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The joy of giving is felt even more deeply when a present stands for something positive. And in the case of our top holiday gift picks, "positive" doesn't begin to cover it.

At a prison in Mexico City, a group of female inmates worked by hand to cross-stitch the leather for Study’s pretty keychain pouch. In doing so, these women learned or honed craft skills that can translate into a sustainable income, as well as a life free from crime upon release.

In Nairobi, workers in a “trash for cash” program collected discarded metal goods ranging from belt buckles to door handles. Under the direction of a Kenyan metalsmith named Kine, who uses his craft to empower underprivileged youth in his community, the reclaimed metals were melted down and artfully reshaped into contemporary jewelry. The result: striking accessories like Soko’s Cross Kizimba cuff.

In Cambodia, artisans repurposed metal shells from bombs that were dropped on the country during the rise and reign of the Khmer Rouge. Plated in 24-karat gold, these former weapons became the hardware and chain straps used in Mettle Fair Trade's recycled-lucite clutches, among other designs.

Inspired? That's just a sampling of the stories represented in our selection. Whether your budget is big or small, each of these feel-good finds is packed with purpose.

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