Holiday Gifting Without The Big Box Stores
In honor of B Labs “Behind The Gift” theme for this year we decided to make our own gift guide, highlighting some of the Intuitive Digital team’s favorite B Corps products and services.
As a B Corp Certified company ourselves, we know how much work and time goes into being a B Corp. Selecting ethical vendors and suppliers who sustainably source their goods. Creating organizations and jobs that pay good living wages with company cultures that support work-life balance. These aren’t one-and-done tasks. These are ongoing time and resource-intensive commitments to how you do business day in and day out.
In a capitalist economy, you vote with your money every day. If you’re worried about climate change, individual choices like who you buy your toilet paper from do matter. By being customers of companies like the ones below, you enable them to grow and achieve their missions. Which isn’t to add more zeros to their board members’ bonus checks. But to provide products and services in a way that doesn’t burn out their employees or take more natural resources than they can replace.
So whether you’re a Portland local like many of us, somewhere over on the east coast, or anywhere in between. We’ve got plenty of amazing companies you can support while getting your holiday shopping done.
Our Cultivator of Happiness (and CEO) Nick Footer wants you to eat some great food at your holiday gatherings this year, or anytime at all really, by visiting Elephants Delicatessen.
“I love getting lunch from these people. They have such a great variety of well-sourced local foods and drinks. In fact, over 90% of their significant suppliers are located within 200 miles of Portland, keeping money and employment in the Pacific Northwest.
Prior to the pandemic, I loved bringing partners and employees here for quick bites to eat and more recently I can always trust that picking up food to go will be a success.”
This Portland-based company has been feeding locals since 1979 and their commitment to the community and sustainability has only grown over the years. Currently they “purchase 100% of our electricity from renewable resources, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.” Between that, their many recycling programs and community outreach, Elephants is a great place to grab an amazing meal for yourself, or catering for your next event.
Who Gives A Crap
Unless you jumped on the bidet bandwagon last year, you’re probably still using toilet paper. But did you know that the vast majority of our TP in the United States is made from wood pulp from trees they clear cut in the Boreal Forest?
“Who Gives A Crap‘s main product is toilet paper that is soft, fluffy and doesn’t come from the rainforest, so I’m not wiping my butt with the earth’s lungs.”
Andrea, one of our amazing Account Managers has a subscription and uses several of their products: 100% Recycled Toilet Paper, Tissue Boxes, and Dream Cloths. The Dream Cloths are AMAZING for people trying to cut out paper towel use. They also donate 50% of profits to building toilets in communities in need, and they offer free carbon-neutral shipping.
If you or someone you love is concerned about climate change, this is the TP for you! They have holiday gift packs, seriously, and the holiday packs are just funny enough to bring as your White Elephant gift.
This company came up a couple of times. Jess, one of our rad SEO DS’s is a big fan and wishes she still had her Nano puff jacket (gift idea if Jess’s BF is reading this ;-).
Patagonia helped get the B Corp name out there, and is one of the most active outdoor brands in the sustainable space from their 1% of sales going to preservation and restoration of the natural environment, to their fair trade policy, they’ve helped promote worker health and safety around the world, as well as social and environmental compliance, and encourage dialogue between workers and management.
Jess loves that they’re:
“Warm, windproof, high quality, sustainable materials, water-resistant, lightweight, comfortable. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester with P.U.R.E.™ (Produced Using Reduced Emissions) technology, wrapped in a 100% recycled polyester shell and lining. Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. They guarantee everything they make, ensure fair wages are paid to all workers, and that the production plants don’t negatively harm the environment.”
If you don’t have a store near you, just jump on their website to shop online.
Our next favorite B corp is another Portland local company, Scout Books (they were also one of our Pride Month Action Party partners this year, thanks again!). They print, bind and ship all their books from their factory in PDX, and you can buy pre-made designs or customize one until your heart’s content.
Made from a durable chipboard cover, and 100% recycled paper, these books maintain the charm of putting pen to paper for creative work or to-do lists alike.
Leila, one of our talented Paid Media Strategists says
“Having a tiny notebook to jot down inspiration, new ideas, or quick reminders in is more eco-friendly than going through dozens of sticky notes which is what I used to do. I love how portable and thin they are so they are easy to carry around.”
Customize one for a loved one, or just get a pack of blank ones to have on hand for the writers, doodlers, and dreamers in your family who need to jot down ideas or inspiration at a moment’s notice. They can also be customized for great promo business gifts!
