VIV Picks: Gifts That Give Back to Worthy Causes

Author´s image
About the Author: Josie Rubio is a senior editor at VIVmag.

For every purchase of this Zang Toi for AmazingCosmetics compact, 50 cents is donated to the American Red Cross.

Should I be concerned that I haven’t started shopping yet? After all, it’s really the thought that counts. And all of the items we’ve picked out here are doubly thoughtful, since they benefit worthy causes — no matter when they’re received.

Throughout the holiday season, lifestyle/outdoor apparel company Horny Toad has been donating a percentage of sales to nonprofits every week. Through Dec. 22, 20 percent of profits go to the Dog Adoption and Welfare Group (DAWG), a Santa Barbara, CA, animal advocacy organization, once home to the brand’s dog, Lucy. Simply use the code DAWG when checking out online.

Designer Tory Burch has a special web shop with fashion products that benefit her Tory Burch Foundation, a nonprofit that provides grants and microfinance for women entrepreneurs. Items include the De La Vega pajama set ($195), a collaboration between Burch and New York street artist James De La Vega, as well as a candle trio set ($45), coin earrings ($125), double wrap stud bracelets ($95) and other gifts. There’s also a Sandy Relief Tee ($45) to benefit those affected by the recent hurricane.

As a kid, I spent a lot of nights staring at shadows, trying to get up the courage to call for my mom to check the room for monsters. So I (and, I’m sure, my mom) would have loved Miss Stephanie’s Potions, a collection of children’s bath products and sprays that repel monsters, werewolves and other things that go bump in the night. When Stephanie Corey’s 7-year-old son wouldn’t go to bed because he was afraid of zombies, she was inspired to create these natural, vegan potions with scents like Monster Be Good, Vampire Be Good and Zombie Be Good to put kids’ minds at ease. Skeptical? Read these monster complaints! This year, Corey has donated an estimated 20 percent of profits to organizations such as First Candle for SIDS awareness, the It Gets Better Project, Women’s Crisis Support and Sophie’s Heart.

Gorjana & Griffin, a socially conscious fashion-accessory company, has a special page devoted to more than 30 items that benefit charities, each with a cause that is meaningful to someone at the company. Items include a bear silhouette charm necklace ($60), benefiting CHOC Children’s Foundation; a Graham Leather Triple Wrap bracelet ($50), benefiting One World One Ocean; and a Super Star necklace ($58, in gold or silver) that benefits the Better Food Foundation.

Since FEED was founded in 2006 by Ellen Gustafson and model/activist Lauren Bush, the organization has donated $6 million and 60 million meals to school children in need around the world. The shop includes bags ($25–$220), accessories like the handcrafted FEED Kenya Masai scarf ($65) and clothing ($10–$33). Or shop by region or cause with sections like FEED USA, FEED Guatemala and FEED Emergency Relief.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know about TOMS Shoes? In case you don’t know about this company, for every pair of shoes that you purchase, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need. Since Blake Mycoskie was inspired in 2006 to start the company, however, the number of styles, colors and patterns for men and women have increased, so you can be sure to find just the right pair of shoes for someone. Nordstrom is offering some exclusive designs. Or send an e-gift card!

Bulgari offers three rings to support Save the Children, an independent organization devoted to child protection, emergency response, education and health and nutrition programs and other initiatives. Choose from the Save the Children ring in sterling silver and black ceramic ($420) or sterling-silver bands in large or small (both $290)

You may have never noticed that about half of Cleanlogic’s bath products ($1.99–$5.99) have Braille on the packaging. Founder Isaac Shapiro’s mother, blind since age 7, was the inspiration behind the “Brands with Braille” concept, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Inspiration Foundation nonprofit he created to honor his mother and help disabled people become more independent. Items that would make great stocking stuffers include the green bamboo handle bristle bath brush ($5.99), the recyclable exfoliating bath and shower gloves ($4.99) and the Soap + Sponge ($4.49), glycerin soap (in scents like peach berry, cucumber melon and lavender) that contains a sponge within.

Zang Toi teamed up with AmazingCosmetics to create an eye shadow palette ($39) of four shades inspired by the designer’s Glamour at Gstaad Fall 2012 Collection. Until Sept. 1, 2013, 50 cents from every compact sale goes to the American Red Cross.

Designer Rachel Roy collaborated with Deepak Chopra to create a collection of jewelry and T-shirts to benefit The Chopra Foundation, dedicated improving health and well-being, spiritual knowledge and consciousness for at-risk children, low-income women and teens and prisoners, as well as educating healers and funding mind-body research. Items are selling out, but accessories such as the Sword Stack Ring ($295), Plaque Pendant Necklace ($395) and Sword Pendant Necklace ($325) are still available.

Ever since I read Somaly Mam’s memoir, I’ve been more aware of human trafficking. The Brave Collection features bracelets that not only donate funds to fight human trafficking, but also support artisans in Cambodia. Founder Jessica Hendricks was struck the sight of young girls for sale when she first visited Cambodia and she created the line of bracelets that feature the word “brave” in Khmer in brass ($38) or silver ($85). Chain bracelets in silver ($115) or gold ($195) also are available. There are also collaborations with the Somaly Mam Foundation and other organizations.

Since its inception 10 years ago, Satya Jewelry has raised more than $1 million for children’s organizations around the world. Its charity pieces include the For Good Necklace ($98) in partnership with BullyBust and Wicked, the Hope for Haiti bracelet set ($60) and the Acholi Necklace ($78), designed with actor Kristen Bell to provide education in Northern Uganda.

Do you still have holiday shopping to do?