Motherlode: the Mother’s Day gift guide

A few ideas for ethical prezzies that give twice - and last longer than a pesticide-laced bouquet.


Most products that give back donate a percent or two of profit to charity, which is nice. But I have to commend Lush for its reformulated Charity Pot body lotion. A full 100 per cent from sales goes to various charities (nearly $6 million to 600 in 35 countries since 2007, to be exact). It’s got a few fair-trade ingredients and organic jojoba. More good news, the glycerin is now palm-free and made with non-GMO European soy. Not crazy about the triethanolamine (on my Mean 15 list) preservative or their partly synthetic fragrance, though that fragrance is phthalate-free. $25.95/240 grams.




Want to let your mom know she’s the bomb? Unikati sells bangles made out of upcycled planes and bombs dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War. You’ll be supporting fairly paid artisans and their families, and $5 from each bracelet goes to Rethink Breast Cancer. The bracelets come from one of a number of fashion-forward fair trade social enterprises featured at, which also offers gorgeous bags, scarves and more. They’ll do next-day delivery and even pickups and Toronto-area drop-offs in a pinch. $25.




Looking to make your mom feel good inside and out? The all-natural, non-toxic Causemetics line, started by the volunteer-driven Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund, helps women with breast cancer who are financially struggling to pay for rent, groceries, hospital parking – you name it. They’ve partnered with great green Canadian body care companies to bring you creams, soaps, serums, salves – even deodorant. The brands donate up to $10 per product, and if you buy through, the donation is doubled. Available at Big Carrot and Green Beauty on Yonge.




Bypass those counters jammed with hormone-disruptor-laced perfume and check out the Kind Beauty Collection instead. Toronto’s own Evoke the Elements Within is for a limited time offering five lovely, all-natural, essential-oil-based perfumes (each designed according to Chinese medicine principles to evoke feelings like peace, joy, harmony), all in a reusable Rok Cork pouch. And 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly to The Stop Community Food Centre’s Healthy Beginnings and Family Support program for pregnant women. $50.




If your mom already has everything she needs, forgo the purchased items and give generously in her name. She’d no doubt appreciate your donating to those who urgently need it. Major aid organizations like Médecins Sans Frontières, the Red Cross and Unicef are in a better position than indie orgs to help where it’s needed most during major disasters like the earthquake in Nepal. Unicef and Plan have made it particularly easy to donate in your mom’s honour, with options for e-cards, downloadable cards or printed ones at and


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