With holiday spending and consumption through the roof this time of the year can bring a lot of headaches. From what to buy, to how much to spend, the holidays can get quite stressful. If you’re struggling to come up with gift ideas and want to minimize your impact this holiday season you’ve come to the right place. Paying special attention to where your gifts come from and what they’re made of can ensure you have a more ethical, eco-conscious holiday season.
That’s why we teamed up with the team at Behere to compile these gift ideas for the holidays in our eco-conscious, ethical holiday gift guide. That’s why we wanted to share some great, sustainable gift ideas for the holidays. So we put together this extensive, eco-conscious and ethical holiday gift guide. This year – and for years to come – shop sustainably and ethically to show loved ones you care about them and the planet.
Jewelry is always a great, timeless gift idea. But when buying it, have you ever thought about its social and environmental impact?
The jewelry industry is far from sustainable. Metal and diamond extraction is very destructive and polluting for the planet. As well as having a negative environmental impact, it’s also often inhumane as the working conditions in mines are, most of the time, disastrous.
However, a new jewelry industry is emerging – a sustainable one. Jewelry producers are now using recycled metals, and diamonds that are being manufactured in labs. To help you to find more ethical, sustainable jewelry, we’ve included these unique purpose-driven brands.
Starfish Project is an organization dedicated to helping sexually exploited women by providing them opportunities to change their life. Thanks to their Holistic Care program, they provide healthcare, education, and shelter.
Not only that, but Starfish Project is also an opportunity for a career. These women create all the pieces of jewelry in their online shop. Thanks to Starfish Project the women can grow in their careers and become managers, designers and photographers. The company was founded because they believe every individual action to help is worth doing. If Starfish Project’s mission speaks to you, check them out at starfishproject.com.
Ayada is a Barcelona-made brand that provides a small selection of handmade jewelry. The passionate founder makes each piece of jewelry by hand and they can all be personalized according to your wish. Ayada’s creations are original and elegant. You can find all his work on their online shop Ayada.
AUrate is a handmade jewelry company based in New York. AUrate’s sustainable philosophy is based on durability, transparency, eco-friendly production and giving back to charity. All their jewelry is made of 100% recycled gold and available in three different colors.
AUrate is very careful in their diamond and pearl production process. They also pay special attention to the working conditions of their employees and their environmental impact.
Plus, for each piece of jewelry they sell, a book is given to a school in the US. There are three AUrate stores in New York City and one in Washington D.C or you can purchase from their online store here.
Aglaïa & co
Aglaïa & co is jewelry and accessories made in France that are produced sustainably and ethically. They promote local know-how, minimizing their carbon footprint and are working to combat climate change by donating 5% of their profits to foundations. Moreover, the materials used are mostly recycled or from trustworthy sources. Additionally, their packaging is completely recyclable. Their products are only sold on their website to ensure fair prices. Plus, with each order, you get to choose which charity you want to help. So if you want to give back this year while making a relative or friend happy with beautiful jewelry, check them out here.
La Luna & Rose
The accessories from La Luna & Rose are designed by a New-Zealander who is a passionate traveler. Through its creations, La Luna & Rose celebrates life and freedom. In love with our planet and the people the founder met during her numerous trips, she chose to associate her company with the global movement 1% for the planet. This means 1% of their annual sales goes towards environmental non-profits in New-Zealand and Bali.
Additionally, La Luna & Rose ensures total transparency and promotes slow, handmade and sustainable fashion. The company cares about the working conditions of the artisans who make its products. They are fairly paid and work in good conditions. As well as their closed-loop production, La Luna & Rose uses compost packaging. In its online shop you’ll find a selection of jewelry plus sustainable t-shirts and accessories like bags, scarves or towels.
Koetania is a Barcelona based jewelry store that pays particular attention to the origin of its materials. They work with Fairmined gold, which means they are sustainable and certified by the Alliance for Responsible Mining. Further, their diamond’s producers are controlled by the Kimberley process that certifies the extraction of gems is not financed by countries in war. Koetenia also emphasizes recycling by reusing the metals and offering a repair service to its clients. Additionally, their jewelry is made without any toxic materials like nickel or lead. Koetania also provides personalized engagement and wedding rings, to create the jewelry of your dreams. Check them out at Koetania.
Bird+Stone is a female-founded jewelry company that focuses on giving back and has already donated $100K to support its social impact partners. Their partners work in cause areas like women’s health, education for girls, poverty alleviation, environmental protection, and more.
The Bird + Stone founder was inspired to start by a volunteer trip to create a platform that makes it easier for people to support the causes they care about. All their products are ethically made in the US and many from recycled materials. Plus, 10% of every purchase is donated to their impact partners. Check them out at Bird + Stone.
The fashion industry has the second-largest environmental impact on the planet. As clothing becomes cheaper, people are now accumulating five times as many garments as past generations. And fast fashion is largely to blame. What exactly is fast-fashion? It’s when the cost of production is constantly lowered negatively impacting the clothes’ quality, the environment and factory working conditions.
To slow the disaster caused by the fashion industry, while still enjoying new pieces is to shop vintage or secondhand clothes or purchase quality pieces of clothing that are made in eco-friendly, ethical ways.
