holiday gifts 2020

The Best Holiday Gifts for Everyone (That Do Good, Too)

Photo: Retailers

If you’re struggling to find a thoughtful gift this year, we don’t blame you: It can feel a little tactless to give the people on your list yet another scented candle when we’re living in the middle of a pandemic, thousands of acres are on fire, and people across the country are still protesting for racial justice. Donating directly and demanding policy change are still the best ways to support struggles against injustices, but if you’re already in the market for a gift, you may as well consider one with a charitable component (in addition to those other kinds of action). Whether the person on your list is a foodie, a techie 10-year-old, or someone with dry skin, we’ve rounded up a bunch of items almost all of which give back at least 10 percent to a cause (and many give up to 100 percent of proceeds) — including racial-justice organizations, food-insecurity funds, and efforts to support women’s rights. We’ve checked all of the gifts on this list to make sure that they will arrive before Christmas, but some do require express shipping — and there are already mounting concerns about shipping delays, so we’d suggest you buy sooner rather than later.

This limited-edition long sleeve from Kule — a luxury children’s brand that’s since become one of our favorite brands for striped tees for women — commemorates the year that Roe v. Wade was passed into law and contributes 30 percent of each purchase to the National Institute of Reproductive Health, an organization that’s still fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose.

Artist Cindy Sherman collaborated with fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez to create a line of two black-and-white tees, the price of which entirely benefits Planned Parenthood of Greater New York.

Photo: Danielle Orchard/Art for Change

To support an organization that’s combatting hunger locally, consider one of the four prints from Art for Change, which contributes 20 percent of proceeds to City Harvest — including this set of 15 hand-embellished and signed prints by Danielle Orchard. (If this is a bit out of your price range, Strategist writer Liza Corsillo recently rounded up about a dozen other prints that benefit worthy causes as well.)

This bright, abstract piece is part of Unify The Tie’s collection that contributes one third of proceeds to The Art Therapy Project — an organization that provides free group art therapy to adults and youth affected by trauma.

We first learned about Tiny Splendor through a print that benefited racial-justice organizations this summer. That print has sold out, but they’re now selling this Star of the Forest sticker, 20 percent of which benefits the Loveland Foundation, an organization that supports communities of color with a focus on Black women and girls’ mental health and well-being.

Although the election is behind us and the Biden-Harris victory is a welcome moment of joy in 2020, there’s still a lot of work to be done. One place to start is with this tee, which is made by the English rock band Black Sabbath and based on the design of their album Master of Reality. They’ll be donating 100 percent of net proceeds to the Black Lives Matter movement.

[Editor’s note: Although you can send this shirt anywhere in the world, it’ll still take about three weeks to ship (so remember to include a very nice card with your gift since it’ll arrive after the holidays).]

Oleamea Gift Pack

For the food lover who puts olive oil on and in everything, consider this duo of organic olive oils from Oleamea. Ten percent of all online sales benefit the Conscious Kid, an organization dedicated to promoting positive racial-identity development in youth. (And to make matters even better, there’s a site-wide 20 percent off sale through December.)

$17 at Oleamea
with code: BELIEVE

When we asked cannabis consumers what they’d actually want for the holidays, two things that came up were pre-rolled spliffs filled with CBD and donations to the Last Prisoner Project. This pre-roll and lighter set from Her Highness NYC, a woman-owned CBD and cannabis brand, checks both of those boxes, since this pre-rolled hemp joint contributes 50 percent of proceeds to the organization.


From another woman-owned CBD brand Equilibria is a line of curated, calming holiday gift sets — including this set of two CBD rollers and drops — each of which contributes 5 percent of proceeds to Black Girl Ventures, an organization that provides Black and brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building.

Every item from Social Goods includes a nonprofit donation that benefits a wide spectrum of organizations — including the Jed Foundation, which seeks to prevent teen suicide, and feminist organizations like Eleanor’s Legacy, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, and Win NYC. Social Goods also has a line of three tees that contribute 25 percent of proceeds to the California Fire Foundation, including this moss-colored tee that aptly reads “Climate Change Is Real.”

The Bay Area–based body-care brand Juniper Ridge always sustainably harvests its products and donates 10 percent of all profits to organizations that protect the wilderness, which is more important than ever amid this year’s ongoing, and increasingly severe climate-change-induced wildfire season on the West Coast. Juniper Ridge has a bunch of coastal-scented body washes and earthy essential oils (that one music producer told us he’d like to receive as a gift), as well as a line of botanical teas that we’re told taste like nature itself.

For the person on your list who is more soothed by incense, a purchase of these sustainably harvested Palo Santo sticks contributes 30 percent of profits to a rotating list of civil-rights organizations, including the NAACP LDF, National Bail Out, and the ACLU. Plus, they’re made by the Brooklyn-based small business Sounds.

In its “ode to the working woman,” Piecework Puzzle launched a glitzy, sushi-and-calculator-filled puzzle titled “Power Lunch,” which celebrates equal pay for equal work by donating 10 percent of proceeds to the National Women’s Law Center.

What started as a children’s rainbow scavenger hunt across Brooklyn in March has become the nationwide Quarantine Rainbow Connection project — and Uncommon Goods’ rainbow collection. This designed-by-kids collection, which includes some tested (and kid-approved) masks, has already raised more than $22,000 for NYC Health + Hospitals, and now 100 percent of the collection’s profits benefit Americares’ ongoing COVID-19 response efforts in the United States. We like this reusable canvas tote bag, which is on the larger side and has sturdy-looking straps, making it a giftable choice for the person on your list with big farmers’ market hauls, or the one who likes to show up to socially distanced picnics with all the fixings (while the weather permits). Plus, just like the original rainbow scavenger hunt, all of the rainbow images are drawn by children.

[Editor’s note: This item is backordered, so even though you can still order it now, it won’t ship until mid-January.]

Another line of totes and pouches that give back are the Tote Project’s handmade canvas products, including this Free to Forage pouch, which is emblazoned with forgeable herbs and mushrooms. All of the brand’s ethically and sustainably made canvas products (and other giftable goods) contribute 10 percent of gross profits to Two Wings to support survivors of human trafficking in the United States.

For the coffee lover on your list, we found several roasters that give back, including Humblemaker Coffee Co., which contributes 10 percent of every purchase — including this best-selling espresso blend — to the Ten for Autism movement. The movement encourages for-profit organizations (themselves included) to donate 10 percent of net profits to a network of autism-based nonprofits like the Autism Research Institute and Autism Speaks.

In solidarity with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and tribe member Tully Anderson, who is a Red Rooster project manager, the coffee roaster is donating $1 from each of their Grateful Coffee bags to the tribe’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. (Also, all of the profits from their new T-shirts benefit this cause, too.)