Happy Holidays: Sustainable and Ethical Gift Ideas Pt 2

ethical gifts

The holidays are a time for giving; a month taken out of the year to cherish the ones we love and lavish them with gifts as a sign of affection. However, millions of people go every year without ever knowing the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Here’s the second part of our list of eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical gift ideas for the holidays. These ideas will show the ones you love you care while also providing those less fortunate a chance to improve their own lives, thousands of miles away, with your help.

Krochet Kids

Krochet Kids’ slogan is “Buy a Hat. Save a Life.” With hook and yarn, the organization is working to eradicate poverty through sustainable development programs and unique, one-of-a-kind products. Krochet Kids has taught people in impoverished countries such as Uganda and Peru to crochet hats and scarves and pays them a living wage for their work. The items are sold through their website and each crocheted product comes with a personal story about — and is signed by — one of the 150 people who helped make it.

ethical gifts

Oimei Co.

In Chinese, Oimei means “love beauty,” which serves as a reminder to embrace all beauty that surrounds us. Producing a variety of handmade pillows from Thailand known as “Pillows for Peace,” Oimei Co’s mission is to empower women to rise above poverty. Hand-woven by South Asian artisans in poverty-stricken communities, these fair-trade gifts have the power to transform a room with their intricate patterns and lavish embroidery. Oimei Co. donates fifty percent of their profit to charities worldwide.

ethical guide


Created in 2011, Sevenly is attracting attention with its approach to ethical shopping. Each week, Sevenly designs t-shirts for a different charitable organization and sells the shirts online for one week only. After seven days, the rare designs are gone forever, making them one heck of an exclusive gift. Sevenly is helping charities kick-start their organizations of change by donating $7 from each t-shirt sold to the spotlight charity of the week.

ethical gifts

Smile Squared

Smile Squared is an online organization that produces bamboo toothbrushes. This great stocking stuffer uses one hundred percent biodegradable bamboo for its handle, packages using recyclable materials, and works off the “Buy One, Give One” philosophy. Dental hygiene greatly impacts one’s overall health and Smile Squared provides children in need with a toothbrush of their own. Confidence is the simplest gift one can give a child and it all starts with a smile.

ethical gifts


TOMS shoes have become a worldwide phenomenon with their ethical twist on giving. Like Smile Squared, they practice the “One for One” concept. After buying one pair of shoes, the company matches that and provides a pair to someone in need. Offering a collection for everyone, their classic slip-ons come in every colour and pattern imaginable and have recently added eyewear to their online store based on the same giving idea. Every pair purchased helps TOMS give the gift of sight through prescription glasses, optical eye surgery, and medical treatment.

ethical gifts

by Jayme Brown and Anthony Nerada
This series on living fantastic for the holiday season is a collaboration between Greenster and the students of the Langara Publishing Program, who as a team produce Pacific Rim Magazine. Enjoy! 
Photo Credit: Jo Naylor
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