12 Sustainable Gift Ideas From Our Favourite B Corps
Updated: Jan 14
Originally published for Genus Capital Management
As a B Corp Certified business, we do our best to support other B Corps in our community—particularly during gifting season. And with all the options available for responsibly produced products and services within the Bommunity, we’re thrilled that it’s getting easier to make a positive impact by shopping with brands that give back.
Our second annual B Corp gift guide (here’s last year’s if you’d like additional ideas) highlights 12 of our go-to B Corps offering values-aligned gift ideas for all your gifting needs this year.
But first, what is a B Corp?
A certified B Corporation is a company that has met “the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose” according to B Lab, the organization that oversees B Corp certification. This certification is important to us—and to our clients—because it’s not easy to obtain. Getting this verification requires a deep commitment to people and the planet, and is proof that a company exists for more than just profit.
Each of the 12 gift ideas below is from a fellow B Corp—and many are Canadian organizations. Each was selected by a Genus team member who genuinely loves the brand, and is accompanied by a quote about why they chose it. Happy shopping!
12 Sustainable Gift Ideas for Holiday Giving in 2022
1. Burton [ak] Embark Jacket Is there a snowboarder on your gift list this year? If so, they probably already know about Burton. But do they know that this renowned snowboard brand is a B Corp? It was, in fact, the first snowboard brand to get its B Corp certification—and that makes supporting it even more appealing.
Shannon, our Chief Revenue Officer, is an avid boarder. Here’s why she recommends the Burton [ak] Embark jacket:
“Snowboarders require different fit and features from their gear than skiers do. If you have a snowboarder in your life, Burton AK jackets are a great gift option to keep them warm and dry on the mountain. The waterproofing of this jacket is key. It has light insulation and a good fit with enough length in the arms and body. I have this jacket in black and it goes with everything!”
2. Fresh Prep Meals A mission-driven meal kit delivery service, Fresh Prep is a Canadian B Corp that delivers quick, easy and healthy dinners right to your door. The utmost in practical gifts, it’s perfect for young families or workaholics who simply don’t stop to cook.
Here’s why Mary Lou, our Head of Wealth Management, loves gifting Fresh Prep meals:
“This company has been a lifesaver for those of us working from home. You can state any allergies or dietary preferences, and they can assist. It’s great for young families or working professionals who need a break from meal planning. I highly recommend it.”
3. The Body Shop Advent Calendar If you’re shopping for a beauty enthusiast, check out The Body Shop. For over 40 years, this beauty brand has used natural ingredients while advocating for social and environmental sustainability. Its annual advent calendar allows you to gift 25 products all in one go. And bonus? Many of them are full sized!
Here’s why Virginia, our Director of Information Technology, recommends the Body Shop’s advent calendar:
“The Body Shop was one of the first cosmetic companies to not test on animals. All of its products are vegetarian and high quality. The 25 head-to-toe treats in this advent calendar will meet anyone’s beauty needs. And this is a great gift following the COVID-19 pandemic—the products can help to relieve stress and anxiety.”
4. Saul Good Gift Basket Saul Good Gift Co. is Canada’s online source for local, handcrafted gift baskets. Not only are its gift baskets filled with delicious treats, but each selection supports local economies, social enterprises and artisan producers.
Ian, our Partner and Portfolio Manager, recommends the Vancouver gift basket. But Saul Good also offers gift baskets for Toronto and Quebec residents. What better way to let your Canadian clients, employees and loved ones know that you care!
Here’s why Ian recommends this gift:
“They’re a true community-first company with top-quality products and very efficient service. The ‘Holiday Indulgence’ gift basket will have the recipient talking about this gift for years to come. Local, artisanal goodness!”
5. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Shopping for someone with a sweet tooth? Ben & Jerry’s—long known for its values-driven business—is more than just a tasty treat. This company has been hard at work on advancing human rights and dignity, supporting social and economic justice for marginalized communities, and protecting and restoring the earth’s natural systems.
Here’s why Mike, our Co-Chief Investment Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, loves gifting Ben & Jerry’s:
“Ben & Jerry’s is one of the pioneers in the B Corp movement—paving the way for many food brands to become B Corps, too. They support family farmers and are leaders in sustainable practices. Why would this make a great gift? Their amazing ice cream with Christmas baking and coffee is hard to beat! The ‘Tonight Dough’ flavour is by far the best.”
6. Summerhill Pyramid Wine This internationally acclaimed B.C. winery uses organic and biodynamic farming techniques to produce its extensive collection of 100% organic wines. Whether you’re looking for a hostess gift or a bottle for a friend, Summerhill is a sustainable and reliable choice.
