In the season of giving, double your good intentions by opting for gifts that have a charitable connection.
In the season of giving, double your good intentions by opting for gifts that have a charitable connection. It’s always nice giving presents to family and friends, but charitable gifts also benefit those who might otherwise be overlooked. It’s also a nice incentive to perhaps try new products, since the “risk” is mitigated in knowing a person or cause in need will still benefit regardless.
Of course, there’s no risk in gambling on gifts from LUSH
. Famous for their Charity Pot, a cocoa butter-based lotion scented with ylang ylang and rosewood oils that, as its name suggests, is wholly dedicated to charity – 100% of the price (minus the taxes) is donated to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights. This year, holiday gifts that contain Charity Pot include Winter Garden
($29.95) and You’re a Star
($65.95). In the 10 years since this initiative started, Lush has donated $2.8 million to over 200 grassroots organizations in BC and almost $22 million across North America to over 1,500 grassroots organizations in more than 42 countries worldwide.
For those who appreciate truly artful gift wrapping, several of LUSH’s holiday gifts are wrapped in Khadi paper, made by trained paper artisans using recycled cotton rags (Best Wishes, $29.95; Jolly Holidays, $49.95). Purchase of these gifts will help to support approximately 65 women and men in Indian villages who are given on-the-job training in the art of paper making to become skilled workers and economically independent.
French luxury brand, Chantecaille
, offers a philanthropic palette every holiday season and this year portions of the proceeds from their Save the Forest
eye palette ($112) will benefit the Rainforest Alliance. Each of the four eyeshadows in this palette is embossed with the image of a gorilla, a reminder of the crucial need to halt the rate of deforestation and save the delicate ecosystem that serves as home to so many endangered wild animals. Inspired by the beauty of Virunga National Park in Africa (home to some of the last remaining wild gorillas on the planet), the palette contains four richly pigmented earthy shades: Dawn (golden brown), Volcano (rich brown), Mist (pale pink highlighter), and Bamboo (deep olive green).
Vancouver-based AG Hair
has repackaged their best-selling shine and flat iron spray for the holidays, Use. Love. Educate. Firewall
($24). Since 2008, AG Hair has raised over $3 million to build and rehabilitate schools, and provide scholarships and mentorship for girls in some of the poorest regions in Africa. Educating girls is one of the most powerful instruments to reduce poverty and inequality. During the holidays, 50 cents from every Use. Love. Educate. Firewall purchased will be donated to One Girl Can, a registered charity that builds schools and funds scholarships for impoverished girls living in highly marginalized areas of Africa.
This holiday season, L’Occitane
is donating $4 from the sale of each Shea Butter Collection
($79) and Shea Butter Deluxe Collection
($114) gift sets to UNICEF to help thousands of children around the world (up to $120,000). Shea butter is the star ingredient in L’Occitane’s signature products, offering protection and nourishment to the skin.
Famous for its use of marine plankton (Life Plankton) discovered in the French Pyrenees, Biotherm
has teamed up with Mission Blue this year to protect the Hope Spot in Svalbard, Spitsbergen in Norway. This year’s gifts will not only help to regenerate skin but also help regenerate this delicate ecosystem. Proceeds of 100,000 Euros from the sales of selected holiday gift sets will help with research to document threats to the Hope Spot and raise awareness about the impacts of climate change.
Located in the chilly waters between mainland Norway and the North Pole, this Arctic Hope Spot supports a high diversity of marine species and contains many unique habitats found nowhere else in the world, including dramatic glaciers and mountain fjords. But the effects of global warming are threatening this region, altering glacier formation patterns, decimating bird populations, and endangering the very survival of polar bears. Biotherm’s holiday charity editions include fan-favourites such as Life Plankton Essence ($69), Aquasource Gel ($89),
and Lait Corporel ($31).
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without The Body Shop
, who has a long history of philanthropic work. This year, they have teamed up with International Alert to help refugee children learn to be children again. Their mission is to build a more peaceful world where everyone can live a safe and happy life. Every single gift
from The Body Shop’s seasonal gift collections will help support the Peace Play Project in Lebanon for a year, which provides a safe space for children to play and heal.
Through play, refugee children learn to express difficult emotions developed through difficult times – more difficult than any child should ever endure. Therapeutic activities take place in safe-haven community centres, away from their everyday chaos, so they have a fighting chance to learning how to interact more positively and kindly with their peers, an attribute they’ll hopefully continue to cultivate through adulthood. So while you’re treating yourself or someone special to a beauty-full holiday, do it with pride knowing that you’re giving refugee children a year of safe play.
Photos: Courtesy of brands featured, Nordstorm