Want to give a gift that gives back? These companies and organizations have found ways to sell beautiful products and have demonstrable social impact—one that goes far beyond just giving out free goods in impoverished lands.
These jeans are the product of IOU, which promotes responsible fashion consumption by sharing the production process for the hand-stitched garments they sell. A unique code for each item allows you to see the names and stories of the Indian weavers and European craftspeople who created it—and know they're being paid fairly. ($159, iouproject.com)
The retailer of hipster-chic spectacles sells its goods at a fraction of the price of most eyewear. For every pair sold, WP sources a pair for VisionSpring, which trains low-income women entrepreneurs in developing countries to sell glasses. ($95 a pair, warbyparker.com)
Women artisans in Rwanda—most of whom earned less than a dollar a day before partnering with Indego—craft accessories, jewelry, and decor such as these baskets. Profits fund business and literacy programs for the artisans. ($44, indegoafrica.org)
Good African was started by a Ugandan entrepreneur to help Africans process and market their own coffee globally. Half of the profits are invested in the coffee farmers, supporting savings cooperatives and training programs. ($11 per bag, goodafrican.com)
Photos by Joel Stans; Prop Styling: Erin Swift; Metal Sculptures: Soraya Ltd.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.