Buy Social This Holiday Season and All Throughout the Year

The ways in which we choose to spend our money can be powerful, especially this holiday season. Adobe estimates that consumers will spend more than $910 billion this season, adding to the $4 trillion spent online during 2021.

What if we could attribute a portion of that spend to organizations that are delivering quality goods and services alongside positive economic, social, and environmental impact? If you knew where to look would you change the way you spend for good?

SAP has spent more than a decade building capacity for and working alongside social businesses. In 2020 our commitment to the sector reached new heights by embracing the power of our own spend to accelerate these organizations’ positive global impact. With our social procurement initiative 5 & 5 by ’25, we have committed to a shift of five percent in addressable procurement spend with social enterprises and diverse businesses by 2025. With the help of our incredible partners, buying social is something everyone can do. And together, our proven buying power is even more influential than any one company can be alone.

Individual purchasing decisions around the holidays, or any time through the year, play an important role in supporting social enterprises to continue their work in their respective communities. Whether an organization employs people from marginalized groups, like The Animal Project, or discovers new and creative ways to reduce waste streams, like Soulbottles — and everything in between! — your support makes a difference.

Our money has a greater impact when spent with a business that is centered around a higher purpose.

To help you on your journey to buy social this holiday season, we have compiled a list of social enterprises and social gifting guides from around the world – there is something for everyone here. While this is not an exhaustive collection of all the wonderful social enterprises where you can make purchases, here are a few places to start.

Social media is another great place to find businesses making an impact via searching hashtags like #buysocial, #sustainableliving, and #ecofriendly.

This list also provides some inspiration from businesses doing incredible work, many of which are part of the SAP ecosystem.

If any social enterprises or gift guides you love are not listed here, tag @SAP4Good on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Let’s build a collective list of businesses to support that truly represent the meaning of the holiday spirit.


Global Reach

  • Gifts for Good products support the work of over 40 nonprofits and social enterprises in 19 states and 65 countries around the globe—in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, North America, & Europe.
  • Good Market: An online marketplace and curated community platform for purpose driven businesses. Free to set up a profile for your social enterprise.
  • For the U.S., Canada, and the UK, our partner UNICEF has created a holiday gift guide, where every hand-crafted artisanal gift purchased send lifesaving supplies to children.

Africa

Kenya

  • Sandstorm began by creating canvas bags using leftover tent fabric. They are driven by the Swahili proverb “Haraka haraka haina baraka”, meaning “hurry, hurry has no blessing” or more directly “haste makes waste”. Today, bags are made from local, sustainable materials, and are sewn by people, not machines.
  • Ocean Sole makes art from foam flip flops collected from Kenyan beaches. Ocean Sole removes trash from the oceans, coastlines and makes art to support marine conservation, whilst creating employment opportunities in high-impact areas.

South Africa

  • Mungo creates contemporary woven goods from tradition weaving methods. At Mungo, they center people, their livelihoods, and their vision at the heart of what they do.

Tanzania

  • Neema Crafts provides training and employment opportunities for over 120 people with disabilities in the Iringa region of Tanzania. It also aims to change negative attitudes towards people with disabilities in the local society. Products include home décor and accessories.
  • WomenCraft is a collection of artisan home décor pieces and accessories made by local women. WomenCraft’s mission is to bring women together in the rural, post-conflict area from the tri-border region of Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania to create economic opportunity.
  • Make It Matter is a marketplace that provide artisans from across Tanzania with a premium marketplace that they would not normally have access to, and connects artisans to technology and business networks.

Uganda

  • Kimuli Fashionabiliy is a clothing and accessory line that focuses on the environment by using recycled fabrics and creates employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Zambia

  • Mulberry Mongoose employs local craftswomen and makes beautiful jewelry from snare wire that is recovered from poaching traps. Each purchase supports local conservation efforts to protect Zambia’s wildlife.

Asia

India

  • Rangsutra is a community of over 2,000 artisans across rural India. They connect artisans with global consumers, which develops more sustainable livelihoods and continues the traditions of craftsmanship in India.

Lebanon

  • Through handmade traditional embroidery, Inaash is provides employment opportunities for women in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon.

Malaysia

  • Earth Heir serves traditional artisans in underserved communities by supporting with market access and education in ethical business operations. This online marketplace sells artisan-made goods, ranging from jewelry and clothing to home accessories.

Singapore

  • Bettr Coffee Co. sells their signature blends online, as well as coffee subscriptions, accessories, and merch. Each purchase supports Bettr Coffee’s initiatives including running vocational programs for marginalized women and at-risk youth.
  • The Animal Project showcases and supports the abilities of people with special needs, and features work from artists who are differently-abled. All products, such as water bottles and tote bags, feature illustrations of animals created by The Animal Project’s artists.
  • Bamboo Straw Girl offers a full range of lifestyle products designed to help consumers reduce waste, including, of course, bamboo straws.
  • Indosole repurposes old tires to make high-quality footwear.
  • The Clay Days sells handcrafted ceramic homeware and jewelry. They partner with ethical workshops and social enterprises who hire socially disadvantaged artisans.

