Sometimes the commercialism of the holiday season can seem a tad overwhelming. We've got some Grommets that cater to the social enterprise side of you. Give gifts with meaning:
Spread The Word Michelle Hamman created a T-shirt with the word "ubuntu" printed on the front and a poetic description of its meaning on the back. And that’s how MotherTongues got its start. Her simple, fresh designs reinforce her commitment to mindful living. In addition, for every item sold, MotherTongues donates $1 to the Center for Women in Transition, an organization that helps women and children in need. ($24.99-$44.99) Buy Mother Tongues shirts with international messages of Peace here.
Out Of Africa Nondyebo (pronounced “non-dee-A-bo”) Mashiyi was a quick learner and became very proficient in the production of graphic arts and textiles. With the help of Jane Philippi, who spends several weeks every year in South Africa volunteering, our talented African designer now has a staff and a growing business. Her aprons are made from cotton canvas with acrylic paint and will brighten every corner of your kitchen. (Prices vary) Buy Nondyebo art products here.
Bag That Gives Back With the economy aching, the world weary, and the globe far from green enough, accessories with a conscience are what we need right now. JL Lane handbags fit the bill precisely. This company, started by a mother-daughter duo, is all about bringing the talents and handiwork of women in countries like Vietnam to light. They also donate 20% of their profits to PLAN, an organization that empowers women in the developing world. JL Lane embroidered beaded clutch. ($85.00-$165.00) Buy a JL Lane handbag here.
Pickle Love Root Cellar Preserves is dedicated to bringing back the art of pickling and has established a fund from their profits to help preserve early American homesteads - what a special, and meaningful gift! ($5.99 and up) Buy Root Cellars Preserves here.
Small Loans, Big Impact. In times like this, it’s more important than ever to reach out to those in need. Kiva connects lenders with hard-working entrepreneurs from impoverished countries. Browse profiles on the site, choose who you want to lend to, learn the story of the entrepreneur and about the business he or she is creating, and then decide how much to lend. Donations can be as little as $25 and the loan cycle is typically six months to a year when the loan is then repaid. Learn more about Kiva here.
Goat Milk's Beauty Secret Legend has it Cleopatra bathed in goat’s milk. We can understand why, now that we’ve experienced firsthand the nourishing, moisturizing power of goat’s milk and Chivas Skin Care. If you really want to take gift-giving to the next level, you can give the gift of a goat. Chivas Skin Care has partnered with The Nomad Foundation to donate a herd of goats to the Tuareg people of Niger. If you purchase this option, one goat will be donated in the recipient’s name. ($25.00 and up) Buy Chivas Skin Care here.
Cooperative Art Indika Imports has connected with various organizations or artisans around India that focus on eco-awareness and self-sustainability, as well as focusing on keeping traditional skills alive. The results are beautiful craftsmanship depicting the intrinsic link between humankind and the environment. Each appliqué is cut from a single piece of cloth, hand-stitched by three women over the course of three days to completion. ($44.00) Buy Indika Imports products here.
Celebrating Women's Resilience Ugandan entrepreneur Amber Chand was once a refugee. Now she’s made it her mission to sell handmade items by female crafters who reside in countries beset with serious conflict. The proceeds keep these brave women in business and independent. Every gift comes with its own unique story to promote global peace and understanding. You can be an ambassador of goodwill with your first purchase. Why wait? ($25.00 and up) Buy Amber Chand's gifts here.
Washing Away The Opium Trade.In 2002, National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Sarah Chayes started a cooperative called Arghand to make these unique soaps resembling beautiful stones polished by river water. The enterprise encourages farmers to plant crops like apricots, pomegranates, spices and herbs — instead of opium. Arghand means "triumphant” in Persian. That’s how you’ll feel when you bring them to a special holiday event. ($15.00) Buy Arghand products here.
Capelet Crusading. Chicago native Kate Robertson fell in love with Peru when she was there with the Peace Corps - she came to know and appreciate not just the artisans and founded her business, Mayu as a way to bring hand-knit Peruvian products to a larger market. The Mayu hooded shawl is all the rage and shows you cared enough to be creative; plus your purchase is making a difference in the lives of women in Peru. ($139) Buy the Mayu shawl here.