Looking for unique holiday gifts that will help support peace and prosperity around the world? Here are businesses that sell products that embody the spirit of the season and help build peace:
- Away Travel Company: This travel products company was founded on the idea that the world is a shared place and the more connections made, the better. The company recently formed a partnership with Peace Direct, which was featured in a Forbes article this fall. Away has made a long-term commitment to peace through this partnership, and have created a special website for Peace Direct to highlight their work.
- Article 22: This jewelry company partners with artisans in off-the-beaten-track places to create modern heirlooms with particular provenance. PEACEBOMB, their first collection, is jewelry handcrafted in Laos from Vietnam War shrapnel. A virtuous circle, each piece helps clear unexploded ordnance, making land safe and providing new metal to artisans. The brand has been recognized by global consumers and press as pioneering the transformation of weapons into jewelry and the tangible value of fashion that does good. This article provides more background.
- Rumi Spice: Rumi began with a mission to cultivate peace in Afghanistan. Started by a team of US military veterans joining forces with a lawyer who worked for the Afghan Rural Enterprise Development Program, Rumi sources saffron from local Afghan farms and employs more than 300 women in Herat, Afghanistan to hand-harvest the delicate crimson stigmas of the flowers. Committed to empowering Afghan women and bolstering the country’s economy, Rumi reinvests back into agricultural and manufacturing infrastructure. This VOA article tells more of their story.
- Coffee for Peace: This coffee company was established in 2008 in the Philippines. The idea began when the founders facilitated an informal conflict mediation between a farmer and his neighbor. They were invited for a dialogue over coffee, and with the help of the founders of Coffee for Peace, resolved their conflict. The founders started inviting other members of the community to have coffee together, starting in conflict-affected areas in the Philippines and working with coffee farming communities using Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices. This article provides more information.
- Peace by Chocolate: This chocolate company was founded by the Hadhad family in Canada in 2016. The Hadhad family had been making chocolate in Syria for decades; their chocolate factory was destroyed in a bombing, and the family fled to Lebanon and lived in a refugee camp for three years. They eventually moved to Nova Scotia and started making chocolate again. They have been featured in the Huffington Post and are known by their trademark, One Peace Won’t Hurt™.
- Combat Flip Flops: This company’s mission is to create peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict. Through persistence, respect, and creativity, they empower the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade. Combat Flip Flops makes flip flops in Colombia, bags in America, sarongs and shemaghs in Afghanistan, and jewelry in Laos. Their tagline is “Business, Not Bullets” and this article gives provides more details on the company.
Know Any Other Peace Ventures? We are database of “Peace Ventures” like the ones above. If you know of any other social enterprises that might fit the category, please submit them here!
Finally, register for January’s Venture Peacebuilding Symposium in Washington, DC to meet, network, and collaborate with investors, social entrepreneurs, and peacebuilders. Come prepared for fast-paced presentations, structured networking, interactive workshops, open space methodologies for collaboration, a high-powered attendee list, and a strong focus on tangible outcomes and outputs. We mean business (and peace)!