Well, there was a big glitch on my website on Friday. I tried to post this all day long, and then things finally got figured out over the weekend. So even though it’s not Friday anymore…I’m posting anyway. Because I can!
I have a goal this year to be done with my Christmas shopping before December 1. I already have a lot of things made and purchased for this year, so I’m well on my way. I don’t want to be stressing about shopping when I could be spending time enjoying the Christmas season with my family.
Shopping has been on my mind lately. But after this post, shopping responsibly is also weighing heavily on my mind.
So for my Friday Five Faves, I would like to give you some fun options for shopping for products that help others, too.
I can’t guarantee any of their claims, and these are my own opinions and thoughts.
From their website:
“Sevenly is a cause activation platform. Each week, Sevenly partners with a non-profit organization, creating and selling unique art and limited edition products, designed to raise funding and awareness. For every product sold, Sevenly delivers a dedicated donation to that charity.”
If you’re looking for awesome T-shirts or sweatshirts, this is your place. They have great stuff for men or women. You can shop for their current cause of the week, or you can shop their past cause collections. Some collections include Autism Speaks, Show Hope, and Girls on the Run, among many many others. Their items are so cute and you can find clothing to support almost any cause that is close to your heart (or close to the heart of the recipient)!!
2. Feed My Starving Children
I have talked about Feed My Starving Children before. My favorite way to help this organization is through physically packing meals at their packing facility. I loved taking Noah to pack meals and see that his work is going directly to feed children just like him that need help. It was so impactful for him, and it has changed him for the better.
But the other thing that I love about them is their shop. They also have a shop online that sells different items made by people in the communities that FMSC serves – from jewelry to hot sauce. When you shop online, each item lists how many meals you would provide with each purchase.
I got the most adorable nativity scene for my mother-in-law last year, and I love that someone who lives in a community directly benefitting from the meals we pack hand carved it – not to mention that I paid for more meals with the purchase!
Also, one of our presents to our kids this year is that we get to go pack meals. It’s so fun for them to actually participate in something that is changing the lives of children that are the same age as they are.
3. Noonday Collection
Noonday Collection is a “party” company, much like Origami Owl, Mary Kay, etc. In the interest of keeping it real, I’m just going to say that I am super nervous about these kinds of companies, because I don’t like all the pressure that goes with hosting parties and hitting my friends up over and over to buy things.
However, if you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll love this company. And good news for those of us who aren’t the party kind of people – you can order things online without having to go through one of their ambassadors.
The thing that drew me to this company first was their amazing, colorful jewelry. I’d seen it on quite a few people who pointed me back toward Noonday. But what I really loved the most is that they are committed to empowering people within their communities all over the world. It’s a sustainable solution for the artisans involved, and if they can rise, they’ll pull their communities up with them.
Noonday Collection is a part of the Fair Trade Federation, which means that they, along with all of the artisans with whom they work follow fair trade practices, and source their supplies accordingly.
I don’t even remember how I found this company. It’s based in New York and it’s a tiny little company run by two women. Honestly, I must’ve seen it in a little magazine or asked someone where they got something. It’s been on one of my internet tabs for weeks, so it’s obviously been too long for me to remember.
But either way, how cute are their headbands?! I do know that their headbands are exactly what drew me to them. They have a couple shirts for sale, and a few necklaces, but their headbands are their main event.
5. Shop Locally
This is so important, no matter where you live.
When I say “shop locally,” I don’t mean for you to go to your local Wal-Mart or the Target down the street instead of ordering something from Amazon online. Though, I suppose that has its own smaller benefits.
What I mean is to buy from locally-owned small businesses. Shopping locally keeps money in your community – for parks, libraries, local jobs, etc. When you spend your dollars at a locally-owned small business, your impact on the community in which you live is exponentially more than spending at a large chain.
You can find some really fun items that are specific to your area. These kinds of gifts are always the best for those who live far away. It’s always interesting to try new things from all over the world.
Take some time to look around your area. Shop at local clothing stores. Buy your mom a new diamond bracelet from a local jeweler instead of from a national chain. Use sauces from local restaurants or wine from local wineries as hostess gifts. Is there a local bakery that sells pies or bread for your big Christmas dinner?
Don’t forget that in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. Many businesses in your area might have some great sales on that Saturday so be sure to look around!
As you prepare for Christmas this year, I hope you take some time to really consider the purchases that you are making. Vote with your dollars. Tell the companies that practice fair trade, or provide sustainable support and solutions for women in developing countries, or support causes close to your heart that you believe in what they are doing.
Shopping responsibly may cost you a little bit more money this Christmas (though, it actually may not!). But it’s important to support the companies that are working hard to effect real change in the way the world does business. Not to mention, each gift will be unique and special. Be sure to tell everyone that the gift they received also benefitted someone else – it makes the gift that much sweeter!
Do you have any companies that give back? Leave them in the comments!
cover photo: Alice Harold