The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time to find gifts for all the lovely people in your life. If you’re like me, you pretty much have no idea what to get anyone even though you’ve had a year to think about it. So, I spent way too long searching for some sustainable gift options (instead of doing work like a responsible adult) and here are some of my favorites. They are ordered from least to most expensive cause we’re all broke bitches at heart. Have fun shopping!
Package Free is a great store based in Brooklyn that sources products from brands with missions to create a positive environmental impact. All of the products they sell reduce waste and act as alternatives to single-use plastic products. I have one of their tote bags that I use every time I go grocery shopping. These plantable pencils would make a great stocking stuffer for someone with a green thumb. Once you’ve finished using these pencils, you can plant them to grow fragrant herbs and flowers.
J. Hannah is a jewelry company based in Downtown LA. All jewelry is hand made to order and all stones are ethically sourced. The jewelry is beautiful, but it’s also really expensive. So, another great option from J. Hannah is their nail polish. They have a unique selection of colors and all polishes are seven-free*, highly pigmented, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
*Seven-free means the polishes are made without Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde (3 common chemicals found in nail polishes), as well as Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, TPHP, and Xylene.
If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with Cereal Magazine. It’s a minimalist’s dream. Their art direction, design, photography is stunning. I actually just met their editor-in-chief, Rosa Park, and she’s suuuper nice, which always helps. They currently have guides for London, New York, and Paris and I would recommend them as a gift for anyone. I got my New York City Guide signed by Rosa and I’m hoping to start visiting some spots on it in the New Year.
I have about 5 unused journals at my apartment because I buy a nice notebook and convince myself I’m going to start writing and then never do… But if you have someone on your list who actually does write (or wants to start), Appointed notebooks are really beautiful. And for $10 extra, you can add a monogram in serif or sans serif font.
Honestly, you could buy anything from Patagonia and know that it is sustainable. If you hadn’t heard, Patagonia’s CEO Rose Marcario, recently donated the company’s $10 million tax cut to nonprofit groups who work on conservation and climate issues. Patagonia is also a certified B-Corp and just an overall good company, so I will definitely be supporting them this Christmas. (I already bought someone a gift from there, shhh.).
Pro tip: Reformation sells Patagonia products and offers a curated selection of some of Patagonia’s more fashion forward (rather than outdoorsy) products.
If you know someone on your list well enough to know their favorite scents, then a candle is a great option. Maison Louis Marie is committed to clean beauty and providing environmentally-mindful products without toxic ingredients. They have a whole page about it on their site if you want to learn more.
If you know someone who doesn’t kill every plant they touch, then a plant from The Sill could make a great gift. Honestly, even if they’re not the best with plants, The Sill has great resources for beginner plant parents. They deliver potted houseplants right to your doorstep with simple instructions and a money-back guarantee with prices ranging from $5 to $112 depending on the plant.
Winden is one of my favorite jewelry companies. Each piece of jewelry is made by hand in New York using recycled metals to minimize environmental impact. Barrettes are made using cellulose acetate in France, focusing on minimal and striking shapes. Because their jewelry can get very expensive, I selected one of their beautiful hair accessories.
Scrunchies are back and better than ever. I first saw these silk scrunchies in a photoshoot by Tomboy Beauty and fell in love. They are an unexpected luxury and much gentler on your hair than traditional scrunchies.
For those you think would appreciate a little pampering, Herbivore is an excellent skincare brand that sells products made with natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax, recyclable and reusable packaging, and many certified organic ingredients. The HYDRATE + GLOW Mini Collection includes a Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme, Phoenix Facial Oil, Brighten Instant Glow Mask, Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Mist.
I got a pair of Machete earrings for my mom last year and she loves them. Machete is known for their Italian Acetate earrings. The Italian Acetate they use is high quality and non-petroleum based. Cellulose acetate is a natural and renewable material, providing an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum based material. I love the classic tortoise shell earrings, but they have a wide selection of colors and finishes for you to choose from.
You can never go wrong with a t-shirt. It’s pretty much all I wear and Jungmaven makes great ones. They are designed and produced in LA with 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton, and dyed locally under strict CA standards. Jungmaven does not use hangtags and ships its products with no packaging or plastics to reduce waste. I found out about them through Kindred Black, which is an environmentally focused retail project and an excellent resource for finding eco-friendly, ethically made products.
Hemp is one of the most environmentally friendly natural fibers out there because its production requires far less water and pesticides than cotton. Unfortunately, the US controls industrial hemp production under drug enforcement laws, which is why you probably don’t see it very often.
Kindred Black recently introduced a slow skincare collection of simple and effective oils and toners for the face, body, and hair. Not only are the oils super functional and multi-purpose, but the packaging is gorgeous. Each oil is packaged in fully plastic-free, hand blown bottles and vials sealed with waxed corks. As a beauty editor, I’ve been learning a lot about the importance of different active ingredients and jojoba oil is one of them. Jojoba can be used on the face to hydrate, replenish, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used as a facial cleanser and makeup remover, as well as to combat breakouts. It can be used on the lips for softness and shine. And finally, it can be used to combat dandruff and smooth frizz away.
Soko is a jewelry company that works with artisan entrepreneurs to build their businesses, improve production capacity, and sustainably increase income. They employ ethical and transparent practices throughout their supply chain and their artisans use locally sourced and eco-friendly materials whenever possible. I’m loving thick hoops at the moment because of their ability to make a minimalist statement. Soko’s mini bold hoop earrings are some of my favorites.
