If you are a business owner looking for gift ideas this season, why not consider sending something socially conscious? Sending meaningful gifts lets your customers and employees know you are about more than just business. You can make a great impression and contribute to a good cause at the same time.
In a recent episode of Your Business (@MSNBCYourBiz), Colleen Debaise (@colleendebaise) showcased a collection of socially conscious products offered by women entrepreneurs. An expanded list of great socially conscious gift ideas can be found here.
Sarah Gross (@rescuechocolat) wanted to create a company to raise awareness of animal rights organizations. If you’re looking for a way to gorge on chocolate bars without guilt, Rescue Chocolate may be your best bet. This Brooklyn-based company founded by Sarah Gross donates 100% of its profits to animal rescue organizations. This particular bar works to change negative attitudes towards pet pit bulls. Rescue chocolate costs around $6.
Victoria Lynden, a social entrepreneur founded Kohana Coffee, when she was inspired on a trip to Hawaii. The company stands for fair treatment of all human beings with the right to clean water and fair pay. More than a billion people around the world don't have access to clean water, and this is a huge problem. Lots of people drink coffee at work, so a group gift to one of your customers is a nice way for everyone to share.
Roni Sivan conceived of the idea for Krama Wheel scarves while on a trip to Cambodia (“krama” means scarf in Khmer). Each time you purchase a gingham scarf, which is hand-woven by a Cambodian seamstress, you provide a child with a uniform so he or she can attend school. The scarves are priced between $42 to $46.
Mary Aspenwall and her husband are entrepreneurs based in Santa Barbara, California. They created a company called Boxai to draw attention to the dwindling bee population. A Boxai is an inexpensive way to share a creative, thoughtful lasting image that can deliver an impact on society. A Boxai is a box within a box, similar to how Russian Dolls work. In the very center box is a short socially conscious message which can be customized. Boxai have a very low carbon footprint, are recyclable and made using sustainable forestry card and soy ink, are all designed, printed and hand-folded right here in the USA, are great for re-gifting and probably won't end up in the landfill. Each Boxai costs $10.
In 2005, Lisa Baumgartner (@myfunkins) found herself in need of washable napkins for kids when her son Braeden’s school asked parents to help reduce school lunch waste. According to Waste Free Lunches, the average child throws away 67 pounds of lunch waste each year, and this contributes to overflowing landfills. Lisa conceived Funkins to design these festive reusable fabrics to function as napkins or place mats. They are phthalate and lead-free and made with low-impact dyes. Funkins cost $12 and up.
Sheila Duncan created huggable plush dog “Trouble” in order to uplift children whenever they feel sad or blue. In addition to their regular sales, the company now donates Trouble dogs all over the world to children’s hospitals, the Children’s Miracle Network, and to families after crises and natural disasters. Do your customers need an office mascot? Do your customers have kids? Trouble may be just the thing to leave a lasting impression, and deliver a message of good will. Trouble costs $39.95.