Gifts That Give Something Back
Buying gifts for people has become something of a competition in recent years. Everyone is trying to get the best or most expensive gift, and there seems to be huge pressure to ‘top’ last years’ gift. But what about people who can’t afford expensive presents? Is it not just the thought that counts now? What about people who don’t want expensive gadgets for Christmas or their birthday?
Charity gifts are the way forward. Not only are you getting someone you love something meaningful, you’re also helping to give a complete stranger a better life. Here are a few ideas for charitable gifts that your loved ones will really appreciate:
For The Fashionista:
- Puravida bracelets (Charity range) – Pura Vida (pure life in Spanish) originated in Costa Rica and sells handmade jewellery which provides an income to artisans from across the world. They have partnered with over 190 charities for their charity collection and, each bracelet bought, provides a donation to a worthy cause. A few of the charities PuraVida have partnered with are save the dolphins, the depression and bipolar support alliance, Make a wish, end to cyberbullying, and Autism Speaks. Read more about their story || shop the charity collection
- Some gorgeous new wardrobe staples from ASOS Kenya – ASOS Made in Kenya has partnered with SOKO Kenya, an African workshop who manufacture all the clothes in this range. SOKO Kenya provide safe and fair employment for some of Kenya’s poorest neighbourhoods. The ASOS Kenya range is inspired by the stunning local African wildlife and landscape and something from there will make a great gift for someone you love. Read more about SOKO Kenya || Shop the ASOS Made in Kenya range
- Merchandise from the Ditchthelabel.com store – Ditch The Label are an anti-bullying charity who aim to provide support to victims of bullying, conduct world class research in order to provide the best possible support for everyone, collaborate with other organisations to put an end to bullying, and to change the world – and, more importantly, people’s views on bullying behaviour. They sell awesome slogan tees and accessories in their store, and 100% of the proceeds go back to the charity. Read more about Ditch The Label || Shop the store
For The Environmentally Friendly:
- Anything from Ethicalsuperstore.co.uk – Ethical Superstore aims to find eco-friendly alternatives to everyday things, including food, cleaning products and clothes. Everything they sell either helps farmers to get the best price, or helps local, British businesses get started by selling their products which have utilised local resources (plus, it cuts emissions through import). They have many great stocking fillers and festive food in their Christmas shop, but you can also use this site all year round! Read more about Ethical Superstore.
- H & M’s conscious range – A fairly new range by H&M which uses recycled materials to make the clothes and accessories. Every single item in the conscious range is made from organic or recycled fabric – or even recycled household objects like shampoo bottles! H&M are aiming to use more and more recycled products in their everyday range and are using the conscious range as a starting point. Read more about the Conscious Range || Shop the store
For The Animal Lover:
- Adopt a wild animal in their name – Adopting an animal in someone’s name is a great gift for the animal lover in your life. Not only does the recipient get regular updates about their animal, cuddly toys and photos (depending on the charity you adopt from), but you’ll be giving an animal in need the gift of a better life. There are many different wild animals you can adopt so you’re bound to find your recipients favourite! Some charities to adopt wild animals with: Born Free Foundation, WWF, The Wildlife Trusts
- Save the dolphins tee (designed by Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones) – This ‘A Girl Will Save Dolphins’ tee is a limited edition designed by Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in GoT). The T-shirt was pre-sale only and is now currently not in stock, however, they have plenty more great t-shirts in stock and 100% of the proceeds goes to the Dolphin Project which works around the world to save and protect dolphins. Read about the Dolphin Project || Shop the Dolphin Project store
For the feminist:
- A cool slogan top or jumper from Feminist Apparel – Based in Philadelphia, US, Feminist Apparel are committed spreading feminism through positivity and open dialogue, and they (rightly) believe that feminist issues need societies across the globe to change how they view them. Buying one of their shirts, jumpers, socks, hats etc means you are doing your bit to get the conversation about feminism going and are calling out society’s bad attitudes. Not only that but 40% of the proceeds from their ranges made in partnership with other organisations goes straight to that cause. Read more about Feminist Apparel || Shop the store
- A bold accessory from Fawcett Society – A mug, tote bag or an umbrella from the Fawcett Society will not only let the recipient make a statement but the proceeds will help the UK’s leading gender equality and women’s rights charity go on fighting for equality for everyone. Some of their achievements to date include securing the sex and gender discrimination (amendment) act of 2002 which ensures better representation of women in politics, campaigned to (successfully) lobby the government to provide funding for Northern Irish women to come to England for abortions, and published the gender pay by ethnicity in Britain report which encouraged The Conservatives to pledge to extend reporting on gender pay. Read more about the Fawcett Society || Shop the store
For the person who has everything:
- Donate to charity in their name: For the person who already has everything / insists they want no presents, then donating to a charity in their name is the perfect gift. Most charities allow you to buy a specific thing, such as clean water for ten people (Oxfam), clothes for a Syrian child (Unicef) or a polio vaccine (Unicef), and many send certificates to the person whose name is on the donation. Choose your favourite charity, or something you/your recipient would like to support and find out what gifts are on offer. Some ideas include: An hour of care from Macmillan, toiletries or a bed for a homeless person from Centrepoint, a water tank for a community in need from Wateraid (if you donate before January 31st 2018 the UK Government will match every £1 donated), or send a gift to a woman or child in a refuge from refuge.org.
*Top Tip* Remember to do your research when it comes to charities. Make sure you and your recipient agree fully with the ethics of the charity and what they do (e.g The Salvation Army doesn’t help LGBT+ people and makes people pray before they get help). Also, look into where your money goes. Some charities pool their donations so that all the money that comes in gets shared out to cover wages, overheads, other projects etc (Oxfam are big ones for this). If you’re okay with that then that’s fine but if you’re not, make sure you know that your money is going where it says it’s going.
For the complete stranger:
- Give blood – save a stranger’s life by providing a bit of your blood. You get free food and drink too!
- Donate to a food bank – Many supermarkets have boxes by the tills which you can place a few tinned goods in. They then donate these to local food banks.
- Donate sanitary products to a homeless shelter – many people overlook things like this when donating to food banks/shelters but they are so important. As a woman I couldn’t imagine having to go through a period whilst living on the streets or not being able to afford tampons/pads.
- Volunteer – Spend a few hours offering your services at a soup kitchen or befriending an elderly person. Volunteer at a mental health drop in centre or even work the shop floor in a charity shop. Volunteering is a fun way to do some good, especially around Christmas time.
- Donate blankets/food/toys to your local animal shelter – Animal shelters are always in need of things like blankets and food, especially in the winter.
- Buy a meal for a homeless person – a small gift that can go a long way.
What charitable gifts are you giving this year? Anything you think I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
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