15 sustainable gifts from brands that give back
What’s not to love about these gifts?
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In honor of Earth Day, you might be looking into sustainable products that can help reduce your carbon footprint—but why not take it a step further? You can make an even bigger impact by supporting brands that not only make sustainable products but also have charitable initiatives to support important causes.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Sustainable and charitable? In this economy?!” To which, I say, “Why not!” There’s no reason we can’t hold brands to higher standards, and there are plenty of amazing companies that already meet both these criteria. Here are 15 of our favorite sustainable products from brands that give back, any of which would make an amazing gift—whether for someone you love or yourself.
1. A backpack made from recycled water bottles
Brevitē backpacks are stylish, comfortable, and highly functional, and they’re also made from recycled water bottles. The brand sells everyday backpacks like this one, as well as camera backpacks that would make a great gift for your favorite photographer. The bags are both spacious and durable, and they come with a lifetime warranty, to boot.
The company has a strong charitable initiative, too. To date, it has donated $150,000 in backpacks to the homeless in New York City, as well as $35,000 to support the fight against COVID-19 and $10,000 to support young people.
2. Cute socks that aid a good cause
Who couldn’t use a few extra pairs of socks? The socks from Conscious Step would make a particularly great gift, as each pair helps to support a charity. For instance, the Protect Ocean Animals trio supports Oceana and its work to save marine life and restore oceans. Other pairs help to support Habitat for Humanity, Room to Read, Conservation International, and more, and to date, the brand has donated more than $500,000 to its charitable partners.
Plus, these ocean-themed socks have cute marine life patterns, and they’re made from organic cotton that’s been sustainably sourced. They’re also vegan and Fair Trade-certified, so it’s truly a gift you can feel good about giving.
3. A two-pack of clean, cruelty-free perfumes
Some perfumes may have some questionable ingredients, but not the ones from Skylar. The brand’s products are free from parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and animal-derived ingredients, and the brand also partners with ethical and eco-friendly suppliers. The clean, hypoallergenic perfume comes in a variety of wonderful scents, including Vanilla Sky, Isle, Capri, Salt Air, and more, and this set of two allows you to mix and match its different options.
The brand also gives back, donating a portion of its proceeds to Step Up, a non-profit that provides mentorship to underprivileged high school girls across the country. Step Up helps to orchestrate after-school programming, mentorship, and career guidance to help girls become confident, college-bound, and successful women.
4. A luxurious, eco-friendly weighted blanket
It feels amazing to curl up under a weighted blanket at the end of a stressful day, and this one from Baloo has a focus on sustainability. It’s made from 100% cotton and without any plastic, and it’s filled with glass microbeads that create the wonderful feeling of being wrapped in a hug. The blanket comes in a variety of size and weight combinations, and it’s vegan and carbon neutral.
Baloo gives back to the community, as well, donating to the Pajama Project, which provides pajamas and bedtime books to children in shelters and group homes. Plus, during Earth Month, the brand is planting a tree for every order it receives.
5. A stylish jacket from Patagonia
Patagonia is widely known for its sustainability, and it doesn’t hurt that its products are top-of-the-line, either. The brand offers a wide range of products for both men and women, but we particularly love this mid-length parka, which is made from 100% organic cotton canvas and lined with recycled polyester fleece.
As if you needed more to love, Patagonia has pledged 1% of its sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment since 1985 and awarded more than $89 million in cash and in-kind donations to environmental groups.
6. A stunning zero-waste silk dress
Amour Vert offers a beautiful collection of women’s clothing, and the cherry on top is that the brand focuses on sustainability. It even has a line of clothing created with zero waste, including this lovely silk dress. The Mila Dress is made from 100% Silk Crepe de Chine with a bold floral pattern, and it features a midi hem, halter top, and keyhole opening in the back.
In addition to embracing sustainable practices, the brand also partners with American Forest to plant a tree for every T-shirt sold. To date, they’ve planted more than 300,000 trees all across the country.
7. Everyone’s favorite sustainable sneakers
We’ve tested and loved Allbirds sneakers, which are extremely popular on social media. These shoes are made from sustainably sourced materials, and they’re also comfortable, lightweight, and supportive. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and both men’s and women’s sizes.
Allbirds is a certified B Corp and carbon neutral, and it also gives back through Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that donates gently used shoes to communities in need all around the world.
