A Living Lightly Holiday!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, which means that holiday shopping starts in earnest on Friday, with the infamous “Black Friday” deals. (And now even “Pre-Black Friday” deals!)

The holidays are a great time to celebrate the things we believe and the people we love. Many of us spend these next few weeks trying to find a perfect gift to show our people how much we love them.

This year, let’s try to be more conscious with the way we spend. Let’s shop from companies who care about the planet, their employees, and the greater good. Let’s show them that we support what they are doing in the world, and still get some fun gifts for our people.

The list below is not anywhere close to an exhaustive list. These are just MY personal favorites: a top ten of companies I love to shop with for my holiday gifts. I have personal experience with all of these companies and love their products, customer service, and mission. Check them out, and let me know what you find!

Living Lightly Holiday Gift Guide

The following companies are ones I know and love, and will be shopping with this year (or have already!). They are listed in random order since I couldn’t possibly rank them! Just click on the name of the company to visit the site and shop their great products.

If you don’t see something you love, google “ethical _________ companies” and fill in the blank with whatever you need: jewelry, clothing, chocolate, or whatever you are shopping for. There are a million great companies out there!

1. Ten Thousand Villages

ten thousand villages

I love this company. All fair trade “maker-to-market” — beautiful products from artisans in ten thousand villages all over the planet. I purchased some gifts from them already this year, including fun felt masks for my kids to use for dress-up, and jewelry for some ladies in my life (and myself!).

This would be a great place to look for gifts for ANYONE because they have a huge range of products!

Deals: 10% off when you sign up for their email newsletter (pop-up when you visit the website), Free shipping on orders over $75. AND for Black Friday, they’re doing Buy One Get One 50% off on jewelry and ornaments!

2. Preemptive Love

preemptive love

This company is doing great work with refugees fleeing war-torn regions of our world. They have products made by refugees, giving them dignified work to do. They also have products that support the rest of their work: health and humanitarian efforts to serve in these dangerous areas of Iraq and Syria. I love this statement from the front page of their website: “We’re a coalition stretching across Iraq, Syria, the United States, and beyond, working together to unmake violence and create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.” I can’t imagine a better mission. 

Their products include gorgeous refugee-made soaps, candles, knits, and even adorable kids’ “peace dolls,” plus apparel with their logo and uplifting messages. They also have an option to give “gifts that empower,” such as animals, water, and other needs of the refugee families they work with.

Deals: This is primarily a humanitarian organization, and the sale of products funds their work, so I’m not sure a “black friday sale” is part of their mission. Go buy their stuff anyway!

3. Starfish Project

starfish project

I LOVE STARFISH! This jewelry company rescues and supports women who have been trafficked in Asia. They provide a home and education to the women they work with, and the women are involved in every aspect of the company, from creation of the jewelry, to photographing the products, web design, marketing, etc. Great products, great purpose. AND great deals and lots of giveaways and coupon codes on social media — go find them on Instagram!

They had an incredible Black Friday sale last year. I bought gifts for my sister, mom, mom-in-law, and myself. I seriously got earrings for $2.99.

Deals: I’m not sure what their Black Friday deals will look like this year, but you KNOW I’ll be checking them out!

4. Noonday Collection

noonday collection

I was introduced to this company a few years ago by a friend of mine who sells it. Noonday empowers artisans in vulnerable communities around the world and gives us a chance to shop with a purpose. They have gorgeous jewelry, leather bags, scarves, and even Christmas ornaments. You can shop by country of origin, type of product, and price point.

Be sure to check it out for any gifts for the ladies in your life!

Deals: They are set to have huge Black Friday AND Cyber Monday sales. Keep your eyes peeled; deals go fast on their most popular products.

5. Humble Hilo

humble hilo

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my IG Live and post about these gorgeous sandals. They are from a wonderful company supporting communities in Guatemala. The founders have been part of philanthropic efforts in Guatemala for years, and they bring beautiful handmade products to us! Portions of the sales go to fund programs in education, nutrition and clean water, and small business opportunities.

This is a great place to find mommy-and-me gifts like matching shoes or dresses! They also have adorable kids’ products and GORGEOUS bags (I want all of them, if anyone is looking for a gift for me!)

Deals: Black Friday sale starts at 12:00 midnight PST online, with 20% off the whole site!

