With each purchase of a LifeStraw product, you’re adding to the funds of the company’s GiveBack program. Here’s a bit more information about this program:

“LifeStraw’s Give Back program involves more than just dropping off water filters. With volunteers and a dedicated LifeStraw team at crucial sites around the world, the program ensures sustainability through comprehensive planning, training, education and quarterly follow-up visits for a period of 5 years.

Through their effort and your participation in the Give Back program, we are able to make contaminated water safe to drink for communities around the world”


Purpose Jewelry:

This company quite literally creates jewelry with a purpose. Many companies give back as monetary compensation, but Purpose Jewelry is also focused on equipping women, who’ve been rescued from human-trafficking, with equal opportunity employment. Since I can’t do this brilliant company justice with my words, here is an excerpt from their website:

“You shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to make a difference. PURPOSE Jewelry is beautifully crafted by young women rescued from human trafficking. By Purchasing with PURPOSE® you are providing freedom, dignity, and hope for these amazing artisans.

We have worked with hundreds of young women around the world for the past 11 years. The art of jewelry making paired with holistic care ensures every artisan receives freedom and hope for the future. Holistic care is provided through our non-profit, International Sanctuary, and includes education, health care, and counseling. Our program provides every artisan with the life skills and opportunities to succeed.

From creation to shipping, young women escaping human trafficking are playing a critical role in every step of the process. They are able to earn a fair wage and gain employable skills. YOU are making all of this possible, and changing lives. “

Coffee, but not just an ol’ kind:

The majority of us live for coffee, or better yet – LIVE OFF OF COFFEE. Although a cup (hot or iced) is a present from the universe on a gloomy day, most of us don’t know where we’re getting our coffee from. How was it sourced? Are the people working on the coffee farms being compensated for their work?

Most travelers adore coffee, so make sure to do your research and gift a pack of tasty yet fairly-gathered beans.

Here are a few cool coffee companies:

Floozy Coffee: “We are lovers of specialty coffee with a passion for sustainability and equality, empowering women at every level of the coffee supply chain. We believe that girls should support other girls. That’s why we donate a portion of the profits from every bag to a cause that benefits women in need. This month, we’re supporting Same Cup.”

Girls Who Grind Coffee“We are an all female small-batch coffee roastery based in the wild south-west of England. We source specialty coffees from female producers and those who work to support them.”

Bow X Arrows Coffee: “Our motivations are simple within a vast industry. We wish to do right by and for the people who permit our livelihood. We want to tangibly support and enjoy success with producers. We want to share exemplary coffees with our friends, partners, and customers. We want to challenge ourselves to do better, engage ethically and answer to our conscience in a changing physical climate and troubled political landscapes. The vast majority of the coffee trade, as it is, is unsustainable – (even) within the niche of specialty coffee. We want to see what’s possible and prove these nice ideas true.”

HUGE shoutout out to my pal Karla (@kbozaaa) for letting me know about these coffee initiatives.

Diaspora Co:

Either on the road or at home, most travelers love a good spice to recreate the dishes they’ve recently tried. Have you considered gifting ethically-sourced spices? If so check out this brand. And if not, still check out this brand:

“We are a queer, woman-of-color owned business that moves forth in the spirit of social justice. We are here to put money, equity, and power into the hands of Indian farmers, and to disrupt, and decolonize an outdated commodity spice trading system.” 

“The original intent of colonial conquest of the Indian subcontinent was a desire for domination of the spice trade. So as a postcolonial Indian woman at the crossroads of food and culture, the pieces just fell together- decolonization of food was putting power and resources into indigenous spice farming and creating a radically new and equitable vision of the spice trade, decolonization a commodity back into a seasonal crop, and a broken system into an equal exchange.”


The list of companies that give back or ethically source their products goes on and on and on, but here are just a few to get the ball rollin’ for you.

Comment below a few of your fave gifts or companies that give back!

P.S. Since you’ve read this post, you’re the first to know about a lil‘ something we’ll be doing next week!

On December 17, 2018 we’re doing a holiday giveaway on IG. Go follow @shutupandgo + @damonandjo to be the first to get details.


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