Jill, Genus’ Client Relationship Manager and Partner, picked Summerhill as her gift of choice. Here’s why it’s at the top of her list:
“Who doesn’t love wine—and certified organic wine at that! Summerhill Pyramid Winery is family-owned and run, right here in Kelowna. From red to white, the wine is amazing! I love the Merlot myself, but the Brut is the perfect choice for a festive celebration. Support local!”
7. Athleta Activewear Shopping for a sporty fashionista? Try Athleta. This California-based apparel brand creates versatile premium performance clothes for women and girls. And as a B Corp, it goes above and beyond by striving for climate neutrality across its entire supply chain.
Sue-May, one of Genus’ Partner and Portfolio Managers, is a long-time Athleta fan. Here’s why:
“Athleta carries a wide range of active/casual wear designed by women athletes. Its entire collection of quality activewear can carry you through your day – from a commute, to a workout and to the office. It offers good quality activewear that is stylish enough to wear to the office and comes in a wide range of sizes. I can wear their pieces to work and also look presentable and be comfortable.”
8. Persephone Brewing Beer Beer from B.C.-based Persephone Brewing is a standout gift for mission-driven hops lovers. Persephone’s farmhouse approach integrates onsite farming in support of local food security, regenerative agriculture and amazing beer. They’re also a proud B Corp “Best for the World” Honouree (as are we!).
Here’s why Stephen, our CEO, picked Persephone beer as his gift of choice:
“Their tagline ‘Cold beer. Warm hearts.’ says it best. Persephone offers a great way to celebrate the season with friends or wind the year down with a world-class craft beer…all while doing good for the planet and the community. My favourite brew is the Indian Pale Ale. It’s well-balanced and flavourful. I can’t wait to visit the brewery in person one day!”
9. Fairware Custom Knits Want to give something a little different to your clients, employees or all your closest friends? Fairware lets you create custom products like beanies, scarves, mitts and tote bags—all made from ethically sourced materials. It’s a great option for corporate teams to create one-of-a-kind holiday mementos.
Here’s why Thomas, Genus’ Partner and Client Relationship Manager, chooses Fairware:
“I like that their products are ethically sourced and made in an environmentally responsible way. Their mission is to change the world through the simple act of buying. We all buy, so why not buy sustainably?”
10. Pela Compostable Phone Cases Everyone with a phone needs a phone case. Why not make it a green one? Pela is the world’s first purveyor of compostable phone cases, and this values-driven B Corp also offers an extensive collection of sustainable products like sunglasses, AirPods cases and screen protectors.
Stephanie, Head of Foundations & Non-Profits and a Portfolio Manager at Genus, likes Pela because of its quality, thoughtful design, commitment to sustainability and its compelling story:
“The founder started Pela when his son dug up some plastic on a beach during their vacation. It inspired him to create products that help to preserve our planet. I love that their products are beautifully designed and sustainably made with the mission of a waste-free future.”
11. Tentree Apparel The fashion sector produces a lot of waste—10.5 million tonnes per year, to be exact. Tentree is helping to offset some of the damage by planting 10 trees for every item purchased. This climate-focused apparel brand creates comfortable, stylish clothes for men, women and kids—literally something for everyone.
Grant, one of our Portfolio Managers and Partners, recommends Tentree because:
“I struggled to find a high quality, well-made and nice-feeling T-shirt. Tentree makes them, along with tops, pants, hoodies, coats… you name it. Plus, they plant 10 trees for every purchase and create fair-paying jobs in struggling parts of the world. The products look good, feel good and make me feel good. I’m proud to wear the brand!”
 Sustainable clothing by tentree®: Shop Organic + Plant 10 Trees (no date) Sustainable Clothing by tentree® | Shop Organic + Plant 10 Trees. Available at: https://www.tentree.ca/ (Accessed: November 18, 2022).
12. Patagonia Outdoor Gear And last but certainly not least on our list: Patagonia.
Patagonia has always made headlines with its approach to sustainability, and this year was no exception. Its business has always been driven by making the planet a better place to live, so you can shop guilt-free.
Fred, our Chief Compliance Officer, recommends gifting Patagonia’s P-6 Trad Cap, a one-size-fits-all, gender-neutral hat. But if a cap isn’t your giftee’s cup of tea, there are plenty of other options to choose from.
Here’s why Fred picked Patagonia as his B Corp of choice:
“Patagonia makes good quality products using recycled materials. The company truly exemplifies what it means to walk the talk by actively engaging in donating towards fighting against climate change. So literally a portion of money spent on its product goes back to the climate change fight.”
By filling your shopping cart with B Corp-sourced products and services, you really can make an impact this holiday season. After all, if the holidays are all about giving, why not integrate the idea of giving back, too?