19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place


What's better than giving a great gift? Giving a great gift that gives back. If you're on the hunt for a fantastic way to brighten someone's day (or just in need of a new thingamajig for yourself), peep these companies, whose proceeds help those in need. (See also: 20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause)

1. AmazonSmile

By visiting AmazonSmile, you can choose a participating charity that will be linked to your account, to which Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. You also can pick your own favorite charity if you don't want to donate to the featured organizations.

2. Warby Parker

Pick up a pair of Warby Parker's stylish glasses — regular or prescription, everyday or sun-ready — and they will make a monthly donation to their nonprofits partner, which, in turn, will train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices. (The donation from Warby Parker also covers the cost of sourcing an equal amount of glasses sold.)

3. The Alpha Workshops

Purchase anything from the Alpha Workshops' products section — which features designer furniture, lighting, and wallpapers — and 50% of your purchase will cover design and educational programs for people with HIV/AIDS. Even without a purchase you can support the cause with a straight donation, the smallest of which is $25, and goes directly toward one Basic Trainee's weekly lunch stipend.

4. SoapBox

SoapBox, a mission-based personal care brand, provides a bar of soap or a month of cleaner water to a person in need for every product sold. The line includes body washes, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, bar soaps, and more.

5. Project 7

Your purchase of the tasty gum and mints from Project 7 will help fund one of its seven affiliated nonprofits, which include planting trees, emergency relief from natural disasters, feeding impoverished U.S. communities, providing clean drinking water in developing countries, and more.

6. Toms Marketplace

Everybody knows the one-for-one shoe program that made Toms Shoes famous, but it also has a Marketplace with a wide selection of other great goods — like clothing, accessories, and jewelry — that help fund other Toms projects, like helping to restore sight to someone through surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment with a Toms Eyewear purchase, or training for skilled birth attendants in developing countries with a Toms Bags purchase.

7. State Bags

For each of the fashionable bags and accessories sold at State Bags, a backpack is donated to a local American child living in situation of need. Plus, Beyoncé is a fan!

8. Better World Books

Every time you make a purchase at BetterWorldBooks.com, they will donate a book to someone in need. As of July 2015, 17 million books have been distributed around the world.

9. Baby Teresa

For each 100% organic cotton accessory purchased from Baby Teresa, the company will donate formula to a baby in need. Buy a romper, and a romper will be donated to a baby in need.

10. Yoobi

For every Yoobi desk and organization supply item purchased — available exclusively at Target stores or online at Yoobi.com — the brand will donate an item to one of its Classroom Packs, which, once filled, will be given to a classroom in need.

11. Cooper & Ella

A donation will be made based on the number of blouses purchased from fashion brand Cooper & Ella to provide hot meals via its Empower program to a school in India, with a goal to provide 100,000 meals the first year.

12. Road Twenty-Two

Buy a shirt from Road Twenty-Two — which employs formerly incarcerated, homeless, or substance-addicted women to provide them steady income and valuable skills — and it will donate a shirt to a shelter.

13. The Company Store

You'll sleep better at night knowing that your purchase from The Company Store website or catalog results in an equal donation of a comforter to a homeless child in the United States.

14. Joan Hornig

American jewelry designer Joan Hornig donates 100% of the profit from your purchase to the charity of your choice.

15. Out of Print

Each product sold at Out of Print — a literary-minded apparel and gift brand — results in a book donation to a community in need, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists whose indelible work has impacted our lives.

16. Raven + Lily

Shop Raven + Lily's fair trade jewelry, apparel, accessories, and gifts to help the ethical fashion and lifestyle brand employ women in developing countries. They also provide access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily currently employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages.

17. Faucet Face

At Faucet Face, tap is where it's at. They will donate 2.5% of all sales from their eye-popping glass bottle collection, plus a complete filter for each sale of five or more individual bottles to the clean-drinking-water charity Third Millennium Awakening. This organization employs locals in India to create filters and distribute them to needy families. Custom designs also are available.

18. 2 Degrees Food

Every purchase of a 2 Degrees Food gluten-free and vegan snack bar helps feed a hungry child, with a mission to provide 200 million kids sustenance.

19. Smile Squared

Your pearly whites will shine even brighter knowing that a toothbrush will be provided to a child in need when you make a purchase at Smile Squared.

What are some of your favorite products and brands that give back? I'd love to hear some of your choices in the comments below.

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