holiday gifts 2022

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

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Though donating directly and demanding policy change are the best ways to support the causes near and dear to you, a gift that happens to give back is another course of action. These are basically twofers — a present you can wrap up with a donation built in. The only problem is finding something that’ll earn the approval of the most hard-to-shop-for person on your list and is actually philanthropic. So below, we rounded up the best gifts that we could find that also give back — all of which offer a percentage of their proceeds to organizations fighting for racial justice, food security, reproductive rights, and more. Most of these gifts come from brands we’ve previously featured on the Strategist, so you can rest assured that they not only nail the “doing good” part, but are genuinely good presents too. (And here’s our giant holiday hub, where you’ll find every gift guide we have, if you’re in need of even more inspiration.) Or, if you’d like to donate directly, we also have directories of organizations supporting Black and brown lives and Asian communities. And just so you know: As of press time, all of these should arrive by Christmas — but you should definitely order sooner rather than later.

AAPI-owned sparkling-water label Sanzo collaborated with NBA player Jeremy Lin on an Asian pear flavor. All of the proceeds from the can, which is emblazoned with a photo of the basketball star, will go to his eponymous foundation, which works to raise awareness about recent acts of anti-Asian racism.

This “tower of treats” is part of gourmand-gift-purveyor Harry & David’s “season of giving” collection. Every basket, box, and sweet in the selection donates 20 percent of net proceeds to hunger-relief nonprofit Feeding America (for purchases made through December 24). The tower includes several seasonal pears, popcorn, mixed nuts, chocolate-covered cherries, and truffles with coffee and raspberry flavors. And the holiday-themed packaging comes with a wooden ornament emblazoned with the words “Merry and bright.”

Coffee-maker La Colombe is a favorite of ex-Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira and musician Lauv. Its Lyon roast features nutty-sweet notes for a toasty flavor. The company is donating $2 from the sale of every box to the American Civil Liberties Union from now until November 2, 2023.

Kozak, maker of playful sweatshirts, collaborated with a number of artists (Brynn Wallner, Emily Sundberg, and Laura Chautin, to name a few) to create a set of “delectable dishes” stickers that you can arrange on the table of the included “dining room.” It’s well-suited for the friend whose laptop and water bottle are already plastered.

This adorable (soon-to-be) art piece is designed for ages 8 and up and comes with 16 pots of paint and two brushes. The brand behind the set is donating 5 percent of proceeds to Art Feeds, an organization that provides art supplies and training to children in need.

Williams Sonoma partnered with St. Jude’s for a mini kitchenware collection with every item featuring artwork from a patient at the children’s research hospital. That includes this set of festive towels, which are patterned with holly, reindeer, and gift boxes. Twenty-five percent of the purchase price will go to the hospital.

Baloo, which makes one of our favorite weighted blankets, has launched a limited-edition “hope rose” shade in partnership with the Ladies of Hope Ministries. All of the profits from the blanket will be donated to LOHM, which supports previously incarcerated women and girls. Former Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson tested one of the brand’s blankets and appreciated that it didn’t make her overheat, saying, “I felt cooler sleeping under the Baloo than most of the other blankets.”

Material is a perennial Strategist favorite — we count its knife, skillet, and whisk among the very best of the best. This highly coveted cutting board sold out in three days after its first launch. Half the profits from the neutral-toned version called To Pó Pó With Love will be donated to Heart of Dinner, which helps elderly, low-income Asian American people combat hunger and isolation.

And here’s a pigeon-printed coaster set from Brooklyn-based Sesame Letterpress & Design, which you can buy from designer John Derian’s online storefront. All sales of the set will benefit the Wild Bird Fund, which works to rehabilitate wildlife (and then helps release them back into wild New York City).

Parks Project is focused on preserving public lands in the U.S., partnering with conservancies for different initiatives, including wildlife restoration. Ted Page, founder of storytelling blog Good Grandpa, previously told us that “they have all kinds of cool outdoorsy gifts, and part of every sale goes toward supporting our precious national parks.” This enamel percolator is campfire-safe for the recipient who’d rather spend the night in the great outdoors.

