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What’s better than that look of pure glee a person gets when they unwrap a gift that’s so perfectly, epically them? A gift that’s all that and does some good in the world. With so many gifts that give back out there, it can be hard to tell what’s worth it and what’s truly helping those in need. That’s where we’re here to help. After speaking with Ashley Post at Charity Navigator, a leading site for investigating nonprofits and where their money is going, we came up with a few simple insights to follow to make sure your gift really does give back—and we’ve rounded up our top picks for presents that are legitimately cool in their own right. And you can feel good about gifting them. 

How Can You Be Sure What You’re Buying Is Giving Back?

"First, it should be clear what charity the item supports," says Post. "Then look at how much of the proceeds are said to benefit the organization." From there, Post goes on to explain, it’s somewhat of a blind trust to assume the best from the brand. But what you can do is look out for red flags. "If a company uses vague language, like 'this water bottle will help environmental charities' or just 'proceeds will go to charity' without naming specific organizations and donation amounts, you can have very little certainty the money you’re putting out to purchase the product is going to a cause that means something to you."

How do I find out more about the charity a brand is donating to?

To learn more about the organization your proceeds are benefiting, consider evaluating it through BBB Wise Giving AllianceCharity Navigator or Charity Watch. And if it’s not included in these databases, vet their website or call them directly. Post says a good rule of thumb is to check that 70 percent of the organization’s income is spent on its programs (where and how it delivers on its mission) and the rest is split between their fundraising and administrative costs.

To save you some time searching, we’ve rounded up 18 of our favorite gift ideas for the holiday season.

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gifts that give back   fanny pack
Samara

1. Samara Fanny Pack

You’ve probably heard by now that fanny packs are having a moment, but in addition to being on trend, this minimalist one is ethically made, vegan and super functional. It comes with not one but two straps that you can interchange depending on how you want to wear the bag. The thick one is for wrapping around your waist as a belt bag, and the thin one turns the purse into a crossbody. Or, leave the strap off entirely and hold it as a clutch. It has three built-in card slots and enough room for the biggest phones, plus the proceeds support children in need, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer. 

Charity Benefited: The Soular Backpack, which provides children in East Africa who don’t have access to electricity a light source through their solar-powered backpacks

Donation: For every purchase, Samara covers the cost of a Soular Backpack for a child in need

Buy It ($90 $77)

gifts that give back   honest company
Honest Company

2. Honest Company Twinning Moments Gift Set

Just imagine the adorable #twinning photos the new parent on your list can take with their newborn while wearing these matching big and little socks? The set—a collaboration between Honest Company founder Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren’s company, Pair of Thieves—also includes an equally cute printed bandana bib, seven latex-free diapers and a package of plant-based baby wipes.

Charity Benefited: Baby2Baby, a charity that provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and other basic necessities

Donation: An Honest product of equal value of your purchase

Buy It ($35)

gifts that give back   pin
Bird + Stone

3. Bird + Stone Enamel Pin

Skip the meaningless stocking stuffer and replace it with this statement-making pin to celebrate the inspiring woman in your life. Everything crafted by this NYC-based designer is ethically made (mostly from recycled materials), and a portion of the profits are donated to organizations that support a variety of important causes.

Charity Benefited: Planned Parenthood of NYC

Donation: 10 percent of your purchase price

Buy It ($15)

gifts that give back   fairwell mug
Fairwell

4. Fairwell Ceramic Travel Mug

Considering that roughly 100 billion single-use cups go to a landfill each year—99 percent of which will never be recycled—it’s no wonder this newly launched company is on a mission to reduce waste. Their beautiful ceramic mug was created as a sustainable alternative to our society’s reliance on takeaway coffee cups. But it also helps support women through charitable donations and employment. Each mug is made by ethically employed women artisans in India. 

Charity Benefited: Room to Read, a nonprofit collaborating with local governments, schools, communities and families to keep girls in school

Donation: A portion of each sale helps pay for a girl’s schooling

Buy It ($28)

gifts that give back  echo
Amazon

5. Amazon Echo 3 for RED

Feel good about ordering Amazon’s latest generation of smart speaker. The company teamed up with (RED) for the second year in a row to create a limited-edition crimson red shade for the newest Echo (third generation). This one’s said to have better sound quality than prior generations, so be sure to get that holiday playlist ready to go. You can currently preorder it or wait until December 12 to purchase.

Charity Benefited: (RED), which helps fight AIDS through the Global Fund

Donation: $10 for every purchase

$100 on Amazon

gifts that give back   lush
Lush

6. Lush Charity Pot

This moisturizing body lotion is lust-worthy for the way it’ll soften your skin (it’s made from hydrating cocoa butter and antioxidant-rich moringa oil!), but you’ll really love the cause behind it. Every penny (minus taxes) of this velvety product’s sales will go toward small grassroots organizations working in environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

Charity Benefited: Funds distributed to Amazon WatchSunrise MovementAliadosClimate Action Network Canada and Retreet

Donation: Matching up to $150,000 of purchases 

Buy It ($28)

gifts that give back   coffee
Driftaway Coffee

7. Driftaway Coffee

Give the caffeine addict in your life one more reason to look forward to brewing a fresh cup of java with this single-origin coffee subscription that highlights and benefits small-scale farmers. Each month, they’ll receive a new coffee from around the globe that matches their taste profile and is sent to their home within 12 hours of having been roasted in Driftwood’s carbon-neutral production facility in Brooklyn. The foam on top of the latte? Their shipments are mailed in sustainable, compostable packaging.

