It’s nearly Black Friday, and I get overwhelmed even thinking about it. Last year, consumers spent a record 717 billion on this day alone, making it one of the busiest retail days of the year.
The long lines, sales frenzies, and cheap consumerism make me want to skip this holiday altogether. But this holiday season is also an opportunity to vote with our wallets and support brands that align with our values. Instead of buying items just because of a sale, we can begin moving consumer demand towards social enterprises that are shifting the needle against business as usual.
That’s why, this holiday season, I’m choosing gifts that will inspire conversations about the things that I care about. I want to choose gifts that are made intentionally and responsibly, and I want them to spark a greater connection between me and my loved ones.
To help with this, Social Enterprise Alliance’s toasting good has designed a Holiday Gift Guide that takes the guesswork out of shopping for your loved ones. Each product has been specifically chosen for its intentionality, design, quality and purpose.
Below are my favorite selections from this year’s gift guide to spark important conversations between you and your loved ones:
Start a conversation about caring for your neighbors
The holidays are a time of the year where giving and generosity is at the forefront of many people’s minds. But what would it mean to cultivate this type of attitude year-round? These statement pieces from Do Good Works and Project 651 are a daily reminder to practice generosity and care for local communities.
In particular, Nashville Blanket Project was created to help Nashvillians love their neighbors by providing a blanket to someone in need for every blanket sold. Partnering with local organization People Loving Nashville, co-founder Marissa Barnett wanted to create a business designed by connection in every purchase. Spark these connections by purchasing one of these products for a loved one, and then sign up to serve with an organization in your local community together.
Start a conversation about sustainability
And start conversations about why sustainability matters. For those at a young age, For Purpose Kids designs quarterly subscription boxes that teach kids about different issues through simple easy-to-do activities. Their Protecting the Environment toolkit is a great way to begin conversations about stewardship and responsible care of the earth through interactive activities.
Start a conversation about global responsibility
As much as 98% of our clothing is produced abroad, and it’s estimated that less than 2% of the workers make our clothing earn a living wage (The True Cost).
Spark a conversation about fair wages and our global responsibility to others through these artisan-made products. Gift this Nisolo weekender, handmade at an ethical factory in León, Mexico with published wages, or this beautiful shawl from Mayamam Weavers, handwoven by artisans in Guatamela, for your loved one’s next trip and remind them of our global interconnectedness.
As consumers, we have the power to vote with our wallets and support brands that align with our values. But we can go even beyond that to encourage our loved ones to support them too.
This holiday season, give gifts that your loved ones will cherish for years to come — ones that can spark conversations, foster connection, and move our world towards the way we want it to be.
Check out toasting good’s Holiday Gift Guide for even more recommendations like these.
Sparking a conversation is such an important part of conscious consumption and ethical living. Simple interactions with friends and family can truly spread the word for causes you care about, making a difference that trickles endlessly through your social network. That said, we hope the products you purchase from our Holiday Gift Guide not only enrich your material life, but your personal interactions as well.