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30 Affordable, Ethical Gifts for Everyone on Your List

There's a stark conflict between the meaning of Christmas and the in-your-face materialism leading up to December 25th. We realize now that our purchases often contribute to suffering around the world, but thankfully they don't have to. This season, why not support companies that are actively trying to alleviate human trafficking, hunger, and environmental destruction? Joey and I put this list together to bring you 30 ethically made and affordable items that are making a tangible impact in people's lives. Everything is $50 and under, and some companies even provided exclusive discounts for our readers! There's something for everyone here, so happy shopping and Merry Christmas!


1.) Sweater Weather Tote | The Tote Project | $29.99 You didn't think I'd made a gift guide without including The Tote Project did you?! My best friend Fay and I started this company together and we're so proud of our fair trade totes that empower human trafficking survivors. We donate 10% of our profits to Two Wings to help survivors in Los Angeles pursue their dream jobs, and since it's a local non-profit, we get to volunteer and meet with the women going through the program. When you carry our bags you're carrying a message of hope that it's possible to end the destructive cycle of modern day slavery - M

2.) Garcia Distressed Tank | ABLE | $42 I love the look of this distressed Pima cotton tank from ABLE. It's the perfect staple piece with a hint of an edge, so you could wear it to work and then out to your favorite concert afterwards. ABLE's mission is to end generational poverty, and each time you purchase from them you get a well made, fashionable product with a meaningful story behind it. Sounds like a #forgood gift to me! - M

3.) Payton Turquoise Triangle Stud Earrings | Starfish Project | $39.99 I've been obsessed with these geometric studs since the first time I saw them. I love the "ear jacket" style where half the earring goes behind your ear, and the other half in front. I recently bought a similar pair from Starfish Project, but these are my new favorites! On top of making trendy, statement making jewelry, they provide jobs and holistic care programs to formerly exploited women in Asia, and these earrings are equal to the cost of 1 week of food for a women in the program. - M

4.) Masking Leg Clutch | Scenery Bags | $50 This sleek velour clutch is sewn from upcycled theatre curtains, and a portion of each purchase is donated to a non-profit that takes middle and high school students to attend a Broadway or Off-Broadway performance. This year Scenery Bags raised more money than was needed, so they also started donating to a non-profit that provides access to the same performances for elementary students who are blind or deaf. How amazing is that?! Make sure to share this impactful story when you gift this bag, and have the recipient check the inside of their clutch to learn what play their bag is from. -M

5.) Glow & Go Mini Oils | Beautycounter | $30 I love these facial oils so much, they made my gift guide 2 years in a row! They help to brighten, plump, and balance your skin, and ultimately achieve that coveted glow we're all striving for. For each set sold Beautycounter will donate a set to a patient undergoing cancer treatment at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. -M

6.) The Chloe Adjustable Bracelet | UNCVRD Jewelry | $47 (with code below) I normally find bracelets difficult to shop for because they are often either too big or too small, but UNCVRD Jewelry solves this problem with the Chloe. This lovely bracelet is adjustable to ensure it fits your wrist perfectly and the stone stays in place. Not only is this a head-turning piece, but I love purchasing from UNCVRD because they generously donate 40% of their profits to fight human trafficking in Long Beach. I'm super excited to share that they're offering an exclusive discount just for you readers, so when you check out make sure to use code MICHELLEFORGOOD to take $5 off your purchase. Thanks UNCVRD Jewelry! - M



1.) Felt Deer Pillow | West Elm | $39 - $49 West Elm is bringing fair trade to the masses, and that makes me super happy since they just so happen to be my favorite home store. This adorable Felt Deer pillow is perfect for the holidays, and the color scheme works for friends of all religions! You can opt to just buy the cover for $39 (although today it's on sale for even less) or you can pay an extra $10 to get the down alternative insert to stuff inside. - M

2.) Share Cookbook | Ten Thousand Villages | $34.99 This cookbook is INCREDIBLE. Unique, global recipes from women in war-torn countries are compiled alongside quotes from humanitarians and stunning full color images. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has bought a cookbook for the photos, but in this case, buy it for the photos, the food and the fact that 100% of the publisher's profits are donated to one of my favorite, top-rated non-profits -- Women for Women International. You can find these at your local Ten Thousand Villages store (I know the Pasadena location has some in stock!) and act fast, because this is already sold out on Amazon. - M

3.) Bread Warmer Basket | Ten Thousand Villages | $29.99 I don’t know about you, but my plan is to stuff my face with all kinds of festive, seasonal breads this holiday season. And, if we’re going to carbo load, we might as well fully enjoy the carbs by keeping them nice and toasty. Throw your favorite loaf in this beautiful, hand-crafted basket before you toss it down your throat. Or, if you’re feeling generous, give a gift that makes those naughty carbs a little more nice -- it’s fair trade! - J

