This time of year can be overwhelming as you scour the aisles searching for that perfect gift, all while trying to find the time to give back. So why not multitask and purchase with power and purpose?
We have rounded up five brands that allow you to feel better about spending this holiday season as when you invest in these items, you’re giving back to those who need it most. From DIFF Sunglasses’ work to restore vision and provide education in a number of African countries, to State Bags’ one-to-one motto to hand deliver a backpack to an American child in need for every bag sold, and Parachute’s partnership with the United Nations’ Nothing But Nets campaign to deliver malaria-prevention bed nets around the world, these brands pack a social impact punch.
What we love: Mini Lorimer – Shop now
Why we love it: This sleek leather-in-the-front, canvas-in-the-back bag is the perfect carry on for access to your most important travel items throughout your trip. Upon purchase of your new backpack, STATE will pack up a backpack full of supplies to hand deliver to an American child in need. The mission stems from co-founders Scot and Jacq Tatelman–who have always advocated to empower, motivate and protect children throughout their schooling years.
Straight from the source: Both co-founders are actively involved in the brand’s dedication to children throughout the nation. They have gathered “PackMen” and “PackWomen” to accompany them throughout the U.S. to hand deliver backpacks and motivational speeches. “Before we were designing and making bags, Jacq and I were building our lives around supporting local kids growing up in incredibly challenging environments through our nonprofit summer camp. STATE was inspired by these kids, their stories and seeing them carrying their belongings in trash bags,” says STATE Co-founder, Scot Tatelman. “But we were bent on not just being another one-for-one brand that simply donated material goods, which is why we go above and beyond in the way that we actually donate through our bag drop rallies, led by our STATE PackMen/Women.”
What we love: Percale Venice Set – Shop now
Why we love it: Made with 100 percent long-staple Egyptian cotton, the Percale sheets, along with the Sateen collection, provide the softest solution to bedding. With a range of warm, neutral tones that complete your aesthetic, from navy blue to light sand, the sheets aren’t just comfortable, but are actually comforting. Although the brand has expanded to include linens made from 100 percent European flax, as well as throws, pillows, scarves and travel essentials, we chose the Venice set as for every product sold in this line, Parachute provides malaria-preventing bed nets to those who need them most.
Straight from the source: Since 2014, Parachute has donated 20,000 bed nets through their partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign. The brand’s founder, Ariel Kaye explains how she was always committed to creating sheets that not only felt good, but did good. “I made it my mission to not only offer the best sheets on the market, but to also inspire a community around sleep, wellness and creating a comfortable home.”
The Brave Collection
What we love: The Metal Collection – Shop now
Why we love it: Designed in Brooklyn, handmade in Cambodia, this jewelry collection supports local artisans, providing them with work and social opportunities. The brand follows their charitable efforts through to sale, when they donate 10 percent of profits to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. From rings, to bracelets and necklaces, the simple designs create the perfect everyday pieces for the jewelry-lover on your list.
Straight from the source: Inspired by a semester of teaching English in Cambodia, Jessica Hendricks founded The Brave Collection as a way to “combine her love of jewelry and philanthropic spirit.” Brooklyn-based Hendricks connected Cambodian mothers with international artists to create safe work environments, conscious of wages, benefits and education, to foster support beyond community.
What we love: Kal Fly Away Pant & Aden Beach Pant – Shop now
Why we love it: Whether you are beaching or brunching, these pants bring the style to any scenario. Man or woman, you’ll fall in love with their patterned appeal, as well as fluid comfort, and artisanal design background. From yarn spinning and hand weaving in Ethiopia, lemlem ensures they create local looks from the first materials used through to the themed motifs and production techniques.
Straight from the source: Liya Kebede used her spotlight as a supermodel to launch a brand in support of Ethiopia. As both her native country and a destination where she noticed traditional weavers could no longer sell their products, Kebede founded the lemlem Foundation. She writes, “by employing traditional weavers, we’re trying to break their cycle of poverty…” which also encourages independence and routine for these female craft makers. As Kebede’s brand continues to grow, it uses the lemlem Foundation as a platform to create jobs throughout Africa, including Rwanda, Kenya and Madagascar.
What we love: The Charlie – Shop now
Why we love it: These tortoise frame, pink mirror polarized lens sunglasses are a statement to make any outfit pop. When you buy any pair of DIFF glasses, the company gives a pair of glasses to those living in areas where eyewear resources are not readily available. This is done through the company’s partnership with Restoring Vision, which takes DIFF’s donations and shares them through a number of internal partners, such as Eyes on Africa and SVOSH.
Straight from the source: Chad Jernigan, Zach Gordon and Chad Dime founded DIFF with the underlying mission to make a difference in the world. The millennial trio envisioned quality shades but for a reasonable price, so that they could still make an impact. “Knowing that there is a direct correlation between your new favorite pair of sunglasses that you use daily, and the person you helped somewhere else in the world is always the best feeling,” says DIFF Co-founder Chad Jernigan. “This is what makes our work so rewarding.”