Sure, the holidays can be filled with a lot of commercialism. But there are ways to shop for chic and cool gifts that give back. (And maybe even buy a piece for yourself in the process, too?)
These five inspirational jewelry brands make swoon-worthy jewelry with a spiritual bent—from delicate blue hamsa necklaces to lotus-engraved necklaces and repurposed-bronze bangles. And all of them have a charitable hook.
So you—and your lucky gift-getter—will both shine from the inside out. —Molly Gallagher
(Photo: Facebook.com/Neshama Project)
This yoga-inspired jewelry line has pretty engraved mantras and Sanskrit phrases such as “Om Shanti” and “Namaste” on gorgeous gold chains and rings. Founder and designer Tiffany Taylor Kenney got the idea to start the collection during a meditation class (of course!).
“I hope to inspire in the women who wear my designs a sense of self-love, because I think that once we can begin to love and accept ourselves for who we are, we can extend that love outwards to others much more easily,” says Kenney.
While you’re gifting that message, you’re also giving to charities, including the ASPCA and Feeding America. Kenney donates 50 percent of net profits.
(Photos: The Tulsi Project)
Many years ago, Rachelle Tratt was given a beautiful blue hamsa necklace. The stone was from Israel where her mother (who passed away when she was a little girl) met and fell in love with her father. And that symbol has remained incredibly special to Tratt, who was eventually inspired to start The Neshama Project.
Each piece in her collection of pearly and turquoise blue hamsa necklaces and bracelets is a conversation starter. The way the light hits each hamsa is so special—and different—each time you look at it. And 10 percent of the proceeds of the jewelry go to Innovation Africa and Zeno Mountain Farm.
“What inspired me then—and still inspires me now—is to find ways to make someone smile, give them hope, wake them up, and let them shine,” Tratt says.
(Photo: The Neshama Project)
In the same way that you always buy the recycled paper napkins—your jewelry can be sustainable, too. LZZR, which launched earlier this year, includes sculptural rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Each modern piece is made by hand—and many are crafted using repurposed bronze and copper scrap metal (talk about chic recycling). The brand gives a portion of its proceeds to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
With Akola Project you really know where your money is going. And it’s certainly a cause you’ll want to support.
The handmade jewelry and accessories are crafted by women in Uganda who are either under-educated, HIV positive, or formerly sex-trafficked. By selling the necklaces and bracelets, the women make money to feed their families and send their kids to school, says Akola’s brainchild Brittany Merrill Underwood.
The horn link necklaces and colorful beaded strands also just happen to go perfectly with pretty much everything in your closet.
Asha Patel’s spiritual jewelry collection is filled with gold necklaces inscribed with “carpe diem” and “namaste” or engraved with a lotus—and she donates a portion to charities such as Asha for Education and She’s the First.
“My hope is that women are able to make a personal connection to a piece,” says Patel. Each necklace or bracelet looks cool layered with beads—or on its own.
(Photo: Asha Patel)