4.) Woven Wall Hanging | Krochet Kids | $50 Wall space is precious. What we hang on our walls tells guests a lot about us. Krochet Kids have been working with artisans in Uganda and Peru for years now. Their company enriches the communities they operate in by providing ethical employment, job-skills and business training, and safe work environments. This is an opportunity to adorn your home (or your loved one’s) with a piece that is not only beautiful, but is also something you can be proud of. - J

5.) Turkish Towels | BALTHAZAR & ROSE | $32 I met the sweet founder of BALTHAZAR & ROSE at a West Elm event I tabled at for The Tote Project, and their pretty towels have graced our guest bathroom ever since. These artisan-made Turkish peshtemals come in a variety of fun, bright colors, and the more you wash them the softer and more absorbent they get! 2% of profits are donated to KIVA (another one of our favorite non-profits) to provide micro-loans to people in need. - M

6.) Sea Salt + Charcoal Wood Wick Candle | No Tox Life | $15 - $45 No Tox Life candles are hand-poured in Los Angeles with 100% soy wax, essential oils and herbs. I appreciate their signature wooden wicks because they're non-toxic (cotton wicks often contain paraffin or metal), they are naturally self-trimming, and the crackle as they burn for an extra-cozy feel. I'm obsessed with this Sea Salt + Charcoal scent; it brings me back to the foggy ocean mornings I grew up with in Northern California. I just bought this as a gift and I'm having a hard time parting with it! - M



1.) Alem Card Case | ABLE | $28 Let’s face it, Bob Dylan was right when he said, “The times, they are a’changin’,” and he might have been talking specifically about the humble wallet. Cash is losing its convenience, pictures are kept in our phones, and most guys are mainly looking for a wallet that doesn’t get in the way when he sits. Able’s Card Case does the trick and has a sleek minimal aesthetic to boot. Plus every purchase provides jobs that help end the cycle of poverty, and promotes wage transparency. - J

2.) Fossil Stone Large Drink Cubes | Ten Thousand Villages | $39.99 What says “class” more than a nice scotch on the rocks. Though, oftentimes for the purist, the idea of melting ice diluting the flavor of your favorite spirit is a major downside to having a cold, stiff drink. Ten Thousand Villages has collaborated with disadvantaged artisans in Karachi to bring you an elegant solution to this dilemma -- cubed fossil stones. Just chill, and then… chill. It’s the perfect gift for the social or serious drinker. No paleontology dissertation required. - J

3.) Owen Belt | Nisolo | $48 Nisolo makes the Owen Belt. It’s a wonderful belt--it’s handsome, it comes in four different colors, and in most sizes. It’s handmade with highly durable Nubuck leather. They pay their producers 27% more than fair trade wage requirements. 16% of their producers were able to finish high school, but 100% of their producers’ children are in school. So in short, if you’re going to buy a belt, buy it from Nisolo; not a belt made by modern day slaves. - J

4.) Just for Him Gift Box | Packed With Purpose | $50 with coupon below Dudes of all shapes and sizes love food. This sweet box of treats is a cornucopia of culinary delights. From the Better Sriracha to the bottle opener made with reclaimed wood, to the bourbon chocolate--it’s a gut punch of goodies for the foodie in your life. Plus, every item helps people, animals and/or the planet… delicious. Get $5 off with our exclusive code: MFG5

- J

5.) Pullover Hoodie | Pact | $50 This hoodie is an overachiever. It’s fair trade, made with 100% organic cotton and it saves A LOT of water. What’s even more amazing is that it’s affordable! A hoodie like this, that does this much for people and the planet, would be twice as much were it made by some other brands. Support the good people at Pact! We need more companies like this in the world. - J

6.) Pilgrim at Tinker Creek | Vroman's | $15.99 Books make great gifts (especially this one), but while it's tempting to order them through Amazon, I encourage you to stop by your local bookstore first. Let's be real, bookstores smell good, much better than your laptop, and you'll get the chance to support a small business. Our favorite spot is Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. I always discover something new there and they give back a portion of every purchase to the community; to date they've donated nearly $700,000! There's not much to say that hasn't already been said about the Pulitzer winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This title is one of my all-time favorites that I come back to again and again. Dillard's hauntingly beautiful portrait of the intricacy of nature inspires readers to preserve and respect the world around us. - M



1.) Baa Humbug Long Sleeve Snappie | mini + meep | $29.99 These snappies make my list every year, and even though mini + meep is Fay's company, I promise I'm not biased -- I'm obsessed with these adorable, punny designs! Each snappie is ethically made out of organic cotton grown here in the US, the hand painted designs are printed with non-toxic, water-based inks, and 10% of all proceeds are donated to the MANNA Food Bank in North Carolina. Cute, ethical and safe for your baby, it doesn't get much better than that! - M

