Pay It Forward: Products That Give Back

When selecting décor and products for your apartment, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential objects vying for our hard-earned dollars. Sometimes, the process can even border on the gluttonous: Do I really need that mustache-printed tea towel? Should I spend my paycheck on this serving platter? If either of these sound familiar, it might be time for some “fair trade” retail therapy to ensure your purchases are making a difference in the world.

Thanks to a growing number of products that directly help support nonprofits and artists, “giving back” has never been more convenient, and stylish.


One of my favorite local vendors is glassybaby, with locations in San Francisco and Seattle. Ten percent of each glassbaby votive or drinker cup goes directly to support organizations in need. Each color is paired with an organization, and the color options  are plentiful, so you can always find an amazing shade that supports a cause close to your heart.

stone + cloth

This clever company sells beautifully designed totes, backpacks, iPad cases, utility cases, rucksacks, journals, and other handy products. Of course, the best part is, a portion of each sale goes to the Knock Foundation, based in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, to provide scholarships, school supplies, and meals to students in need around the world.

A Lifestyle Choice

Also, be sure to look out for one-stop-shop websites that can introduce you to a whole range of lifestyle products and brands that are giving back around the globe, like Give Generation or Shopping for a Change  - both featuring home décor, clothing, jewelry, accessories, and art that support crafty women and artisans from more than 28 countries.

Categories: Gifts

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