Australia and New Zealand

  • Ākina has created a list of 11 social enterprises to support this Christmas. Ākina is a social enterprise that offer a range of consulting and business development services to support businesses in creating positive impact.
  • platform offers essential oils, tees and totes. It is an organization that promotes and empowers women. 100% of profits from each sale is invested in mental health and wellbeing programs delivered for free to women experiencing crisis and vulnerabilities.
  • Magpie Goose is a clothing social impact business that creates new economic and creative opportunities for Aboriginal people around Australia, and provides a platform for people to connect, celebrate and learn from Aboriginal people, culture and stories.

Europe

Germany

  • Beliya is a bag label in Germany, every purchase enables a vulnerable child in Africa to attend school for one year. The bags are created in Hamburg from fine leather returns and surpluses from designer houses.
  • Bridge & Tunnel stands for design that changes society. The label produces sustainable and fair clothing and accessories in Hamburg with socially disadvantaged people as well as with refugees who have only recently come to Germany.
  • Soulbottles offer sustainable glass drinking bottles for at home and on the go. The bottles are made in Berlin and consist of up to 80% recycled glass and zero plastic. For every bottle sold, Soulbottles donate € 1 to the organization and support e.g. the construction of wells all over the world.
  • OHANA offers coffee and tea with social impact. OHANA builds a bridge between family-run coffee and tea farms and socially responsible companies. With purchase prices well above the world market and sustainable partnerships, they support the farmers and ensure long-term high quality for their customers.

UK

  • Social Enterprise UK, a network of social enterprises throughout the UK, creates an annual gift shopping guide. The 2021 version features over 70 businesses!
  • The Big Issue Shop is an online marketplace aimed at making ethical shopping accessible. They offer a range of products that put people and planet first.
  • NEMI Teas offer a variety of organic, fair-trade tea blends, and provides employment opportunities for refugees.

North America

Canada

  • Buy Social Canada has an extensive database for you to find valuable connections in your community and make an impact by doing business with social enterprises.
  • Enterprising Woman Making Art EWMA was launched in 2003 as a development initiative of Atira Women’s Resource Society. It has focused on supporting women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to work together to develop an alternative form of business or employment that is grounded in their needs and realities.
  • Futures Birds is a Social Enterprise of Building Futures Employment Society. The Futures Birds Team have been creating these unique custom pieces since 2013 in Lower Sackville. Buying a Futures Birds is not only purchasing a beautiful piece of folk art; it is buying social which supports the very important services we provide for their employees and participants.
  • Hives for Humanity (H4H) is a nonprofit society that creates opportunities for connection to community, through nature, bees and the culture of the hive. We foster self-worth and community pride through skills sharing and experiential learning, working with socially and economically vulnerable populations facing barriers to stability.
  • Skwachàys Lodge is Canada’s first Indigenous Arts Hotel and has diligently worked to provide guests with first-class services and a platform to showcase local Indigenous art and culture. At the street level, the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery features Indigenous artwork which includes original paintings, framed limited edition prints, jewelry, pottery, wood carvings, giftware and so much more, purchasing most of its original work from local artists.
  • Riverbank General Store & Cafe is a social enterprise operated by Queens Association for Supported Living – an organization that promotes the social and economic inclusion of people with diverse abilities. The Riverbank provides meaningful work-skills training and employment as well as a valuable service to the community.
  • Petstuff on the Go is a Dartmouth non-profit pet supply business operated by mental health consumers. We supply pet foods and various pet products. Coupled with your patronage, and their work experience, Petstuff on the Go helps mental health consumers become independent members of the community.
  • In Her Shoes is an employment and entrepreneurship training program for women (cis and trans) and gender diverse people who experience barriers to employment. Their goal is to help women and gender-diverse people reach financial stability through building career management skills, real work experience and developing their own business.

U.S.

  • REDF invests in and advises high-impact social enterprises to employ and empower people overcoming barriers to work. We believe that individuals who are striving to overcome adversity, including those who have historically faced discrimination, deserve the opportunity to work and contribute their skills and talents to our country and our economy. You can find their Social Enterprise Gift Guide here.
  • Planting Justice has the biggest Selection of the Best Plants for a Good Cause. Their mission is to empower people impacted by mass incarceration and other social inequities with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing.
  • Packed with Purpose thoughtfully sources from purveyors are what make Packed with Purpose gifts unique and filled with impact. They have a large selection of curated, personal, and corporate gifts from Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, B-Corp, and BIPOC companies with products that are made in the U.S., Eco-Friendly, and Small Batch.
  • Toasting Good is an online shopping guide platform and community resource celebrating all things social enterprise! Their mission is to empower purchasers to create change with your everyday actions. Through their social impact blog and seasonal gift guides, they have the product recommendations, information, and practical tips you need to start making an impact in your daily life.

South and Central America

Brazil

  • Na’kau makes chocolates sourced from a network of family farmers that produce organic cocoa in the Amazon floodplains. Alongside enabling family farmers to farm cocoa sustainably, Na’kau also works with communities to conserve the forest around them.

Mexico

  • Someone Somewhere works with 180 artisans, 98% of whom are women. Through fair trade, Someone Somewhere contributes to artisans’ wellbeing, the development of small businesses, and preservation of traditional crafting techniques by providing secure incomes and community.
  • Mexi-HA is known for their hand-painted accessories. They support local artists by providing income and promoting Mexican art.