Travel lovers are hard people to shop for. They don’t take much with them and are rarely in one place long enough to require presents that need a stable home (like kittens or a fancy piece of artwork). Here is my ethical gift guide for unique gift ideas that are good for the wallet, for the environment, for the community, and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
The gift of travel – Visit.Org gift card!
There is nothing that a travel-lover wants more than more travel! Visit.Org is an amazing organisation that allows you to find community-based activities while you travel. Whether it is hiking in Sapa, Vietnam (like I did), or learning to cook local food from a local migrant (which, I also did), then they have you covered! As a Visit.Org Ambassador I am proud to recommend any of their trips to my readers. There is so much variety that everyone will find something they love and you have the comfort of knowing that you are helping the community at the same time. There’s nothing better than that!!
Hat by Tinlid Hat Co.
Established in 2014, the Tinlid Hat Co. aims to make a positive impact on the environment and communities in need. With every item sold, they plant 15 trees. For every backpack sold, they also give one filled with school supplies to a child in need. Help them achieve their mission: Cultivate the future by growing others. Try the Tinlid Hemp Snapback Hat on for size
Digital magazine subscription
Verge Magazine is published quarterly and is available for an annual online subscription for only $12. Instead of seeing the usual travel articles, Verge publishes insightful articles are focused on topical issues such as palm oil, as well as tips for potential house-sitters, volunteers, or students looking to study abroad.
If you are interested in a broader travel magazine that still maintains its focus on off-the-beaten track destinations, look no further than AFAR magazine. This magazine is worth subscribing to for the photography alone. I was reading their latest issue and I was almost out the door heading to Norway before I had put it down!
LifeStraw water purifier
The LifeStraw Go Water Bottle combines the award-winning LifeStraw technology with the convenience of a refillable water bottle. Developed in 2005, the LifeStraw was designed to provide safe drinking water to people living in developing countries without access to clean water, or in emergency settings where the water has been contaminated.
Now you too can have access to this technology, meaning that you will never have to buy bottled water again. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help the environment. As a bonus, with every LifeStraw purchased, one school child in a developing community will receive safe drinking water for an entire school year.
Tiffin Food Carrier
These portable, stainless steel food carriers are a great alternative to plastic or styrofoam containers. In Mumbai alone, 200,000 are filled with food each day and delivered to offices around the city. At the end of the day, they are then collected, cleaned and used again the next day to satisfy hungry office workers! Those sold by Oxfam are produced by Noah’s Ark, a fair trade organisation in India who employ over 300 artisans.
Cotton Towel from Wanderlust People
A few weeks into any trip you realise that the microfibre travel towel that you bought just isn’t cutting it. It doesn’t dry you properly and isn’t even big enough to lie on when you are sunbathing. The perfect solution is one of these 100% Ethiopian cotton towels from Wanderlust People. It is the perfect size to use as a towel, rug, shawl or anything else that you can think of.
Made from locally grown Ethiopian cotton that has been hand spun and dyed using natural colours, artisans from Sabahar have woven these towels on traditional wooden looms and finished with hand tied knots. This product is also Fairtrade certified and comes in a range of colours.
Convertible Crossbody bag by Tribe Alive
This beautiful vegetable-tanned leather cross-body bag is the perfect size for a notebook, tablet and everything else you need for a day out. Designed and hand crafted by female artisans in Haiti, by purchasing this product you are helping provide training, employment and a sustainable income to a Haitian woman. Tribe Alive has artisan partners around the world to help connect them to the global marketplace and break the cycle of poverty.
Scarf by FASHIONABLE
This medium weight scarf is made in the traditional Ethiopian style – a solid colour with texture throughout. Handwoven in Ethiopia from locally sourced cotton, this scarf is named after one of the women FASHIONABLE work with. FASHIONABLE aims to invest in women, to empower them through the development of new skills, to overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction and a lack of opportunity.
Prymal Straw Hat by Sunday Tracker
Prymal straw hats are handmade from sustainable products which have been upcycled where possible by local Ecuadorian artisans and marketed using green marketing practices. Sunday Tracker is a Sydney-based company dedicated to ethical and sustainable fashion. They connect with designers who adhere to strict environmental, ethical and sustainable practices.
Mens socks by PACT
These organic cotton socks are versatile and incredibly soft. So soft you won’t want to take them off. With every purchase made, you help PACT support low-income entrepreneurs who want to start their own small business. Accompany has partnered with PACT to create affordable basic clothing sourced from a cooperative of cotton farmers in India who are all shareholders in the business. By purchasing these socks you are helping create independence from sweat shop factories through the provision of fair wages and education projects.
Travel journal by Raven + Lily
This travel journal is made from recycled cotton by artisans at the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. When you look at this journal you definitely don’t think military tents. But military tents, denim jeans, newspaper and cotton rags have been transformed into a range of paper products. This particular journal was made by Uzma, a woman who was marginalised because of her gender and poverty, but whose life has been forever changed through her work with Raven + Lily.
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