Texans are known for their hard work and generosity: a fundamental attitude that rolls from the panhandle to the gulf. When we started looking for optimism across our great state, we found no shortage of Texans working hard not only for themselves, but to better the lives of those within their communities. From shops that source and sell only the most ethical products, to local artisans and vendors creating a sustainable living for refugees, this curated collection demonstrates that everything truly is bigger in Texas—especially the hearts and minds of local makers.

Photos courtesy of HELM Boots

HELM Boots

Founded in 2009 in Austin, HELM designs modern yet timeless boots and footwear handcrafted with the highest-quality leathers. They’re built to last a lifetime.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“We’re focused on making the world a better place, one guy at a time. What really motivates us is helping men achieve their dreams and having the confidence to go after them. Whether it’s a future CEO going in for his first small business loan, the architect pitching his dream project, or the musician who’s heading out on tour for the first time, having the confidence to start that journey is just as important as what you’re trying to accomplish.”

Zind Teak Boot
Featured Product

Blending elements from two customer favorites, the Zind and the Muller Teak, the Zind Teak is a boot made to pair with jeans on the weekend or with a suit at the office. Using elegantly clean and rich Horween Chromexcel leather, it steps away from the work-boot style and into a class of its own. The Fineline sole offers grip and traction with a dressy profile, while the 415 last gives it a narrow and refined form, making it a style versatile enough to accompany all outfits.
$399 |
Buy it here

MayaXKiwi

MayaXKiwi is a Dallas-based watercolor business focusing on pets and art education. The business was named after founder Maya’s rescue cat, Kiwi, who inspires the artwork that develops in the shop. Together, they create Custom Watercolor “Pawtraits” and  DIY Watercolor Kits, and teach Metroplex-wide workshops. MayaXKiwi believes that all animals should be adored and respected like their human counterparts, and that creativity has no limitations and can be pursued by anyone at any time.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“Every animal should be treated as an equal. I share watercolor with the world to empower everyone to have the confidence to be creative.”

The Classic Pawtrait
Featured Product

Submit a photo of your favorite furbaby, and MayaXKiwi will hand-paint an 8” x 10”  portrait in high-pigment watercolors with India ink detailing on cold-pressed paper. It’s the perfect gift to remember your loved ones furever.
$75 | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of Whipped Up Wonderful

Whipped Up Wonderful

Whipped Up Wonderful is a Dallas-based, female-owned bath treat company whose focus is on cruelty-free, biodegradable products inspired by sweet treats, mystical creatures, and rocks and gems.

Bath Macarons
Featured Product

These vegan, shea-butter bath cookies are made carefully ensuring each one is perfect for a relaxing bath. Fragrances change with the season, but the current line features: orange blossom, vanilla, rose, black raspberry and vanilla, and honey lavender.
$18.99 | Buy them here

Photos courtesy of Apolis

Apolis

In 2004, brothers Raan and Shea Parton founded Apolis with a simple idea that business can create social change. Their travels abroad immersed them in personal stories of struggle and survival and inspired them to create a business model that bridges commerce and economic development. Along with their commitment to global advocacy, they also understand the importance of sourcing and manufacturing locally. Whether it means partnering with manufacturers in Uganda, Peru, Bangladesh, or around the corner at their Flagship store in Los Angeles, the Partons have used their model of advocacy through industry to empower people to determine their own future.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“We believe people want long-lasting, everyday items that improve the lives of the people who make them—because your purchase is helping shape the kind of world we live in.”

Long-Lasting Waterproof Carryall
Featured Product

This durable bag is made to last at least eight years and carry over one hundred pounds. With a waterproof interior that’s easy to wipe clean, spills are not a problem—and you can literally use this bag as an ice chest. The mothers who handcraft your bag receive fair trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund.
$68 | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of Trove

Trove

Trove is an ethical apparel company that’s rewriting the story of fast fashion They partner with artisans around the globe and ensure they’re paid a dignified wage and operate in safe working conditions.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“I created Trove out of a desire to have affordable, stylish, and responsibly made clothing. If you start paying attention to how and where your clothing is made, you’ll start to think differently about buying a shirt that only costs $10. Someone or something is always bearing the cost of that item, and it’s likely on the other side of the world in the supply chain. I encourage you to start making smaller, more mindful decisions as a consumer. Our purchasing power is one of the greatest privileges we have as Americans.”

Milly Top
Featured Product

This elevated basic, handmade in Cambodia, is made of 100-percent cotton remnant fabric. It’s just the piece to keep things casual and comfy all season long. Layer the Milly Top with a jean or leather jacket to add a little extra oomph to your outfit. It’s that essential element around which to build your wardrobe.
$38 | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of Haley Stewart

Haley Stewart: The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture

Haley Stewart is a writer, speaker, and podcaster based in Waco. Her new book, The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture, is a challenge to seek simplicity, community, beauty, and faith amid a disconnected world of consumerism. It chronicles Stewart’s adventure of moving her family of five from a house in the city to a 650-square-foot apartment on a farm with no flushing toilets. Informed by her faith, The Grace of Enough reflects on lost habits that can change the world with practical steps we can all take—some as simple as inviting your neighbors over for dinner.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“Nothing makes me happier than hearing from readers that The Grace of Enough inspired them to grow a garden to reconnect with creation, get rid of the possessions cluttering their home to live more simply, have someone over for dinner to build community, or go to an art museum to be surrounded by beauty.”

