Please post below your favourite finds for socially responsible, handmade, local or upcycled gifts!
Ah Christmas! A love/hate relationship for me. There are quaint pieces of it that I adore but a flip side of greed, stress and commercialization I do not enjoy one bit.
This year I have been looking for alternative gifts that give back in bigger ways, and unique upcycled or recycled products too. I also have a soft spot for artisans and crafters as I do have an artsy side myself. It has been so much fun researching ideas and there are a ton of really neat ones. Here are some of my favourites:
Blend Creations has really neat stainless steel jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, and more! My personal favourites are the customizable Twitter @ symbol and QR code charms. As it turns out one of the owners is a BIG Lunapads fan and has been using our products for years! As many people tell me, Canada does come up with some pretty innovative products. (Lisa likes their ultra-functional honeycomb wrench necklace shown on the left.)
Socially conscious and charitable gifts are my favourite. One year, for my Dad (who is super hard to buy for). we sponsored a whale. He loved it! Here are a few other suggestions of unique and socially responsible gifts from me, and the Lunapads team:
Karen: There are tons of fantastic donation gifts to choose from. Shanti Uganda has unique recycled paper beaded jewelry and bags, made by the 25 women in the Shanti Uganda Women’s Income Generating Group, a program that provides Ugandan women with business training and continuous health education workshops.
I have also had the good fortune to be able to share with others through the Surrey Christmas Bureau, donating my time to help families in hard times have a Christmas. Having been in the same position myself, I am proud and grateful to be able to give back. There are many ways that you can give your time to help if you don't have the spare money to donate.
Sara: Check out The Teal Cat Project! They take old cat figurines and give them new life with a coat of teal paint. The proceeds from the sale of Teal Cats goes towards rescuing abandoned kitties!
Each Teal Cat is numbered and when the “litter” is gone you have to wait for the next one! There won’t be a new “litter” until January but for cat lovers this is a neat project to help feral cats.
Suzanne: I'm giving a big shout out to our friends at Reuseit: an award winning company that is the leading source for information and products that empower people to be part of the solution to problems caused by society's mindless consumption of use & toss items. .
One of my faves on their top 10 list is Vancouver based Libre Tea glass - an all-in-one tea infuser and travel mug. Not only do I totally LOVE these mugs (I've had one for 2 years, it never leaks, it travels well, and looks gorgeous) but the founder is a long time friend of mine from my previous career. How wonderful that we've both found ourselves in the similar careers again!
Lisa: Support independent feminist media and shop Bitch Media's BitchMart this year! Get your lil' sister a subscription the magazine, or pick up a reusable water bottle or tote bag for your bestie.
On my wishlist? Gay Genius, an anthology of comics and graphic storytelling, and Feminism for Real, edited by Jessica Yee (founder of Native Youth Sexual Health Network).
Need more gift ideas for the festive feminist in your life? Check out Bitch in a Box: Feminist Holiday Gift Guide for tons of fantastic gift ideas from the Bitch Media team, including Feminist Gifts for Teens!
Thanks, everyone! Don't forget to post a comment below, and happy holidays from the whole gang at Lunapads!