the little market gifts

Every now and then I come across a business that truly inspires me by how they give back to the community. Whether through charitable donations or sending a percentage of proceeds to non-profit organizations, there are an array of companies now that are founded on philanthropic principles and make it a point to have their products benefit causes around the world. Perhaps that box of wine for my mother will fund the adoption of a dog or cat locked away in a shelter, maybe those colorful bracelets for my sister can save the ocean and promote environmental causes. That sweater for my father could benefit communities in African while that stuffed bear for my baby brother could support local artisans abroad. The following presents make an impact so even if they wind up at the bottom of the closet in a year’s time, the difference they make will last forever. 

1. Handwoven bracelets that support a cause.

pura vidaphoto by pura vida

Founded by two friends who flew to Costa Rica after college graduation and fell in love with the country, Pura Vida bracelets are handcrafted by global artisans. Since it started, Pura Vida has gone on to partner with over 190 charities to support important causes around the world. Proceeds from bracelet sales benefit animal welfare, cancer awareness, environmental causes and much more.

2. Unique gifts that support global artisans.

the little marketPhoto credit: The Little Market

The Little Market is a charming online shop that works with artisan groups from around the world. In an effort to empower female artisans, help them rise above poverty and preserve their traditional craft, The Little Market created a marketplace to connect these women with customers. Sourcing all of the artisan’s handmade products ethically, The Little Market supports talented women from Bolivia, Nepal, Kenya, India, Senegal and more. Selling everything from handwoven blankets and bags from Guatemala to ceramics from Tunisia, The Little Market offers unique gifts that make a difference.

3. An online auction that raises money for Syrian Refugees.

Syrian_refugees_strike_in_front_of_Budapest_Keleti_railway_station._Refugee_crisis._Budapest,_Hungary,_Central_Europe,_3_September_2015photo via Wikipedia

The world has watched in horror this year as over 6 million Syrians have been displaced and set up camp around Europe–sometimes greeted with opened arms, other times with open hostility. The Shop for Syria online auction offers a wide range of gift ideas–everything from art prints to hotel stays—to raise money for the European Refugee crisis. The auction, launched in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is set to last through December–so hurry!


4. Bottles of wine that make a difference.

one hope winePhoto credit: OneHope Wine

I first learned about OneHope when I received a complimentary gift card for their wine boxes in a goodie bag. Ever the sucker for wine, I was surprised to find that OneHope does more than just sell wine, it sells wine that benefits some amazing causes (finally, a noble cause for drinking!). The numbers speak for themselves when you look at the impact OneHope has made–from the 6,000+ animals it has helped get adopted through its Pinot for Paws boxes to the 1 million meals provided to children in need. OneHope sells wine boxes and gifts that sends proceeds to numerous causes around the world.

5. Sweaters that provide jobs and education in Africa.

slum lovePhoto credit: Slumlove Sweater Co.

Slumlove sells classic sweaters for men and women that are 100% cotton and are made by people living in the largest slum in Kenya, called Kibera, hence the company name “Slumlove.” Slumlove promotes fair work where employees are treated with respect, given fare wages, plus a portion of every purchase is used towards educating the children in Kenya.

6. A pair of glasses that give the gift of vision.


The slogan of Warby Parker is simple: “Buy a pair, give a pair.” Holding the simple belief close that everyone deserves to see, Warby Parker vows that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is given to someone in need. About 1 billion people worldwide lack access to glasses and corrective lenses–a number that in turn affects people’s ability to learn, work and live clearly. Warby Parker partnered with non-profit, VisionSpring, to tackle this issue and bring glasses to everyone.

*First photo by The Little Market