There’s been a large growth in the number of clothing brands that are on a mission to help our planet and protect people from indecent working conditions. So we’re sharing seven fashion brands that make sustainable, ethical clothing. Shopping ethical, eco-conscious for gifts is a great idea as you’re supporting eco-friendly retailers, while also making friends or family aware of ethical, eco-conscious brands.
Girlfriend Collective is a sportswear brand that creates its products from post-consumer water bottles (polyester) and fishing nets (nylon). They work with Taiwan, one of the leading countries in recycling, and their clothing is manufactured in Vietnam. Workers at their factories are well paid, receiving 125% of the minimum wage. On their website, you can read their ethical values as they show complete transparency and promote slow fashion. Girlfriend Collective pays attention to every step of the production process to make a positive impact. If you want to learn more about them and check out their clothes, head to their website.
With organic cotton as their first material, Pact has a guilt-free production process. It involves sustainable cotton cultivation, fair trade factories and minimization of water use. Pact provides clothes for men, women and children, in addition to home goods. Its founder, who used to work in an international manufacturing business, realized that a change had to be made. So Pact was created to make a better social and environmental impact. If you want to buy a quality piece of clothing from Pact, check out their online shop (US shipping only).
Velvet Bcn is a retail shop where you can find brands from all around the world. What these brands all share is a sustainable view of the fashion industry. Velvet Bcn selects brands that produce clothing made of organic or recycled materials. Moreover, they have to have a certification that they provide good working conditions. The shop promotes sustainable fashion which means the impact made during all production processes has to be the best possible. Organic materials ensure less water used and the avoidance of pesticides. Additionally, their quality is higher and the texture softer. They use recycled products, allowing them to reuse materials and reduce the amount of waste. One of their goals is also to promote local brands. Velvet Bcn has women’s and men’s clothes available on their online shop and in their Barcelona store.
This jeans manufacturer is based in Melbourne and believes business and sustainability work together. As a member of different organizations like the Australian fashion council, Nobody Denim is actively engaged in ethical and eco-friendly fashion. Every day, they work to improve their technology to reach goals like achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Moreover, they ensure a safe environment and fair wages and working conditions for their employees. Concerning the garments, they are made following numerous environmental standards that ensure the use of eco-friendly products. They care about the health of our planet as well as our health. In Nobody Denim’s shop, you can find jeans and other clothes like skirts, jackets and t-shirts. Their prices reflect their careful process and high standards. If you want to learn more about them and check out their clothes head to their website.
If you’re looking for simple, comfy, organic t-shirts then check out this brand that we featured here For Days will also take your old clothes and repurpose them in exchange for a gift card to spend in their online shop. Learn more about them here fordays.com.
This fashion brand makes clothes from bananas, plastic bottles, wood, organic cotton, wool, cashmere, and other sustainable materials. They are dyed with flowers or minerals and no chemical products are used in the process. The pieces of clothing are produced in India where Thinking Mu provides proper working conditions and wages to employees. The workers make most of the clothing by hand according to traditional techniques which give the clothing their unique style. They also work with producers in Barcelona and Italy to promote local manufacturers. Thinking Mu helps give visibility to innovative, handcrafted, local projects through its online platform. If you’re interested in seeing their products check out their website or visit one of their shops located around the world.
Knickey is an online shop that offers certified organic cotton underwear for women. They care about women’s intimate health which is why they produce undies that don’t contain harmful toxins that can cause infections or cancers. Thanks to the organic cotton, the underwear is also more comfortable and eco-friendly. Knickey’s products have multiple certifications (GOTS, Fairtrade, Oeko-Tex, FSC)and their packaging is also eco-friendly. Additionally, Knickey offers a recycling service where you send them your old undies(their brand or others) and they recycle them. For recycling your old undies you then receive a free pair of undies with your purchase. Shipping to the UK, USA & Canada check out Knickey here.
Shoes + Accessories
The footwear and accessories industry causes the same problem that the clothing industry does. We’ve shared five sustainable footwear and accessory brands.
TOMS shoes is a social centered brand that supports organizations around the world. They work to improve physical safety, mental health and equal opportunities. TOMS also donates a pair of shoes for each pair bought. On their website, they share their annual report about the different foundations they support. TOMS sells different styles of shoes for women, men, and children in addition to sunglasses to help complete your outfit. They’re aa great gift idea that will delight family or friends especially when you share the story behind the shoes. Check them out at toms.com.
MATT & NAT
This vegan brand, whose name comes from Material and Natural, provides bags, shoes and accessories. The company is based around sustainability from its headquarters in Montreal to production. Their bags are made of eco-friendly materials like recycled nylon, rubber and,cork and the lining is made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Further, their products are made to last. They have a large selection of products for women as well as some for men and dog. Check out the MATT & NAT website for gift ideas.
According to Warby Parker, 2.5 billion people have vision problems but do not have access to glasses preventing millions from being able to work and study. So, Warby Parker decided to act by donating a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair they sell. They also provide free eye exams and price their glasses very affordably. In addition, they partner with organizations to make an impact in more than fifty countries around the globe. Warby Parker also offers trendy sunglasses. All their options can be found at warbyparker.com.
