First up in my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide series… ideas for the socially conscious consumer.
Buying gifts this year may as well put a smile on the faces of small farmers and producers, people in developing nations, domestic homeless, and indigenous groups — as well as the recipient of your thoughtful gift. Hopefully you’ll come away from the experience feeling a bit more festive as well.
1. Oxfam Unwrapped | Oxfam is a world-wide development organisation that provides people with the skills and resources to help them create their own solutions to poverty.
You donate life-saving good and services to those in need, such as a mother hen and chicks for a family or protection from life-threatening water-borne diseases, and receive a gift card in return.
2. Farmhouse Direct | Farmhouse Direct is an online farmers’ market that provides you with access to locally produced food and regional delicacies, 24/7. They don’t act as a warehouse or middleman so the farmers and producers ship their produce directly to you.
3. OzHarvest Soul Shop | OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia. They collect quality excess food from commercial outlets and deliver it, direct and free of charge, to 500 charities across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Newcastle.
The Soul Shop includes goodies like a set of yellow enamelware bowls and their new Urban OzHarvest cookbook (delivering 20 and 120 meals respectively) that I know I wouldn’t mind seeing under my tree on Christmas morning.
4. ThankYou Group | The ThankYou Group empowers Australians to make a difference through a simple choice in their everyday life. The group has sourced high quality products and each purchase contributes to providing either water, food or health and hygiene training to someone in need. There is even a function to track the impact your purchase has made.
ThankYou products are available to purchase at any most grocery stores around Australia, but can also be ordered through Good Spender — I’m loving the Sweet Orange and Almond hand wash in our bathroom.
5. IAD Press | IAD Press is the publishing arm of the Institute for Aboriginal Development, a not-for-profit Aboriginal community controlled organisation. Based in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the traditional lands of the Arrernte people, it publishes the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and artists, promoting the voices of Indigenous Australia.
6. Good Spender | Good Spender is an online marketplace connecting consumers to Australian-based social enterprises that sell goods and services in order to generate community benefit. All social enterprises on Good Spender have been accredited by Social Traders.
A set of recycled bombshell spoons from Oz Fair Trade supports mine removal in Laos, and a sampler pack from Seasons by Karingal provides career opportunities for people living with a disability in Geelong Victoria, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available.
7. Kindred Gifts | Kindred Gifts selects products for their design, quality, innovative approach and ethical credentials. Many follow Fair Trade principles and all suppliers are animal friendly and employ eco friendly in their businesses practices. A percentage of sales revenue is donated by Kindred Gifts to charity each year through their Kindness Matters program.
8. CARE Australia | An international humanitarian aid organisation fighting global poverty, CARE has a special focus on working with women and girls to bring about lasting change to their communities. This non-religious and non-political Australian charity believes supporting women and girls is one of the most effective ways to create sustainable outcomes in poor communities.
Do you have a favourite Socially Conscious holiday gift? I’d love to know!