Wedding Gifts That Give Back
Whether you’re shopping for a new couple or hoping to make an impact at your own wedding, these socially-conscious ideas spread the love, benefit charities and help communities.
Photo By: Courtesy of (RED)
Photo By: Courtesy of Parachute Home
Photo By: Courtesy of United By Blue
Photo By: Courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages
Photo By: Courtesy of Unicef Market
Photo By: Courtesy of The Smithsonian
Photo By: Courtesy of REI and Pendleton
Photo By: Courtesy of Latch Co.
Photo By: Derek Trimble
Photo By: Cindy Lockett
For the Kitchen
Cookware is one of the most common items gifted at weddings and Le Creuset is a coveted name on registries. The company recently released a cookware set that benefits (RED) and the fight for the world's first AIDS-free generation.
For the Linen Closet
Even luxury gifts can give back. Parachute's bedding features premium Eqyptian cotton and is spun in one of Tuscany's most renowned mills. That's fancy. Better yet? For every Venice Bedding Set sold, Parachute donates one life-saving malaria net to Nothing But Nets.
For the Bar Cart
At $24, these hand welded monogrammed copper mugs are a steal. The company that sells them, United by Blue, removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold.
These gorgeous slate stone serving boards from online retailer Ten Thousand Villages come from the TARA Projects, which gives artisans in North India fair wages, medical insurance and skills training.
For the Backyard
Unicef's online market is a great place to shop for homewares, with more than 8,000 handmade items around the world. All items give back to global artisans and you can see which countries benefit from each item. This hand-woven double hammock from Mexico benefits Maya Artists of the Yucatan.
For a Rainy Day
If the couple you're shopping for has it all, give the gift of future dates. Museum memberships, like a membership to the Smithsonian, give back plus grant members access to exclusive special events and discounts at gift shops.
For an Adventure
Shopping for a couple who loves to be in the great outdoors? Several companies have partnered with the National Parks Foundation to raise money for the park system's cenntennial this year. Pendleton has released a special line of their famous motor robe blankets inspired by National Park palettes. This would be a perfect reminder of a National Park trip a couple has taken. Or if you want to help outfit a couple, REI has a special National Parks centennial line of gear, from tents to backpacks.
For the Wedding Party
Gifting groom and bridal parties as a thank you is becoming more and more common for couples to budget in their wedding plans. Why not make an impact with these small gifts? Leather goods from Latch Co., like the pictured clutch, benefit artisans around the world, like 2nd Story Goods from Haiti. And luggage tags, such as these vegetable-tanned tags from Apolis, are great unisex gifts. Sometimes brides and grooms like to gift something the wedding party can wear during the ceremony. Serrv has beautiful fair trade accessories, like this brass bangle. Or funky Skyline Socks donates socks to the homeless.
For Your Registry
If you're looking for a way to give back at your own wedding, pick a charity that means something to you and include it in your wedding invitation and registry. Seeing how many of your guests give and the total impact made will make your special day even more meaningful.
For the Favors
No one really needs a tiny bottle of bubbles or gold embossed napkins. Your guests are there for you. Skip the wedding favors and let your guests know you spent that money on a charity. Or if you can't let those napkins go, add a tip jar at your reception for a cause you care about.