25 Ethical Gifts: Make A Difference With High Impact Giving
How good does it feel to give the perfect gift?
You can make those warm-fuzzy-feelings more intense by surprising your loved ones with ethical gifts—those that also make a difference to others!
When that zero waste gift wrapping falls away, not only can your loved one smile about what’s underneath, but you can smile knowing it supports an artisan, worker, or charitable initiative around the world.
It’s like taking eco friendly gifts to the next level by ensuring that our planet and the people on it are supported.
There’s nothing quite as cheerful as that. Here’s our epic list of ethical gift ideas!
*This post contains affiliate links
QUICK LINKS FOR THE BEST ETHICAL GIFTS
Gifts from Ethical Online Stores
Affordable Ethical Gifts
Ethical Gifts from the UK
Ethical Gifts for Her and Him
1. ETHICAL WATCH
It’s always the right time for an ethical gift in the form of an eco friendly watch.
Canadian company Solios will give you a (minute) hand when shopping for one.
Their durable, designed-to-last watches are made with recycled and recyclable materials, and run on solar power!
No, constant sun isn’t required to charge the watch. Just two hours provides about six months of power.
For those struggling to find something for the dad who wants nothing, these make for excellent ethical Father’s day gifts.
2. ETHICAL WINTER ACCESSORIES
Sustainable accessories can make for excellent small ethical gifts (read as: affordable ethical gifts).
Preparing for a chilly winter walk adorned in tentree’s ethical winter gloves or fair trade hats means bundling up organic cotton or RWS-certified wool.
Doing so also means 10 more trees will be in our environment come spring.
3. ETHICAL UNDERWEAR
If you want ethical gifts for him or her that are sure to be used, why not put a big bootylicious bow on some sustainable underwear?
Available for both men and women, Boody can cover any loved one’s bum in organic, sustainable, breathable bamboo fabric.
4. ETHICAL JEWELRY
The jewelry is made with either sterling silver, 18K gold vermeil, or solid gold, all sourced from conflict-free casting houses or small-scale artisanal African mines that pay fair wages.
Omi Woods regularly donates to social organizations, too, making theirs some of the best ethical gifts for those who like their bling to benefit many.
5. ETHICAL BEDDING
Eco friendly bedding might not be conventional, but there are no better ethical Christmas gifts than those that keep someone comfy through the long winter.
To assist in some much-needed winter hibernation, consider some blankets, bedding, or eco friendly pillows from nonprofit social enterprise Anchal. Made with organic and recycled cotton, they support former sex trade workers.
6. ETHICAL PERFUME
If you think these are only ethical gifts for her, think again. Each gender-neutral scent is free of formaldehyde, parabens, SLS, phthalates, synthetic colors, palm oil, and animal byproducts.
They’re also not tested on animals.
These “Peace Perfumes” are produced in a way that supports farmers in post-war countries. The positive impact of this social enterprise is so profound there’s an award-winning documentary about it.
7. ETHICAL SNEAKERS
Sneak a pair of ethical sneakers under the tree.
Who says the tree is the only thing that can be lit?
8000Kicks uses non-psychoactive hemp fabric in their sustainable shoes. They’re also ethically made in either Portugal or China, always in exchange for fair wages.
8. ETHICAL GADGETS
We all know a tech-lover (or ten+, depending on your age).
The Certified B Corps’ chargers, cables, and phone cases are made with materials like recycled aluminum, organic hemp, bioplastics, and recycled water bottles.
They also help dispose of electronics responsibly through their One-for-One Tech Recovery Project. Every pound of product sold means they recycle a pound of e-waste.
Unique Ethical Gifts
9. ETHICAL HOME DECOR
When socks and gift cards simply won’t do, ethical Christmas gifts in the form of home decor are sure to bestow the home with some festive spirit year-round.