6. Marley’s Monsters

marleys monsters

I found this company a few years ago when I was searching for more non-plastic items for my baby girl. They have eco-friendly reusable items for the whole family: “unpaper” towels, pouches to carry reusable straws, washable dish scrubbers, produce bags, washable facial rounds… lots of great products to replace the single-use items in your home!

Great hostess gifts, teacher gifts, gifts for friends, and even adorable kids’ items!

Deals: 10% off when you sign up for their emails (through a pop-up when you visit the site), and they have a giveaway going on right now on Instagram!

7. Preserve Products

preserve

I love Preserve! Who remembers getting a toothbrush in your stocking growing up? It can’t be just me! Well, here’s a better option: buy a Preserve Products toothbrush: they are made from recycled plastic, and they are fully recyclable through their program and often your regular municipal recycling. Preserve is a B Corp, which means they are a company you can trust to take care of the planet, it’s people, and consumers.

Toothbrushes aren’t their only item. They also carry razors, plates/cups/bowls/utensils, etc. Lots of fun and colorful products that are reusable, recyclable, and even some compostable! My kids are each getting one of their children’s toothbrushes!

Deals: Right now Amazon has deals and coupons when you “subscribe and save”–and watch for Amazon’s crazy Black Friday deals. Who knows, a toothbrush might be on their list of things to sell this year!

8. The Shop Forward/ESPWA

espwa

I WANT THIS RED SWEATSHIRT! Ok, so I have not purchased anything from this company… yet. But I’ve been asking for one of their Four Things Totes for a year, and now I think I’m going to have to buy myself this sweatshirt as an early Christmas gift. It’ll get plenty of use around here, because we start celebrating Christmas in November, and I pretty much live in sweatshirts all winter. Espwa means “hope” in Hatian Creole, and all sales support their projects in Haiti. They switch up the exact charity frequently, but it always supports women and children in Haiti.

This is a great place to shop for fun clothing items and accessories!

Deals: Again, this is a philanthropic company so I’m not sure about holiday/Black Friday sales, but they still have great gifts.

9. Who Gives a Crap

who gives a crap

Well, this one is pretty unconventional, but I want to share anyway because I love this company. It’s a toilet paper (and other paper goods) company that donates FIFTY PERCENT of proceeds to sanitation projects around the world. Plus their products are made from fast-growing bamboo or recycled paper, so no new trees are cut down to create their products. We use their TP, tissues, and paper towel. The company has a great mission, and they are HILARIOUS.

Give some TP to anyone. Seriously. Spread the message and share this company with family, friends, the mailman, whatever!

Deals: Use my link to get $10 off your first purchase. Plus free shipping on orders over $25.

10. Pact Organic

Pact Organic

I’ve written about Pact before. I love their stuff. I own tank tops, long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees, and underwear from them. You should buy all of it, too.

There’s always someone who needs underwear for Christmas, so why not buy it from an ethical, fair trade, organic cotton company?

Deals: Free shipping on orders over $75, plus some amazing black friday deals: $15 leggings, $25 hoodies, $7 underwear, etc. Also, if you click on my referral link, you’ll get 20% off your first purchase!

11. Bonus: Experiences, Not Stuff

This one is my favorite, but there’s no link or company. I just want to remind you that we all have too much “stuff” already– so instead, look for ways to give experiences instead of things this holiday season. Ideas include:

  • concert tickets
  • museum passes
  • yoga classes
  • a coupon for a date together: recipient chooses the restaurant or activity
  • bowling center gift cards
  • cooking classes
  • amusement park passes
  • state or national parks passes
  • passes to a local ice rink or roller rink
  • sporting event tickets
  • coupon for a picnic, ice cream date, etc.
  • tickets to a comedy show
  • laser tag or mini golf passes
  • escape room
  • trampoline park passes
  • workshops or other classes they’re interested in
  • trips
  • free babysitting!

This is not a complete list, but I hope it sparked some ideas!

Deals: I know our Indiana State Fair has black friday deals. Every year I buy tickets for us for the following August. $5/person is a great deal, and it gets us excited for summer to come back. Keep an eye out for deals like this to things you like to do!

Have fun shopping! Let me know in the comments below which ethical, fair trade, or eco-friendly companies YOU love to shop with!

Happy Holidays!

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