Shop with Purpose: 15 Small Gifts that Make a Big Impact

These fair trade organizations offer the unique ability to gift and give at the same time, allowing you to participate in sustainable, purposeful shopping. You’ll be amazed what you can score for under $25!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Gifts that give back. These fair trade organizations offer the unique ability to gift and give at the same time, allowing you to participate in sustainable, purposeful shopping. You'll be amazed at what you can score for under $25! #shopwithpurpose #giveback #shopsmall

As the Holiday season approaches, I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’ve already been inundated with charity and donation requests. And that’s not a bad thing. There are a lot of great organizations that need help more than ever this time of year!

But you can’t do it all. No matter how badly a charity needs assistance, or how much you’re willing to sacrifice—you still have to decide where your money is best spent. 

That’s exactly why I LOVE gifts that give back.

You have the opportunity to purchase a purpose-filled gift that creates fair-wage jobs all over the world, and in return, you receive a hand-crafted, well-made item that’s appropriately priced. Honestly, I’m amazed at what you can get for less than $25!

This list includes my favorite picks so you can make double the impact, with only half the effort. Are you ready to make a difference? Let’s do this.

1. Patterned Leather Journal

Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade organization that provides a sustainable job economy for local artisans. Not only does this help communities fight poverty, TTV also focuses on using sustainable materials! This patterned journal’s attention to detail will inspire you to fill up every page.

2. Society Socks

Socks are the number one most requested clothing item in homeless shelters, and this surprising statistic was the cornerstone of Society Socks’ business model. For every one pair of socks bought, Society Socks will donate a pair to those in need, and with so many styles and sizes to choose from, your friends and family will actually want these socks for Christmas!

3. Earrings from an artisan

Support an artisan by wearing these beautiful earrings! Comfortable and durable, made of a light matte upcycled bull horn, these earrings are classically gorgeous.

4. Burlap Sling Bag

This market bag from Ten Thousand Villages is made by local artisans and is completely handcrafted. Isn’t it beautiful?

5. Fruit Herbal Tea Blend

Trying to buy for that non-coffee drinker in the family? Unique and fragrant teas are always a good choice. Frontier Co-op is an organization that believes in quality-grown organic products. With every cup of this tea you are being good to yourself and the earth. Plus, Frontier Co-op gives 4% of their annual net income to a number of charities.


6. Liquid Hand Soap

Many illnesses around the world can be prevented with a simple solution that many of us take for granted every day—hand soap. Every time you buy a Soapbox item like this delightful hand soap, a bar of soap is donated to areas around the world that lack essential hygiene products. So, not only are you helping others avoid preventable illness, you are also getting a household basic in deliciously smelling scents.

7. Hand-Dyed Scarf

Another beautiful example of Indian artistry from Ten Thousand Villages are these handmade scarves. These unique clothing accents are not only beautiful, but they also help artisans fight poverty.

8. Fair Trade Coffee

Fair trade coffee is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to implement conscious spending because almost every household is buying it anyway! Equal Exchange has a particularly high standard resulting in delicious and ethically grown coffee beans that give every morning a great start. This particular bag sends $2 from every sale to the Panzi Hospital, which helps thousands of sexual violence survivors get the medical treatment they need.


9. Handcrafted Necklace

Ten Thousand Villages is probably the most well-established fair trade organization there is, and one of the many benefits about buying from them is their far-reaching impact on communities all over the world. Handmade in India, this Open Mind Necklace features a cream enamel triangle on a gold-colored brass chain.

10. Peanut Butter

It might seem a little silly to give such a mundane gift like peanut butter, but this is one gift that almost everybody can use. Plus, who doesn’t love peanut butter? I, for one, am a total addict! 🙂 Every jar of Peanut Butter & Co peanut butter you buy helps support food banks in needy areas all over the USA.

11. Gourmet Dessert Gum

If you buy a pack of gourmet gum from Project 7, you’ll have more than enough stocking stuffers to go around. While enjoying these deliciously unique flavors, you can envision all the good your chewing is doing. Project 7 gives back to 7 main areas of need, including education, clean water, feeding the hungry, and much more.


12. Bamboo Coasters

These elegant coasters were hand woven using grass and raffia by women in rural Uganda. And teal is all the rage right now! 

13. Handmade Headband

Krochet Kids works with highly vulnerable women around the world in poverty-stricken regions. They empower them with jobs, education, and mentorships because they believe that empowered women are the cornerstone to positive change within communities. Each crocheted fashion piece like this headband is handmade and personally signed by the woman who made it, giving your purchase a personal touch.

14. Dog Rattle

Fair Trade Winds is a family owned company that believes no one should be exploited for the things we buy. One thing I love about Fair Trade Winds is that they believe fair trade should also be practical, and their products reflect a wide array of items from kitchen supplies to birthday cards. This adorable dog is handcrafted by women in Bangladesh and would make a great stocking stuffer.

15. All Natural Dog Treats


Don’t forget the furry member of your family when you’re shopping for presents. These all-natural dog treats are healthy for your dog AND healthy for the world through Whimzee’s socially responsible production process. Healthy, happy doggies guaranteed!

All these fair trade organizations offer the unique ability to gift and give at the same time, which is one of the things I absolutely love about sustainable, purposeful, shopping. As you look over your gift list this year, I encourage you to not just *think* about shopping fair trade this Holiday season, but to actually do it.

These lovely gifts will give you a great head start!

What fair trade organizations do you love to support?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. Thanks for this article! There are also other colors if the coasters you mentioned, plus less expensive options. I’ll look into the other companies as well!

    My friend is an ambassador for Noonday Collection. They employ women (and some men) around the world to make jewelry. It’s all handmade. The employees are paid for the items they make, the items are brought to the US to sell via catalogs and in-home parties, and the ambassadors get paid as well. These artisan jobs have saved women from brothels and trafficking. It’s a pleasure to wear the jewelry and tell their stories.

  2. Thanks for this great post! I look forward to checking out these organizations that are breaking the mold. I recently discovered Oliberte. They make high quality boots, shoes, sneakers, and bags from genuine leather in Ethiopia. Their shoes have an imprinted map of Ethiopia on the soles, and a map inside as well. They are very special, and their products are super stylish.
    Thanks again for taking the time to compile this list. I especially love Jesus’ Exonomy’s model of creating jobs and churches.

    1. You’re welcome, Rachel! It’s so awesome to see the organizations that are working hard to make a huge difference in the lives of others.

  3. These are some really great organizations! I’ve never heard of any of them. The only one I knew of was Toms. Other than that not so much. This year we are donating blankets and food to the animal shelter and adopting a child to buy gifts for this Christmas.

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