Parachute’s decorative pillows, non toxic rugs, and blankets are made with natural materials and support the company’s Home for Dreams Initiative, which provides grants and mentorship training to marginalized Black entrepreneurs.
10. ETHICAL COOKWARE
Stop the hunt for the best ethical gifts for foodies; Milo Cookware by Kana and Amoretti Brothers to the rescue!
Amoretti Brothers has everything you need for that lavish holiday meal: stockpots, sets, woks, and pans of all shapes and sizes. They’re made with 100% recycled copper and cast-bronze.
Women make up half of their Mexican artisan team and everyone’s paid fairly.
11. ETHICAL DINNERWARE AND CERAMICS
There’s no greater gift than spending time with friends and family over a home-cooked meal.
To celebrate the chefs (or wannabe-more-than-cereal cooks) in your life, consider an eco friendly dinnerware set.
Lightweight, sustainably-sourced virgin and recycled porcelain are what makes up Our Place’s plates and bowls. To toast the occasion, cheers to their colored glasses made with artificial dye-free recycled glass.
Gathering around the dinner table will feel extra special knowing that Our Place helps provide healthy food to their Los Angeles community and provides their workers with above living wages and extra benefits.
Itemerie works with artisan partners around the globe. You can see where every glass, plate, tray, or bowl was made and under what ethical working conditions.
12. ETHICAL BLANKETS
If you’re not able to hug your loved ones over the holidays, wrap them up in a cozy fair trade blanket instead!
Newly uses 100% recycled materials in their throw blankets. Working with manufacturing partners in higher-standard countries in Europe and the U.S., each factory is required to provide living wage statements.
Their business model puts more money back in the hands of a global group of artisans. They positively impact the lives of 20,000 artisans and their communities across 30 different countries.
Gifts from Ethical Online Stores
13. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM MADE TRADE
Made Trade makes it easy to give ethical gifts.
In addition to both digital and physical gift cards, they have fair trade gifts in just about every category: home decor, bed + bath, kitchen + dining, furniture, clothing, shoes, accessories, and more.
For something the whole house can enjoy, color us impressed by the colorful Tierra Upcycled Blanket.
14. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM EARTHHERO
15. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM ACCOMPANY
Certified B Corp Accompany has a tremendous range of feel-good goods from fair trade cooperatives, Indigenous communities, and philanthropic NGOs.
Choose between dinnerware, apparel, decor, jewelry, and more.
How about a Beach Candle for someone who needs a mid-winter pick-me-up?
Accompany that with this neat hand-woven seagrass and Cowrie Shell Coaster Set to keep your giftee dreaming of summer beach days.
16. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM OCELOT MARKET
Ocelot Market is another ethical marketplace with a large range of goods from independent artisans and small brands, all chosen because they offer fair pay and good condition at minimum—though most go beyond that!
Their range includes gift cards, shoes, home goods, jewelry, accessories, and apparel.
17. ETHICAL HANDMADE GIFS FROM ETSY
For ethical handmade Christmas gifts when you don’t have time to get crafty, turn to Etsy—the online treasure trove we all know and love!
Embrace the Etsy addiction knowing that every purchase not only supports small, independent businesses, but is also sent using carbon offset shipping.
Where to even begin?
We’ll let our list of the best Etsy gifts help you out here.
Affordable Ethical Gifts
18. THRIVE MARKET GIFT CARD
Turn your foodie friend into a sustainable foodie with a gift card from Thrive Market.
Never heard of them?
With your gifted membership, your loved one will have access to more than 6,000 wholesome food, beauty, and home products.
They can shop by diet and values, and feel good because, for every membership purchased, another one goes to a family in need!
19. ZERO WASTE KITS
Why not combine an ethical gift with a zero waste gift?
There’s nothing like jumpstarting someone’s low-impact lifestyle by giving them a zero waste kit!
There are a plethora of zero waste online stores that offer just that.
