If you simply can’t bear the thought of not giving a physical gift, consider giving one that you—and the recipient—can feel good about. Look for products from socially conscious companies. Are they producing in a sustainable way? Do they partner with causes you believe in? Do they use ethical labor practices?
The shoe company TOMS, for example, will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need with every pair you purchase. Bombas donates a pair of socks to a homeless individual for every pair you buy. Sseko Designs, a fashion brand based in Uganda, hires local women to help them to earn money for their college educations.
For more ideas—lots of them—the website The Good Trade has a list of 36 fair trade and ethical clothing brands, as well as guides to socially conscious beauty, home, food, and travel companies. You can also search for socially conscious brands or retailers at shopwithmeaning.org and latchcompany.com.