By Lindsay Bruk

Ethical Shopping: A Guide for Christmas 2019

We know gifts are not the reason for the season, but like many of you, we are thinking about what we can give to the people in our lives while still thinking carefully about how our spending impacts the world around us. So we came up with a list of retailers that have a special mission associated with their products. We know there are a lot of factors that go into selecting gifts, so please take this as a starting place for ideas, and not a mandate.

We’ve highlighted a few socially conscious retailers that not only produce nice gifts, but that offer ethically made products with special emphasis on: livable wages, empowering women, stewarding God’s creation, or igniting change in the way they do business. 

If you know of other ethically sourced Christmas shopping destinations, please share them with us. We would love to add to this list.  

If you’re interested in learning more about the hows and whys of ethical shopping, you might enjoy some of these articles from around the internet: 

And just to be clear: we’re not affiliated with any of these businesses, or compensated for sharing about them.

ABLE

Able is a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunity for women.

Products for sale include:

  • Leather goods
  • Handmade jewelry
  • Denim
  • Clothing
  • Footwear​

Darn Good Yarn

From the artisan to the person who packs our orders, Darn Good Yarn is fueled by infusing Good into all parts of our business. From our warehouse and order fulfillment partnership with Schenectady ARC (a non-profit dedicated to providing employment for adults with developmental disabilities) to our employee benefit programs, our goal is to create a better world by caring and doing things the slightly harder way. In a world of short-cuts and cookie cutter experiences, we believe that when you slow down in order to build that this creates more sustainability and stronger communities.

Products for sale include:

  • Yarn
  • Craft projects
  • Clothing
  • Accessories
  • Home goods

Dignify 

Dignify helps women shop for what they will both love and feel great about buying; that which promotes dignity, empowers humanity, and champions good.

Products for sale include:

  • Premium, ethically made, fair trade kantha quilts. They are hand-stitched in Bangladesh from six layers of reclaimed sari cloth. The women who make them were previously living on the street, or working in sex work (often these go hand in hand), or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such. 

International Women Association KEP 

International Women Association KEP empowers women by creating jobs in plastic recycling handicraft, insuring a regular monthly income, collecting plastic bags and raising awareness about plastic pollution in Kep Province, Cambodia

 

Products for sale include (all made of recycled plastic):

  • Bags
  • Wallets
  • Baskets

Krochetkids

We provide life-changing job opportunities to women in need. With each purchase you make we introduce you to the women who made your product and invite you to visit her online profile to learn more about her.

Products for sale include:

  • Hats
  • Men’s clothing
  • Women’s clothing
  • Children’s clothing
  • Stuffed animals
  • Home décor 

NOMI Network

Nomi Network is in business to create economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking. Every product you buy provides jobs for survivors and women at risk, and helps end modern-day slavery. (Check out our story on the founder of Nomi Network.)

Products for sale include:

  • Bags
  • Bracelets
  • Clothing

Papillon Marketplace

Pappillon Marketplace is a fair-trade certified, socially conscious lifestyle brand dedicated to supporting at-risk mothers and fathers with full-time artisan jobs in Haiti. Papillon’s mission of orphan prevention and family preservation through job creation has proven itself to be a viable solution for the current poverty orphan crisis affecting many developing nations.

Products for sale include:

  • Jewelry
  • Gifts and home décor
  • Bags
  • T-shirts
  • Beads
  • Dolls and stuffed animals
  • Christmas ornaments

Re:New

Re:new Project engages, equips and employs refugee women in the Chicagoland area. Our greatest desire is to provide a space for refugee women to thrive as they rebuild their hopes and dreams in the United States.

Products for sale include:

  • Jewelry
  • Bags
  • Home décor
  • Accessories
  • Baby blankets, burp clothes, and bibs

Sashka Co.

Sashka Co. partners with several organizations in Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in rural communities. Our partners are focused on gender equality and empowering women. The women at the co-ops earn a living wage that exceeds the local minimum wage.

Products for sale include:

  • Handmade beaded bracelets

Servv

Fighting global poverty through fair and ethical trade. With your support, we can continue to combat global poverty and work to help artisans and farmers build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Products for sale include:

  • Christmas décor
  • Global food (chocolate, coffee, tea, spices, etc)
  • Kitchen items
  • Home décor
  • Garden products
  • Apparel
  • Accessories

Solo Eyewear

At SOLO Eyewear, we create environmentally responsible sunglasses that restore vision for people in need. We strongly believe in living a life of adventure and inspiring individuals to change the world.

Products for sale include

  • Sunglasses

Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages is more than a store. We’re a global maker-to-market movement that breaks the generational poverty and ignites social change. We’re a way for you to shop with intention for ethically-sourced wares—and to share in the joy of empowering makers in ten thousand villages.

Products for sale include:

  • Jewelry
  • Accessories
  • Bath and body
  • Candles
  • Home décor
  • Kitchen and dining
  • Games
  • Office and stationery
  • Outdoor and patio
  • Holiday décor

 

Trades of Hope

We exist to help mothers keep their children, protect them and provide for a brighter future. We’re committed to keeping families together. Women in impoverished communities around the world are forced to give up their children to orphanages to avoid starvation or send them off, unknowingly placing them into human trafficking. We are committed to preventing this atrocity by creating dignified jobs for women.

Products for sale include:

  • Bags
  • Jewelry
  • Scarves
  • Home décor

Unshattered

100% of your purchase goes to create employment for women who are winning their battle against addiction. Our gorgeous bags and accessories are handcrafted in New York’s Hudson Valley from repurposed materials. Your purchase ends the relapse cycle by providing pathways toward sustained sobriety and economic independence.

Products include:

  • Bags
  • Wallets
  • Keychains

Yobel Market

Our mission is to empower and promote the value of exploited, displaced, and impoverished people groups of the world through development of sustainable economic opportunities.

Products for sale include:

  • Bags
  • Wallets
  • Keychains
  • Journals
  • Accessories
 

 

About the Author

WAP Associate Lindsay Bruk is learning about God's promise of peace in a season of change. Lindsay is an attorney, adjunct faculty at Marquette University, and a new mom.

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