A guide to getting good gifts that do good

· Friday November 25, 2016

Another year, another round of tango-ing through crowded shopping centres freaking out over your Christmas gift list. We’ve been thinking about this particular nightmare a lot recently and have felt an added pang to the usual shopping dread. It’s 2016, and what we buy is becoming more and more transparent. The ethical and social ramifications products are embedded with have become almost as important as the items themselves. Buying gifts for people that make some modicum of social difference is a pretty great thing to do for obvious reasons, they’re just tricky to source. And, you probably won’t find them by sashaying around Westfield for the umpteenth time.

Good Spender is an online market place that gathers a whole bunch of social enterprises and their wares in one handy site. There’s the usual drill of browsing through the mountains of great stuff, but you can also shop by cause, if you want to really nail the customised giving experience.

There’s a lot of great stuff on there, and this was tough, but we picked a few things you might like to consider for your Chrissy list:

Tjanpi Desert Weavers baskets - $66


Tjanpi Desert Weavers was established in the 90s to provide Central and Western Desert Indigenous women with an ongoing income for their art. Each basket is unique and hand-woven with vibrant fibres. Pretty great addition to your living room or the living room of someone you know with taste, maybe a particularly savvy aunty.

Recycled bombshell bangle - $15


This minimal, elegant bangle almost looks like you dropped a stack at Tiffany’s, imagine the double-takes this is going to invoke when your gift receiver finds out it is in fact modelled from melted bombshell remnants. Part of a post-Vietnam war practice in Laos, local artisans used the violent detritus to make functional and beautiful objects, a craft you can still support today by buying one of these poignant babies for a loved one.

HoMie beanie and long-sleeve tee - from $30


This is a great choice for one of those surly cousins or siblings who’s just started the art of ‘sulking in streetwear’ at family functions. HAHA, the ultimate prank, you’ve just bought them a sartorially on-point line of clothing they can kick-flip in the cul-de-sac with and sucked in they’ve just supported the homeless. But, seriously all of HoMie’s stuff is really great (not for pranks, for good), check out more about their store here

Secret wooden gnome house - $110


This is ridiculous. How does something so adorable exist in this world and I’m only just seeing it now? The Fair and Just Collective specialises in ethical toys, and purchasing one of these mystical wonderlands (look at those lil felt hats!) goes towards the Vietnamese communities they’re hand-carved in. But, get in quick, they’re super rare as they’re whittled entirely by hand and you’re potentially up against some quick-buying wooden gnome enthusiasts. Tbh, I will probably be that older-cousin who’s had a few too many mimosas and insists on manning the tiny swing come Christmas Day.

Sistagirl and Brothaboy sports bags - $15 each


One hundred percent of profits made by Brothaboy goes back into supporting Indigenous community initiatives and these sports bags are one hundred percent nailing the gym-selfie aesthetic. Perfect for the member of your family who makes their own muesli.

Positive Pants undies - $19.95


First of all there is hardly anything as aesthetically pleasing as ~space dye~, and secondly these look so comfy. Positive Pants donates underpants to those who need it most and you can shower your loved one in these knowing how luxuriant that act is.