Give Gifts That Give Back This Holiday
A wave of ‘responsible shopping’ – buying an item where a portion of proceeds are donated to a social cause or charity – is picking up steam in Canada. A PayPal holiday shopping trends study* found that Millennials are leading this movement. Nearly seven out of ten millennials are planning to shop online for gifts that give back this holiday season. Driven by a desire to do good, one in four millennials are even willing to pay more for an item if a portion of the sales support a charitable cause.
 
Giving feels good and giving back feels even better. Combine the two and you’ve struck holiday gifting gold! We have cherry-picked nine amazing small businesses from across Canada to help you find something for even the most discerning loved one on your shopping list.
 
Home base: Fredericton, NB
The brainchild of two university friends, Wear Your Label is a fashion company working to underline the importance of self-acceptance and self-care. Recognizing that starting conversations about mental health is only the beginning, 2017 will see the company work to encourage customers to make time for themselves, becoming living examples of the company's #selfcareisntselfish mantra.
 
Cause: Recognized by the Canadian Mental Health Association as Champions of Mental Wellness, Wear Your Label donates 10 per cent of profits to mental health initiatives.
 
 
Home base: Toronto
The inspiration to start Cambio Market happened on a trip to the Philippines in 2012, where the founders discovered a dynamic community of businesses doing innovative work to address poverty and inequality. They wanted to provide an opportunity for North Americans to access these fair-trade, sustainable products and support Filipino businesses that created them.
 
Cause: Cambio Market carefully sources their products from community partners that empower low-income artisans or focus on sustainability. Every item is fair trade, ethically made, and gives back to a social cause.
 
 
Home base: Toronto
Founder and CEO Noura Sakkijha, set out with a mission to make fine jewelry part of a woman’s everyday life and it’s safe to say she’s accomplished that goal. Mejuri is a fine-jewelry brand that produces simple yet modern hand-crafted jewelry without traditional retail markups by working with expert manufactures and selling directly to customers on their online store.
 
Cause
Mejuri is focused on empowering women by helping them to feel good and do good. In support of this vision, Mejuri’s entire 14k and 925 sterling silver Evil Eye Collection donates 5 per cent of each purchase to the Her Initiative, a non-for-profit organization that helps women and children in developing countries get safe and reliable access to clean water.
 
 
Home base: Toronto
Peace Collective creates Canada-proud apparel. You may have seen their “Toronto vs. Everybody” t-shirts and hoodies in Instagram photos. With rising customer interest, they are now diversifying their line to include west coast, Canada wide, and Blue Jays collections.
 
Cause: Every piece of apparel sold feeds a hungry child – two healthy meals and a snack. From the beginning, Peace Collective has supported local charity Breakfast for Learning. Along with sale donations, Peace Collective also hosts monthly flagship store events where proceeds go to different partner charities like the Boys and Girls Club of Canada. 
 
 
Home base: Toronto
Waves Apparel launched in June 2014 as a menswear line. Today, they team up with talented street artists to design unique t-shirts, sweaters and hats that they distribute online and in multiple retail stores across Toronto stores. Collaborating with local street artists, Toronto pride is highlighted in their 416 and Graffiti collection.
 
Cause: 10 per cent of the proceeds from Waves Apparel is donated to SKETCH Toronto, which provides a safe place and a meal for homeless Toronto youth. These young people can also enter SKETCH and leave with all the tools they need to develop careers in their creative passions: singing, cooking, dance, fine arts, multimedia, screen printing, and a whole lot more.
 
 
Home base: Regina
This Regina-based clothing company is transforming the world we live in—ten trees at a time. tentree ethically and sustainably manufactures clothing and accessories for women and men. For every item sold, 10 trees are planted in areas where they can influence an even greater transformation. So far, tentree has planted more than 5 million trees in countries like Madagascar, Senegal, Cambodia, Nepal and Canada.
 
Cause: Besides planting trees, tentree is committed creating lasting social impact by providing a livelihood for the local community in the form of jobs and education to create a more sustainable community.  
 
Home base: Winnipeg
Fashionable and warm footwear – yes please!  From moccasins perfect for lounging about the house on a frosty winter’s day to mukluks made for -30-degree weather, Manitobah Mukluks will keep your toes toasty.
 
Cause: Every purchase of at Manitobah product helps fund the Manitobah Mukluk’s Storyboot Project & School which aims to preserve traditional craft. Artisans create one-of-a-kind mukluks and moccasins by hand and all of the revenue generated from this project is directed back to the artists.
 
 
dignify
Home base: Calgary
dignify sells “kantha” blankets handmade by women in Bangladesh who are vulnerable to or survivors of exploitation. “Kantha,” or “patched cloth,” is a traditional way of producing textiles from discarded cloth with a specific straight stitch. The cause is central to dignify’s business which was born from a desire to offer a way for people to use their money well by buying things that they love while providing opportunities for the people who created them.
 
Cause: dignify provides vulnerable women in Bangladesh with employment in a safe, healthy and fair environment where they receive education and a dignified job. The blankets are made with repurposed cloth, which makes them environmentally friendly and reduces waste.
 
Home base: Vancouver
Saul Good makes beautiful gift baskets with locally sourced artisanal goods made across Canada. The company was born in 2006 after the founder was inspired to think about why we give gifts: to connect with each other and create a sense of community. Instead of competing on size or price, gifts from Saul Good tell a memorable story that lasts well after the delicious artisanal treats are devoured.
 
Cause: The Saul Good Gift Co. works exclusively with local artisan suppliers to support local communities. All gifts are assembled by adults with developmental disabilities. Saul Good  sources products from a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Vancouver’s inner city that employs women living in social housing.
 
PayPal powers payments for over 250,000 small businesses based across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including businesses that give back.  We’re committed to building a future where people of all backgrounds and economic standings have the opportunity to participate and thrive in the global economy.
 
You can choose to pick a thoughtful gift this holiday season to spread even more joy and create a lasting social impact.
 
*The findings are based on an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between October 28 and October 31, 2016, on behalf of PayPal. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel were interviewed online. 

Kerry Reynolds, Head of Consumer Marketing, PayPal Canada

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