Photographer and potter Helen Levi’s ceramics are delightful, with splatter and marbled patterns. These “Do Good” dishes feature a hand-drawn squiggle on a shiny clear glaze. Levi is donating half the proceeds from sales of the series — which includes two different-size mugs and a (now sold-out) soup bowl, ranging from $48 to $62 — to a rotating list of organizations. At the moment, she’s supporting Green Worker Cooperatives, a collective based in the Bronx that helps communities of color build greener businesses.

Twenty percent of the proceeds from every purchase at Olivela goes to causes like girls’ education, climate change, and health services (you can find a list of its partners here). Right now, the luxury retailer is spotlighting the Girls Opportunity Alliance, which is centered on empowering and educating young girls and part of the non-profit Obama Foundation. One of the prettiest presents we spotted on the site is this tea set — which includes a pot, cup, and saucer — from tableware maker Juliska. (Or if your recipient’s taste leans slightly surrealist, here’s a Sticky Glass creation — the brand hand-blows its glassware in Brooklyn, and is known for the bubble shapes that decorate its designs.)

You could likewise consider this best-selling candle from beloved Strategist perfumer D.S. & Durga, which is also available on Olivela and gives back to the Girls Opportunity Alliance. The scent is supposed to resemble “rain water in eucalyptus graves off Highway 1,” with notes of magnolia and wet wood.

Elsewhere in the candlesphere, Flamingo Estate partners with 1% for the Planet (founded by the founders of Patagonia and Blue Ribbon Files) to plant a tree for every product sold. This trio of candles features the label’s best-smelling scents: rosemary, sage, and the Strategist-approved heirloom tomato, which we’ve described as “a tiny bit citrusy and floral, then gradually you get the unmistakable smell of newly formed tomato vines.”

’Tis the season for all things jingle-bell-shaped, and this candle (which comes in a 16.9-ounce size) is right on theme. Twenty-five percent of the purchase price will be donated directly to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Bespoke soap-maker Caswell-Massey has been around for 269 years, officially older than the U.S. The company, which started off as an apothecary shop in Rhode Island, collaborated with the New York Botanical Garden for a floral collection with scents including honeysuckle, lily, and gardenia. The Beatrix Rose Bath Soap has undercurrents of black currant and bergamot along with stronger notes of rose and wild fig. Every purchase of items in the NYBG collection supports the garden’s research, conservation, horticulture, and education efforts. Caswell-Massey has a Yellowstone set, too, with part of the proceeds going to help conservation efforts at the national park.

Whenever you buy an item from Social Goods, you’re supporting one of a host of nonprofits, from Everytown for Gun Safety to the Mental Health Coalition. (And you can easily shop to help a specific organization by clicking the site’s “nonprofits” tab.) This trippy print was designed by Ash + Chess, a queer-owned stationery brand, and benefits the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which works to protect the rights of Black transgender folks.

Flower by Edie Parker is described as a line of “colorful collectibles for friends in high places” — including weed stash boxes and pipes (many in the shape of fruits). This “Boobs on Drugs” tote serves as a nod to that very Reagan-era, anti-drug PSA and gives back to the Women’s Prison Association with 15 percent of profits going toward the organization’s mission of helping women adapt to life after incarceration.

Or consider this bag, which cleverly features the words “ban” and “bang” and benefits Everytown for Gun Safety Action.

All of the profits from sales of this hat will be donated to the Center for Reproductive Rights. From maternity clothes-maker Hatch, the embroidery spells out “my choice” in French.

Rowing Blazers recently released its second collection with English interior designer Luke Edward Hall of Greco Disco fame. The pieces, with their vase and column motifs, are meant to salute founder Jack Carlson’s background as a classical field archaeologist. And in that spirit, Rowing Blazers is promising a portion of the proceeds from the collaboration to the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the American Classical League’s Committee for Latin and Greek.

Lingua Franca’s cheeky embroidered sweaters are well known for commenting on everything from the Russo-Ukrainian war to the glass ceiling. But this T-shirt is rather straightforward with its message — which is still an important reminder in the aftermath of this year’s midterms. The company is offering 10 percent of the top’s proceeds to Emerge, a group that trains Democratic women to run for office.

