Plenty of Gifts that Give Back: Holiday 2015

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” –Anne Frank

TOMS is an incredible company that gives back in so many ways. For every pair of shoes you purchase (like the adorable Cuna slippers pictured below), TOMS will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. To date, more than 45 million pairs of shoes have been donated! If stylish eyewear is your weakness, don’t feel guilty splurging on a new pair of shades because for each pair purchased, TOMS restores the sight of a person in need. But if it’s bags that have your number, whether it be a purse or a tote, TOMS has it all. For each bag purchased, TOMS provides training for skilled birth attendants and the vital materials needed to help a woman safely give birth. Available online.

I have been a long time supporter of FashionABLE and will continue to champion their wares. FashionABLE invests in women and empowers them with work and the satisfaction of developing new skills so that they can create change for those around them.

One of my favourite online shops for beautiful jewelry, classic blazers and fashionable accessories is Two Penny Blue. Marie Whitney founded the company with the dream of creating a line of jacket and blazers with a social mission of educating girls around the world. And that’s exactly what she’s done, all while growing her business. Two Penny Blue will donate a school uniform to a girl in need in Africa for every jacket or blazer purchased – and with the incredible selection, it’s hard to choose just one!

The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing global awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the #1 genetic killer of young children, accelerating research focused on ending this cruel disease and supporting families impacted by SMA and other life-threatening conditions. The foundation was started after the founder’s daughter, Gwendolyn Strong, was diagnosed with the degenerative and terminal disease. But Gwendolyn, like the thousands of children with this brutal disease, refused to let her SMA diagnosis define her. She lived NEVER GIVE UP every single day, and her zest for life and sense of adventure were infectious. 100% of the purchase of each NEVER GIVE UP item funds charitable programs to help end SMA and support families in need. Variety of styles from infants to adults.  Available online.

PS:   Go Babe Boutique (10% of every item is donated to the GSF) and Mama Gems (5% of the SMA Collection is donated to the GSF) are proud supporters of the GSF too!

Life is Good is a Bostonian apparel company that just recently launched in Canada.  The collection includes tees, fleece, headwear, bags, sleepwear and other accessories and features positive messaging brought to life through art house style graphics. The products are all designed to spread the power of optimism and encourage people to focus on the good. Life is Good donates 10% of their net profits to kids in need.  Shirt featured $30, many more styles and products available at Life Is Good online.

Life is Good_30


Far & Wide Collective is an online marketplace for jewelry, home décor, clothing and accessories.  They partner with artisans in post-conflict and emerging countries to get their wonderful wares to the international market.  They have discovered the beautifully unique and carefully made things one can only stumble upon in the tucked-away workshops and rural village markets on exotic travels. Their vision and scope is inspiring:

We believe that supporting individual craft producers and small businesses through trade is the most effective and sustainable way of improving people’s lives. We also strongly believe in the beauty and authenticity of goods produced in traditional ways. … Far & Wide Collective seeks to create long-term relationships with our partnered artisans, helping them grow their business for the long term and helping them establish infrastructure for the future.

I have bought from them many times, and I am always impressed.  The goods are not only gorgeous, they are packaged beautifully, all ready to give as a gift or treasure as a treat.

Far and Wide scarf


And for a gift that is fun, multi-functional and gives back, check out FUN from Lush.  It’s like modeling clay that can be made into shapes, then it becomes bubble bath, soap and shampoo.  It’s a great idea for kids who may be coming to stay, as it will not only keep them occupied, it will help get them into the tub at bathtime!  And at $6.95, it’s an inexpensive way to create hours of beautifully scented play.  2.5% of FUN sales are contributed to the LUSH FUNd, supporting charities in Fukushima, Japan that create safe places for children to play outside.  Do you think that 2.5% does not sound like a lot?  Think again.  Since Lush launched its Charity Pot program in 2007, they’ve donated more than $10,000,000 to over 850 grassroots charities in 42 countries.  It all adds up!


Read Plenty More: Plenty of Gifts that Give Back: Holiday 2014 and Plenty of Gifts That Give Back: Holiday 2012

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