It’s easy to paint consumerism as wholly negative. But I’d argue that in today’s society, a sensitivity to the issue of thoughtless buying and selling has inspired a movement of purchasing with a purpose—conscious consumerism. So maybe now isn’t such a bad time to be a consumer after all especially when the driving force behind it means making a positive impact socially and environmentally.
So in the spirit of the holidays and Giving Tuesday, I’m really excited to bring you not one but two ways to do good with your dollar this year. The Basic Goods Shop is now open! This makeshift online boutique has been consciously curated with a handful of essentials to help you live a more zero-waste lifestyle. Check back for occasional updates!
For Giving Tuesday I’ve handpicked some of my favorite brands and businesses that do good, specifically by providing the basic goods and necessities to those people, places and things that truly need them. What could be better than getting to give the basic goods and a meaningful gift all at once? Nada!
So, friends, conscious consumers and gift-giving extraordinaires here you go!
ABLE – The incredible team at ABLE empowers even more incredible women to escape poverty, prostitution and dead end situations through artisan-made products. Shop ABLE’s gorgeous and trendy (!) selection jewelry, clothing, leather bags and shoes.
Wellness for Makers – Helping artists and all people alleviate chronic pain, Wellness for Makers offers self-massage tools, workshops, lectures and pop-up shops for mindful living. Run by my dear friend, yoga teacher and artist Melissa Graff Ballone, I am a forever fan of her mission (and the rist rollers, omg) to help us all feel better in our bodies.
Picture Organics – This passionate brand makes socially and environmentally responsible outdoor clothing and gear that is high-performing and looks good. What I love about Picture is their commitment to creating sustainable products with the start, finish, recyclability and second-use in mind, so not one part of the process is overlooked. Go ahead, buy yourself a beanie!
American Backcountry – Protect our wild places with American Backcountry’s newest Repreve tee (to date, they have helped repurpose 10 billion plastic water bottles) made of recycled materials, The Trails at 50, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. With every purchase they will donate a portion of the sales to help support trail maintenance and preservation. See you out there!
Who Gives a Crap Holiday Toilet Paper – Why yes I am suggesting you give the gift of toilet paper this holiday season. Why? Because Who Gives a Crap wants is cleverly making all of us rethink our toilet paper waste. Made from either recycled materials or sustainable bamboo with an infectiously fun holiday design (I know! Design-minded TP, how awesome) they use 50% of sales to help build toilets in developing countries. So, who gives a crap? Well, now we do.
Driftaway Coffee Subscription – If you haven’t yet read about my favorite do-good coffee company you can do that here and make sure you give the gift of a personalized coffee subscription. My husband and I received one this summer and loved it. Plus, they work hard to support farmers with fair wages, community support and fight back against climate change with science. Gah!
Skida Headwear – As a resident of Maine, I’m pretty passionate about supporting entrepreneurs in New England. Not only is it cold but jobs can be scarce, however, there are so many passionate small businesses like Skida Headwear who are getting after it. This women-led biz creates the best handmade headwear and accessories with the support of their local community and encourages more women to go outside. Fill up your cart and be sure to use the Skida Plus One coupon to donate a hat for a woman undergoing chemotherapy.
The Citizenry – One of my favorite brands for gifting high-quality, handmade home goods is The Citizenry. It’s sort of like receiving what you know will become a future heirloom due in large part to their artisan crafting and ethos. Every purchase directly enhances and advances the life of the person who made. It’s that simple.
Purpose Jewelry – The name says it all. Purpose jewelry sells beautiful handcrafted accessories made by women who have escaped sex trafficking. Through their non-profit, International Sanctuary, these women are able to restore their health, dignity and wellbeing by making a living for themselves through Purpose. I wholeheartedly stand by this brand as a wearer of their products and someone who has hosted a trunk show, it’s such a beautiful mission to support!
Remember to shop small as much as possible this holiday season. Studies show that $68 of every $100 spent locally goes back to the community. That’s more than twice the amount of money that would stay in the community than if you shopped at a local chain.