Holiday Shopping For the Democratic Economy

Posted by: 
Bich Ha Pham

The holiday season is upon us and for some, that means the start of the holiday gift-buying season! If you are one of those to-be shoppers, we implore you to support businesses that are doing good: worker-owned businesses, women- and minority-owned businesses, pro-worker companies, and ethical & sustainable product companies. Americans spend nearly $1 trillion during the holiday season, help us spread the word to your networks, friends & family that we can support brands and companies that do good!

The following are some companies and efforts that we’ve identified—let us know if you have more to add! Feel free to share this information in your holiday newsletters and communications.

Support worker cooperative businesses during the holiday season and throughout the year! Whether it’s a brewery, bookkeeping, cleaning services, landscaping, dog walking or other service you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it in the Directory of cooperatives and democratic workplaces that the US Federation of Worker Cooperative and the Democracy at Work Institute compiled. Here are some examples:


Owinža Quilters Cooperative is a great indigenous-, worker- and women-owned quilting cooperative on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota. They aspire to achieve a triple bottom line: Prosperity, People and Planet. They have beautiful hand-made quilts for sale. The cooperative emerged as part of a social enterprise development process connected to TDC's Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building.

Equal Exchange is a co-op with over 120 worker-owners, each with an equal stake - and an equal vote - in the business. Coffee, cocoa, tea, fair foods, and gift cards can be purchased online.

Cleaning Services:

Pa'Lante provides professional cleaning services to homes and offices across all five boroughs of New York City. There are over 90,000 nonprofits in NYC who should be supporting these worker owners!

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Peachy Green Clean Co-op in Athens, Georgia is a triple-bottom-line business offering home or business cleaning at maximum value while creating jobs with dignity and minimizing the impact on the environment.

Other Services:


Red Sun Press is a cooperatively-managed union printing and graphic design shop in Jamaica Plain, MA. It has a growing customer base of non-profit organizations, socially responsible businesses and government agencies.

B Corporations

Certified B Corporations are over 2,500 businesses that balance purpose and profit. They are “legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.” Many B Corps are also employee-owned, a key pattern for mission-aligned business we've recently highlighted in a report from our Fifty by Fifty project. These companies are working together to drive a movement of businesses as forces for good. Here are some examples in time for gift giving!

Just Coffee Coop

Just Coffee Cooperative is a worker-owned coffee roaster dedicated to creating and expanding a model of trade based on transparency, human dignity and environmental sustainability . Coffee can be purchased online and they offer coffee subscriptions.

Gardener's Supply

Gardener’s Supply Company is 100% employee-owned and was founded in 1983 by a handful of enthusiastic Vermont gardeners and today is known for its award-winning gardening products. They have some nice holiday gifts & decorations!

More choices:

Shop for Good Sunday (on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25 th) is the day to buy from companies that make the world better. With over 300 brands, your gift options abound! #ShopForGoodSunday