When Good Companies was launched in November, many friends told me, “how ideal, just in time for holiday shopping.” That was by chance – we’d hoped to launch in September!
The timing has been great for me. I’d never realized how fun – and satisfying – it can be to shop online. I’ve loved poring over the info on our companies, choosing presents, and learning even more about their missions while I have. The causes they are committed to helping span the world.
In fact, each gift I’ve selected this year will contribute directly to important social and environmental causes: I’ve gotten a Wallaroo hat for someone who’s very lazy about putting on sunblock (skincare disease prevention), and Cotopaxi (health and education) and Patagonia (environmental protection) jackets for men in our family. I was impressed last week when I saw Patagonia had created a stark website landing page focused on the Bears Ears National Monument, which they’re fighting to protect.
Additionally, my husband was the one who first introduced me to Bombas, a company whose socks he wears and mission he appreciates, so I’m getting a fresh supply for him.
I’ve always especially liked giving and receiving food gifts so I really hope that by this time next year, we’ll have that category up and running!
Hanna Lamb, Good Companies’ Chief External Relations Officer, knows our companies inside out. So here are her ideas along with those of three others who’ve helped Good Companies get up and going. Hope you’ll have as much fun exploring these Good Companies companies as we’ve had!
On Hanna’s List
This year, my gifts are all about discovery and new adventures.
Dress-up and all things Mommy’s Stuff captivate my daughters, so I was ecstatic to see DIFF Charitable Eyewear launch a line of kids’ sunglasses: “Lil DIFF.” They look just like my DIFF shades – with the girls’ favorite color (pink) on the lenses. We’ve been talking a lot about helping those in need, so I’m excited to tell them their gifts helped others see.
My husband is a big DIY-in-the-great-outdoors guy. United By Blue seems to have a direct link from headquarters into his brain, so this year, their Norwegian Wood guide to chopping, stacking, and drying wood will be under the tree for him. I also have my eye on an enamel steel mug for extra chilly days and a great pot of coffee, whether we’re camping or not.
Meanwhile, we are entering a winter baby boom in our circle of friends, so I’ve selected a group of gorgeous BENNISON Pima cotton onesies for them. At a time when we are welcoming new additions to our extended family, it is especially touching to know these gifts are supporting maternal and children’s health initiatives around the world.
As for me, I have on my wish list one of Abury’s bags – pretty much any one of them. They are funky and off the beaten path – just the way I like them. Abury happens to support causes about which I am passionate: education and cultural exchange. I’m also always looking for a good pair of jeans, and am inspired by MUD Jeans’ Lease-A-Jeans program and circular business model. I’d love to try a subscription with them.
As an animal lover (I have two dogs, Beau and Coconut) I always give gifts to people’s pets, because I know they really become a part of your family. The Found My Animal leashes are stylish (I especially like the ombre ones), and individually numbered to track the number of animals helped by the proceeds of each sale. It’s a great gift for any like-minded animal lover in your life.
In my family, we have a long-standing tradition of gifting socks as literal stocking stuffers at Christmas. I love the Bombas’ “buy one, give one” mission of providing socks to homeless shelters almost as much as the cheery colors and cool geometric snowflake design on their Hannah Teter collaboration socks.
As for my wish list… I live in Maine so you can never have enough cozy sweaters to keep you warm in the winter. And in the spring. And the fall and summer, actually. I love the simplicity of the Naadam Eterna Cashmere Rib Crewneck sweater – and the fact that it’s affordable, and made of ethically sourced cashmere.
I do yoga almost every day, so my activewear collection is extensive but also gets a ton of use. The challenge is find something that is both functional and fashion-forward and the VPL Stripe B Bras meet both criteria. I love the color-blocking style. The fact that it allows for 100% fabric utilization – the savings from which support science and tech initiatives for girls – is an added bonus.
I’m a musician, podcast producer, and general audio geek and I think giving better sound quality is a great gift. LSTN Sound Co.’s Zebra Wood Troubadour Wireless Headphones would be perfect for any friend or family member, and they give the gift of hearing to people in need around the world.
Cooking is always a lot of fun, and it wasn’t until I saw UncommonGoods’ Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit these that I even considered the idea that hot sauce was something you could DIY at home. Uncommon goods is an amazing resource here in Brooklyn for all their work to support and encourage artisans and artists, and I love to support their partners.
As for my wish list… WeWOOD’s Kos Watch is a minimalist but unique design made from 100% natural Indian rosewood. I love the idea of a watch that has a classic aviator look but with the twist of wood texture, and a tree is planted with each watch purchased.
I also travel a lot with my computer and I’m known to stuff it into a bag full of stuff, so my laptop needs protection. The Bellroy Laptop Sleeve looks easy to use and convenient, and Bellroy is committed to responsible use of resources as part of their mission.
Gift-giving was never my primary love-language, but after redecorating my apartment last year, I have come to appreciate home goods that are both beautiful and functional. So, first, though not particularly glamorous, I want to gift the (re)zip bags from Blue Avocado to all my friends who spend a lot of time in the kitchen. These bags are airtight, non-toxic, made from recycled plastic bottles, and they help us to produce less waste. And – Blue Avocado gives a percentage of profits to partner organizations providing micro loans to entrepreneurs in emerging economies to stop the cycle of poverty. Amazing!
I’ve also always been a flower girl – there is nothing like coming home to fresh-cut flowers! Canvas Home’s two-toned vases are delicate and unique, and they make me smile. They’d make great little gifts for coworkers (flowers in the office are total game-changers), or certainly something I can bring to my Grandma, whose garden has always inspired me. Canvas Home has a beautiful range of products, ethically and sustainably made, with percentage of sales going to support local artisans.
As for my wish list… The truth is I feel like I already have way too much stuff: when I started working with the Good Companies team, I must confess I did a little pre-pre- holiday shopping! I’ve become obsessed with my Faircloth & Supply tank tops – sustainably made, and part of a product line that provides school uniforms to young girls in Nepal. I wear my Soko necklace almost every day, and I love that I never would have found the artisan who crafted it if it weren’t for Soko’s platform. And before heading off to a recent trip to India, I went to Patagonia and got gear that will (literally!) last a lifetime.
But if I must choose another gift for me…it’s always going to be a big comfy sweater from Eileen Fisher. Everything from the design, to the mission, to the quality, to Eileen herself – I’m a diehard fan, and I always wear her clothing with pride. I like the idea that I get to wear a reminder of the values I hold most dear.