Welcome! I’m so glad you are here. Each year I look forward to compiling this list, but even more so this crazy year of 2020, am I fired up and passionate about spreading the word to support small, independent, and mission-based companies, as it is VITAL to keeping doors the open, and using our dollars to vote for the type of companies we wish to see in our communities. Plus, in my opinion, these companies offer the most unique and fun gifts out there. So if you are in a position to shop this year, please try to shop early, and from the independents.
The Amazons and Targets of the world will weather the storm, but the small guys may not. Let’s shop our values for 2020.
Pssss. I LOVE deals and steals… so I’ve compiled a list of Black Friday and holiday sales for awesome independent and ethical brands below, and update it daily!
Wanna make a BIG difference with where you spend your holiday money?
- Support your Local Movers & Shakers! Think of all of the places you LOVE to take out-of-town guests (when that was actually a thing), for the best food, experience, or the most unique one-of-a-kind, only-can-find-it-here, kinda souvenir. Then shop there for your gifts! Local to Denver? Collaborative small business hubs like the Stanley Marketplace (50 independently owned restaurants and shops–the assortment is phenomenal!) or The Denver Milk Market (ever-rotating, all local mix of delicious foods, and independent shops and gifts), are two top favs to find a good time and a good gift in the Denver Metro area!
Other Local Favorites! Lil Hotties Salsa for the yummiest small batch salsa in all of Colorado (they ship too!), Steuben’s American Restaurant (Hello yummy gift card–their food truck serviced our wedding reception! Fried Chicken in a wedding dress…yes please. we love, love, love them!), Flick of the Whisk (women- and black-owned) for all of your gorgeous and delicious baked good needs, including holiday gift boxes, and jar cupcake deliveries!, and Blossoms & Branch Farm floral bouquets and gardening classes–such a fun gifting idea. Highly recommend, and her farm is so charming!
- The Bookies for Kids Books, Puzzles & Games; The Tattered Cover for books and gifts!
- Grandparent Gift Idea–Silhouettes by Erik. You can Zoom for the artist to do the sketch/cutting!
- Branch & Blossom Farm For florals and gardening classes.
- Flick of the Whisk Women-Owned, Black Owned Cupcake & Bakery Shop.
- Humble Suds Homemade Women-Run Household Cleaners
2. Shop certified B Corps that are using business as a force for good! These are companies that have amazing product solutions, while also thinking about the planet with their sustainability efforts, and communities through their supply chain and ethical sourcing practices.
“B Corp Certification is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. The B Impact Assessment evaluates how the company’s operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment, and customers.”
My favorite B Corps include Beautycounter, Everyone Products, Patagonia, Athleta, Klean Kanteen, and more. You can search for other Bcorps here. When shopping, you can also look for this logo:
As an advocate for Beautycounter, I feel truly blessed to help get safer products into the hands of everyone, and shake up the industry from the ground up working to pass updated legislation. I compiled some fun gift guides for everyone on your list (including YOU!) and am honored to help help you with your gifting needs. You can use my link here to shop: www.Beautycounter.com/AmberJohnston or reach out directly for any assistance.
I’ve paired some of my favorite Beautycounter items with other ethical brands to create the 2020 Make Simple Happen Gift Guides! Click through to see them all!
3. Select “Buy one, Donate One” or other Give-Back Models. Such as Toms Shoes, where for every purchase of shoes made by a customer, Toms (another certified BCorp, by the way!), donates a pair of shoes to someone in need. They also have new “Giving Partners” where you can choose your style and corresponding cause. Pretty cool!
4. Choose Companies with a deeper social impact! There are some really neat companies out there creating freedom and opportunities, specifically for women artisans around the world, as they develop beautiful products and build profitable businesses!
Check out the gorgeous accessories and home goods from Noonday Collections a fair-trade federation member, and Bcorp, who provides no-interest loans and partners with Artisans around the world using indigenous materials and traditional skills to create modern, fashionable designs. Be sure to link to your favorite Noonday consultant. Don’t have one? Consider asking in your friend’s list on social, or randomly selecting a rep from the website to attribute your order to. You pay the same, so why not bless a hardworking ambassador with a surprise order?
Another favorite socially-conscious company introduced to me by a dear friend, is SariBari, which helps create economic freedom for women rescued from human- and sex-trafficking in India. They have amazingly beautiful products, particularly their Christmas Stockings and their Bags of all sizes and patterns, handcrafted by the women artisans. Grab a cute bag for the makeup maven in your family!
