After preparing my Holiday Gift Guides the year before last (THAT long ago? Eesh), I had thought I wouldn’t do these anymore. One, because these creep up on every website and blog post this time of year. Do you really need another to help you be festive and merry? Two, because I always — stalwart, without fail — prepare these far too late in the season. As in, mid-December. Helpful? Not so much.
But, it’s mid-November(ish), and here I am putting together my Sustainable Holiday Gift Guides for you guys. There’s still plenty of time to finish (in my case: begin) your Christmas shopping, ensure you find the perfect presents for everyone on your list. Procrastinating habits, be gone!
And the other, most important, reason I wanted to put these guides together is this: if you’re going to buy things, buy as sustainably as possible. This means quality items either from small, independent retailers, or products that are sustainably crafted. Or, in certain instances, buying really good products that will last you a long, long time.
While there may be myriads of sustainable, ethical, or independent brands out there, what isn’t so easy is finding them. In fact, I have a whole new business coming out dedicated just to this — stay tuned my friends, launch is coming soon.
This week and next will be my sustainable holiday gift guides — one for her, and one for him, although I vehemently believe both should be shopped from equally, regardless of gender — to help you navigate those sustainable-shopping murky waters. Now that it’s nearly Black Friday weekend, I hope you can find all the gifts that you need this year. As much as I try to be as minimalist as possible, there’s just something about gift giving. It fills our hearts, feeds our souls, and finds us drawn closer together.
1 | PATAGONIA PUFFER
Patagonia is one of the OG (yes, I used that phrase, sigh) sustainable brands, and to this day, leads the way in sustainable and eco-friendly practices. A wind and waterproof puffer in a warm, burnt-caramel hue will last you years and years. This is top of my Christmas list this year.
2 | CASHMERE SOCKS
I am normally a slipper kind of person. But, having discovered these cashmere socks from Rosie Sugden, I am a cozy-socks convert. The brand’s slow, detailed manufacturing process is better for the environment, and when they last for years, better for you (or who you’re gifting).
3 | NON-TOXIC NAIL POLISH*
If you’re looking for a small gift (stocking stuffer?), a non-toxic nail polish is perfect. And trust me when I say — J Hannah’s nail polishes are the best I’ve ever used, non-toxic or no. The most chic, beautiful shades, with a lasting power that beats all others. My favorite colors are Hepworth*, Ghost Ranch*, and Carob.*
4 | TORTOISE HOOPS
Tortoise hoops help any outfit look magically put together. Sustainable brand Machete make the most beautiful pairs, in a variety of shapes and sizes — at a great price point. Perfect for that gift to your best friend or colleague.
5 | CASHMERE TRAVEL WRAP*
Is it a scarf, a blanket, or the exact item you need while traveling? A cashmere travel wrap not only serves all the practical purposes, but it makes you feel so, so much fancier when flying Economy (which, let’s be real, I only ever do). White & Warren are a sustainable brand that create classic cashmere travel wraps (I have the camel heather).
6 | PILLOW/SLEEP SPRAY*
Is there anything more gift-worthy than the gift of sleep? I keep this Votary Pillow Spray by my bed at all times. The dark glass bottle means it will keep well (and look uncluttered on the bedside table), and the scent is heady and spa-like. I’ve recommended it to so many friends.
7 | ALLBIRDS WOOL SNEAKERS*
Allbirds sneakers really are the comfiest, easiest-to-throw-on shows around, at a great price point. Plus, made from recycled wool from a company that cares about sustainability, you know you’re making a purchase good for the environment. If you know someone that doesn’t already own these, the wool runners* are the best present to give.
8 | SCENTED CANDLE*
If anyone tries to tell you a candle is not a good gift, tell them they’re wrong. Look for ones made with natural waxes, such as beeswax, soy wax, coconut, etc., and that are bade small-batch. Most cheap candles — or if not specified — are made with paraffin, which pollutes the air of your home when burned. Roen Candles make some of my favorites, but I also love Cardamom Milk by Otherland*.
9 | CUSTOMIZABLE PLANNER
The perfect gift for the Type A’s, Virgos, Stationery Lovers or Recovering Procrastinators (hello!). Golden Coil offer the most customizable planner (and notebooks) you can buy, in a stunning array of covers and thoughtfully laid pages . To be honest, it may be best to gift someone a gift card to customize their own planner, because it’s a very involved and lengthy process to get the planner exactly how you want. But, even through a gift card, it’s an amazing present to be given!
