Good (and for the greater good) products I can send friends?
January 27, 2021 8:52 AM   Subscribe

One of my new years resolutions is to inject a little joy into the word and support small business by sending friends little unexpected care packages. If possible, I'd like to send yummy or nice-quality things that will also serve some greater mission (like this coffee company that hires incarcerated people or this stroopwafel one that hires refugees). Do you have a company like this that you like?
posted by AgentRocket to Shopping (14 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Are gifts from nonprofits OK?
I send treats from Farm Sanctuary.
posted by FencingGal at 9:04 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]

I know Homeboy Industries from around LA, where they often do concession staffing or catering - you can buy their delicious baked goods here.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:09 AM on January 27 [2 favorites]

The quilted items from Women of Milo Haiti are gorgeous (though a caveat that the pot holders aren't thick enough to take giant pans out of the broiler).

Diaspora's project is to decolonize the spice trade.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:25 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]

If any of your friends happen to be in the UK, there's Redemption Roasters, another coffee company that hires and trains incarcerated people. There's also Arthouse Unlimited, whose chocolate was recently written up in the Guardian, where (quoting from their About page) "a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities and difficulties" works with instructors to produce artwork that gets turned into all sorts of designer products.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:52 AM on January 27

Penzey's Spices is a very socially aware organization and their products are excellent.
posted by BibiRose at 9:54 AM on January 27 [9 favorites]

Greyston Bakery is a pioneer in open hiring. No resumes, background checks, interviews. It lets people who need jobs get them:
“ For 38 years, Greyston has opened its doors to those who face rejection elsewhere. When people say they want to work, we give them a chance through Open Hiring® — no resumes, no background checks, no interviews needed. And understanding that a job is just the first step toward self-sufficiency, we offer workforce development and community wellness services to help our neighbors pave paths to professional and personal success.

By replacing scrutiny with trust, Greyston is transforming lives and communities, and breaking the cycle of poverty in the process.”

Also: their brownies are good. Ben & Jerries uses them in their ice cream.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:56 AM on January 27 [4 favorites]

Socks from Community Clothing. They sell other clothes too.
posted by paduasoy at 9:57 AM on January 27

Seconding Homeboy -- they do amazing work and their stuff is delicious.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:20 AM on January 27

Thistle Farms : “ For over 20 years, Thistle Farms has lit a pathway of healing and hope for women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.” You can get handmade candles and other scented bath and body stuff, jewelry, and a bunch of other things.
posted by oomny at 10:26 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]

I've never purchased from them but the Women's Bean Project in Denver "hires women who are chronically unemployed and we teach them to work making nourishing products that we sell across the U.S. Through their work at Women’s Bean Project, women learn to stand tall, find their purpose and break the cycle of poverty. Because when you change a woman’s life, you change her family’s life."
posted by jabes at 11:22 AM on January 27

It's not the most navigable directory, but you might want to look at companies (from all over the world, not just in the US!) that are a Certified B Corporation (such as the stroopwafel one you mentioned and the Greyston Bakery suggestion above):

"Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy."
posted by judypjhsu at 12:07 PM on January 27

Another direction would be various Eco-Products (although it would only work if you knew for sure you're friends don't have them already–otherwise it would be wasteful). But say, a nice thermos/reusable coffee to-go cup, eco-tooth brushes, etc.
posted by coffeecat at 12:43 PM on January 27

The t-shirts (like this one) that support meal-packing group Feed My Starving Children are really nice, and I like the idea of paying for food for hungry strangers. They also sell handicrafts made by people in the areas where they work, and that stuff is nice quality and pretty.

(I have volunteered there in the past with my extended family, and had a really good time.)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:30 PM on January 27

Peace by Chocolate was started by a Syrian family who had to leave their long-standing chocolate business when they fled their home country of Syria as refugees. They moved to Canada and started up Peace by Chocolate. The company promotes LGBTQ+ and Indigenous rights, donates part of its profits to various social justice groups, and has a policy of hiring and training refugees.

Plus the chocolate is very tasty!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:32 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]

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