5. Think Sustainably! Ditch presents that are one-time use items, especially plastic junk, and opt instead for items that can be used and enjoyed year-long. See my blog post here for some fun themes!
You can also find really need products that have been made out of recycled materials, like the amazing Rothy’s Shoes, made out of old plastic waterbottles!
Don’t forget about eco-friendly gift wrapping, as well–minimize the amount of wrapping, choose recycled and recyclable materials, or reusable bags.
6. Give the gift of Health while supporting really cool businesses! There are so many great health-supporting gifts out there, and I think we can all agree that HEALTH is one of our biggest blessings, and we learned we really have to start doing a better job of protecting it…
How about a beautiful gift set of nontoxic cleaning supplies. I’ve tried a lot of safer brands, but hands down favorite brand is Humble Suds. The ingredients are safe, they smell amazing, and they get the job done–with beautiful, sustainable glass packaging, and refill options, too! (Bonus, they are a Colorado, Women-Owned and -Run small biz, and I love their delivery subscriptions for laundry detergent, the Scour Scrub, All Purpose Cleaner, and new Hand Sanitizers with refills). Be sure to check out their gifting options!!
A customized clean-beauty gift box. Happy to create one for you with my favorite clean and safe brands, or you can shop my Beautycounter link here, for gorgeous gift sets and only the best ingredients from a certified B Corp, with a whole wing of the company dedicated to advocacy and changing the beauty industry for the better!
- Gift Experiences instead of Stuff
- Make a Donation to a Worthy Cause in Someone’s Honor
- Provide a Service for Loved Ones as Your Gift
And if it just comes down to it, and you need to shop Amazon after all…make sure to at least use the Amazon Smile link and designate a nonprofit you wish to benefit! Same full website and products, but Amazon gifts a portion of your purchase to charities, so is a no-brainer win-win. PS. You can now set up the Amazon Smile link in your shopping app!
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale Info for conscious brands (I’ll continue to update as info comes in!)
- Athleta–Certified B corp, sustainably focused fashion. Early access to Black Friday through their app.
- Beautycounter Safe and Clean Ingredient Makeup, and personal care products for women, men and kids. Certified B Corp and Women-Owned. 15% off sitewide and free shipping on orders over $50. No code needed.*
- Beeswrap sustainable food wrap alternative.
- Humble Suds: Local, women-run, nontoxic cleaners and more– and check out their holiday gift sets! 20% off orders over $30 (use code 30+), 25% off Orders over $50 (use code 50+), 30% off orders over $100 (use code 100+). Sale Ends 11:59pm, Nov 30th.
- Klean Kanteen Water Bottles & More: Family-owned, Certified B Corp. 30% off staff picks Nov 16-20, click “shop the sale”, no promo needed.
- Pact–Sustainable, Ethical Fashion (Fair-trade, organic, recyclable and stylish).
- Pela Eco-friendly Phone Cases. Up to 50% off sitewide. No code needed
- PlanetBox Sustainable Bento Lunch Boxes: Use code HOLIDAY25 to save 25% off your order.
- Mighty Nest Eco-friendly and healthy monthly subscription membership. First month $3 and then only $11 after. Products are always valued over $11. (Use promo code “FIRSTFIX3)
- Native--Safe and clean-ingredient deodorant and other personal care products.
- NetZero Co.waste-free product solutions and really cool gift ideas.
- Noonday fair trade, artisan-made jewlery. Another certified Bcorp, too! Be sure to connect your order with an ambassador friend, or select one at random.
- Olive and June Safer, 7-Free Nail Polish at reasonable prices and great colors. 25% off and free shipping on orders over $20 Cyber Event with code Magic25
- Primally Pure: Spend $50, get a free deodorant! I recommend the dry shampoo! Save an additional 10% with my referral code: http://fbuy.me/v/amber_699
- Rothy’s Shoes–Ridiculously comfy, cute, and washable shoes, made from recycled waterbottles. Save up to 65% right now. No Code Needed.
- Stasher Bag food-grade silicone “ziplocks” that are reusable and dishwasher safe! Certified B Corp and Women owned.
- Swell Bottle Sustainability masters, with super cute products, and a huge give-back program with Unicef.
- Toms Shoes–Certified B Corp and awesome social missions!
Am I missing one of your favorite brands? Be sure to send me a note!