© Photo by Lucie Liz/Pexels
This holiday season, share the love with friends and family by shopping local with gifts that give back! These Canadian companies support community initiatives and give back to charitable causes and efforts. No matter who you’re shopping for, these gifts are sure to keep on giving.
Gifts That Give Back
Hand-Knit Dolls—Starting at $75
Cuddle+Kind was started by a family of five on a mission to help feed children in need. With every doll sold, they give 10 meals to children around the world. Every doll is lovingly handcrafted in Peru and helps empower 1000 talented artisans with sustainable, fair trade employment, positively impacting their families and communities.
The dolls are knit with premium cotton yarn that’s certified non-toxic and safe for even the littlest of littles.
Founded by three students at McMaster University, Casey, Matt, and Matthew, Toques From The Heart donates a toque to a Canadian experiencing homelessness for every toque purchased through their website. The organization began in 2019 and donated more than 2,000 toques in the 2020/2021 winter season. This winter, they’ve partnered with 25 giving partners across Canada to expand their reach, with a goal of giving 35,000 toques this year, which is the number of Canadians that experience homelessness on any given night.
Diversity includes disability. Aille Design (pronounced: eye) is an emerging designer brand that is changing the way people think about inclusive design through intricately beaded clothing with fully legible braille. Their “Fashion is for Everyone” braille t-shirt is Swarovski-encrusted and designed in collaboration with people from the blind and visually impaired community, with five percent of the profits being donated to the American Foundation for the Blind. Their “Chin up, Mask on” braille mask (starting at $30) is on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Buy One, Give One Socks—Starting at $18
From starting online with a humble t-shirt collection, Province of Canada has expanded over the last seven years to include well-made sweatsuits, everyday basics, and home accessories. Did you know that socks are the least donated but most needed clothing item among Canada’s homeless population? This is what led to the launch of Province of Canada’s One-For-One Sock Program. For every pair of Province of Canada socks purchased, they donate a pair to a Canadian homeless shelter.
Change line—Starting at $30
100 percent of proceeds from the Canadian Courage Project’s (CCP) new clothing line will go towards supporting winter mental health programming for youth and their pets transitioning out of shelters into independent housing. The CCP team offers workshops and wellness care kits to youth in shelters across Canada and you can be a part of the change! Purchase one of their Toronto-designed crew necks or tees for your favourite person.