Comfy, light and warm, Allbirds are eco-friendly shoes. The materials they use to make them are wool from merino sheep, recycled bottles to create the laces, castor bean oil and recycled cardboard. They also use FSC wood and the soles are made of sugarcane. Last but not least, Allbirds invented its sustainable material, Trinotm, made of tree and merino that is used as yarn. On their website, you can find shoes for every occasion in addition to socks and sleep masks. If someone you know is looking for a new pair of shoes then check them out here.
Patagonia is a well-known b-corporation. They’re part of the Corporate Responsibility Movement which means they follow international and human rights standards. Patagonia works on protecting and preserving our planet, which is why they support grassroots organizations and work with corporate partners to improve manufacturing. They also motivate their employees to get involved and run environmental campaigns. To learn more about them and purchase gifts for the holidays head to patagonia.com.
Everybody needs products for their home, whether it’s for the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. There are a lot of everyday products that are useful and now there are a number of eco-friendly options to choose from. See our selection of these gift ideas below.
Biome is the first B-corporation in Australia that promotes zero-waste, toxin-free products and an ethical way of producing them. Biome offers you everything you need for your kitchen, bathroom, beauty routine, the outdoors and your kids. Their products come from different brands that share the same ethical and eco-friendly values. The website is full of good gift ideas for your family and friends. Check them out here.
Swell makes reusable steel bottles. The company supports UNICEF, the Breast Cancer Foundation and Lonely Whale. Not only do they offer stylish drink containers but also snack containers in addition to things you need for your wine and cocktail bar. From their innovative champagne flute, to their shaker set, to their classic water bottle, you’ll find what you’re looking for. You can see all their options here.
Ettitude has created the first CleanBamboo fabric to make sustainable, organic and comfortable bed sheets. Ettitude is also one of the numerous members of the 1% for the Planet Movement and they support the charity One Girl that helps girls gain access to education. Moreover, they participate in the climate initiative CO2 Neutral Websites that allow them to invest in renewable energy sources. On their website, you can find everything you need for bed plus pajamas and accessories here.
24 Bottles sells stainless steel bottles that keep beverages hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. The company is certified Carbon Neutral and the entire carbon emissions released during production are absorbed by the trees they plant. According to 24 Bottles, “Sustainability is about the relationship between humans and the environment”. For an eco-friendly gift that can be used all year round check out 24bottles.com.
Babies & Children
It’s always fun to find great holiday gifts for your kids. It’s important to remember that this industry pollutes as much as the adult fashion industry. To help you to find sustainable presents for your little ones here are two brands that take the environment and society into account.
Aupa Organics is the place to find games, clothes, body products and more for your baby. Everything there is organic to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your little one. For them, it’s important to start sustainable habits from a young age. You can find Aupa Organics in Barcelona and on their website aupaorganics.com.
Alike is a modern, sustainable and unisex fashion brand that offers a selection of colorful clothing. They use GOTS certified organic cotton and no toxic dye. They also care about the working conditions of their employees and support the foundation Blessings in a Backpack which provides food for children in need. Plus, for every order they help Noissue plant trees. Alike’s original t-shirts and jeans are available on their website alikekids.com.
When we think of buying gifts, most of the time, we’re thinking about physical products like clothes, jewelry or other everyday items. But it’s not only that, a gift can also be a donation we make to a cause we want to support or that we think friends or family would be happy to help. So we’ve shared these two great charitable donation ideas to make this holiday seasons gifts even more special.
Christmas is approaching and to count down to it, an Advent Calendar is always a fun idea. Instead of giving the traditional one with chocolate, you can now give one that gives back. It’s sustainable and recyclable but best of all is that included in the price is a daily donation to charity. It’s fun because when you open each calendar day you get to see which charity you’ve helped. Sometimes the best gift is to give, not receive. Learn more about this great initiative at adventofchange.com.
InLieu is the app for giving. It allows you to donate to your friends’ favorite causes instead of giving them a physical gift. It also enables you to directly donate to nonprofits of your choice. InLieu gives you the ability to help over 1.6 million foundations. Because it’s social, you can also create events and invite your friends to donate to a charity of your choosing. To sum it up, this is an easy way to give while helping great causes. Download the app here and start giving today!
As you can see, there are a ton of brands that care about making a positive impact on the world and humanity. Thankfully, more and more companies like this are popping up as consumers are demanding more purpose-driven brands.
So this holiday season, we challenge you to do your part and buy from small businesses and social impact brands that have a positive impact on the world and are ethical. If we all work on having more eco-friendly and ethical consumption, we can make a huge difference.
Now that you have our holiday gift guide filled with purpose-driven brands, we hope you feel inspired to buy from companies and brands that are making a difference. Once you have all your gifts, head to our post on tips for eco-conscious ways to wrap them. Happy holidays and happy ethical, eco-conscious shopping!
Ready to discover how your brand can make more of a positive social impact in 2020? Check out our Free Brand Social Impact Guide now!