If you'd like to give a gift that benefits more than just the receiver, here are some great ideas from Irish businesses and charities that will also help those in need.
Present shopping season is officially here, and we often feel pressure to tick off everyone on our list. However, at this time of year, especially when it's been such a tough one for so many, it's also good to think of organisations that need support.
Of course, many choose to donate money, but if your budget is stretched, you don't have to choose between buying gifts for your friends and family and giving something back — we've found plenty of products that support Irish charities and organisations.
This Irish social enterprise offers a range of homeware, accessories, beauty products and toys — bringing together emerging designers and makers who face social challenges or come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This patchwork elephant toy (€40) is made from offcuts from Foxford Woollen Mills by the community group Gift of Hands in Co Mayo, while the sustainable, locally-sourced soaps (€14 for set of two) are made by ChildVision, the National Education Centre for Blind Children and Coolmine Therapeutic Community, a drug and alcohol treatment centre.
Either would make a lovely gift, but check out their website for the full range, for everything from furniture, to pottery, to leather goods.
The D8 Refugee Community Sponsorship group is hosting an online ArtRaiser Christmas sale to raise funds for the resettlement of a refugee family into a new home in Dublin 8. There is art from both established artists, including Eamonn Doyle, Maser, Aoife Scott, Alice Fitzgerald, Fionn McCann, Lola Donoghue, as well as emerging artists.
With a mix of fine art, prints and photography, with prices from €30 up to €900, there is something for every taste and budget. You can bid on a piece by emailing [email protected] The first person to offer the recommended price will get the artwork, or if that price is not received it will go to the nearest bidder.
Loaf Pottery in Crawfordsburn, Co Down, is part of NOW Group, a social enterprise that supports people with learning difficulties and autism into jobs. The beautiful range includes these mugs (around €20), in white as well as four colour options.
Belfast streetwear brand OutsideIn has a policy of 'Wear one, share one' — for every product you buy, they will donate an item of their clothing to a homeless person. As of October 2020, they have donated 55,284 products so far, making this a gift with a very tangible impact.
The company started out with beanies such as the one above (grey thermal beanie €19.07), but has since expanded its range to include stylish unisex fleeces (orange fleece €48.24), sweatshirts, t-shirts and accessories.
Hen's Teeth has collaborated with The Tenth Man, Damn Fine Print, Notions, Mack Sign Painting, Micromedia and The Locals to produce HOME, a series of prints with the proceeds going to two charities that help ensure a sense of home: Pieta House and the Simon Community.
The prints come in a huge range of colours, so there's one to appeal to every taste from colour-lovers to monochrome fans, and are €50 each.
Gxrlcøde has collaborated with Black and POC creators to release Solidarity: A Colouring Book Celebrating Black and POC Artists. The organisation works to amplify the diversity and young talent, and all proceeds will be donated to Black Pride Ireland and Masi Movement of Asylum Seekers.
The colouring book is €13.50, and will be available from gxrlcode.com from November 26.
Read more: 50 Irish makers to buy from this Christmas
Read more: Let's revive the tradition of Christmas cards: 14 Irish ones to buy now
Read more: 10 Christmas gifts to buy from Black-owned businesses this year