It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us. One of my favorite ways to showcase my creative “gift-giving” abilities is to shop local with Canadian businesses. I love learning about the story behind each of their brands, especially if they prioritize giving back as one of their business values. Not only do products from local businesses offer better quality, but most of the time they are also ethically made. Depending where you shop, their inventory can be “one-of-a-kind”, which is an awesome perk when shopping for your loved ones!
This year, encourage your loved ones to give back this holiday season to those making waves and doing good in this world. Here are some awesome Canadian businesses you should consider supporting and adding to your Christmas wish-list!
The 7 Day Ring ($57) | 7 Day Ring Project
Based in Vancouver, the 7 day ring is handmade with love as a reminder to all to make the most of each day while living life fully and intentionally. Portion of the proceeds from every purchase goes towards empowering girls and women in Ethiopia, by funding skills-training and micro-credit loans.
Not-So-Ugly Christmas Sweater ($45.99) | Wear It Forward Canada
Established in Ottawa back in 2015, Wear It Forward is a clothing company with a primary focus of giving back to its community. The most popular item in their catalog is the “Not-So-Ugly” Christmas sweater, where $5 from every purchase goes towards the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, whom play a tremendous role in her burn recovery in her childhood.
Optical Readers + Sunglasses ($125+) | C4 Eyewear
Stylish and practicability do go hand in hand, at least at C4 Eyewear! C4 stands for Canadian Creative Collaborative for Charity. Creator Carla D’Angelo had the ultimate goal of creating eye-wear that makes women feels not only stylish, but confident. With every purchase, D’Angelo has partnered up with fashion icon, Suzie Wall, in support of Cause We Care Foundation, empowering single mothers and children living in poverty in our community.
Ouvre Moi Ta Porte Scarf ($300) | NimiNimi Scarves
NimiNimi was created as a way to express her love for design, travel, and the beauty of the world. Having lived in Uganda, Kenya, Morocco and other parts of Africa growing up, Nimi Nanji-Simard fell in love with the vibrant colors and designs of Africa and wanted to showcase her stories and experiences through beautiful silk scarves.
The Ouvre Moi Ta Porte Scarf is a special item designed in support of Office of the United Nations High Commissioner Refugees (UNHCR) for refugee settlement. It conveys a beautiful message that everyone, at various times, have came through different doors.
Gatherer Bucket Bag ($315) | SheNative
Founded by Devon Fiddler in Saskatoon, SheNative’s mission is to elevate Indigenous women, their culture, and their stories through sustainable fashion. They hope their designs to be “a catalyst to transform public perceptions of Indigenous women by sharing stories, conveying cultural teachings, building empathy, and accentuating hope for positive change”. SheNative employs 100% Indigenous women in the design and manufacturing of their products.
For example, this stunning and stylish leather bag was made by Crees in the early 1900s. How neat is that?!
“What Lies Within” Necklace ($45) | We Are Moving Mountains
Inspired by her father’s determination, love, and courage, We Are Moving Mountains was founded by Brittany Smyth in Ottawa. No mountain is ever too big or too impossible, and this stunning gorgeous necklace is a constant inspiration of that. Five dollars from each piece sold goes to supporting women-focused charities and not-for-profits around the world. Each month, a different organization is highlighted through their initiatives!
Hand-Knit Dolls ($60+) | Cuddle + Kind
Dolls that feed children. That’s what Cuddle + Kind is all about. Handcrafted and ethically produced in Peru, these dolls help save lives around the world. Inspired by a documentary on the devastating impact of childhood hunger, this family of five decided to take action to make a difference.
For every cuddle+kind doll sold, they give 10 meals to children in need!
Skincare Remedies ($28+) | AGASAYA
Founded in Montreal and as seen in VOGUE, AGASAYA is a skincare line that focuses on organic and raw beauty. All of their products contain less than five ingredients and are locally sourced by its founder by hand. 10% of their profits go toward charities, such as the Canadian Women Foundation, which advocates for women’s rights, gender equality and access to education in Canada.
Gift card for a Capsule Closet ($50) | Encircled
Sustainable fashion is a must in today’s world. 100% sewn in Toronto, Encircled is a Certified B Corporation that prides themselves on creating a versatile and stylish capsule wardrobe while staying ethical from production to packaging. Fashion is the second largest polluting industry worldwide, next to oil; therefore, it is crucial for clothing companies to keep their carbon footprint low. Encircled does that by producing all of their designs locally in Canada and by embraces a culture of transparency.
Every design created at Encircled is created with intention and simplicity. $5 from every verified customer review to the Surfrider Foundation in Canada.
Rafiki Set ($18) | #GirlLove
Founded by Lilly Singh, one of Canada’s famous female Youtuber, the #GirlLove Rafiki set is a collaboration between Me To We and her desire to help girls and women around the world.
Every purchase gives girls access to education in Kenya, Ecuador, and India.
Or… how about a donation?
Of course, if you or your loved ones aren’t big on receiving presents, consider making a charitable donation of your choice! Some of my recommendations that support girls and women both nationally and internationally are:
- Care Canada
- Canadian Women Foundation
- Daughters For Life
- TechGirls Canada
- MATCH International Women’s Fund
- The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)
- Interval House
Not convinced? Learn how you can give back to the community when you shop local!
Have yourself a Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
Seeing people succeed while doing what they love fires her up like no other. Aside from being the co-founder of DiscoverHER Project, Jess is a meeting planner by day and a wedding planner by night. Jess is passionate about giving girls and women around the world the same tools she used to get to where she is today. She believes in wearing her heart on her sleeve, doing everything out of a place of love, and empowering people around her to do the same. When she isn’t in front of a screen, she’s most often found eating tacos, wandering around a book store, or off exploring the world.