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A guide to giving while building your wish list

Courtesy of No Sweat Apparel

Maybe you’re sick of the corporate commercialism on every corner, or maybe you just want to give your friends something unique. Either way, here’s a list of gift sites where you can give while doing some good. There’s no need to brave the lines at the mall when you can shop from your computer at home. And maybe even get a little something for yourself!

A Greater Gift (
This site boasts fair trade handcrafts and foods from around the world. According to their Web site, they strive to promote living wages, women’s rights and eco-friendly production through their partnerships with small-scale artisans and farmer groups.

No child labor! Their products range from handbags made from recycled products to fair trade chocolate and seasonal holiday decor, from handmade wrapping paper to adorable decorative reindeer made from cocoa fiber.

Bead For Life (
In an effort to eradicate extreme poverty, Bead For Life links Ugandan women with North Americans through the sale of jewelry made from colorful magazine pages and complemented with glass beads. The jewelry is vibrant and beautiful and not at all expensive. Bracelets start as low as $5, and necklaces range from $10-$30. They also offer beaded bags and anklets, and you have the option to purchase a gift certificate.

Global Girlfriend (
This site is a fair trade boutique that sells specialty gifts and goods made by women’s non-profit programs and cooperatives worldwide. Global Girlfriend is committed to women’s welfare.
According to their Web site, a major means of improving the status of women is to open access to markets and finance to poor women. Their catalog offers attractive apparel, soaps, dishware, paper products and more, all made by women all over the world.

The Hunger Site (
Some of you may know about The Hunger Site and have probably clicked on it at least once. But if you don’t, you can shop The Hunger Site store! Their catalog offers a wide selection of gifts, from ornaments, chocolate, apparel, magnets, calendars; all to benefit hunger, animal rescue, child health and many other causes.

Heifer International
This site is unique and has something to get for someone who “has everything.” So rather than a scented candle set or yet another tie, how about sending a flock of ducks to a family in China in their name? Or a pig to a family in Honduras? It’s not as pricey as you might think: A flock of chicks is only $20, and if you can’t afford the $500 price tag to give a cow, you can purchase a share for $50.

Bamboo Clothes
If you know someone who’s into eco-friendly clothes, this might be just the thing.
Bamboo grows fast and doesn’t need replanting, as it’s actually a grass, and its fibers can be turned into super soft clothing. Bamboo products are also biodegradable. You can buy shirts, of course, but also socks and underwear and even yarn for knitting, all made from bamboo fibers. Unfortunately, it looks like their catalog’s running a bit low at the moment.

No Sweat Apparel
For those of you who are turned off from American Apparel by news that the founder is a misogynistic creep, you can try No Sweat’s union-made footwear and clothing. Besides sneakers and casual tops, they also offer clothes that you could ostensibly wear to work: khakis, oxford shirts and polo shirts! They even offer kids’ clothing. They offer sizes from petites to XXL so you can find something for everyone.