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 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 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.

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. And, it ships worldwide.

Through January 1, Madewell is donating 40 percent of the purchase price of these Vote tees (and this slightly more understated crewneck) to the American Civil Liberties Union in support of their efforts to maintain and advance civil liberties (including the right to vote).

Every purchase from Everlane’s 100% Human Collection — including soft fabric masks and silk bandannas alike — donates 10 percent to the ACLU. For the woke college student, or 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.

During her victory speech, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris — who is the first woman to hold that title — said, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.” She Should Run seeks to make VP-elect Harris’s words a reality by increasing the number of women running for public office. And 10 percent of sales from the items in the Women Running collection, made in collaboration by Saucony and prinkshop, goes to the cause.

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.

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

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.

This block-printed eye mask from the Ethical Silk Company, which donates 10 percent of all proceeds to organizations that combat AIDS and homelessness, is another soothing gift for anyone on your list who could use some extra relaxation right about now. The brand’s luxurious silk products — including everything from pillowcases to lounge pants — are all fair trade, and made from an ecofriendly silk-production process.

The environmentally responsible and ethically sourced jewelry at Brilliant Earth always gives back to mining communities, but the brand’s Diamonds That Care line specifically contributes 10 percent of each purchase toward Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund — including these diamond-encrusted studs. For a fraction of the price, the company also makes a diamond pendant that donates 10 percent of sales to the Rainforest Alliance.

KBH Jewels is another sustainable 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.

For some gold-plated jewelry that does good for much less money, consider the pieces from LOTTE321, like this dainty heart necklace. The brand donates 15 percent of proceeds of all purchases to charities supporting individuals with special needs, in honor of the founder’s niece Charlotte (who is also the brand’s namesake).

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 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.