5 Gifts That Give Back for the Women in Your Life
Some gifts just keep giving, like Gargoyle’s Drink Better Initiative. The wine club works with water.org to help give more people access to clean, safe water. Since its inception, more than 150,000 people have benefited. Photo: Courtesy of Water.org
Get into the holiday spirit by giving gifts that also help others.
1. The Brand: Elita Intimates
This female-lead Canadian underwear company, known for natural fabrics and comfortable designs, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. And its core philosophy, every woman is an Elita woman, also helps to power its philanthropic efforts. Knowing that undergarments are the least donated items for those in need, the company created Elita Gives Back and, over the pandemic, initiated a “you buy one, we give one” to women’s shelters across Canada.
The Gift: The Bamboo collection, $10 – $35, with an added sustainability nod, as bamboo is a renewable resource.
Why: Through the Elita Gives Back program, more than 85,000 undergarments have been donated to women’s shelters across Canada.
2. The Brand: Hernest Project
When I put the call out for this story, the Montreal-based Hernest Project’s founder was at one of her sleep and loungewear company’s philanthropic beneficiaries taking stock of what they might need. The initiative supports renewable offset projects through sustainable manufacturing practices as well as local women’s charities such as London, Ont.’s My Sister’s Place, a safe, welcoming and inclusive centre that supports women who have experienced gender-based violence, chronic mental and physical health challenges, homelessness or housing instability, and substance use.
The Gift: The Ayla Sleep Jogger, $119.
Why: Hernest inherently believes that giving back is a year-long effort to help both women and the environment, not something they do just once a year. The company will also plant a tree for every review posted on its website.
3. The Brand: Province Apothecary
Like a modern-day Elizabeth Arden, company founder Julie Clark began concocting potions and lotions in her Toronto kitchen to battle her eczema more than a decade ago, using organic ingredients sourced from as many of our provinces as possible. Now, Province Apothecary (PA) is known for its natural, hand-batched and “green beauty” approach to skin care for women and men. It’s also recommended by naturopaths. Clark (a certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist) and her company support local causes, such as The Care Collective, Black Lives Matter and Planned Parenthood, to name just a few.
The Gift: Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use, featuring beautifully illustrated pages by Métis artist Christi Belcourt, focuses on indigenous knowledge, elder traditions and healing practices, $25. The bestselling Moisturizing Oil Cleanser and Makeup Remover is a good beauty bet, $44.
Why: One hundred per cent of the profits from the sale of Medicines to Help Us will be donated to The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto.
4. The Brand: Moët Chandon (LVMH)
When we think of Moët, naturally we think of Champagne. Alas, being in the hard-hit hospitality industry was anything but bubbly over the past year and then some. Part of the luxury house LVMH (which also includes Louis Vuitton, Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere Vodka), Moët Hennessy Canada has donated thousands of dollars to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund and, in an effort to give back, have produced a one-off magazine devoted to cocktail creativity.
The Gift: Coming Together Magazine, a perfect-bound coffeetable mag, features curated cocktail recipes from 50 mixologists across Canada.
Why: This initiative, says the company, raises funds via the sale of each magazine; all proceeds benefit the Canadian cocktail creators highlighted within its pages (each was also paid for their submission).
5. The Brand: Gargoyle Wine Club
Who fancied themselves an at-home sommelier during the pandemic, raise your hand. Yes, us too. We weren’t able to travel to Burgundy, Tuscany or Napa, or the Okanagan or Niagara for that matter, but we could with our wines. But choosing a good bottle can be a bit intimidating. To wit, Gargoyle Wine Club, a wine subscription service, has enlisted the expertise of Canadian sommeliers, offering curated sips from around the world. But its work with another drink really has us cheering: the company also collaborates with safe-water advocate, Water.org.
The Gift: Memberships start at $79 per month for two bottles, up to $379 for 12 bottles per month. (Concierge services help to personalize your picks; plus they also have a whisky club for the spirit tipplers among us.)
Why: Gargoyle’s Drink Better Initiative works with Water.org. For every bottle of wine purchased, the company gives a person access to clean, safe water for a year. Since its inception, more than 150,000 people have already benefited.