As the Christmas and gift-giving seasons are approaching, I wanted to share what I'd been thinking about regarding this topic. Since the kids have been little, we've had a simple approach to gifts: something to Read, something to Wear, and something to Play with. This has suited us well over the years in keeping expectations low (remember Dudley in Harry Potter?), putting forward quality over quantity, and lessened space taken, packaging thrown away, and mountains of toys that can accumulate. We still follow this rule, and follow it (sometimes, not always) with our sweet nephew and nieces, too.
In the past I've often made a lot of our gifts, because I like doing it, and it obviously saves us money. Gift-giving the gift-card way is outrageously expensive if you even have more than five people on your list. We have many more than that. I also love getting people gifts. I like to think about each person and tailor make (or buy, at times) a gift they will find both pleasing to the eye and practical. There are years I do more making, less buying, and like last year, less making, more buying. I ran out of time last year, hemmed and hawed about everything, and ended up over-budget and annoyed at myself at my lack of intentionality. I don't want to repeat that this year. I also hated the fact that so many people work so hard on the other side of the world so we can enjoy our frenzy of gifts, paper and wrap, toys, food, etc.
This year, I decided if I had to buy, I was going to try to buy as local or as slave/sweatshop free as possible. Sometimes that feels so huge and looming, that I feel overburdened and quit before I even start. It's overwhelming once you sit down and realize 98% of your clothes (or your entire family's clothes!) are made in unsafe conditions, by people who are working for unfair wages, for CEO hours. I hate it. That's why I'm so glad I found Dignify, and through the internet-- they sorta' kinda' found me.
I was made aware of the shop Dignify by a relative who knew the owner, and once I checked out the site, I was smitten. This store has absolutely beautiful bedding (my someday throw), bags, jewelry, and housewares are all top-notch in quality, design, and integrity. If I'm going to spend money on gifts for others, or myself, why wouldn't I try to seek out the best of both worlds? Dignify has competitive and fair pricing for us who would love to support ethical wages, but can't honestly shell out a ton of money for one or two small treasures. In order for my family to support this, it has to be realistic for our budget. Making gifts is in our budget, buying gift-cards for everyone is not. It's probably not in yours, either!
Dignify is having a store-wide sale on November 16th. Everything will be 10% off to celebrate their one-year anniversary of bringing dignity to women's work around the world.
If you've found other ethical online or brick-and-mortar shops, leave us some links in the comments! Does your family mostly make or mostly shop?