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8 Ethical Companies to Support This Gift-Giving Season

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If you do your best to live a zero-waste, low-impact, or ethical lifestyle, the holidays are a great time to show your friends and family the merits of living sustainably. By cooking planet-friendly food, decorating and wrapping gifts with eco-conscious materials, and giving gifts that reflect your values, you and your loved ones can enjoy the holiday season all while respecting the planet.

There are so many ways to reduce the impact of holiday gift-giving — for example, you can shop secondhand, gift experiences, or even just give cold hard cash — but you can also opt to shop from an ethical company. While buying new items often has a higher environmental impact than shopping secondhand, there are merits to supporting small companies that provide transparency about their supply chains, materials, and labor practices.

By giving your dollar to an ethical company, you are helping a small business grow, scale up, and eventually take business from corporations who prioritize money above ethical practices. To determine if a company lives up to your ethical standards, do some digging on its website to read their mission, and to gather information about how employees are treated, how ingredients are sourced, etc. You can also lookup brands on the website Good On You, where companies are rated based on their environmental impact, labor conditions, and animal welfare.

So if you have time to order from a small business instead of Amazon this holiday season, get started right here with a list of eight small, ethical companies selling meaningful gifts, from clothing to jewelry to tea to skincare.

1. Grouphug’s Window Solar Charger

After a successful Kickstarter fundraiser, NYC-based tech company Grouphug launched the Window Solar Charger, which allows apartment-dwellers to harvest energy at home. All you need to do is hang the bamboo-framed solar panels in a window, and use the energy it collects to charge your cell phone. The Window Solar Charger is currently available for preorder, with estimated delivery in April 2020 — so in the meantime, Grouphug provides customers with a printable card that can be presented to the recipient.