17 Wallet-Friendly Christmas Gifts That Give Back
Who says shopping sustainably is expensive? Here are 17 Christmas presents that are affordable and benefit communities across Asia.
Looking to make a difference this Christmas? There's no easier way to do that than to buy presents that benefit the community. At Asia For Good we're all about doing the things you already do, but consciously. And year-end shopping from social enterprises means your money goes toward employing women-at-risk in Hong Kong, helping farmers in Indonesia, or even supporting Singapore's homeless.
When you give a socially responsible gift to your loved one, they feel good knowing something they own and use is making the world a slightly happier place, and then they tell others the story behind their new possession and the warm fuzzies just replicating. Who knew Christmas shopping could feel this good?
Here's our list of gifts that just keep giving. All can be bought online, so hang onto your credit cards and start shopping (consciously) now!
[Prices calculated without taxes and delivery fees]
1. Kakoa Chocolate Gift Set
Kakoa is an Indonesian bean-to-bar chocolate company that works to improve the livelihood of Indonesian cocoa farmers. The range in this gift set include cinnamon, chilli, sea salt and pepper, salted cashew and coconut, creamy coffee and 70 per cent chocolate.
Price: IDR239,000 (approximately USD18)
2. Handsome Co Red Taxi Wallet Wallet made from upcycled taxi upholstery
This slick mens wallet is not made leather but upcycled from the vinyl upholstery found in many Hong Kong taxis. This make it as durable as leather. Best of all, Handsome Co employs craftswomen who lost their jobs because of factory outsourcing to Mainland China, and gives them a fair work environment.
3. Viet Artisans Silk-screened fabric notebook
The hand-bound, thread-sewn notebook can be fully personalized: brown or ivory cream paper inside, and stamped with a personal name on the outside. This is a social enterprise trains and provides jobs for rural and disadvantaged women in the Mekong Delta.
4. ARM’S Designer Mother of Pearl bowl
This exclusive, elegant oval 8.5-inch bowl showcases the skills of the coastal areas of Bengal. By supporting ARM’S, you’ll be providing rural sustainable employment to rural artisans and craftsmen throughout the year.
Price: Rs1530 (approximately USD25)
5. Golden Wings Bone China mug
Designed by 12-year old Zhuang Zhuang, an autistic child, this fine bone china mug features a pair of zebras on a leisurely stroll. All proceeds from sales of the mug will go towards supporting Golden Wings’ art therapy programmes to improve the quality of life of children with disabilities.
Price: ¥ 95.00 (approximately USD 14.90)
6. Phat Rice Loudbasstard Whitewash bamboo amplifier
This hand-made and -painted amplifier made from bamboo is an eco-friendly option for those who like their music louder. Made in the Philippines, it comes in two sizes – suitable for some iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. Check out other gifts on Phat Rice, a Hong Kong-based e-store that stock products
7. Batik Fractal Maura bag
Using an affordable special software to process a mathematical formula into unique batik patterns, Batik Fractal combines science and technology with traditional Indonesian art. Indonesian craftsmen’s productivity and skill are improved in this process.
Price: IDR450,000 (approximately USD34)
8. Greenviron Eco Intelliplug
Save the environment (and on your electricity bills) with this cool, smart plug that saves energy by automatically switching television and audio equipment on or off via remote control.
Price: SGD56 (approximately USD40)
9. Artisans Angkor Mini ipad case
With this product of Khmer workmanship, you’re striving to offer good working conditions and social advantages to Cambodian communities that have limited educational opportunities.
10. Meerkatplace X’mas Art Jam
During this art jam, your recipient will create his/her own artwork to be transformed into 12 greeting cards. Luggage tags, prints and canvases can also be ordered, and 20 per cent of each sale will benefit one of 13 partnered Singapore charities.
Price: SGD58 per person (approximately USD41)
11. Milaap Micro gift cards
For the person who has everything. Give back directly with this gift card: send it with any amount of your choice to a friend or family member for them to help microfinance an artisan, grocer, farmer, unskilled youth, or other disadvantaged people in India.
12. Bizlink Gifts Fruit basket
Assembled by disadvantaged people and people with disabilities, this gift basket of grapes, oranges, a mango, an apple, a bunch of bananas, a tin of Milo, with a sunflower and purple statice flowers conveys good intentions and good health.
Price: SGD55 (approximately USD39)
13. Nong Eco pot maker
For green thumbs who are looking to be eco-friendly and sustainable, this gift will allow them to plant the seeds of the future: made from FSC-certified wood, this simple kit allows the recipient to make biodegradable pots for seeds, seedlings and young plants.
Price: SGD42.95 (approximately USD32)
14. Alice in Dot’s World Foxtrot in the Woods backpack
This colourful green cotton canvas backpack with a fox-print lining, isn’t just practical and pretty for the children, proceeds from the company goes to training and employing underprivileged women in India.
Price: SGD24 (approximately USD17)
15. Studio Asobi Bronze teacup
On top of supporting various social causes and volunteering to teach pottery to senior citizens, Studio Asobi pledges 20 per cent of their proceeds to an outreach serving the homeless in Singapore. In addition, the ceramics purchased are limited edition, sometime one of a kind, like this teacup.
Price: SGD60 (approximately USD43)
16. Wangsa Jelita Festive gift set of natural beauty products
Made by Indonesian artisans using crops purchased from marginalized farmers at fairtrade prices, each of the natural beauty product purchased helps fund the development of a processing facility to help the community.
Price: IDR599,000 (approximately USD44)
17. Anchora Collective White pearl hook earrings
White pearl earrings never go out of style, as is the case with good intentions: by gifting these tarnish-proof, lead-free solid brass 40mm-long earrings you help Singaporean women artisans from underprivileged or marginalised backgrounds achieve sustainable income.
Price: SGD32 (approximately USD23)
For even more ways to support social enterprises (SE), check out Asia For Good's searchable directory of social enterprises across Asia.
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