04/27/2017 04:53 EDT | Updated 04/27/2017 04:53 EDT

5 Ethical Gift Ideas For Mother's Day

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Happy mother's day! Child daughter congratulates mom and gives her flowers tulips and postcard. Mum and girl smiling and hugging. Family holiday and togetherness.

If you are racking your brain trying to figure out what to buy your mom for Mother's Day, why not choose something ethical. Paying it forward with gifts that help others is a wonderful way to celebrate Mother's Day, right?

Here are four ethical gifts that are beautiful AND give back.

1. Scarves For Water

Mothers and children in the South Sudan spend hours walking to a reliable water source to cover basic human needs, such as drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Or worse, they're forced to drink contaminated water, leading to disease and often death.

For most people, a scarf is a stylish accessory. For villages in South Sudan, it's the gateway to a better life.

The Obakki Foundation is bringing clean water to villages in need, one scarf at a time. For every 500 of these "limited edition" scarves sold, the Obakki Foundation will drill a well, bringing clean water to 1500-2000 people in each community. To date, they have drilled 13 wells and impacted over 25,000 lives with our Scarves for Water program. The scarves come in a variety of colours and are a lovely accessory for any mom.


2. Shoes for School

Purchase a pair of the cutest sandals and have a big impact on girls in Uganda.

Sseko began as a way to generate income for high potential, talented young women in Uganda to continue on to university. And it has worked! Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree or has graduated from university and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place. To date, they have enabled 87 women to attend university--that's amazing!


In addition to their university-bound team, Sseko also employs women from all walks of life. By creating an environment of dignity, honour, and dedication, Sseko Designs provides the opportunity for women in East Africa to end the cycle of poverty and create a more equitable society. Now, this is a gift I can get behind! I mean the flip-flop is a summer staple after all.

3. Going nuts...coconuts!

Conscious Coconut is one of my favorite skincare brands because they take giving back to a whole new level. Forst off, they work hand in hand with coconut farmers in Thailand and the Philipines to support fair trade and ensure that workers necessities including clean water and access to education are met. When the finals product is shipped to Florida, adults with developmental issues package then up and when you purchase a tube, you also feed a hungry child in the USA, through the brand's partnership with Feeding America.


Your mom will love this oil. You can use it as a cleaner, moisturizer, for the hair, body or face. And the smell....well it's like wearing the beach!

4. Eco Stems

Flowers are big business, and I can totally understand why. But they also have a pretty big impact too. Pesticides are used to grow them and they are in many cases, shipped all over the world.

Good news, you can give your mom sustainably grown flowers this year. Eco Stems is a Toronto-based florist that hand-selects their flowers from the most sustainable available. They focus on local, Fair Trade and Organic cut flowers throughout the seasons.


Locally grown flowers are available year-round and are always their first priority as they help support the local economy and require fewer fossil fuels to transport. Local flowers are usually grown in the Niagara and southwestern regions of Ontario. They are usually grown with little to no pesticides through the use of Integrated Pest Management. Ontario's labour laws protect workers from human rights violations. Pick Ontario is a great resource to learn more about local flowers and plants. The Ontario Flower Growers Co-Operative is where they source the majority of their locally-grown and Fair Trade flowers and plants.

5. Give the gift of chocolate

Chocolate and flowers, I can get behind that. If you are buying chocolate for you mom, make sure it's fair trade and not depleting our planet. My go to is ChocoSol. Thier cacao, the main ingredient in all of their chocolates, is organically and shade-grown, sourced directly from Indigenous communities and forest gardens in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas, Mexico and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico.


Thier trade relationships with farmers go beyond the mere exchange of commodities and extend to the exchange of reciprocity, best practices, social enterprise models, forest garden regeneration, and friendship. I simply love their mission statement: Fighting climate change and creating a just food system through chocolate, coffee, maize, and conviviality.

There are too many good ones to recommend just one, try them all.

When you give a gift that gives back you are making a difference in the lives of the people who make the items we use and buy daily.

Happy Mother's Day.

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