An Ethical Gift Guide

Written by: Kaylie O’Connor

If you read my previous article (see the fall issue of The Volk), then you know that I LOVE companies that are ethical, sustainably focused, or that participate in giveback programs. As a fair trade shopper, however, I know it can be hard to find companies that are reasonably priced. With the holidays coming up, I want to accomplish two things in this ethical section:

  1. I want to remind you that your dollar has power. Every purchase you make this holiday season can either go toward supporting poor work conditions, extreme waste, and continued poverty for people in other countries, OR you can choose to buy products from companies that give their employees safe working conditions, reasonable pay, designated break times, and programs to work themselves out of poverty. We often think that big corporations make the rules, but truthfully, your financial support will determine how things are run.

  2. To make this holiday season easier (we all know that it is busy enough), I want to share a list of  companies (which have both great quality products and reasonable prices) and break them down into sections based on what kind of gifts you may be looking for. So without further ado, let’s begin!


A proud partner of many social entrepreneur organizations, TRUE ETHIC’s products are crafted by both local and international artisans. The lucky lady in your life will not only love these TRUE ETHIC items for their beauty, but also for how their purchase empowers women. Every TRUE ETHIC purchase helps support educational opportunities, job training, poverty alleviation, and rescuing women from sex trafficking.

See more of their products at @trueethic


Need to carry those heavy books, but don’t want to use a traditional backpack? Consider grabbing one of the many jumbo upcycled bags at An Upcycled Closet. Their mission is to supply customers with secondhand items that are sourced to be functional, sustainable, and offer plenty of self-expression. In addition to thrifted and vintage merchandise, the owner, Lauren, makes goods out of scraps inherent to the creative process and considers other ways items can be kept from landfills.

See more of their bags at @an_upcycled_closet

Started in January 2018, Coconut Whisk is quickly becoming a household name. With a variety of products that are gluten free, dairy- free, nut-free, egg-free, and vegan, Coconut Whisk can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. Plus, 5% of their profits go toward organizations that aid animals and children in need!

Check out more of their products at @coconutwhisk


With a passion to help people and the planet, Conscious Step Socks is not only GOTS and Vegan certified (made of 100% organic cotton), but also actively works to fight child labor in India and bring a better life to those in need. Every sock has a specific purpose, whether it is to provide books for children going to school or food for those who are starving.  You choose where your money goes based on which sock you purchase!

See more fantastic socks at @conciousstep

These four ideas are just the beginning. For more ethical gift ideas be sure to order the Winter 2018/19 issue of The Volk, available now! With our Gift Guide we provide ideas that you can use for more than just the Holiday season, making our guide even more valuable. Shop, share and support local small businesses, for small businesses is what our community thrives on. Happy Shopping!



Kaylie O’Connor is a sustainable + ethical fashion blogger. With her passion fashion and a determination to live ethically, Kaylie is changing the world one reader at a time. For more tips and tricks on how to live ethically, check out the Winter issue of The Volk (available Dec.1st). In the meantime, be sure to follow Kaylie @theswelteringsweater