Updated: May 30
In today’s modern-day work environment, self-care is seen more as a necessity than a luxury as it has been proven to boost employee productivity. This can, however, be challenging for companies to implement, especially with a more remote workforce.
According to this survey, 27% of Canadians go a year or more without taking a holiday, while 36% go six months to a year without a break. Knowing that your colleagues are going through similar busy work-life schedules, there's no better time than now to help them incorporate self-care and wellness into their day.
Conscious businesses also know that supporting Black-, Indigenous-, and People of Colour (BIPOC)-owned businesses means creating more jobs and encouraging economic growth. As a BIPOC-owned, sustainable corporate gifting company, we at Good Earth Gifting are committed to celebrating diversity and bringing visibility to marginalized groups in the corporate gifting world.
Below are a number of great gift options from sustainable BIPOC businesses, bringing fresh takes on wellness at work - and on-the-go. These local brands use responsibly-sourced, eco-friendly ingredients and materials while making a difference in their respective industries.
Food and Beverage
Food and Beverage
Owned and operated by Helmi Ansari, Mehreen Sait and family, Grosche is on a mission to provide safe, clean drinking water to those in need. Every bottle sold provides 50+ days of one of life's most basic necessities. Since 2010 their Safe Water Project has expanded operations to 6 countries (South Sudan, Uganda, Malawi, India, Pakistan, and The Philippines)!
Partnering with Trees for the Future - planting 10,000 trees in Haiti and Africa (so far)
Partnering with Carbonfree - for a negative carbon footprint
40% reduced energy use at the head office and warehouse - replaced with 100% green renewable energy
Keeping waste out of landfills by selling unwanted products and take backs at a discounted price
For tea lovers, Toronto-based Cup of Té is one to keep an eye on. Having been featured on Oprah’s Favourite Things List 2020, this company’s mission is to bring handcrafted, organic products to discerning tea drinkers. The specially-curated collection of six ethically-sourced teas has all of their best-sellers - with a portion of sales supporting mental health awareness causes.
Cup of Té’s loose-leaf teas are perfect with their new biodegradable Luxe Tea Filter Bags or our On-The-Go gift box, which includes reusable tea bags and this water bottle that gives back. Also, for a limited time, proceeds from their scoop and infuser All Black Everything Bundle supports the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
Beyond Fair Trade Chocolate
Colleagues need a little pick-me-up? Chocolate is known for having high nutritional value, antioxidants, and mood-boosting properties.
Toronto’s Chachalate, founded by Ryan Lee, is on a mission to bring real chocolate to the world. Made from scratch from ethically-sourced cocoa beans, with no preservatives or fillers, the brand prides itself on naturally fruity flavours, transparency and being beyond fair trade. Their short supply chain ensures that farmers get paid much more than both the commodity and fair trade prices.
Keeping up with the current online trend, Ryan offers a one-hour Virtual Tasting experience, where participants try three of Chachalate’s signature, single-origin chocolate bars made with only two ingredients (cocoa beans and organic sugar cane), while learning about chocolate. Each one has the same recipe, is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free - the only difference is where the cocoa beans come from (Tanzania, Madagascar, India).
Chocolate has over 600 individual flavour compounds (more than coffee or wine) giving it that complexity in flavours.
Human-centric companies have started implementing corporate wellness programs into their operations, one of which is introducing yoga to the workplace.
The rise in yoga’s popularity can be attributed to its many benefits in improving wellness, fitness, flexibility and overall quality of life. In addition, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and addresses a topic often overlooked: mental health.
Roof Deck Private Class
Founded on the philosophies of healing, Chi Junky’s mission is to bring this ease to as many people as possible. Founder Rachelle Wintzen’s personal experiences and journey to health had led to the creation of a safe space to unwind.
Chi Junky means to become addicted to something good, in this case your chi (pronounced chee) - the Chinese medicine word for life force energy, vitality, which is a nod to her heritage.
The Toronto-based studio offers a number of different in-studio and at-home classes, including virtual ones ranging in intensities and focal points to suit different styles. Their Chi Roof Deck Private Class, conducted on the private roof deck and surrounded by trees, is the perfect small team-building yoga experience.
As a multiracial independent female, Rachelle understands the need to promote inclusivity and equality. Through collaboration with BIPOC owned businesses, offering community classes then donating 100% of proceeds, and offering studio space to support Black wellness charity events, Chi Junky’s anti-racism commitment aims to make permanent changes in the yoga industry.
Along with the practice, yoga equipment has also evolved, now including more eco-friendly options - particularly mats and massage balls made from cork. Conscious Canadian companies like Urbivore and Scoria World carry these sustainable, non-toxic products.
Eco-friendly - No trees are cut down in the process because the material is harvested from bark that regenerates every eight to nine years.
Non-toxic with a low carbon footprint - Cork oak trees grow naturally without the need for man-made irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers, or pruning.
Low environmental impact - 100% biodegradable and recyclable, and the ability to break down naturally mean little to no waste.
The circumstances of the pandemic have taught us to live with less and buy with purpose. Founded by sisters Emily and Rebekah Okashimo, The Urbivore, a fusion of urban and herbivore, is a Toronto-based online shop for eco-friendly yoga equipment, emphasizing the benefits of minimalism and mindfulness.
Their Wander Cork Yoga Mat and 100% Cork Massage Balls are perfect to take to work and are great tools for those much-needed office wellness breaks - helping unwind, removing deep knots and releasing tight, tense muscles. And because giving back is high on The Urbivore’s operations, they’ve collaborated with One Tree Planted, an NPO focused on global reforestation, helping to restore forests and create animal habitats.
