holiday gifts 2020

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

Photo: Retailers

The holidays are around the corner, but 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, and thousands of acres are on fire, and people across the country are still protesting for racial justice. Donating directly and demanding policy change (and voting) are still the best ways to support the 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 that give back at least 10 percent to a timely cause (and many give up to 100 percent of proceeds) — including racial-justice organizations, food-insecurity funds, and efforts to support voting rights.

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. Plus, just like the original rainbow scavenger hunt, all of the rainbow images are drawn by children.

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 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.

KBH Jewels is another sustainable jewelry brand that makes rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces from 100 percent reclaimed and recycled solid gold and other jewels. At the end of September, during Climate Week NYC, the brand launched its two-necklace “Wear Your Values” collection. The purchase of one necklace donates all proceeds to the community-focused organization Together Rising, and the purchase of the other, which reads “Calling All Mothers” (a message we think your mom would appreciate), donates $750 to the Loveland Foundation, an organization that supports communities of color, with a focus on Black women and girls’ mental health and well-being.

Another mom-friendly gift at a lower price point (which we first found in our roundup of Mother’s Day gifts that give back) is this colorful T-shirt from Clare V.’s collaboration with Every Mother Counts. One-hundred percent of the tee’s proceeds benefit the organization’s mission to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, and it is emblazoned with a more feminist take on the national motto of France: “Liberté, égalité, maternité” — or liberty, equality, maternity.

Luxury retailer Olivela donates 20 percent of proceeds from every purchase to families in need in partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry (as well as its many other cause partners). The retailer has all kinds of giftable items — from soft Naadam beanies to kicky Jonathan Adler décor — but this subtly printed pillow case from Marimekko caught our eye (and it’s an additional 20 percent off right now).

$52 at Olivela
with code: FALL20

Since we last wrote about gifts that give back to anti-racism organizations, a bunch of items have sold out (or are no longer donating proceeds). But for every one of these long-sleeved tees that is purchased, One of These Days is still splitting $120 between eight racial-justice organizations through the Justice for George Floyd ActBlue site. Don’t dillydally: It’s only available in a size large, and we think it’ll sell out.

We think this tee deserves a place on our list of gifts for music lovers, since it reads “Black Lives Matter” in the iconic design of Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality album cover. The English rock band is donating 100 percent of the tee’s net proceeds to the Black Lives Matter movement, and it ships worldwide.

For anyone on your list with extra-dry hands, especially with all this handwashing, this sustainably sourced cocoa-butter-based moisturizer from Lush donates 100 percent of the pretaxes price to “Black-led, community-based organizations fighting to end systemic racism and to empower and amplify Black voices.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s mission is to maintain and advance civil liberties, including the right to vote, which is more important than ever during this election, in light of Donald Trump’s repeated attempts at voter suppression. Through November 3, Madewell is donating 100 percent of the purchase price of these Vote tees (and this slightly more understated crewneck) to the ACLU. Get a shirt for the woke college student on your list, and (more important) make a voting plan!

Every purchase from Everlane’s 100% Human Collection — including soft fabric masks and silk bandannas alike — donates 10 percent to the ACLU. For anyone on your list who is still on the go, we like the collection’s subtly branded fanny pack, which has two external zip pockets and a main compartment that could easily fit a wallet, phone, keys, and hand sanitizer.

We’ve said that a Popsocket, which affixes to the back of your phone and keeps it secure while taking pictures or texting, is a good techie gift for 10-year-old girls and mothers alike, and this one donates $15 toward Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks. There’s also over 1,700 other Popsockets that benefit different charities.

Although you could ship the meat lover on your list an edible gift from the Nashville-based butcher shop Porter Road, consider giving them a tee or sweatshirt from the shop’s limited-edition line, the proceeds of which benefit Feeding America (and the tee is designed by artists Juan and Sam Solorzano of Brothers Design Co.).

We first learned about Merch 4 Relief in our roundup of Father’s Day gifts that give back, and some of its tasteful restaurant merch is still in stock for any aesthetically minded food lovers on your list. Ninety-five percent of each piece’s profits will go straight to your restaurant of choice — in this case, the retro-themed Bushwick bar Jupiter Disco — and 5 percent benefits a restaurant-worker relief fund.