Emma Lou Believes In: Gifts that Give

Over the last few years, I have started to stumble upon different companies around the web that promote the idea of buying ‘gifts that give.’ The most well known organization that follows this model is probably TOMS, when you buy a pair of shoes, TOMS donates a pair to someone in need.

This business model has really caught on and this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to try to purchase all of my Christmas gifts from places that promote ‘gifts that give.’ I’ve started a board to keep track of all of the great socially minded companies I come across, but I wanted to share a couple of them with y’all today.


One of my favorite places to look for jewelry is at 31 Bits. Founded in 2008, the company employees women in Uganda to make the beautiful jewelry and accessories that they sell. They have multiple programs in Uganda to help the people there and they offer all types of products on their site. I received one of their necklaces from my family for my 21st birthday and I get so many compliments on it every time I wear it! Plus, it’s super cool when someone asks where it is from to say, oh, you know, Africa.

molly bag(/)

This next business, Better Life Bags, is a more domestically minded organization. Rebecca, the founder of Better Life, describes how they operate on her blog:

We hire first generation immigrant women in our community who otherwise could not work outside the home.  We rent them a sewing machine and tools while teaching them a skill set that allows them to become a primary or secondary provider in their families.  Each bag is lovingly made with their hands and each purchase gives respect and dignity to their lives.

So cool, right? I’m OBSESSED with the bag above, and they make it in a black and white stripe as well that I’m dying over. This might be the big girl bag I reward myself with once I finally get a ‘big girl job.’


And our last business for the day, Noonday Collection, sells all types of cool things! Of course, my favorite is this awesome chicken, but they have jewelry, accessories, home goods, and much more! Noonday started during the owner’s international adoption and was originally used as a fundraising tool, now they donate 10% of all profits to families that are adopting as well as towards orphan prevention.

Aren’t all of these businesses the coolest? It makes me cheese so hard to think that we can help change lives while doing something as simple as our Christmas shopping. So check all these out, and let me know of any other businesses that are doing something similar!!

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