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Your Guide to Ethical - And Thrifty - Gift Buying

Updated: Mar 24, 2022

Whether it’s gifts for the kids at Easter, birthday presents for that relative whose got everything, or an anniversary gift for your nearest and dearest, buying ethically can help you do your part for the planet, while making you, and the gift’s recipient, feel good.

Here are some ways that you can give ethical, thrifty gifts to your loved ones, whatever the occasion:

Make a charitable donation

Some people really do have everything, or they don’t want anything; either can make buying gifts for them incredibly tricky, and when it comes to their birthday or any other celebratory occasion, finding them something that won’t end up being stuffed in the back of a closet, becomes virtually impossible.

In these circumstances, it can often be far more powerful and rewarding for both parties to choose an organization or cause that the individual supports or that they resonate with, and make a charitable donation to it in their name. While it may not always be thrifty, depending on the amount you choose to give – a charitable gift is a great way to give something back to a community or organization, and still show your loved one that you care.

Buy something from a thrift store

There are so many amazing items in the average thrift store, like Goodwill, that most people would be spoiled for choice when shopping for gifts for a friend or loved one. However, there is sometimes a stigma attached to thrift stores. And while the products being sold typically meet stringent sale, health and safety requirements, still some people have an issue around buying a used item as a gift for someone. But if you put in the time, you can find plenty of items with original tags still attached.

For every item bought from a thrift store, a portion of the money (or in some cases, all of the money) goes to local or international welfare causes. In the case of Goodwill, money from the sales of donated goods goes towards providing free career training, job resources and employment to those with disabilities and other barriers to employment. It can be helpful to remember that every time you make a thrift store purchase, you’re not just buying a unique gift, but you’re helping others to build better lives.

Make something

From home baked cookies to a painting or a mason jar beauty treatment, making a gift for a loved one shows that you’ve done more than just go to a store and buy something; instead, you’ve put effort into making something from the heart, and have chosen a gift that you know they will enjoy using, eating, or drinking.

Shop from one store

Finding one store where you can get all your gifts from is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and it’ll give you incredible peace of mind. At Goodwill you’ll be able to find clothing, housewares, toys, books and more. No need to drive to the mall, just visit your local Goodwill store for everything from name brand items to vintage, retro finds.

Buying gifts that are both ethical and thrifty, isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort. And if you’ve received a gift in the past that you don’t want or no longer use, why not donate it to a local thrift store and give a little back wherever you can.

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