I found Notary Ceramics through Cereal Magazine and was immediately drawn to their beautifully crafted products. All of their pieces are handmade. Their clays are sourced locally and made in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re looking for a high quality gift that will last a lifetime, this just may be it.
Everlane may be an obvious choice for a sustainable gift, but it’s still worth mentioning. Their selection of sustainable, high quality staples make it very easy to find a gift for just about anyone on your list. The Cashmere Rib Beanie is a great gender neutral gift and they have it in my favorite color (slate blue).
Grown Alchemist has released a selection of limited edition skincare kits for the holidays. The Body Hydration kit includes an intensive hand cream and body cream. Grown Alchemist approaches beauty with scientifically–innovative formulas that improve the skin from the inside out. They use certified organic botanical ingredients and powerful natural actives that provide results without the harmful artificial ingredients.
The Girlfriend Collective is one of my favorite sustainable activewear brands. Their bras and leggings are cute, eco-friendly, and affordable, which you really can’t beat. Each pair of leggings is made from 25 recycled water bottles and their SA8000 (a fancy way of saying they go above and beyond to ensure that human rights standards are being upheld) certified factory uses no forced or child labor, mandates fair working hours and safe conditions, allows unionization, and pays living wages. The high-rise leggings and Paloma bra in Tanzanite are on my list this year.
Merewif offers an excellent selection of handmade jewelry inspired by the alchemistic elements of sea. Every piece is designed by Savannah in her hometown on the Southeast coast of North Carolina and handcrafted in the United States. My favorite pieces are the Diana Necklace, Rise Ring, and Star Spell Cigar Band.
Paloma Wool is one of my favorite brands because of their unique selection of products. Founded by artist and designer Paloma Lanna, they create timeless pieces that are produced locally in Barcelona and remain detached from the seasons of the fashion industry. Paloma Wool brings together artists to collaborate on the making of each collection. The Leandra top features the ‘Nude figures’ print by Tana Latorre.
Wolf Circus is another one of my favorite jewelry brands. They are one of the leaders in a new product category called demi-fine jewelry and all of their pieces are designed and hand made in Vancouver, BC. Wolf Circus uses either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze that is coated in a high grade 14k gold plating.
This sleepwear set by Deiji Studios features an oversized shirt and loose fitting shorts made from 100% stone washed French linen. These sets are high quality and effortlessly beautiful. Deiji Studios is an Australia based brand that sells sleepwear, sheets, duvets, and pillow cases. Carefully sourced from France, their current selection is made from the natural fibers of the flax plant and stonewashed for extra softness. The collection is also hypoallergenic, highly breathable, and environmentally friendly.
Pampa scarves are made by artisans who live on the salt flats and elevated plains of northern Argentina in a place known as the Puna. Pampa teamed up with Argentinean textile brand La Hilandería and the NGO Warmi project. The Warmi promotes financial stability for the remote communities of the Puna through projects in health, resource management and traditional crafts. Profits from the sale of woven textiles are used by the community to fund their children’s education. The Puna scarf is woven from 100% natural llama’s wool and then dyed by hand using natural matter.
Maximum Henry is made from start to finish in New York by Maximum Henry Cohen and a small team of craftsmen based out of Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley. The products are made with the highest quality vegetable-tanned leather using old world leathersmith techniques. The entire product line is sturdy enough to be worn or used daily for years and every item is guaranteed for life. This belt with a “Hey Cowboy” phrase is sold through Reformation. I love the unique touch and western influence. Western accents and cowboy boots were seen on some of the biggest street style stars this past Fashion Week and this belt is a welcome addition to the trend.
I received the Pyrrha New Beginnings Talisman as a gift about two years ago and haven’t taken it off since. It’s my favorite piece of jewelry because of it’s high quality, handcrafted aesthetic, and deeper meaning. Pyrrha is a certified carbon neutral B Corp. All talismans are handcrafted using time honored, old-world techniques from their studio in Vancouver, Canada since 1995. Their jewelry is cast from 100% reclaimed precious metals and all of their printed materials use recycled and FSC certified paper products with biodegradable inks.
Matt & Nat is committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs. Over the years, they’ve experimented with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, they have used linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles and they have recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to their collections. I’ve been using their Central wallet for about two years now and have no complaints. Their designs are simple, beautiful, and durable. My new favorite design is the Anya cross body bag. I’m loving the camera bag look.
Alighieri is an up and coming jewelry brand that has a really unique and interesting perspective. The collection is inspired by Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy,’ with each piece corresponding to one of the poet’s 100 poems. I’m not gonna lie, their pieces are pretty expensive. But, if you’re looking to splurge this season, one of their pieces may be perfect. The Alchemist necklace is made to order and crafted in their London studios, through the process of lost wax casting. I also highly recommend looking through their lookbook and Instagram feed. The art direction is very well done.
Krewe is a New Orleans based brand that sells handcrafted glasses with frames made from plant-based acetates. All glasses have a lifetime warranty and come with one free replacement, free of charge. The Ward frames are a favorite among models and celebrities, from Kendall Jenner and Beyonce to Elsa Hosk and Alessandra Ambrosio.
I honestly put these here just for fun because I’m not sure who’s buying someone a pair of $600 shoes for Christmas, but MY GAWD they’re pretty. Dear Frances is one of my favorite footwear brands. They work closely with a team of artisan shoemakers in Italy, using sustainable materials and processes to develop a new kind of luxury that focuses on craftsmanship and seeks to slow the fashion cycle. They are designed to be worn all day, every day, season after season. They also partner with non-profit organizations like Soles4Souls to ensure that for every pair of Dear Frances shoes purchased, a pair of shoes is sent to a person in need.