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here’s to the gifts that give back

I’m a big fan of cute and quirky mugs.

I can’t deny that I have quite the collection… but what else could you give to that lovely friend this time of year? Gift guide to the rescue! And not just any gift guide… one that gives back. This year, I was really itching to find some wonderful products that uplift people, beyond the one person you are gifting to. Come along with me through this curated selection, arranged by price.


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Splendid Hoop Earrings from Purpose

On the hunt for something meaningful for your ear-pierced person? These handmade hammered metal earrings are a unique choice. They feel modern and special with the doubled hoop and oblong shape. Choose from brass or silver— both versatile for everyday looks. Not only do they look lovely, but 100% of the proceeds go to Purpose’s non-profit, International Sanctuary to directly support women and girls who are rescued from human trafficking. Artisans from the India Sanctuary made these earrings. With each purchase, they are able to gain economic freedom, access to education, quality healthcare and a place to belong.

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Optimist Lipstick in Brave by W3LL PEOPLE from Credo

In my clean lip products feature, I discovered the plant-based Optimist lipstick by W3LL PEOPLE. I’ve since been eyeing this bold coral hue called Brave, sold out on the site right now but available on Credo (the Sephora of clean beauty). For lipstick lovers and newbies alike, this is a statement color that gives some warmth as we move into the chilly months. What warms me too is hearing the mission behind it. 100% of sales go to Lipstick Angels, a non-profit that provides clean-beauty and wellness programs to cancer patients. They offer complimentary, personalized, and oncology-sensitive beauty and skin care services in hospitals at patients’ bedsides or while they are receiving treatment, to restore dignity, hope, and self-esteem. Beautiful from the inside out, this lippie would make a sweet stocking stuffer.


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Onyx Soup Bowl- Set of 2 from Obakki

Are bowls the new mugs? The grey-metallic finish of this gorgeous pair indicates that they’ve been fired at an extremely high temperature— extra durable for holding hot liquids. Handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico at the San Bartolo Coyotepec co-op pottery community, the black clay creations come from the rich soil and utilize techniques that date back to pre-Hispanic times. Partnering with artisans, adhering to a transparent supply chain, and limiting the batch numbers supports the local community to create a sustainable practice. Want more of the Onyx Collection to create a dinnerware set? Check out the dinner and salad plates (and if you are so inclined, this lovely mug too).

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Abstract Oval Earrings from Obakki

A literal twist on a classic, these hoop earrings feature an abstract shape that is like a twirled ribbon. They also remind me of Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks— perfect for those who like a touch of eclecticism. Bonus: they are handmade by artisans in Kenya with 100% upcycled brass from old coins and metal waste. 100% of the proceeds go to the Obakki Foundation which partners with projects that directly uplift African communities such as the Beau School for the Deaf and the St. Valentines Orphanage. A gift like this gives back for generations to come.


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Suffragette Gemstone Collection by Dinny Hall

This little gemstone stunner of a necklace symbolizes the movement that helped give us women the right to vote. Made of solid sterling silver, the setting includes a 4.5mm topaz flanked by a 4mm peridot and amethyst. Violet is for dignity, green is for hope and white is for purity. The legacy of the Suffragettes lives on through a portion of proceeds to Women’s Aid, the UK-based charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. With this symbolic gift, you are supporting a movement that is committed to ending domestic abuse and ensuring violence against women is no longer tolerated. A unanimous vote YES for that.

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Kantha Throw – No 753 from The Little Market

A throw is the perfect topper to a couch or bed and this one is truly one of a kind. Vintage saris were hand-sewn together in Bangladesh with a traditional kantha stitch, a form of embriodery. A different pattern showcased on each side, this one has an earthy neutral print on one and a bold pink on the other to add a pop of color. The blanket also features the hand-stitched name of the woman who made it, the most precious detail. The women of the social enterprise Basha are survivors of trafficking or abuse who are guided through a training and rehabilitation program to become artisans. They are also given training on literacy and life skills programs, medical support, counseling, and day care assistance for their children. There are currently 20+ styles to choose from in an array of beautiful hues and an even more beautiful message.

last, but not least

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Greeting Cards from Slightly Stationery

Need a little something to go along with your gift? These cute and quirky cards are the perfect choice while supporting a small business. Husband and wife duo Michael and Alicia Heater founded the company in Portland in 2014 and now operate out of Oceanside, California with a growing team. Each card is designed by Alicia and sustainably printed in the USA. The cherry on top? A portion of the proceeds go to the Malala Fund to help girls around the world receive an education. My favorite is the Rest & Breathe card; it feels right for the times.

Collectively, the past couple years have been heavy.

It can be hard sometimes to feel like you’re making any sort of difference when the headlines hit left and right. But let that not be undermined by the impact that little moments of joy and meaning have on us. How powerful is it to then amplify the act of holiday gift giving by directly supporting people in disadvantaged and rehabilitating communities? That’s all for now, I’ve got a pair of Purpose earrings in my cart that I am eager to send out. 🖤

Alexandra Porter is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design. Her senior thesis collection of hand-sewn garments was chosen to be showcased at the SCAD Fashion Show in 2018. As a trend forecaster, stylist, writer and artist, she enjoys many vantage points from which to understand and contribute to the industry. With an intrinsic desire to pursue the purpose and meaning behind design and beyond, she is guided by this phrase: Think with dimension, Create with invention, Live with intention.

all opinions are our own; no free products or compensation were received from manufacturers for these mentions. Do you have any follow up questions or comments? Or do you have your own favorite product recommendations to share? Please send an email to Would love to hear from you!

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