Christmas with Heart - Five Swedish gifts that give
By Kristi Robinson
Maybe the gifts you wrap for under the tree this year have their hearts wrapped around making the world a bit better. For every gift you give to a friend or loved one, someone, somewhere in the world could benefit. Here are five Swedish companies that make cool products in their own right, but do it while improving the lives of others.
1. Sleek aluminum frames accented in bright colors, reminiscent of times past but in a modern urban style. For the cycle enthusiast on your list there are Vélosophy bikes from Stockholm. Part bicycle and part philosophy, the bikes are meant to make people happy. Beyond that, Vélosophy has a mission to give back in a way that they know best – for every bike sold one is donated to a schoolgirl in Ghana. Vélosophy’s Founder Jimmy Östholm says that “bikes are one of the single most important factors in giving girls access to schools, when girls have their own bikes, attendance goes up (30%) and grades increase (60%).
Vélosophy bike –Sport Edition. Available at velosophy.tictail.com. Photo © Vélosophy
2. For a stocking stuffer with heart look no further than Humblebrush. The handle is crafted from 100% biodegradable bamboo and the bristles are made from a degradable nylon. Aside from being about as eco friendly as it gets, they also thrive on giving a helping hand through their Humble-brush Smile Foundation with a mission to prevent suffering caused by oral disease. For every toothbrush sold a child in need receives a toothbrush or alternative oral care.
Humblebrush. Available in Europe at humblebrush.com/shop or in the US on amazon.com. Photo © Humblebrush
3. Trying to find a meaningful gift for the person who has everything? Consider a luxury watch by Aevi. These new to market handmade watches are designed in Stockholm and inspired by Scandinavian minimalism. A few great things about an Aevi watch – it’s gender neutral, it’s luxury without the price tag (retails for just under $170), and for every watch purchased Aevi supports a child with 100 school hours working with PLAN International, a children’s rights organization.
4. Giving a piece of jewelry can make a heartfelt statement to someone close to you. Saga Gevargez (Saga Melina), Swedish jewelry designer creates unique pieces inspired by architecture, geometric shapes, and elements of minimalism, using metals and leather from the Tärnsjö Tannery. Gevargez’s mission to help people in need comes from her own setbacks in life as the result of a car accident, and so she donates 10% of the profits from Saga Melina to charity.
5. Handmade from wood and animal hair or natural fibers Iris Hantverk brushes make a perfectly practical gift for those who appreciate craftsmanship. What’s respectable about Iris Hantverk is the ethos that their company operates under. Committed to the wellbeing of their team, they employ visually impaired craftsmen in their manufacturing facility in Sandsborgsvägen, Enskede to do the brush binding that comes from Swedish tradition by hand.
Iris Hantverk concrete shaving cup, and brush. Visit irishantverk.com for a list of online retailers and shops. Photo © Iris Hantverk