Updated: Jun 14
We show love to our family, friends and pets - but what about fellow coworkers? The colleagues with whom you share, not only tasks and workload (and sometimes lunch) but also spend an average of 40 hours per week with. The month of February promotes spreading love and inclusivity; what better way to show gratitude and appreciation for your workmates than with eco-friendly gifts from Canadian Black-owned businesses?
‘Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.’ ― Sheryl Sandberg
While we acknowledge the eco-gender gap in sustainable consumerism is heavily targeted towards women, there is another void often overlooked in the eco-conscious space: the representation of Canadian Black-owned businesses. At Good Earth Gifting, we use our platform to promote local brands that successfully juggle the delicate balance of creating great products and services while being kind to our planet and its future. Many of which are passionately run by Black makers and artisans.
To celebrate Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, show colleagues some love with eco-friendly gifts from these incredible Black-owned Canadian businesses, making their mark in our community.
Food & Drink
Omo Bamboo Shop is an ecocentric company, passionate about providing sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics by offering bulk refills of basic essentials. They carry a range of items made primarily of bamboo, from on-the-go necessities like these glass mug water bottles and cutlery set to more luxe items like these wrist watches - all perfect ideas for corporate gifting.
Helping eco-friendly living be more accessible to people in Toronto is The Green Jar Shop. Founded by sisters Tannis and Mara Bundi, this boutique filled a gap by providing zero-waste products and an in-store refillery, ideal for bulk purchases of personal care and household products. We are big fans of their range of specialty care kits that contain safe and sustainable essentials for the New Mom, as well as, The Starter Lunch Kit and Sanitizer Kit, which would make great eco-friendly gifts for occasions like employee appreciation.
‘We believe eco-living can be simple and every small step matters.’ ―The Green Jar founders, Tannis and Mara Bundi
The Green Jar Shop is also currently participating in a number of recycling programs, accepting #5 takeout containers on behalf of Case Reuse, oral care products and writing instruments on behalf of TerraCycle, and prescription pill bottles and bread/milk tags on behalf of Earthub.
KOA Natural Skincare co-founders Aryn Holness and Tijani Jackson believe that transparency in ingredients and their purpose in each product is an integral part of their operations. Their plant-powered skincare solutions are formulated and made in small batches with 100% natural ingredients - free from parabens, phthalates and silicone - and are safe for all skin types.
For those always on the move, KOA’s Essentials Kit 2.0 has everything needed for a clean self-care arsenal, including versatile cult favourites, Volcanic Exfoliating Mask and Everything Balm, in one convenient travel kit.
Ranging from diffusers to candles, home fragrances are great, versatile gift options to elevate the home office. The sensory experiences of our homes influence well-being which benefits overall productivity. They make excellent gifts for remote workers - like this Home Scents collection from Good Earth Gifting.
Do you have colleagues that often daydream about travel? You can transport their senses with Seventh and Oak’s Travel Bug Collection with candles inspired by destinations like Cebu, The Bahamas, Bora Bora and New Orleans. Their small-batch, natural candles are handmade - from mixing to packing - with non-toxic, ethically-sourced materials.
On top of promoting creative uses of their candle jars once empty, S&O launched a Jar Return Program, where customers are encouraged to send back their used jars for rewards and discounts. This initiative has repurposed over 155 jars into new candles.
With nature being their biggest inspiration, Apprenti Ôr'ganik promotes holistic skincare through a deeper connection to the Earth. Proudly made in Montreal by the hands of their founder, Alexandrine Pierre, these Therapeutic Soy Candles and Handmade Incense have a soothing effect to reduce anxiety while encouraging users to prioritize mental health.
‘There’s an energy of love and harmony that is received by everyone that uses the products.’ ―Apprenti Ôr'ganik founder, Alexe Pierre
At the root of their operations is the belief in a circular economy - they work with local businesses and farms for their high-quality ingredients, offer a refill program for their products, and recently announced a new wheat straw 100% compostable bottle into their packaging. This article explains the transition and why they believe wheat straw is the future of plastic.
WORLD’s multipurpose, natural beauty line is used on both the hair and skin, replacing a number of items in your daily routine - reducing packaging waste. They also hand-make their signature Pink Grapefruit Soy Candle, which embodies their eco-friendly initiatives: using clean, toxin-free ingredients; recyclable Kraft packaging, and plant-based essential oils.
WORLD actively gives back to like-minded communities in the fight against climate change through their partnerships with Live Green Toronto, Toronto Environmental Alliance among many others. Every purchase from WORLD is a step towards a greener future.
FOOD & DRINK
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.
As a tea enthusiast (she has a podcast called Tea Time with Tay), founder and former gymnast, Taylor Lindsay-Noel’s inspiring story is changing the world, one Cup of Té at a time.
Chocolate is arguably the perfect gift for any corporate gifting occasion because of its universal appeal. If you want to level up your gifting for the foodie in your workplace, try this traditional Brazilian confection from Mary’s Brigadeiro. Handcrafted by owner and chocolatier, Mariane Oliveira, these brigadeiros are made with pure, fair trade chocolate and local ingredients from the community.
1946 was the first national election in which women were able to vote in Brazil. In support of their candidate, Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, women sold these chocolate sweets in fundraisers. They are dubbed the national truffle of Brazil.
Gift your employees the Self-Love Valentine’s Collection - a reminder that self-care and self-love are important. It comes with 12 customizable, signature chocolates in a reusable tin can wrapped in satin Furoshiki - a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth used in the olden days to wrap and/or to transport goods. Using patterns and elements by a Canadian-based artist and through Mary’s partnership with Wrappr, who we’ve mentioned in our R’s of Green Gifting blog, they’ve created this vibrant, reusable textile that adds a decorative touch to gift wrapping. Add an eco-friendly greeting card and you’ve got the perfect gift for employees and clients alike.
For a dairy-free option, check out their Vegan Brigadeiro Collection, using only 2 ingredients: coconut milk powder and 100% cocoa powder. Made in small batches and available in 6 different flavours, these artisanal brigadeiros take 3 days to produce!
Growing up in the kitchen alongside her mother, Mary discovered her passion for chocolate and brigadeiros. She learned their family recipes and techniques, still carried to this day, shown in the quality, consistency and flavour of their products. Mary’s Brigadeiro was elected as one of the Top 3 Chocolate Shops in the city by Toronto Star in 2019 and 2020, it’s a new chocolate experience infused with Brazilian traditions.
MUMGRY’s natural nut butters are delicious plant-based snacks, made only with ingredients found on their label. This MUMGRY Mini Trio is the perfect sampler pack of their Smooth Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and one that piqued our interest the most, Pistachio Chocolate Almond Butter.
These handcrafted spreads are vegan, ethically sourced, dairy and gluten-free - a worthy complement to our Workday Snacks gift box. Naturally nutritious, these spreads are good for everyone but are specially formulated to support the dietary needs of moms throughout every stage of motherhood, making it a great eco-friendly gift for busy moms (and dads).
The great thing about their packaging? They can all be repurposed - the jars into planters and the box into a mini garden. In MUMGRY's mission to give back to the people and the planet, creator Lilian Umurungi-Jung launched #MUMGRYMONDAY, an initiative that recognizes people doing incredible work in support of others in need - including parents, grocers and frontline healthcare professionals. They also support many organizations aimed at bettering the lives of mothers, women and children.
While February is a popular time to support Black-owned businesses, Good Earth Gifting is committed to celebrating and amplifying Black makers and artisans within our community throughout the year. As we expand our offering, we are consciously looking for Black-owned brands and partners to uplift through this platform. Know of any businesses that should be on this list? Make sure to contact us here