Cooperatives and their supporters are making commitments this holiday season to buy locally, to get gifts only from ethical producers, and to support the livelihoods of workers - rather than a faceless CEO with net assets equal to that of a small country. It's not always easy to honor these commitments when we are barraged with advertisements, lured with low prices, and overwhelmed by green-washing or other corporate spin. Therefore, we've put this simple guide together to give you some ideas about the many alternatives that exist and how you can shop co-op for your gift giving this holiday season.
Our graphic above lists some co-ops that are makers of popular gift items, and in the comments section we welcome your suggestions of additional co-ops to purchase holiday gifts. This is by no means a complete list - and we look forward to hearing your ideas of more co-ops to include. We support these businesses with our own money, both as a worker co-op and as individuals. We don't buy our beauty products from Ahava, a company that profits from the occupation of the West Bank. Our boycott is made all the easier because we can buy from Co-op 108, a cooperative that offers 100% American-made plant-based cosmetics. There are many coffee lovers in our office, and we avoid Starbucks's dubious labor practices and get fair trade beans from Equal Exchange. Not only do we feel better about these purchases, we think these businesses offer better products than their corporate competitors, and they're helping to build a new economy and society.