10 | WASHABLE SILK PAJAMAS
Lunya’s washable silk may not be sustainable (to be honest, I’m not entirely sure about their practices). However, the ultimate test of sustainability, really, is whether the products last and don’t become waste. Trust me when I say: Lunya pajamas are built to last. And yes, their washable silk sets look as beautiful and elegant in person, and they wash well in the machine.
11 | NORDGREEN WATCH*
Sustainable watch company Nordgreen makes watches with design chops that could rival other big-name designers. Their innovative design means you can also mix and match the straps as you like. The Infinity (in gold and white) is at the top of my wishlist.
12 | RECYCLED CASHMERE SWEATER*
If you read my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe post, you will know well my A. Love of cozy sweaters and B. Love of Everlane cozy sweaters. Sustainable materials, modern keep-forever designs and at a reasonable price point — it’s the one time I’d say buying clothes for someone is a great idea. This waffle knit* is made from recycled cashmere, making it a little more expensive but the most sustainable cozy material you can get.
13 | LEATHER CARDHOLDER
To be honest, I’m not partial to this particular cardholder, because I think any neutral toned, beautifully designed card holder is the most useful gift you can give. I’ve also been eyeing up this one from Chloe — less sustainable, but more “I will keep forever and ever.”
14 | MEMOBOTTLE REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
While I love my S’Well and the other water bottles I’ve accumulated over the years, nothing beats the Memobottle for it’s design. Slim and flat, it fits into almost every handbag and tote, and the sleek, minimal design makes you feel chic drinking water, so you know you’ve made it. I bought mine in 2016 and recently lost it, and I’m getting another.
15 | PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER*
As I spoke about above, a lot of sustainability is investing in high-quality products that last. Higher quality, less waste. Bang & Olufsen technology is sublime: beautifully designed, interesting neutral colors, while being the best sound quality around (Nick tested a bunch before getting his — and then my — headphones). This B&O speaker* (on sale!) is the perfect travel and party accessory to keep for years and year.
16 | SILK EYE MASK*
Yes, Lunya is on here twice, because yes, their products are the best. I tried other silk eye masks, but Lunya’s washable silk sleep mask* is designed with a slight curve, allowing for better protection against light. Plus, silk anything makes for the most luxe, you-deserve-it gift.
17 | LEATHER TRAVEL CASE SET
I was actually gifted this exact Cuyana set in ecru for my birthday, so I can attest that it does make for a very wonderful gift. It goes with the theme “things I’d love to own but wouldn’t buy for myself,” which in my opinion, make for the most delightful of presents. Cuyana also is one of the few sustainable leather brands with a modern, minimal and classic aesthetic, so you can’t go wrong with anything from their site as a gift.
18 | ART PRINT
Though perhaps a bold choice, I think gifting a (small) piece of art is a unique and yet very thoughtful present choice. This one here called ‘The Upsidedown’ from my favorite shop Red’s Mercantile caught my eye — it’s subtle enough to not offend but also tells a story, and is printed in the USA from a local artist.
And a Little Note about Stocking Stuffers…
Ahh, stocking stuffers. Not that I like to play favorites, but they’re definitely my favorite of all the gifts under the tree. I almost put together an entire list of just these this year. But, in the interest of simplicity (for you and for me), I thought I’d just mention a few things — sustainable, eco-friendly, or ethical — I’d love to see in my fuzzy stocking.
- These Terra Ties hair ties are completely biodegradable — so you’ll feel less guilty losing them all the time.
- A travel flat iron cover is such a useful gift that I don’t know why more brands aren’t designing versions of this. Not necessarily sustainably made, but it’s a gift you’d keep for a long time.
- Beeswax Wraps *are so handy to have in the kitchen (we use ours all the time) and are a very easy sustainable swap for plastic wrap.
- The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray* is a sweater savior, helping to keep moths at bay and refreshing them between washes (and, ultimately, helping you wash them less). A perfect side companion to a cozy sweater gift.
- Any small item from The Package Free Shop would help anyone on their sustainable journey (and be so useful around the home)
*Links indicate affiliate links. This means, if you choose to purchase the product linked here, at no additional cost to you I will make a small commission. Considering this post took me close to 15 hours to put together, it is very, very appreciated. Thank you for supporting sustainable brands, and thank you for supporting this blog!