8. A cozy blanket made from ethically sourced alpaca wool
This cozy throw blanket from Avocado would make a perfect gift, as it’s made from ethically sourced alpaca wool and comes in a variety of pretty colors and patterns. The fabric is soft and breathable, yet incredibly warm, and it’s been dyed without the use of any harsh chemicals that could hurt the environment.
As for Avocado, it’s a carbon-negative business that voluntarily offsets more than 100% of its emissions, and the brand is part of 1% for the Planet, meaning it donates 1% of all corporate revenues to vetted environmental non-profits. Avocado also supports a variety of other charitable initiatives, including organizations that help underprivileged communities, the environment, and more.
9. A set of reusable sandwich wraps
Anyone who regularly packs bagged lunches needs Bee’s Wrap! These sustainable food wraps are made from organic cotton, sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, and they can be reused for up to a year. The warmth of your hands on the wrap creates a seal around food, and this assorted pack comes with a small, medium, and large wrap.
Bee’s Wrap also supports a variety of good causes, including 1% for the Planet, the Rozalia Project, which supports ocean conservancy, beach cleanups, and water stewardship, and The Bee Cause, which teaches children about the important connection between bees and healthy food systems.
10. A sustainable yoga mat that comes in beautiful colors
Your favorite yogi is sure to love the Harmony Mat, which is made from sustainable natural rubber and without PVC, EVA, or other synthetic materials. The mat comes in a rainbow of pretty colors, and you can also choose between several lengths. Of course, it’s also incredibly functional, providing superior stability, traction, and cushioning to elevate anyone’s practice.
JadeYoga gives back in several ways—the brand has a partnership with Trees for the Future and plants a tree for every mat sold. To date, JadeYoga has planted more than 2 million trees. That’s not all either. Certain mat colors help to support medical research. For instance, $5 is donated to ovarian cancer charities for every Teal mat purchased.
11. A colorful charcuterie board for hosting parties
This lovely sustainable charcuterie board from etúHOME is sure to be the focal point of any gathering and not just because it’s covered in meat and cheese. The beautiful design is made from reclaimed wood and decorated with a colorful plant-based wax finish, and it comes in a variety of sizes and colors, making it an ideal gift for your favorite host.
Beyond its sustainable practices, etúHOME does its part to support charitable causes, too. For instance, this week the brand is donating 10% of all its sales to The Nature Conservancy, which helps to conserve land around the world.
12. A stylish, sustainable backpack
Your favorite fashionista will be the talk of the town when they’re wearing the Pro Backpack from Holly and Tanager. This stylish bag is made from environmentally friendly recycled nylon, and it’s spacious enough to hold a 17-inch laptop. The bag comes in a range of trendy colors, and it can even be converted into a tote or crossbody bag for optimal versatility.
Despite being a smaller brand, Holly and Tanager is dedicated to helping the planet. During Earth Week, 10% of its sales will be donated to The National Parks Conservation Association.
13. A beautiful necklace that’s perfect for Earth Day
This sweet necklace is a must-have for any nature lover. It’s made from recycled 18-carat yellow-plated gold and features an earth-shaped pendant. The design comes on a 16-inch chain, and it would look lovely layered with other gold necklaces.
As an added bonus, the profits from this necklace—and others in the brand’s Earth Day Collection—go to Ocean Generation, a charity fighting against ocean plastic pollution.
14. A set of convenient reusable jars for traveling
Cadence capsules would make a great gift for anyone who travels frequently, as the honeycomb-shaped containers are designed to hold beauty products, medication, and even jewelry. The capsules magnetically snap together so they don’t get lost in your suitcase, and you can choose a label for each one. The containers come in several pretty colors, and they’re made from the brand’s proprietary ocean-bound plastic blend.
Cadence also does its part to help the environment. It partners with Envision Plastics to employ local community members to collect plastic from beaches around the world. The brand also reuses plastic scraps created during its manufacturing process and uses recyclable packaging.
15. A unique appliance that makes composting easier
Forty percent of food goes to waste in the United States each year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and if you don’t have the space to create a traditional compost pile, this unique appliance from Vitamix will save you from throwing away food scraps. The FoodCycler aerates, heats, and grinds up food waste from your kitchen, including fruit and vegetable peels and cores, eggshells, cheese rinds, coffee grinds, and fish and chicken bones, turning the scraps into compost in a matter of hours. By doing this, you’ll help keep food waste out of landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To give back to the community, the Vitamix Foundation partners with other organizations to further the education, consumption, and enjoyment of plant-based whole foods and offer grants to a variety of research institutions.
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