2.) Teddy Bear | Krochet Kids | $35 Everybody knows Teddy Roosevelt had a lot to do with the invention of the Teddy Bear, and the world has been in love ever since. Krochet Kids has added their signature spin on this plush toy by crocheting this cute little guy into existence. Every bear sold helps provide jobs to producers in Uganda and Peru, and helps provide job and business training as well. - J

3.) 'Mommy & Me' Mini Tee | Amour Vert | $38 What do you get for the six month old who has everything? Before the arrival of baby fashion our little bundles of joy were easy to shop for. Those days are long gone. Lucky for you Amour Vert has you covered with this adorable little French number that will have even the most picky baby saying, “Ooh, la la.” Sustainable and ethically made, this long-sleeve tee is sure to keep your “Petit Tresor” warm and fashionable for the winter. - J

4.) | FA-LA-LLAMA Tiny TOMS | TOMS | $38.95 Look alive Mommas, nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like human clothes-wearing llamas. While we weren’t looking the llama took over the entire planet this year, and so far it looks like we’re all fine with it. What better way to pay homage to our new llama overlords than by putting this under the tree for someone special. Each purchase gives a pair of shoes to someone who needs them. Llama onesie not included. - J

5.) Cotton Swaddle Blanket | kinder capsule | $34 This soft, organic cotton blanket was ethically made in the US, and comes in a variety of lovely, minimalist prints, keeping in line with kinder capsule's mission. This recently launched childrenswear brand sells clothing and accessories that are intended to last. Their clothing is adjustable so that your baby won't grow out of them after a couple of months, and each piece is made without planned obsolescence. Yep, this blanket is in it for the long haul. - M

6.) Wonderfully Made onesie | Citizen & Darling | $24 Citizen and Darling consistently produce quality goods with uplifting messages. More recently they’ve brought this strategy to babies clothing with their “Wonderfully Made” onesie. Made with soft cotton jersey, 10% of each sale is donated to Saving Innocence to help fight child trafficking. Doesn’t it feel good to support a company with good style and values for once. - J



1.) Cookie Caramel - 51% dark chocolate bar | Tony's Chocolonely | $5.99 What do you get when you mix Willy Wonka, a half-crazed dutchman, and a mission to end slavery in the chocolate industry? Why you get superb, velvety chocolate concoctions, gold foil wrapped in the playful spirit of Wonka, and ubiquitous freedom for all humankind. Doesn’t get much sweeter than that. - J

2.) Phone Case | Pela Case | $39 This phone case is 100% compostable! Not recyclable, but compostable, which I believe means that it will just melt back into the ground like a banana peel in the sun. It’s the first in the world to do this! It’s also a member of 1% for the planet while being 100% sustainable and 100% compostable. That equals 201%! When you add that it’s 100% cool-looking, that’s when it hits you; you’ve got a phone case that’s giving 301% at all times! - J

3.) Travel Utensil Set | bambu | $12.95 Time to get eco-dorky! This reusable utensil set from Bambu is a great way to mess with your climate-denying loved ones. Just slip this baby in their stocking and watch their face turn as red as Rudolph’s famous schnoz. The best part is that this set is actually looks really good, AND it’s handy when you’re in the great outdoors. But can you imagine pulling it out at the annual company picnic! Come on, take a stand...while you’re eating potato salad. No self-righteousness necessary. - J

4.) Noel Ornament | Purpose | $18 This snowflake ornament is the perfect addition to every Christmas tree. It’s made by women escaping human trafficking and 100% of the proceeds go to International Sanctuary. The holiday season is the time for remembering our most cherished beliefs. Let this snowflake serve as a reminder that all people are unique, valuable and worth fighting for. - J

5.) Waxed Cotton Shoelaces | Nisolo | $10 You might be thinking, “Shoelaces for a stocking stuffer? I don’t see it.” Shoelaces are one of those products that are a sign of good ethical shopping. We should all be buying products that last longer than our laces. Fast fashion is like a poppy seed muffin; a bunch of empty calories for something that wasn’t that good to begin with. Buy these laces for you and your family as a promise to yourself that you will shop more responsibly in 2019. - J

6.) Shampoo & Conditioner Mini Duo | Seed Phytonutrients | $14 You get a lot of bang out of these little bottles. They have a wonderfully fresh smell, and after using them I noticed a difference in my hair almost immediately, which rarely ever happens to me. Hopefully you'll see the same results! Start with this travel set, and if you love the products as much as I do you can size up. Their products are sulfate free, paraben-free, and vegan, and their full size, sustainable paper bottles have a packet of heirloom seeds inside. We can't wait to plant ours! - M



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