Since 2018, Kule — a luxury label noted for its striped tees — has partnered with Prinkshop for its 1973 collection, which celebrates the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Thirty percent of every 1973 purchase is donated to the National Institute of Reproductive Health (NIRH), which works to ensure everyone has access to reproductive-health care across the country. This shirt features the year in big, bold numbers, along with Kule’s signature tag on the hem.

If you’ve ever heard a Bombas ad, you know the drill: For every pair of socks you buy, a pair is donated to someone in need. (The company works with overnight shelters and rehabilitation centers to make this possible.) This pack features four Fair Isle–inspired designs made from merino wool that come in a ready-to-gift box.

In case you missed it: Madewell has partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation on a limited-edition collection adorned with pink detailing, including a little ribbon — a direct reference to the cause it supports. Until the end of 2022, Madewell is giving 50 percent of the purchase price of these socks to the foundation.

One of our favorite Black-owned body-care brands, Oui the People, collaborated with Brazilian (and Brooklyn-based) illustrator Niege Borges on an accessory inspired by the green bandanas waved by Latin American abortion-rights activists. It’s printed with the words “All bodies one voice, one voice all bodies” and all of the profits will go toward the Whole Women’s Health Alliance, a reproductive-care organization.

Status nail-polish J.Hannah (which recently released a Tudors-themed trio of colors with the Met) specializes in neutral shades. Dune, a sand hue, is one of them — and all profits from its sale are donated to an ever-evolving list of human-rights organizations. Currently, it benefits the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, which helps women who are experiencing homelessness and those who are formerly homeless.

Shocks of Love, a queer- and Latinx-owned natural aromatics and perfumery shop, has permanently pledged 5 percent of the profits from its three flagship scents (called Scent Rituals) to Activation Residency, a Black-led artist residency. Its line of genderless fragrances — like this zesty, citrusy spray — are all alcohol free, vegan, nontoxic, and sustainably sourced and packaged.

AAPI-owned Notte makes jewelry “with mood-boosting motifs,” as Hallie Spradlin of trend-forecasting firm Fashion Snoops previously told us. These bok-choy-shaped hoops are no exception, and 50 percent of the proceeds from the earrings go toward Heart of Dinner.

Thirty percent of the purchase price of this Clare V. charm goes to Every Mother Counts, an organization working for equitable maternity care. The locket features a feminist take on France’s national motto: “liberté, égalité, maternité” (liberty, equality, maternity). Add a heart-shaped photo cutout inside to win brownie points with your giftee.

Another find from Clare V. is this graphic, black-and-white strap that can be attached to a cross-body bag. For every strap sold, the company is donating $10 to civic-engagement organization I Am a Voter.

This kit from children’s jewelry company Super Smalls comes with precut crowns and stick-on jewels for little ones to create their own coronets. And for every one sold, the brand is promising to donate a second — partnering with Mia’s Miracles to deliver them to children’s hospitals.

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We named GLDN the best for custom pieces when testing out different start-up fine-jewelry labels. (Strategist associate editor Jenna Milliner-Waddell liked that the necklace she tried out was “virtually weightless.”) Its La Femme Collection is described by the brand as “talismans for the empowered woman,” and includes this pendant necklace meant to celebrate “self-love.” Half of the proceeds from the necklace will be go to the nonprofit Global Fund for Women, which helps fund different women’s-rights organizations.

Brooklyn-based Catbird donates $10 from every sale of this token to Direct Relief, which provides emergency relief on the ground in the U.S. and around the world. The organization has helped wildfire-affected areas, contributed to hurricane efforts, and provided medical aid during the pandemic. Each one-of-a-kind token is cut from abalone shells grown on a California farm and can be attached to a chain, earring, or bracelet (which you can add to your order for an additional fee).

For a bit of mindfulness, this deck of cards features 50 tips on how to manage your thoughts and feelings. The cards are emblazoned with expressions like “get grounded” and “mood boost,” and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Prismatic, an organization that helps students with their career-development goals.

When we asked cannabis consumers what they wanted for the holidays, two things that came up were pre-rolled spliffs filled with CBD and donations to the Last Prisoner Project. This set from Her Highness NYC, a woman-owned CBD and cannabis brand, checks both those boxes with 50 percent of proceeds going to the criminal-justice organization.

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