Beneficial State Bank
Is it a surprise that our VP of Operations’s favorite B Corp is a Bank?! In fact, it is the bank Intuitive Digital uses, Dan must really love that business banking. When asked, what’s to love about a bank Dan was ready:
“Unlike all other banks, Beneficial State Bank only invests its money into the communities they belong in, and never into Oil/War/Colonization. Most of the loans they approve go towards Nonprofit organizations.”
Turns out, not all banks are bond villains. BSB wants to create a new economy that is fully inclusive, racially- and gender-just, and environmentally regenerative, powered by a banking industry that “provides access to financial services for all our communities, particularly the traditionally underserved, results in long-term prosperity of responsible consumers, contributes to the sustainability of the environmental commons, is fair to the person with the least bargaining power, and promotes financial system stability.”
You can see just how well they’re doing on this mission by reading their latest Impact Report. Ok, maybe this doesn’t QUITE fit into the holiday gift theme, but isn’t ethical financial support something everyone needs?
Let me just say that prepackaged and frozen food options have come a LONG WAY since they were introduced. Kristy, our Admin Coordinator, is a long-time fan of Amy’s Kitchen.
“Even though it’s frozen food, I love the flavors and it never feels too greasy or heavy. I just want more of it. It helps with my cravings for getting takeout. I’ve also been a vegetarian for over 19 years, so it’s awesome to find a company that I can trust to make either all vegetarian or vegan food that actually tastes amazing (very rare), not to mention it’s organic.“
This company is way more than good food though. Their commitment to ”goodness as their guiding principal” is about a lot more than just sourcing organic ingredients.
“When Andy and Rachel learned that many of their Spanish-speaking employees weren’t using their health insurance to visit doctors because of language barriers and they didn’t want to take time off work, the Berliners built on-site health centers staffed with bilingual doctors to ensure that all of their employees and their families were getting the proper care they deserve.”If you can’t find Amy’s in your local supermarket, fear not, you can buy many of their products online through a variety of retailers. Go ahead and stock up for those days you don’t feel like cooking between all your big holiday feasts.
Our other (equally amazing) account manager Yitzchak wants you to know that you’ve been missing out if you haven’t been wearing Bombas socks.
“Their socks are just the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. I got them for Christmas and have continued requesting them as Christmas presents ever since!”
Clearly, these are going to be a great gift this holiday season as Yitzchak has tested that theory out already and it was a wild success. Here are his very happy feet in them.
But what’s even cooler about them is that for every pair of socks you buy, they donate a new pair of socks to the homeless. So you can cross gifts off your shopping list, and basically donate at the same time. Win, win!
Our Sr. Content Strategist, Max, is hoping to plan his next vacation with Modern Adventure. These trips do look amazing!
“I LOVE the mission of Modern Adventure — travel can serve as a force for good, and how we travel matters. Modern Adventure defines themselves as ‘expert magic makers who believe the most profound human experiences occur during the moments of discovery and exploration.’ Not only do I love the mission of MA, but the trips look absolutely one-of-a-kind.”
They partner with “tastemakers” who could be chefs, travel writers, restaurateurs, winemakers, or anything really, and go to amazing destinations and have cultivated experiences with local food and culture. The tastemakers serve as hosts or traveling companions for the group. For example, the 7 day, 6 night trip with acclaimed Portland chef Gregory Gourdet journeys to the incredible region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Yes please! Max said this year is sold out, so fingers crossed for next year.
Another of our SEO DS’s, Rafi, introduced us to this very cool ethical diamond brand Miadonna.
“I am not personally married or engaged BUT I’m a big proponent of using artificial gems, which are lab-grown, better for the environment because they don’t have the effects of mining productions, less expensive, and less dangerous for workers!”
On top of all that, 10% of net profits from purchases are put towards their foundation, The Greener Diamond, which works to fund educational, mentorship, agricultural, and urgent relief programs in diamond mining communities. They also plant a tree for every order to offset their carbon emissions from shipping.
Stunning Jewelry? Check!
Are you thinking of popping the question this holiday season? One of these stunners is exactly what you want waiting for your partner in their stocking (or however you want to do it).
Our Sr. Web Developer Piper wants you to know how amazing the Portland-based Marmoset Music is. Piper’s personal history in the music industry showed them how much money doesn’t actually go to the artists who work so hard to create incredible music.
“When I heard about Marmoset my attention was caught by their mission and values, and their focus on bands and artists. They care about supporting artists, and making sure they get paid, which is not the typical agenda of a lot of companies in the music industry.”
Not only do they work to better support artists, they support the PDX community by donating 10% of their profits to local organizations such as Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls, Kairos PDX, Basic Rights Oregon, The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Transition Projects, Friends of the Columbia Gorge and many more.