Charity Benefited: World Coffee Research, which contributes to long-term coffee sustainability

Donation: 5 cents for every pound 

Buy It ($55 for 3 months)

gifts that give back   everlane tee
Everlane

8. Everlane 100% Human T-Shirt

The woke Gen Z-er will proudly wear this T-shirt that has the same relaxed fit as the brand’s best-selling Box-Cut Tee, but with a message in support of human rights that stays close to her heart.

Charity Benefited: ACLU

Donation: $5 for every shirt sold

Buy It ($22)

gifts that give back   wrap
Patagonia Provisions

9. Grove Collaborative 3-Pack Assorted Bee’s Wraps

Food storage without the unnecessary plastic wrap and aluminum foil? It’s about time. Meet the sustainable way to store leftover bread, half-sliced veggies and the block of cheese your book club barely made a dent in during the last meeting. The warmth of your hands molds the wraps to fit any item or container and seals it closed. Wash with cold water and dish soap to use again and again. 

Charity Benefited: Arbor Day Foundation

Donation: Plants trees using proceeds from sales

Buy It ($20)

gifts that give back   lipstick
The Lipstick Lobby

10. The Lipstick Lobby In the Clear Vitamin E Lip Balm

Even though this lip balm is clear, it still makes a statement. Thanks to The Lipstick Lobby, a beauty activism brand that’s supported by Gloria Steinem, a simple purchase for her pout speaks out to benefit important causes. This one helps empower women in the mass incarceration system for life after prison. But you can also feel good about this purchase for its vegan and cruelty-free formula (that’s boosted with vitamin E), so it’ll be her go-to for keeping her lips hydrated all winter long.

Charity Benefited: unPrison Project

Donation: 100 percent of net profits from sales

Buy It ($19)

gifts that give back bon temps tea
Bon Temps Tea

11. Bon Temps Tea

Here’s the tea: You can actually relax while drinking this organic brand’s product since they use bags made from non-GMO corn fiber instead of plastic or bleached ones, making them more eco-friendly. Plus, the cute packaging makes tea time extra sweet.

Donation: Each month, they grant one woman $1,000 to kick-start her creative or business pursuits.

Buy It ($16)

gifts that give back   doll
Cuddle + Kind

12. Cuddle + Kind Doll

Aren’t these the cutest? They’re not just adorable little cuddly creatures, though. For every doll sold (made by artisans in Peru who are paid sustainable, fair-trade wages), Cuddle + Kind gives ten meals to children in need.

Charity Benefited: Partners with The United Nations World Food Program, Children’s Hunger Fund, CHF Mercy Network, Breakfast Club of Canada and WE Charity to distribute meals

Donation: 10 meals for every doll sold

Buy It ($75)

gifts that give back   backpack
Fjallraven

13. Fjallraven Kanken Art Backpack

Swedish artists were commissioned to use the outdoor brand’s classic backpack as a canvas to express their relationship with nature. The outcome? Four bold limited-edition prints made with the same durable, water-resistant fabric and functional design that gave this bag its cult following. 

Charity Benefited: Arctic Fox Initiative, which supports nonprofits that give back to nature

Donation: Fundraising is decided by a jury and a public voting system based on the sales of selected products

Buy It ($80)

gifts that give bck   ole henriksen
Ole Henriksen

14. Ole Henriksen A.S.A.P. (As Smooth As Possible) Age-Fighting Set

Your #glowgetter sister will love this set that contains travel sizes of radiance-boosting products, especially when she learns the purchase helps fund workshops to boost women’s confidence and leadership skills. Included is the Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner, which evens skin tone, Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum to brighten and target fine lines and Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme to fight wrinkles while keeping your skin hydrated overnight.

Charity Benefited: Self-Esteem Rising

Donation: $1 from every order on OleHenriken.com from October 1 to December 31, up to $25,000

Buy It ($56)

gifts that give back   socks
Bombas

15. Bombas Snowflake Calf Sock Gift Box

The wintry pattern of these stylish socks definitely doesn’t indicate how your feet will feel while wearing them. Made from warm yet breathable merino wool and engineered for comfort thanks to their seamless toe, cushioned heel and honeycomb weave, we guarantee someone on your list (heck, the whole family probably) could use a pair. It also doesn’t hurt that by purchasing them, you’re giving back to homeless communities across the country. 

Charity Benefited: Homeless shelters and community organizations in all 50 states

Donation: One pair of socks to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased

Buy It ($65)

gifts that give back   wewood
WeWood

16. WeWOOD Kappa Watch

Step up his accessories game with a reclaimed-wood watch that shows he’s both fashionable and socially conscious. And no, he won’t have to wear it delicately in fear of damaging it. WeWOOD carefully selects the highest-quality wood and durable movement parts to ensure each timepiece can perform for years to come. 

Charity Benefited: Trees for the Future

Donation: One tree is planted for every wood watch purchase

Buy It ($160)

gifts that give back   rescue box
Rescue Box

17. RESCUEBOX

Gift this subscription box to your cousin who won’t stop showing you pictures of Daisy on their phone when all you did was ask how their weekend was. It comes packed with toys, treats and accessories handpicked for their furry friend, with the option of a cat box or three different-size dog boxes. But the part they’ll feel best about is that for every RescueBox sent, the company donates five pounds of food and two vaccinations to shelter pets across the country through RescueBank and GreaterGood.

Buy It ($30/month)

gifts that give back   donation
Twenty20

18. Make a Donation

The straightforward way to give back: Make a direct donation to the charity of your choice in your giftee’s name. Find an organization you’re both passionate about through GiveWell, a nonprofit that helps donors learn where their money will have the most impact.

Bonus: One More Way to Give Back

Shop the same nail polish remover and disinfecting wipes you normally “Prime” to your doorstep, but through smile.amazon.com, where the company donates 0.5 percent of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. No fees, no extra cost, no reason not to use it.

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