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9 Ethical and Sustainable Gifts for the Family

We're obsessed with small business and social justice in our own gifting traditions. Since we did a BUNCH of sleuthing, we thought we'd share our results with you in the form of three holiday gift guides. Within this guide you'll find items made from colorful recycled skateboards, self-care treats from BIPOC-owned businesses, and of course the best in delicious and ethically-crafted beverages.

1. YALA 

A women led, sustainable, clothing brand, YALA is a Certified B Corp and their products are so soft! They use bamboo, not only because it can be used to create luscious bamboo viscose fabric, but also because bamboo absorbs five times more carbon and produces 35% more oxygen than a similar stand of trees. 

2. For Bitter For Worse Smoky no.56

We never, ever use artificial or “natural” flavors, and our drinks are free from preservatives. Social responsibility and building an inclusive table are the foundation of our company. Smoky no.56 is great for the whiskey lover looking to cut back on booze, but not flavor! Smoky is delicious straight from bottle to tumbler, but you can also get creative. Make this an experiential gift—buy a few bottles and set a date to experiment together with our “Next Level Serve” recipes like Margot Tenenbaum's Guilty Pleasure or our Vegan Nog. Or play around with the  cocktail shaker and tag us in your own creation! 

3. Piccolina

Looking for a gift for a little one? Piccolina is a lifestyle brand created to fight gender bias. Their Suffragists and Trailblazers Collections are pretty wonderful. Piccolina is partnered with National Cares, Girls Write, and other organizations—thus putting their money where their mouth is. Plus, they report sourcing from ethical, woman-owned, businesses.

4. Pela Phone Case 

Pela is a B Corp and Climate Neutral certified company that creates biodegradable phone cases. They create a plastic-like case by processing flax straw, which is a bi-product of food grade flax. They now also have a line of sunglasses and blue light glasses! 

5. Soko Jewelry

Soko is “a women-led, people-first, ethical jewelry brand and tech-powered manufacturing platform built to connect artisans in Kenya with the global market.” Soko connects artisans who have been previously excluded from the global market, enabling them to make approximately 5X more than at another competitive workshop. Soko also ensures that 50% or less of an artisan's total capacity is charted for Soko, to ensure an artisan has freedom and is not solely relying on one company. They design with recycled brass, use reclaimed water in silver processing, and use reclaimed horn and bone to lessen their environmental impact.  

Better World Books is a B Corp with free shipping and used books! What more could you ask for when it comes to convenience and sustainability? This company is a great alternative to Amazon if you need an online book source. Their browsing options aren’t great, and since the focus is on used books, you might stick to classics, or perhaps review best book roundups from the recent past, rather than searching for the newest release.

7. Patagonia

Looking to gear up your spouse, kid, or adventure buddy extraordinaire? Patagonia is a B Corp with a whopping151.4 score (for context, the average company score is about 50.9 on an evaluation of governance, workers, community, environment, and customer). Patagonia is by no means a small business, but they're a leader among values-led brands. I served on the board of an eco-activist organization for more than a decade, so I know how Patagonia generously supports folx working on the front lines of environmental justice. Checkout their activism page to get a fuller understanding of the scope of their work. If you are looking for a sustainable and affordable option they have a gently used section! Great for the environment and your pocket! 

8. Madre Linens 

MADRE is a feminist brand, committed to environmental sustainability and "embodying [their] aspirations for a feminine economy." MADRE strives to manufacture 100% domestically, meaning: grown, processed, woven, and sewn here in the United States. “MADRE is committed to a transparent supply chain, offering Oeko-Tex certified, Belgian-grown linen that is woven in a Lithuanian mill that runs on green energy.” All MADRE products are sewn domestically, and the brand is working to revive the dormant Oregon linen industry. A lovely gift to line someone’s nest.   

Wingspan is in heavy rotation during our lockdown game nights because 1) we love birds 2) we love citizen science and science appreciation 3) we love women in board games 4) we love the beautiful artwork. Also, Wingspan can be played by 1-5 players, which is perfect these days. Wingspan is winner of the prestigious 2019 Kennerspiel des Jahres award. You can buy Wingspan directly from the publishers and forgo Amazon.


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