ZeroWasteStore does all the research for you to ensure their kits are sustainable and produced ethically. They have a themed kit for everything, like menstrual kits, kitchen kits, and shave kits.
They also use their platform to bring awareness to issues like child labor, sex trafficking, LGBTQ+ rights, conservation, and more.
20. ETHICAL T-SHIRTS
We all wear them, so why not gift one (or a few)?
Using OEKO-TEX certified dyes, they come in nearly any color under the sun (okay, just 41, but still) so you can pick your loved one’s favorite.
This wardrobe essential is produced in Portugal in accordance with European Labor Laws. Workers get fair pay and perks like shared cars.
5% of the company’s proceeds support a football club and kids recreation center in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
21. TOILET PAPER BOX
Toilet paper as a gift?!?!
Every recycled paper or bamboo fiber wipe becomes a whole lot more since 50% of their profits get donated to put clean water and toilets in communities that need them.
That’s more than $10 million so far, which goes to show that small ethical gifts can have a huge impact.
Plus, if you use this zero waste toilet paper yourself, save up the colorful wrapping to use as the wrapping paper.
Ethical Gifts from the UK
22. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM JUNGLE CULTURE
If you’ve been typing ‘ethical gifts UK’ into the search bar and coming up empty, Jungle Culture is what you’ve been looking for!
They have zero waste razors, cutlery, straws, soaps, and more. All eco friendly and ethical.
Their Coconut Bowls and Coconut Candles, for example, are a byproduct of the Vietnamese coconut milk industry.
23. ETHICAL BEAUTY PACKS
Even if you don’t know their shade or eyeliner preference, you can still give them something from the top ethical beauty brands.
Naturismo and LoveLula’s gift sets both include products made from natural and organic ingredients, all of which are high-grade and ethically sourced. Use their store filters to find products that meet your values.
24. ETHICAL GIFTS FROM THE ETHICAL SUPERSTORE
If you’re ready to head down a gift-giving black hole, check out Ethical Superstore.
From grocery, to cleaning, to fashion, to plastic free food storage, to beauty, to toys, to baby, to home and garden, they’ve got it all—even motivational embroidery decor!
Consider starting with their gift guide. Everything on it is a “feel good choice,” but for really good feelings, we’d consider their fair trade gifts.
If you still can’t decide, a gift voucher or the Handpainted Rainbow Money Box will let kids and adults alike save up what they want. It’s made by Thai artisans who are paid fairly in a factory that supports employment for the local transgender community.
25. SUBSCRIPTION TO FASHION RENTAL SERVICE
Giving a designer dress is fabulous and all (if we could all be so lucky), but providing them with access to a huge range of designer gear in a way that supports our planet is even better.
With a gifted Onloan membership, your loved one can receive two or four designer items a month, worth up to £1000 for a fraction of that price!
The female-founded clothing and dress rental online service reduces fashion waste, supports independent designers, and dresses women affordably in consciously curated outfits.
Learn more about Onloan in our interview with their co-founder here.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ETHICAL GIFT?
When the holiday season, a birthday, or any other reason to celebrate rolls around, we typically have one person in mind: the gift recipient.
When it comes to ethical gifts, however, we think of more than one recipient.
The best ethical gifts either support the people involved in their production, either by creating employment opportunities where they’re needed, paying fair or above-living wages, or supporting artisan communities with access to services, education, health care, etc.
Similarly, an ethical gift might mean that a portion of the sale is donated to charity or funds a philanthropic initiative.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST ETHICAL GIFTS
Well, that’s a (gift) wrap!
Hopefully, this list encourages you to spread A LOT of cheer, because an ethical gift has a low planetary impact but a high impact on the people who inhabit the planet. And there’s nothing that feels quite as good as that!
As the days inch closer to December and all the gift-giving that comes with it, feel free to share this article with those beginning the daunting task of finding that perfect present.
Or sneak it into your loved one’s inbox if there’s a certain gift YOU have on your wishlist!