Our ethical Christmas gift guide for 2020 has something for everyone: men, women and kids!
By Lora O’Brien
Anyone else kind of love – but kind of hate – the holiday season? You marvel at all the gorgeous lights on the high street…and then wonder how much electricity they’re using. You’re thrilled when you open up your gifts…but wonder why Aunt Sally couldn’t have used a recyclable gift bag instead of plastic ‘paper’ for wrapping. You need to buy gifts for your nephew, mom, boyfriend, sister, colleague…but dread the idea of filling up the world with more wrapping pollution and unwanted gifts.
So, what to do?
Well, for starters, be sure that whatever you buy is ‘wrapped’ in something eco-friendly, be it an old newspaper, recycled Kraft paper or a reusable gift bag.
Secondly, make sure you gift something that people will love. Something useful. Something targeted towards that person, but a gift that’s not too particular or personal- just in case.
Personally, I think I’m pretty good at gifting. No complaints so far! So I’ve been assigned by Eluxe the task of coming up with gifts for him, her, kids, and everyone, that are sustainable, ethical, and above all, highly desirable.
The result? Our ethical Christmas Gift Guide for 2020. I’m sure you’ll find something for everyone on your list this year!
Our Ethical Christmas Gift Guide For 2020
When it comes to sustainable fashion, there is a huge focus on women. But a lot of men care about the the planet, too!
A classic button down shirt is something every man should have in his closet. And if it’s made from organic cotton or other eco materials, all the better!
Looking for the perfect shirt for him? Check out what Neem London has to offer.
This is an exciting sustainable menswear brand that is focused on making soft, comfortably tailored garments using recycled fibres. They work exclusively with the best mills in Italy who share their vision of sustainability.
Neem London’s shirts are odorless, weightless, and fast drying. They proudly claim this will be ‘the most comfortable eco shirt you will ever wear!’
Whether it’s a button down shirt, tee or jacket, each item Neem London makes is tailored down to the finest detail, making the wearer feel confident in both their ethics and clothing choices.
Price: Around $99 for a classic shirt
Best for: The fashionable man who is also a conscious consumer.
Ayurveda can help anyone on the road to better health and beauty, be they a man or woman. And with over 25 years of experience under their belt, Subtle Energies is one of the best brands to guide you towards better skin.
They create results-based aromatherapy, natural skincare and wellness solutions founded on authentic, ancient Ayurvedic principles. Their product range is created with the intent to address multiple skin and body concerns, all while delivering high-performance results which will empower one’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
This year, Subtle Energies have created the perfect skincare kit to help heal your skin. The award-winning restorative age-defying daily hydration collection joins forces with the rejuvenating properties of 24K gold and rare floral actives of Mogra, Juhi, Indian Rose and Ashwaganda.
Their Mogra Rejuvenating Gold Moisturiser includes Mogra & Ashwagandha, known for stimulating cell renewal, promoting collagen and elastin production, keeping the skin firm and radiant. Ashwagandha is also a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage. The Himalayan Rose found in the collection balances the heart chakra and is used in times of grief and trauma. Mogra was researched extensively and was found to benefit not only skin health, but mental health and chronic anxiety, too.
All products are ethically made in Australia following European standards of natural skincare and clean beauty. Certified cruelty-free, they also free from parabens, mineral oils, silicones and artificial fragrances.
Price: $190 for the starter kit
Best for: The man who is in to holistic health AND wants to look his best!
A watch is a timeless gift and one that can be passed down through the generations. Watches are elegant, practical, and make a statement of responsibility and the preciousness of time.
If you’re not sure which brand to go with, we highly recommend Nordgreen.
Nordgreen is a Copenhagen-based company that creates clean, beautifully designed, affordable watches with sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. All Nordgreen watches exude a cool, minimalist style with unisex designs for both men and women.
The watches can also be restyled with interchangeable straps. These make it easier to adapt the timepiece to suit your outfit, mood, personality, and even ethics.
This is a brand that helps consumers play it forward in a big way, too. Every time you make a purchase with them you automatically becomes part of Nordgreen’s Giving Back Programme, which allows you – or rather, your gift recipient – to donate to one of the three noble causes!
Finding it hard to choose just one watch? The Pioneer gift set is a great choice. It makes the perfect gift for the man in your life as he can change the straps to suit every aspect of his life.
Price: Around $325
Best for: The busy guy with a penchant for stylish timepieces.
Know a coffee lover who’s aiming to cut down caffeine? MUD\WTR has created the ultimate coffee alternative which makes the perfect morning cuppa.
With one seventh of the caffeine that regular coffee has, MUD\WTR gives you a natural energy boost with its organic ingredients – minus the jitters and caffeine crash!
It’s a super healthy morning drink that’s comprised of immunity boosting and cancer-fighting ingredients: Cacao, Masala Chai, Turmeric, Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Chaga Mushrooms, Cordyceps, Reishi Mushrooms, Lions Mane – and nothing else!
This trial kit makes the perfect gift to get started. It comes with 30 servings of MUD\WTR , a sample of their creamer and an electronic frother – perfect for whipping up the perfect beverage!
Best for: Health food fanatics and coffee lovers who want to cut down on the stuff
Sure, diamonds were once upon a time associated with an engagement, but not anymore. After all, why should a diamond promote just one milestone, when women go through so many in their lifetime? And when we think of how tough 2020 has been for many – the end of the year seems like the perfect time to appreciate all those moments that may have happened this year, with one signature gift.
Whether this year saw your loved one change career, have a baby or even the end of a rubbish relationship, help them celebrate that moment with something sentimental just for them.
Akind have lots of delicate, beautiful jewellery to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a ring, a bracelet or a pair of earrings, you’ll find it here.
Price: Prices start at around $200.
