In this second installment of our recommended Father’s Day gifts, here are some ideas with a twist: everything on this list is all-natural, organic, or has a philanthropic bent. Enchant Dad with a present that has a special story behind it! (PS: Father’s Day is June 17)
Be like Justin Trudeau, and wear cool socks. One way to do that is through My Society Socks. It’s a socks-as-subscription service, where members each month receive two unique and stylish pairs in the mail. There’s no end to the wild and quirky: clouds, bolts, striped, dotted, checkers, etc. With every pair of socks sold, another pair is donated to a charity such as Covenant House, YWCA, and KidCare.
Meanwhile, Louisiana-based Bonfolk shares a similar mission, donating a pair of socks to the homeless for each sold. According to the company, socks are the most requested piece of clothing, yet least donated to shelters. To date, they’ve donated in excess of 50,000 pairs of socks. Designs range from the army fatigue “camo”, shrimp, blue crab, fried chicken, taco truck, gator, jazz, and about a dozen others. Though each pair is about $20USD, the quality of the material completely justifies the expense. (Plus, you’re helping the homeless, for goodness sake!)
Tenfed’s concept is profound: for each item sold, ten meals are bought for hungry children (one third in Canada). According to the company, more than 14,000 children die each year from starvation. Thus far, more than 75,000 meals have been provided, along with 12 tons of food, in 14 countries and 25 Canadian cities. From ballcaps, tee shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and sweatshirts, there’s no shortage of ways to supply your wardrobe, while supplying food to the hungry.
Ungalli Clothing Company uses a novel idea to create their garments: make them out of melted down plastic bottles. And you cannot tell the difference between their fabrics, and any department store’s.
Each tee shirt saves 41 days of drinking water and seven hours of lightbulb energy, compared to traditionally made tee shirts.
Made in Ontario, their line includes mens’ hoodies, hats and tees of varying designs, and can be bought online.
Progoti, which means “progress” in Bengali, was begun by Nurjahan Begum. Inspired to help her country – the second-largest supplier of clothing, and where 80 percent of the economy is garment exports – she decided to take a unique business model. Everything is sold “at cost”, with the novel idea of welcoming the consumer to contribute additional payment voluntarily, to help the Bangladeshi workers afford life insurance and pension policies. Button-downs of various colours are priced at $35.
Bath and beyond
Moyaa Shea Products Ltd. imports “premium grade A organic fair trade Ugandan shea butter”.
Its “Uplifting” brand of bath soap has a masculine peppermint scent, retailing at $6.95.
(Shea Butter is an all-natural Vitamin A and E cream rich in antioxidants, a great moisturizer for the face and body, and is said to reduce wrinkles.)
Beach Baby’s products of botanical bath and body soaps hail from Wasaga Beach, Ontario. Their mens’ line includes all-natural beard oil, stylish wood shaving brush, shaving soap (made of beer, or coriander lime), and pure mineral/aloe After Shave.
All artisan and handmade, the bath soaps for dudes have names such as Kamikaze (citrus, mint and patchouli), Midnight Lavender (charcoal, lavender, cedarwood) and Hemp Patch (hemp seed oil, lime and oatmeal).
YAAL chocolate is an awesome high-powered snack for any guy on the go. It contains fair trade and chemical-free organic cacao, and superfoods as maca, quinoa, chia, sesame and amaranth. It comes in varieties as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and a package of 12 chocolate multi-flavoured discs – cranberry, goldenberry, cocoa and banana.
Their cacao is sourced from Ecuador, chosen for its aroma and flavour, and won the prize for best cacao of the world, in Paris last year.
Manba is a man’s peanut-butter: infused with hot peppers. It dubs itself as “spicy Haitian-style”, sold in creamy and chunky, also in three levels of hotness.
It’s the only peanut butter that contains Haitian peanuts, and profits of the company support Haitian peanut farmers. (It’s only fitting that Manba is the Creole word for peanut butter.)
Since 2015, the Montréal-based company has imported more than seven tons of peanuts from Haiti.
What is touted as the first pre-biotic craft soda, Crazy D is the “healthy soda pop”: fizzy, flavourful and fun. (Pre-biotics are said to be essential in hormone regulation and mood improvement). There are none of those dastardly inflammatory ingredients as sugar, artificial colours and flavours. Instead, it’s sweetened with root vegetables such as yacon (also known as jicama), that stimulates the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
The sodas contain a variety of exotic ingredients, including anti-oxidant rich baobab fruit, and camu camu, a cherry-like fruit from South America. A variety of flavours are already being sold – “Ginga Kick” (ginger, lemon/lime, vanilla, cinnamon), “Twisted Citrus” and “Rockin’ Rolla Cherry Cola”. For those concerned about counting calories, only 70 are in a single bottle, half that of a typical soda. Plus, its five grams of sugar is a far cry from sodas that tend to have eight to ten times the amount.
So it might be fun to get pop some, er, pop. (See what we did there?)