The Grace of Enough: Pursuing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture
Featured Product

Do you ever feel caught in an endless cycle of working harder and longer to get more while enjoying life less? The Stewart family did—and they decided to make a radical change. Catholic blogger and podcaster Haley Stewart explains how a year-long internship on a sustainable farm changed her family’s life for the better, allowing them to live more intentionally.
$16.95 | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of A Good Shepherd

A Good Shepherd

Located in Fort Worth, A Good Shepherd creates handcrafted knit and crochet pieces for babies, children, and adults, focusing on sustainably and ethically sourced fibers, non-toxic dyes, humanely-treated sheep, and eco-friendly packaging. Every effort is made to be transparent, bringing awareness of fast fashion’s effects on our world, in our environment, and in the lives behind the clothing industry.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“How we purchase matters and it creates a powerful ripple effect in the clothing industry. Every time someone buys from any ethical business, you contribute to enhancing lives and alleviating poverty; you are being a ‘A Good Shepherd.'”

Hugo Pixie Bonnet
Featured Product

This knitted unisex bonnet has small little bobbles delicately interlaced throughout with two choices of luxuriously soft wool in many color options. Sizes 0 months to 4+ years.
$50 and up | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of Hari Mari

Hari Mari

Hari Mari’s story started in Indonesia, where husband and wife Jeremy and Lila Stewart lived and worked for several years. During their time in the island nation, Jeremy produced a documentary film on children fighting hunger and malnutrition in Southeast Asia, and Lila volunteered on behalf of the American Women’s Association in Jakarta, spearheading in-country fundraising, clothing drives, and food donations to aid orphans across the archipelago. Their unique and indelible experiences clicked and spurred a collective passion for helping kids abroad.


When they returned to the U.S., the two decided the next project they’d undertake is to help kids here. When they saw an unmet need for comfortable and colorful flip-flops at a premium level, they married the two passions and found Hari Mari.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“Inspired by their time in Indonesia, Jeremy and Lila were shocked to learn that pediatric cancer is the most fatal disease among American kids. That discovery launched what is now an embedded part of Hari Mari’s DNA—one percent of sales support kids battling pediatric cancer: Flops Fighting Cancer.”

Men’s Navy Parks
Featured Product

$55 | Buy them here

Photos courtesy of GAIA

GAIA

GAIA is a fashion and home accessories line based in Dallas that exists to help refugee women rebuild their lives in the U.S. through dignified, living-wage work.  

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“Our hope is to help refugee women not just survive, but thrive in their new country, and to use fashion as a platform to advocate for them, dispel fears, clarify misconceptions, and show others our shared humanity.”

Customizable Zipper Pouch
Featured Product

Handmade by refugee women in Dallas with Perennials stain-proof fabric
$56 | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of MIRTH Caftans

MIRTH Caftans

MIRTH is a line of ethically made caftans using artisan-made fabrics from India that reflect the rich traditions and intricate ancient methods practiced by their makers. Sisters Erin Breen and Katie McClure launched MIRTH to combine their love of heritage textiles and effortless silhouettes with their desire to make a difference in the world. MIRTH aims to not only help sustain the dying crafts of handloom weaving and blockprinting, but to bring consistent work and ethical employment to Indian artisans. MIRTH donates a percentage of each sale to a child welfare organization called Taabar based in Jaipur.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“We hope to help sustain special heritage crafts and techniques that have been passed on throughout generations. It’s incredible to see the progress that has been made in our artisan communities thanks to the consistent income we’re able to provide our makers. Many of our pieces are handmade, which makes our customers feel connected with the people and story behind them.”

Sabi Sand Mini
Featured Product

The ivory sabi sand fabric is woven on a jacquard loom by artisans in rural West Bengal. The traditional temple border is woven in blue by hand as the fabric itself is woven on a hand loom.
$230 | Buy it here

 

Photos courtesy of Expressions Bracelets

Expressions Bracelets

Expressions Bracelets creates handcrafted jewelry in a little studio in Prosper, Texas. Each item is hand stamped with love and hand packaged with care. Expressions Bracelets offers jewelry that symbolizes personal mantras, special dates, scripture, and special causes.

How are you trying to make the world a better place through your product?
From the Founder

“I want to encourage and empower others to live life unapologetically.”

The StoryTeller Charms Bangle™
Featured Product

This charm bracelet is personalized by you and handcrafted by us to produce the perfect accessory that is timeless, invaluable, and tells the unique story of your life. Decide how many charms you want now with the option to order more later.
$24.95 and up | Buy it here

Photos courtesy of Newton Supply Co.

Newton Supply Co.

The makers at Newton Supply Co. are inspired by the long and winding path that starts with raw materials and ends with a quality good. Founder Laura Davis believes that knowing where your products come from will bring greater meaning to them. Newton bags are produced in Austin with high quality, durable materials that are locally sourced when possible. The waxed canvas is hand-waxed in Houston with local beeswax, and Newton’s printed canvas is screen printed in San Antonio and Austin.

Newton Supply partners with Open Arms, a division of the Austin-based Multicultural Refugee Coalition, to help produce some of their items. Open Arms empowers refugee women by providing living-wage employment.

Tote
Featured Product

A classy take on the basic market tote. With durable, water-resistant waxed canvas, veg-tan leather handles, brass attachments, an interior pocket, and clean French seams, this bag is a lasting carry-all.
$85Buy it here