Trying to find companies that sell nifty holiday gifts and have good labor practices can feel like pulling tiny needles from an eternal haystack. But when we're giving gifts and supporting businesses, don't we all hope they're paying workers a decent living wage and benefits and selling products manufactured in a safe, anti-sweatshop, and anti–child labor environment?
Mass U.S. chains such as Walmart have been targeted for low employee pay, opposing unions, and importing clothes from factories abroad rife with accusations of exploitation and even sexual assault. Still, there are glimmers of hope for consumers who want to buy responsibly.
The Fair Labor Association, the Fair Trade Federation, and the International Labour Organization have set labor standards that companies can adhere to, and think tank the International Living Future Institute has developed a social justice JUST rating label, similar to a nutrition label.
Here are six vendors that aim to make your holiday gift giving—from family-friendly or foodie to fancy or frugal—a little brighter and humanely better.