1tranSglass by Tord Boontje & Emma Woffenden for Artecnica$46
Business models doesn’t get much better than this: find a couple big-wig creatives (in this case, the Dutch product and textile designer Tord Boontje + British glass artist Emma Woffenden), design a line of products (like glassware made of cropped and treated bottles), then find a group of craftsmen somewhere in the world that could do with a better income (tranSglass is made by artisans in Guatemala) and get them in on the project. The tranSglass collection for Artecnica’s Design w/Conscience program is a shining example of humanitarian business smarts at this critical time in human history. Get it here!
2WWF’s Species Adoptions$25
Leopards, penguins, koalas, great whites, lemurs, foxes, okapis, monarchs, wombats, puffins, raccoons, seahorses – they’re all having a rough time out there in the dwindling and dirty domain we’ve left for them. The World Wildlife Fund has made it unavoidably easy to pick your preferred critter and lend a helping hand. With their Species Adoption program, choose from a list of needy creatures (click here for the animals that most need your help), select an Adoption Kit that fits your budget ($25 / $50 / $100 / $250) and make one lucky species’ holiday a bit warmer (we’re talking warm and fuzzy on the inside warm, not global warming warm). The $50+ kits include adorable plush facsimiles of your chosen species. It’s the perfect gift for all the little Jane Goodall’s out there! Get it here!
3Limited Edition Print at Needs for Sale$100
Warhol would dig this (even though there isn’t a single cat-related charity listed). The concept is simple. And so smart:
“In the summer of 2007, Christine and Justin launched the website Wants for Sale. A site where they sell paintings of things that they want, at the cost of the real item (“Buffalo Wings” for $12.50 or “An iPhone” for $432.42). After starting the project, Christine & Justin realized there was something else they both really wanted – the ability to help others. With that in mind, they created Needs for Sale.”
Choose your favorite image (vintage cell phone, hopscotch, microscope…) or your favorite charity (The Girl Effect, Toys for Tots, Heifer International…) and dive into the artsy-fartsy do-goodism. More on Christine and Justine’s other project, NYC Garbage, coming soon!Get it here!
4Heifer International Gifts$ ~
“If there is one thing I could give to the struggling people of the world it would be self-reliance. Everyone deserves the dignity of providing for themselves and their families.” — Walter Cronkite, journalist and Heifer supporter
While we head over to our favorite weekend brunch locales and stuff our faces with eggs Benedict and piles of bacon, struggling families around the world make do with so much less. At Heifer International, a donation of just $20 buys a flock of ducks for a family in Ziang Quin, China or a clutch of chicks for a child in Cameroon – helping both recipients boost their income (by selling the eggs) while also providing a much-needed food source. Check out Heifer’s Gift Catalog, which has gifts that range from a family pig ($120) to a complete beehive ($30) to a trio of little bunny rabbits ($60)! Get it here!
5Weekend Scarves from Organica Deluxe$59
There might be some Grinches on your list who, if left to their own devices, would just say Bah-Humbug to all the Do-Goodism happening out there. Well, deceive those bastards. Don’t mention that the profits made from the beautiful, hand-woven 100% Tasar silk scarf you gifted them is actually two week’s worth of income for a poor, rural family in India. Don’t tell them that the 2 x 7 foot, double weave scarf was made in accordance with the fair trade practices of the World of Good Organization and was made by women artisans, lifting the esteem and value of women in their communities. Just watch your beloved Grinch as they wrap themselves up in this accessory from Organica Deluxe and manage to squeeze out a thank-you. Get it here!
6Leash by Found My Animal$56
Don’t forget your pups this holiday! They looooooove opening gifts. And reopening them. And tearing the paper to a fine, pulp-slobber pile. Although our little cat, Goobie, would never agree to a walk around the neighborhood, he would love to gnaw on these shabby chic Brooklyn-made leashes by Found my Animal.
“The custom-made rope used for the leashes (or leads) is a unique and extremely durable alternative to leather. We are pretty certain dogs (or at the very least cows) appreciate our use of non-animal based material. Each rope is hand-spliced to withstand thousands of pounds of pull, the ends are then “whipped” (an old nautical term) for additional durablility.”
The leashes have some pretty stellar marine-grade cast Italian hardware as well: brass o-rings, solid bronze clips, and an individually-numbered brass tag! 25% of all profits go to the Louis Animal Foundation, “a unique non-profit group dedicated to spaying/neutering and providing homes for animals who have not yet ‘found’ their people”. Get it here!
7The Little Black Box from Charity : Water$24
This is all you need to know: the profits made from the sale of this Little Black Box by Charity : Water gives clean water to one person in a developing nation for 20 years. Check out the stats on the Water Projects page – it’s pretty amazing what such a focused charity can achieve! More on Charity : Water coming soon to our Do-Goodism section… Get it here!
8Hand-Coiled Bowl by Bambu$15
Honest! Not all Do-Goodism has to be selfless. Bambu’s line of sustainable and organic tableware makes a classy addition to any dinner spread. Part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, the conscientious company has contributed more than $50,000 to non-profits across the globe, follows fair-trade practices, and wraps all their wares in environmentally friendly packaging! I just love the brightly colored lacquerware bowls and hand-woven nesting baskets. Get it here!
9Ideaco’s Futsal Ball$72
The five designers over at Osaka-based company Ideaco create and produce products adhering to a beautiful set of principles: that design should be timeless, minimal, functional, innovative, long-lasting, comfortable, and eco-inspired.
“We believe that ‘no waste’ is beautiful. We wish to be as close to nature as possible, because that’s where no waste exists. A place where all components are essential and exist together in harmony. In designer terminology, this concept is known as minimalism. A life style of the future with minimal waste is what we strive for. Disregard fads, and create simple but functional, innovative but timeless products for everyday life. That is our credo.”
This vibrant Ideaco Futsal (that’s a soccer ball) is certified Fair Trade and was made by skilled Pakistan workers. It comes packed in an organic cotton bag produced by an organization in Japan employing developmentally disabled adults. Also, a percent of all proceeds also goes to the GLOBE Project, aimed at clearing mines in Cambodia. Go on, get some exercise and save the world!! Get it here!
10Really Cute Kittens$ ~
A shelter cat can change your life. If there’s someone on your list that needs a bit of companionship, consider kittens. Petfinder.com is an incredible use of the magical interwebs: just enter your criteria (location, species, breed, age) and find a list of needy meowzer in your neighborhood. Just make sure the giftee has room in their heart and home for the adventure! Get them here!