a gifty guest post from one of the founders of The Tote Project
1. Give ::: fair trade gourmet cookies ::: $34.95
For the sweet tooth
We love companies like Give that support fair trade, because when we purchase a product we want to be assured that their manufacturers were paid fair wages, given safe working conditions, and treated well. Give created their business with intentionality. They chose to use non-GMO, fair trade ingredients and fair trade packaging. On top of that, they donate 15% to a charity that's voted on by their customers each month. Oh yeah, and their cookies are delicious! We recommend a dozen of their Cookies N Cream.
P.S. They have the BEST catch phrase ever: "Baking a difference!"
2. The Tote Project ::: Free to Learn pouch ::: $17.50
For the neoabolitionist
We humbly add our totes to this gift list, because we believe in our products and the impact they make. We sell 100% organic totes and pouches that are sewn in a fair trade factory in India by women who have made the choice to journey out of the sex trade and into freedom. 20% of our profits are donated to Two Wings to empower survivors of sex trafficking in Los Angeles to achieve their dreams. Right now we're really excited about our new Free to Learn design. Educating girls reduces poverty, which reduces the supply for traffickers, making this a mantra we can get behind! Choose the freedom phrase that you relate to most, and proudly spread the word that together we can end human trafficking!
3. Haute Hope ::: The Elisha gift box ::: $65.00
For the friend who has everything
We all know someone who is hard to buy gifts for; either it seems like they have everything already or it's just difficult to figure out what they want. Luckily Haute Hope is here to save the day. They spare you the time and effort of shopping and wrapping presents, by curating beautiful gift boxes full of stylish items that give back. Your friends and family will appreciate the creative way they ensure a cohesive theme runs throughout each box, and the fact that each box makes a difference. You can choose from already assembled boxes, or you can work directly with founder Jess Puccinelli to create something custom for that special someone. Our pick is "The Elisha," a collection of gifts that promote relaxation and rejuvenation.
4. UNCVRD ::: turquoise spike lariat ::: $54.00
For the jewelry lover
Our passion is helping survivors of human trafficking heal and reach their full potential, so when we discovered UNCVRD jewelry we were instantly in love. They hand-make their beautiful line in Long Beach, CA, and they donate a generous 40% of each sale to the non-profit Gems Uncovered. The donations are used to fund street outreach in Long Beach and Compton, programming for local survivors and more. Their Turquoise Spike Lariat necklace is stunning; you can't go wrong with style that is on-point and ethical!
5. Kate Spade On Purpose ::: Blue Leather Wristlet ::: $158.00
For the name-brand loyalists
Thanks to designers like Kate Spade, ethical fashion is becoming mainstream. Her latest "On Purpose" collection features purses and jewelry handcrafted by female artisans in Rwanda. Their partnership is bringing economic stability and self-sufficiency to the lives of 20,000 people in the community of Masoro. Talk about making an impact! Our hope is that the success of this collection will inspire other big brands to follow suit. If you’re looking for a gift for that name-brand loyalist in your life, we recommend this dainty blue leather wristlet – perfect for NYE soirees!
6. Local + Lejos ::: small Zera bowl ::: $22.00
For the home
If you're shopping for stylish home goods that are ethically produced and reasonably priced, then look no further than Local + Lejos. Their contemporary home decor is sold directly online, eliminating markups, and each purchase benefits the artisan who manufactured the product. Our pick, the small Zera bowl, provides notebooks and pens to an artisan's child for school.
7. ONEHOPE Wines ::: California Brut Sparkling Wine ::: $18.99
For the wine enthusiasts
A bottle of wine is a classic hostess gift, and chances are you'll have plenty of opportunity to gift one bottle or more during the holidays. There are an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to buying wine, but ONEHOPE stands out for their quality, fantastic taste, and most of all, their impact. If you buy a case of our holiday guide pick, the California Brut Sparking Wine, you'll provide 25 meals to a child in need. Let your party guests "cheers" to that!
8. Sand Cloud ::: Seafoam pocket towel ::: $42.00
For the beach bum
Putting a beach towel on a Christmas list may sound strange to some, but for us Angelinos it's beach weather for the majority of the year. Before you get jealous, most of us wish that wasn't the case – I guess the grass is always greener...but we digress. If you have a friend on your list that still surfs in December, consider buying them a Sand Cloud beach towel. Our pick, this cute Seafoam Pocket Towel has a pocket (as the name suggests) for putting your valuables safely out of sight and direct sunlight. It's hand-loomed out of 100% Turkish cotton, and they donate 10% of their net profits to preserving beaches, oceans, and marine life through organizations like Surfrider Foundation and Oceana.
9. WAKA WAKA ::: portable solar flashlight ::: $39.00
For the men in your life
If you really want to impress your dad or main squeeze, consider getting him a gift that is useful, technologically advanced, affordable, AND charitable! Sounds like a tough combination to find, but look no further than WAKA WAKA. Every dude can use a flashlight, and their flashlights are solar powered which gives them the cool factor. Combine that with the fact that for each one purchased, one is donated to someone living in a humanitarian crisis that needs to tap into the power of the sun for light, and you've got yourself the perfect present. You're welcome. ;)
10. MiniAndMeep ::: "Locally Grown" carrot onesie ::: $24.99
For the little ones
Our co-founder Fay Grant just launched an adorable line of baby onesies called MiniAndMeep. Each onesie is made every step of the way in the USA – even the cotton that the onesies were manufactured with was grown here! On top of that, her onesies meet Global Organic Textile Standards and are printed on with eco-friendly, water-based inks. 20% of the profits are donated to UNICEF's Children's Rights & Emergency Relief Organization. Our pick is the "Locally Grown Carrots Edition" onesie. It's sure to put smiles on mommies' faces while providing clean drinking water and vitamins for children worldwide!
Michelle & Fay are of the founders of The Tote Project, an outstanding shop of totes and pouches with a positive and pretty aesthetic. Their fair trade products are sewn by women who have survived trafficked, and a portion of the proceeds helps support safe houses and neo-abolitionist organizations within the United States.