They also curate incredible playlists which you can listen to for free on their site. A great way to hear music from new artists, throw one on during your next holiday party.
Here’s another one you may already be familiar with, Kickstarter. Over 20 million creative projects have been crowd-funded through Kickstarter around the world.
Our new designer, Ciro, says he hasn’t yet put up any of his own projects for funding, but he has been commissioned by other project creators to illustrate monsters for their tabletop games. Like the one here.
Consider making a donation on Kickstarter to an artist in your life who is actively working on a project now. Or helping them get funding for it by setting them up there. Or just find some awesome creative work you’d like to see brought to life and donate, after all, it is the season of giving.
King Arthur Baking Company
Parker, our newest SEO team member, is apparently a big baker. Too bad he lives in Montana, because we’d be asking him to bring bread into the office otherwise. His flour of choice is King Aurthur.
“I loved their story, they have been around for more than 200 years. Logo and branding is very intriguing, and they have some amazing classic bread recipes.”
You might be able to find them at your local supermarket in the baking aisle. But if not, you can also purchase their products online and have them delivered right to your door. Did we mention they’re 100% employee-owned!? They’re part of the 1% for the planet campaign, and they have a program teaching kids to bake bread.
Grand Central Bakery
While we’re on the topic of bread, if you live in Portland or Seattle, Alysha, our Director of Marketing, would like you to know that Grand Central Bakery is simply the best place to pick up a loaf of bread for the week or a box of pastries for brunch, or to stop in for lunch.
But make sure you check their website hours first. Like everyone else, they’ve struggled with hiring during the pandemic. Rather than force their existing staff to work 6 days a week or crazy long shifts, they simply adjust cafe hours as needed to ensure appropriate time off for the team. And since you can just order ahead online, this is super easy to workaround.
Fun fact, they were the first Bakery to become B Corp Certified in 2018. By sourcing from small-medium-sized local farms, they ensure they’re keeping resources in the community, and supporting other small businesses along the way. Also, everything they make is stupid delicious. Learn more about all the amazing work they do in their impact report.
A Few More For You!
Marion, our super talented Paid Media Analyst, couldn’t keep their entry to just one. I will allow it. Let’s dig in.
Allbirds is dedicated to using sustainable materials for their shoes like merino wool and eucalyptus trees. I hear this also makes them super washable (bonus!). They’re currently carbon neutral and just released their plan to reduce their carbon footprint to net zero by 2030.
“I have their tree runners and they’re the comfiest shoes. When packing, I found myself grabbing them every time. They go with everything, and most importantly, they’re washable. Their shoes never go on sale, which means to me that the company really thought about what goes into the price of each item. I follow the company on their social media and I love to get updates on them, and how they’re changing the industry.”
Here’s another company doing incredible work to support sustainable goods and smaller craftsmen and artisans. Haptic designs and makes their products to be used for generations. This means quality across the board, from their clothing to their home supply goods. Looking for an incredible gift that can literally wrap your loved one in warmth and goodness? This one’s for you!
Frankie & Jos
A Seattle-based ice cream brand, Frankie & Jo’s chocolate brownie ice cream has been living in Marion’s head rent-free since she visited their ice cream shop a few years ago! Every flavor is “bomb” so you can’t go wrong, and they’re 100% vegan, so this ice cream is for everyone. Have no fear if you’re not local, you can purchase it online and have it shipped to your home.
Another one for our vegan friends! Miyoko’s Creamery makes their cheese and butter products from plant milk, so it’s great for dietary restrictions and the planet. Check out one of their incredible cheese boards to wow all your guests at your next party.
Tofurky makes delicious vegan meats: deli slices, tempeh, sausages, and of course, their famous tofurky. Marion recommends you try it when celebrating Indigenous Land Awareness Day instead of buying a real turkey.
Ok, probably a little odd for us to promote another Digital Agency here, but Avenue is so incredible they deserve it! They were a scholarship partner of ours this year but it’s a lot more than that. The team does incredible work, and they’re very active in the Portland community and dedicated to increasing inclusion in the tech industry and beyond.
Marion says she came across them during her job search last year (the one where she found us, she wasn’t trying to leave):
“Their values and ethics align 100% with me. Anna is an amazing human being who does it all, she’s so inspiring. I especially love that her podcast is about animal welfare and marketing: my favorite things.”
That Wraps It Up
Well friends, if you’ve made it this far and still haven’t found a new company to support this holiday season (and beyond) I can only assume you’ve dozed off because this post is so long. We’re always on the lookout for amazing B Corps to support so let us know who your favorite Brand is in the comments and maybe they’ll make our next list.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. Cheers to you!