We’re closing in fast on the holiday season! This time of year also happens to coincide with a lot of birthdays of friends and family. This year I’ve been trying to look beyond the usual gadgets/t-shirts/girlie things to get as gifts. And looking at unique, hand-made and one of a kind products, not to be found in retail stores, that can be bought online. I also asked around to see what others were recommending. From this research we came up with a neat list of stores that should have something for practically anyone.
1. Hoop Fund
Hoop is part crowd-funding platform and part store. The website lets users contribute to the production of ethically made products (as an investor), as well as enjoy the products created directly by farmers and artisans.
Hoop bundles combines a deal on the products along with a microloan to the people who make them. Customers help with doing good while discovering great products to buy or gift. Producers get new financing options to improve and diversify their businesses, and sustainable brands get new customers.
2. Abe’s Market
Abe’s Market is a marketplace to discover fantastic natural foods and produce. The store helps consumers understand what is in the products and meet the passionate people who make them.
Each seller ships products directly to you. Customers can contact the seller directly with any questions, comments or compliments. Customers also get to review products they’ve used, so that helps build seller reputation, and increase customer confidence in the products purchased.
WorldofGood.com by eBay is a huge marketplace for socially and environmentally responsible shopping. It features thousands of stylish and unique products from around the world.
WorldofGood.com brings Ebay’s trust and transparency into a shopping experience where every purchase makes a positive impact.
What started as an online textbook store is now a massive literacy enabler! Every book purchased from Better World Books contributes to individual literacy projects throughout the world. So your purchase of popular titles helps someone learn to read and write.
Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide in the US. The company has recycled over 70 million pounds of books and raised over $10 million for global literacy and local libraries. All books are available with free shipping worldwide.
Blissmobox.com is your place to find exceptional products that are either certified as organic or eco-friendly. The team at BlissmoBox hand picks some of the finest socially responsible products, and introduce these products to you with discounts of up to 70% via email, or in a curated monthly box – the ‘Blissmo Box’
The products are a mix of established as well as up-and-coming brands. Each box is packed with products between $25-$50 or more of value and shipped to your door.
Villcart presents a range of Indian, hand-made accessories, stationary and decorative handicrafts that you can buy for yourself or gift. This is a pioneering store based out of India that attempts to link artisans to customers.
They source products from co-operatives in remote parts of India, and offer Indian and international customers an alternative to high-priced machine made items. Their unique product collection earns them a spot on this list!
Started by the Entourage team, the SHFT shop provides a collection of truly innovative and exclusive products designed with sustainability in mind.
Their collection is by far the quirkiest I’ve come across. With products like the bamboo iPad case, bio-degradable bicycle, and a moss microcosm housed in a recycled wine bottle (complete with soil, drainage and a chopstick garden tool)
They not only design their own but also review and promote great designs via video reviews, newsletter and the holstee shop.
If you’re looking to gift something offbeat, the Holstee Manifesto printed on an original letterpress would make a fine addition to someone’s living room.
The homeware selections seem especially good and could make a chic gift for Christmas.
The featured pic is a hand-painted tiffin created by Kashmiri artisans from India.
10. Indigenous Designs
Indigenous Designs features hand made/eco fashion for men and women, as well as accessories.
Special attention is paid to the design and the use of organic fibres within garments.
The company only works with artisans who are paid fair trade wages so that most of the profits reach the artisan producers.
If you know of other online stores offering exclusive, hand-made or eco friendly products, do let us know on Dutiee’s facebook page. Happy shopping!