HomeKnow-HowChristmas Gift Guide 2022: The European startups helping you give back as...

Christmas Gift Guide 2022: The European startups helping you give back as you gift

Another year is soon to be over and most of us starting to think about Christmas presents. You might also be wondering if you did anything good to impact the people around you, the environment and more importantly the planet we live in? Or are you thinking of giving a more meaningful gift – one that also makes you support a good cause?

Your gift could support a cause you and your loved ones care about. It could also be from businesses that are doing their best to make even a small part of the world better.

We came up with a list of Christmas gifts from Europe that do just that – providing us with amazing gifts while bringing meaning into the holiday season.

Beam: This is a crowdfunding platform with a difference. Beam supports homeless people and refugees into stable jobs and homes. It features the people directly in their platform along with how much financial support and towards what the raised money will be used – for example, for training for a job, finding a stable home, etc. Beam also has community-based and partnership-based models of support for governments and corporations. For this Christmas season, you can give someone the Beam gift card and your recipient can choose who to support or support everyone featured in the platform, then Beam will update them on that person’s progress via email, so they can share their journey to a brighter future. Founded in London in 2017, Beam is currently supporting people in need in the UK.

Ocean Bottle: This London-based startup, founded in 2018, manufactures water bottles designed to last a lifetime, from part stainless steel and part ocean-bound recycled plastic. Ocean Bottle teams up with a global community of recyclers to collect plastic waste that is bound to end up in our oceans. With your purchase of one Ocean Bottle, the company funds the collection of 11.4kg of plastic (the equivalent of 1000 ocean-bound plastic bottles), from rivers and coastal waterways before they enter the ocean. Plastic collectors can exchange plastic waste for money and get access to social resources such as healthcare, education, mental health support and financial security. All of this is made possible and secure with the help of partners like Plastic Bank, and Plastics for Change.

Brewgooder: Beer and clean water? Why not? Brewgooder’s #BrewedonPurpose beers from Scotland lets you enjoy a beer while helping someone get access to clean and safe drinking water. For every can or pint of beer you purchase from Brewgooder, 100 times that amount will be provided in clean water on projects undertaken by their trusted impact partner, Charity Water. Brewgooder’s clean water projects are in Malawi, Rwanda, Nepal and Cambodia. It was founded in Glasgow in 2016 and has been B-Corp certified.

Soulbottles: Berlin-based soulbottles offer plastic-free, 100% vegan, dishwasher and leak-proof glass and steel drinking bottles that come printed or engraved with unique, colorful and fun designs from artists around the world. For every soulbottle you buy, €1 goes to WASH’n’soul, the drinking water and climate protection project of Viva con Agua, BORDA and soulbottles in Zambia. Founded in Berlin in 2012, the bottles enable customers to become part of positive societal change, one sip at a time.

Choose Love: What if you can buy products that go directly to refugees and displaced people? Or buy cool clothes and bags where the profits support refugees and displaced people around the world? Choose Love’s online shop sells real items and life-changing interventions for refugees such as hot food, warm winter clothing, wash kits and so on. You browse the online shop for items you want to buy in your name or in the name of your loved ones, then, Choose Love sends the items to the people who need them. Founded in 2015 and based in London, Choose Love is supported by popular personalities like Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Olivia Coleman and many others. 

YOU Underwear: Changing the world one pair of pants at a time! This is YOU Underwear’s battle cry. YOU Underwear is an Oxford-based company founded in 2016 that sells underwear (and other clothing, kitchen and bathroom products) on a buy-one-give-two model. YOU Underwear does not just donate underwear, but also menstrual hygiene products, believing in its mission that underwear and related products should be universally available for everyone. They work with Scottish charity Smalls For All which collects and distributes underwear to vulnerable women and children across Africa and the UK. 

Sea Change: Just like their tagline says: “Lover of Wine. Protector of Oceans”, Surrey-based Sea Change sells wine and related merchandise while supporting causes dedicated to preserving and saving the ocean. For every 75cl bottle of Sea Change purchased, they contribute a minimum of 25 cents to their charity partners. Their partners range in size from global charities like Ocean Generation to smaller charities like the Olive Ridley Project and Sea-Changers UK with the aim of supporting a local charity in every region where Sea Change is sold. 

NEMI Teas: Founded in 2015, London-based Nemi Teas is a specialist tea company that offers a variety of whole-leaf tea blends both as loose-tea and teabags and a Chai Syrup. Nemi Teas provide employment to refugees to give them local work experience and job readiness skills to enter the UK workforce and help them integrate into broader society. It is a Fairtrade-certified organisation, meaning they buy their tea on fair terms, benefitting farmers and workers in many ways, from improved working conditions to training in how to improve the way they farm and manage their environment to the opportunity to improve healthcare and education in their community.

Treedom: This platform allows you to plant a tree from a distance and follow the story of the project online. You buy a tree from the platform and a farmer will plant it for you in Treedom agroforestry partners and a location of your choosing. You can then follow the agroforestry project that it’ll be a part of. There’s also the choice of gifting a tree to someone and your recipient will get to follow the tree’s journey via an email, a card or a link that you can send to them. Since its inception in 2010, in Florence, Italy, 3 million trees have been planted in Africa, South America and Italy. All trees are planted directly by local farmers and bring environmental, social and financial benefits to their communities.

All Matters: This Copenhagen-based company started as OrganiCup in 2012 with the ambition to grow the category of reusable period products. They made a simple and sustainable cup that is accessible through a democratic price point and wide distribution. Since then, more than 2 million cups have been sold and the cup is found on the shelves of 7000+ shops worldwide. In 2021 they extended their product range with reusable, water-less personal care products and consequently changed their name from OrganiCup to AllMatters. In 2022, they introduced reusable period underwear to their product range. AllMatters supports school nurses, gynaecologists and various NGOs through the donation of educational materials and sample products to educate communities about menstrual health and easier, healthier and greener period products. Through their CampusCup, they also distribute free menstrual cups to partner universities in the US and consistently use their platform to explore issues linked to menstrual taboos and traditions in a wide variety of settings – from rural Africa to central London.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!

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Maricel Sanchez
Maricel Sanchez
Maricel Sanchez has over 10 years of experience in various fields including trading, supply chain management, logistics and manufacturing. As well as helping startups to raise funds, she is an award-winning public speaker and the current President of Toastmasters Nice, a bilingual club that promotes public speaking and leadership.

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