Stay tuned for their 7 Days of Wellness challenge - a workshop where actionable tips and strategy templates are shared, including ways to build a self-care routine blueprint.
‘We believe that collectively – our decisions have the power to change the world.’ ― The Urbivore sisters and founders, Emily & Rebekah
As a designer, artist and yoga teacher, founder Yara Kamal believes there is value in celebrating being human. Scoria World brings a unique perspective on wellness by promoting playful curiosity and active imagination through eye-catching, colourful and nature-centric designs, some of which are created in collaboration with other Canadian artists.
Their online boutique offers a range of equipment including this Revolve Cork Yoga Mat, and the Support Pack, which contains basic props to enhance the workout and provide extra support in some poses. Both of these are great gifts for all yogis, from beginners to pros. Scoria World’s goal is to make an impact with every purchase, using recycled boxes and plastic-free packaging.
In addition to their sustainable ethos, social responsibility is at their core. Their previous partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere was able to provide an equivalent of 151,880 nutritious meals to those in need. Currently, they are proudly partnered with Right To Play, an organization that empowers Canadian Indigenous youth through PLAY-based (Promoting Life-Skills in Aboriginal Youth) education programs.
With over 23.4 million #selfcare usages on Instagram, this trending hashtag shows that self-care is highly promoted and top of mind - something businesses need to tune into as a way to connect with their staff and clients.
Wildcraft, founded by Laura Whitaker, is a Toronto-based company committed to providing accessible skincare for everyone with 100% natural, highly-effective products. Thoughtfully minimalist in their approach, their product line simplifies everyday routines through a multi-functional approach.
Create an at-home spa day to detox and nourish with Wildcraft’s pure bath essentials. Products like the Herbal Bath Blend, Cleanse Makeup Remover, Buff Face and Body Scrub, Luxe Body Oil and Detox Face Mask help to maximize time (and energy) for more important things.
Laura stays true to her roots (a Haudenosaunee and member of the Mohawk nation from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory) through Wildcraft’s eco-committments. Aside from plastic-free packaging to cruelty-free products, they’ve recently become a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of sales towards environmental causes.
Wildcraft is among the few Indigenous-owned selfcare brands in Ontario; however, there are more across Canada. Handmade in small batches with plant or mineral-based, sustainably-sourced, organic ingredients, Wildcraft ensures high quality products from start to finish. Find their products in our Shop.
Jetsetter and Weekender Kits
Makers of cruelty-free skincare, Leaves of Trees’ (LOT) all-natural products are a fusion of science, minimalism and ethical practices. All artisanal products are made in-house and by hand by founder Dr. Roohi Qureshi. Using as many high-quality, organic and fair trade sources as possible many ingredients are sourced directly from their producers.
Does your company have a lot of business travellers? Leaves of Trees’ Jetsetter and Weekender Kits contain all the travel must-haves to look and feel refreshed and relaxed throughout their journey - including a headache balm, which is also used to soothe and relax tired muscles. Both kits come in a water-resistant, waxed canvas bag made by local Canadian seamsters.
With a mission to create an ever-evolving and expanding line up, LOT’s Morocco-inspired, all-natural products also help to discover new ways in relieving stress and anxiety through the aromas and ingredients they use. Many of their products are formulated from hand-pressed organic Argan oil (known for boosting skin’s hydration), sourced exclusively from a women’s co-op.
Leaves of Trees never tests their products on animals and is a proud member of PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, committed to remaining 100% cruelty-free. This modern apothecary in Toronto exemplifies that good things really do come in small batches.
Clay Mask Set
Inspired by the beauty of art and the founder’s Indian roots, Toronto’s Sarisha Beauty mixes modern botanical beauty and ancient apothecary through simplified skin care products. Sarisha, meaning charm and elegance in Sanskrit, creates natural, vegan skincare products that are simple to understand and implement into a daily routine.
Made with gentle and effective formulas from plant-based ingredients, Sarisha Beauty’s aim is to slow down and offer a chance to focus on one’s self - even for just a few minutes. So give your colleagues the gift of me-time from their busy schedules with Sarisha’s Clay Mask Set.
All products are in a recyclable and reusable packaging, and shipped with protective corn or potato starch packing peanuts - a non-toxic alternative to plastic which dissolves in water. They are also looking to launch a refill program to encourage users to return old containers to be upcycled.
Founder Jacqueline Johal acknowledges the underrepresentation of BIPOC communities in the industry having grown up at a time when the embodiment of mainstream beauty was not representative of her. Sarisha Beauty is on an on-going mission to promote inclusive beauty in the industry - and loving the skin you’re in.
Good Earth Gifting aims to educate and give businesses options to think outside the box when it comes to corporate gifts. There are countless other BIPOC-owned brands not mentioned in this article but definitely deserve to be supported. Check out online directories like Black and Indigenous Businesses and Black Biz Global for more resources.
And because Ontario is a melting pot of different cultures and races, mainstream representation needs to be more inclusive of people of colour. Improve the visibility of BIPOC-owned businesses and normalize inclusivity in all industries. Know of any businesses that should be on this list? Make sure to contact us here!
Searching for more environmentally-friendly gifts? Shop our curated gift boxes. Good Earth Gifting is a sustainable corporate gifting platform that aims to educate individuals about eco-friendly initiatives, support local Canadian businesses, and inspire gifting for the good of the Earth. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to join the conversation!
Each brand we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our team. Should you make a purchase from the included links, we may earn a small commission.