By Lauren Storella, Director of People and Culture 2020 has been an undeniably challenging year in so many capacities. Here’s an idea, end it on a high note with your best gift-gifting game ever. Think about the best gifts your family has ever given or received. In 2005, aka the pre-streaming era, my younger brother gave my mom the Oprah Winfrey Show 20th Anniversary DVD boxset. He won Christmas that year, hands down. Ten years ago was the first year I wasn’t able to travel home to be with my family for the holidays and I was desperately missing my grandmother’s homemade raviolis. My boyfriend at the time gave me a new pasta and ravioli machine so we could make it together and I would not miss out on the family tradition. Yes, I married him. With all the uncontrollable chaos that 2020 handed us, take back some good old-fashioned wholesomeness and give awesome gifts to your loved ones this holiday season. The gifts you are giddy about watching them unwrap. The gifts they genuinely thank you for multiple times. (Think the opposite of an Amazon delivery box.) Where to start? How can you make it a great gift with a deeper meaning? Can a gift actually make the recipient happy and do good in the world? What does it mean to vote with my dollar? Answers: B Corps Give a gift that the recipient will love because it is high quality, serves a purpose AND comes from a company that is on a mission to be a force for good. Here is a list of some of my favorite B Corps that make great gifts for the holidays Solmate Socks Why? Because fun socks make great gifts, they’re a guaranteed fit, and functional. What makes a B Corp company’s socks better? Solmate Socks are sustainably sourced and made in the US. Through an Upcycling program in partnership with RecoverTex, they use recycled cotton yarns made from remnants from production scraps and used clothing. The yarns are also certified by Global Recycling Standard and Oeko-Tex. To hear it in their words:As a Certified B Corporation®, we do business a little differently. Knowing that fashion and sustainability go hand-in-hand, we understand that every action we take today has an impact on tomorrow. This is why we are committed to using sustainably-sourced, eco-friendly fibers in every product we make, allowing you to embrace your individuality without compromising your earth-friendly principles. In addition to great production practices, they pride themselves on valuing people over profit. That means paying all employees living wages and offering generous medical benefits, making them one of the few knitting mills in the American hosiery industry to offer these benefits. They hope to inspire more to do the same. This year, I’m putting the Aloe Crew Socks on my wish list. Klean KanteenWhy? Because reducing single use plastics is still a thing! Can you believe we haven’t solved that yet? From personal experience, I can tell you that Klean Kanteen products are built to last. The products are well designed, stylish and they only use materials that are safe and healthy (stainless steel, food-grade silicone, BPA-free polypropylene #5). Many of us at Alter Eco have been using Klean Kanteen products for years now. We have water bottles and coffee mugs with Alter Eco logos all over the office. But with new products and designs being offered all the time, there’s always a reason to check out their website and see what’s new. Last year I upgraded my husband to the 20 oz Insulated TK Wide for his morning coffee. He still uses it every day and it keeps his coffee hot for hours. With a toddler to look after, keeping your coffee hot for hours is a major requirement in our house. Klean Kanteen is also a great company to support because they are family and employee owned, a member of 1% for the Planet and Climate Neutral Certified. In their words:At Klean, we don’t just make bottles. We create solutions for social change. We work hard to design durable, versatile, affordable products that replace mountains of single-use waste—and last a lifetime. SudaraWhy? Because it’s time to ditch the Grammy jammies. If you are looking for a way to upgrade the tradition of giving or receiving new pajamas on Christmas Eve this year, look no further. With many of us spending more time than usual in our pajamas or ‘house clothes’ these days, upgrading in quality, comfort and style is a no-brainer. Need another reason to splurge on fancy jammies? The designs are unique and chic (i.e. no snowmen or flying tacos here). Sudara is the perfect example of a clothing company that is the opposite of fast fashion. They partner with the sewing centers in India with the common goal of providing freedom for these women through education, training and resources. Their statement:Sudara is on a mission to offer ethically-made apparel that will create jobs and support skills training for women in India who are at a high risk of human trafficking. Uncommon GoodsLastly, I highly recommend this site for unique gifts. I’ve been shopping at Uncommon Goods for years now to send gifts to loved ones for many occasions. Shopping on the site is like walking around the coolest craft show you’ve ever attended, but this is located at the luxury of your fingertips 24/7, 365 days a year. They also have a ‘Gifts that Give Back’ section that features products like: Protect the Australia Animals Mugs, Socks that Protect Elephants, Thank you Essential Workers Garden Flags and a Climate Action Puzzle. Their mission:We offer remarkable designs by independent makers, and we do it with a positive impact on both people and our planet. On a final note, I’ve been working in partnerships with other B Corps for 10 years professionally. I can honestly say that most (if not all) of my interactions with the employees of B corps have been respectful, kind, and transparent. They truly care about a mutually beneficial relationship. They are not trying to take advantage of you, ‘win’ the buy box or upsell you in an obnoxious manner. They believe in the company they represent and the products or services it provides. It is where we spend most of our waking hours, so it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. It’s the way business should be conducted, and most importantly, it’s efficient. And that helps us get on with our work to grow, move forward, and get better. In addition to a great mission and quality products, when the people behind the company are fair and honest, it’s truly a win-win situation.