2016 Guide to gifts that give back

The holiday season has long been synonymous with family, end of year reflection, and looking forward to a new year, with a fresh start. However, as the ever evolving cycle of consumerism churns on with the biggest shopping season upon us, we find ourselves right in the middle of a corporate impeachment. It’s no secret that consumers are now looking to “small batch” social enterprises for more ethical products, but there is a demand for transparency from merchants, and a need to feel good about the purchases we make. After all, as they say, with every dollar you spend, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you’d like to live in. If you find yourself asking, “who made my clothes?” you’re on the right track. In the true spirit of the giving season, we've rounded up a few of our top picks for gifts that give back this year:

1. ix-Style Sandals

Ix is the Guatemalan word for “water”. With every purchase of these adorable, handmade huaraches sandals, clean drinking water is provided to impoverished children in guatemala. The female artisans who craft these sandals are provided with an employable skill set, and fair employment. We love Ix-Style because they dedicate 15% of overall proceeds to reducing extreme poverty and malnutrition for families who are less fortunate. Working with the artisans and the indigenous women of the Association Puente, the mission is to empower women through education, commerce, and production, while making safe drinking water accessible for the children. This way, they no longer have to walk hours each day to retrieve water for their families, and can return to school instead; breaking the cycle of poverty. Catch Francesca Kennedy, the Founder of Ix-Style, on the new season of Project Runway: Fashion Startup starting October 20th, 2016 on A & E. Shop: iX-style

2. Siestas For Fiestas Blankets

Beautiful and vibrant, these are the absolute perfect beach blanket or festival season accessory. Siestas For Fiestas was born after LA based couple Jesenia and Chris Pena left home in search of adventure, and ended up relocating to Cancun, Mexico to spend a year living and working by the beach. After becoming involved in their local church, the couple began working closely with Pastor Arturo from Fe, Amor y Esperanza to assist families in need. From here, Siestas For Fiestas was born. With the sale of their beautiful beach blankets, Siestas For Fiestas is able to help feed 800 families a year! New addition: check out the fun new apparel from Siestas For Fiestas; each purchase provides school supplies for the children in need! Shop: Siestas For Fiestas

3. Cardanas Shoes

Cardanas creates the perfect sneaker for the urban trendsetter. From skater boys, to dapper do-gooders, they’ve got you covered. Not only are these sneakers proven to be sustainable and eco-friendly from start to finish, but they also vow to maintain ethical business practices. Cardanas Shoes have been recognized for offering fair wages to workers, and providing full benefits including paid time off, as well as paid vacation packages. As an added bonus, for every pair of shoes purchased, Cardanas will plant a tree; further establishing themselves as an eco-friendly brand! You can now find Cardanas Shoes making their way from Ecuador to the states, and even across the pond. Shop: Cardanas Shoes

4. Paper Epiphanies office and/or school products

Think: paper with an attitude. At the end of the day, Paper Epiphanies believes that there is an attitude for every occasion and this bossy paper company aims to represent that occasion with a light-hearted and edgy vibe. We are particularly obsessed with their all new pink and sparkly KISS MY PUMPS line. Created to inspire, celebrate and support a new wave of female entrepreneurs and boss ladies, the KISS MY PUMPS line advocates that anything is possible! In an effort to support the up and coming female leaders of the world, a portion of proceeds from the entire line directly benefits Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Shop: Paper Epiphanies

5. Purpose Jewelry

The most beautiful, dainty pieces for babes of all ages, PURPOSE jewelry is the product of SoCal based nonprofit International Sanctuary. Founded as a refuge for survivors of human trafficking, iSanctuary not only rescues victims from modern day slavery, but also teaches them the art of handcrafted jewelry making. After learning a new skill set, these women are employed by PURPOSE jewelry and offered fair wages; paving the way for a healthy transition back into society. PURPOSE recently launched their new Signature Collection which donates 100% of proceeds back to the nonprofit iSanctuary in an effort to save more women and children from the human trafficking trade. Shop: Purpose Jewelry

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