Best for: Helping someone special to celebrate a personal milestone with a piece of jewellery; lovers of bling and dainty, shiny things!
Whether your gift recipient loves taking a HIIT class, doing some yoga or going for a run, they’ll love wearing something comfortable and ethical while doing so.
Soulgani Activewear is the perfect brand to check out. From bra tops to leggings, tank tops and sweatshirts, there is plenty to choose from here.
Each of their collections is inspired by photos they’ve taken during their travels, or the nature that surrounds their Florida HQ. Each collection has a unique story, but that’s not all: this is a brand that gives back! Each purchase gives back ten percent of net proceeds to the town, city or village that inspired that garment. For example, if you purchase their sweet Rock Bra Crop, you’ll be ‘paying for’ bricks to build homes in Peru, through the Fuller Center for Housing.
Price: From around $52
Best for: The active woman that loves high quality and high purpose.
We couldn’t do an ethical Christmas Gift Guide without including a must-have accessory: a vegan handbag! And gifting a statement bag is a sure way to make any lady smile this holiday.
Whether you’re a fan of the crossbody, clutch, or backpack, JORD is a vegan brand that makes bags as sustainable as they are stylish. The Emilie is one of my personal favourite styles. It features a plush velvet lining and an eco-friendly Suberhide™ exterior – that’s JORD’s own unique ‘leather’ that’s basically a posh cork flecked with silver.
Accordion-style construction allows for a streamlined silhouette with plenty of space for the stuff we need to take outside with us every day. A beautiful interlocking silver chain strap can be worn as a transitional crossbody or folded over for an evening shoulder bag. This is an office chic to date night essential!
Another reason I chose JORD as the perfect handbag to give is because all of their products come in soft dustbags and chic black boxes. In other words, they’re already wonderfully gift wrapped!
Best for: The woman who loves to be organised, while looking stylish!
When the weather is dark and miserable outside, nothing feels nicer than coming home, getting changed into your comfies and lighting a scented candle. Candles give the room a warming glow, and they smell heavenly. But as you breathe in the toxins from a candle, you’ll want to make sure it’s a clean one you’re burning.
Vellabox is the gift that keeps on giving. This is a monthly candle subscription, where each month they will send you or the recipient an artisan, small-batch, toxic-free, hand-poured candle to burn. The candle arrives in a reusable drawstring bag, and with it comes an information card detailing the candles featured that month in the box.
The candles always contain lead-free wicks, use phthalate-free fragrance oils, and are made of 100% soy, coconut or vegetable-based waxes. You can be self assured that no candle will ever contain the unhealthy ingredients found inside many commercial brands.
There are three options available, making them great if you’re on a budget. The basic package is $20 per month and can be cancelled at any time. But if you’re wanting to make this a gift, we think the 6-month package makes the perfect present.
Price: $114 for a six month subscription
Best for: Your mom, sister, bestie…that special person in your life who you want to treat each and every month.
Hate watching your expensive hair dye washing down the drain each time you step in the shower? Preserve the colour from being stripped away while also taking care of your locks thanks to this cruelty-free haircare brand. Pureology is a 100% vegan brand who have recently launched a new look and formula. Its organic formula works to bring life back to even the dullest of locks, keeping hair looking freshly pigmented, wash after wash.
This year, Pureology is releasing holiday kits which will include all of their popular products in a super handy gift box. The perfect present to stow away for Christmas! They contain 4 products and are available in each hair type, so there really is one for everyone.
Best for: The vegan in your life – I’m sure they’ll appreciate this thoughtful hair-care gift!
An ethical Christmas Gift Guide has to include something for kids, and we think this is just adorable!
The Hape Tool Box for Kids offers nuts, bolts, and all the tools little builders need to tinker, neatly packed in away in a wood box. It includes loads of wooden tools and fixings, and is guaranteed to stimulate the imagination and help develop dexterity. It allows their imaginations to go wild, and the best part? No plastic!
Price: Around $15.00
Best for: Active toddlers
Got a friend who just had – or is about to have – a baby? This is the perfect first Christmas present for the new little human!
A baby wrap fits newborns of all sizes, and is a super-practical must-have for all new moms and babes. Just make sure the one you gift is purely natural, to avoid skin irritations.
We’d recommend one by KURA Organics. This is an environmentally conscious brand on a mission to deliver stylish, organic solutions that help every day parenting in a beautiful way. Their ethos means that not only are their products solving a need, but they’re also comfortable, safe and environmentally made – everything a new or expectant parent would look for when it comes to their new bundle of joy.
The KURA organic baby wrap is a safe, comfortable, and minimalistic solution to keeping baby warm in car seats and pushchairs. The perfect accessory for bringing baby home from the hospital, and for taking them out and about.
All KURA products are made from organic materials, ensuring they are perfectly safe and comfortable for a baby’s delicate skin. Their wrap uses organic cotton yarn to create a luxuriously soft basketweave knit, and is available in three different earth-tones. The lining fabric is brushed interlock jersey and is printed with non-toxic and baby-safe ink. Poppers ensure quick and easy fastening, allowing the parent to do so without disturbing the baby when wanting to keep them either warm or cool. This is the perfect accessory for babies aged up to 6 months.
Best for: The perfect gift for a new mom, or for someone who’s expecting.
The best thing you can give to kids at Christmas is…fun!
With this eco crafts kit, kids can even create their own Christmas gifts with this box full of 20 easy eco crafts.
The box includes recycled stickers, spools, buttons, craft sticks, spools, beads, paper, string, ribbons, glue, tissue paper and papers and pencils that allow children aged six and up to make puppets, animals and jewellery. Easy-to-follow instructions are included, and the box is even made of recycled paperboard and soy ink.
Best for: Empowering kids to make their own fun!
Sure, some of us want to drink less caffeine. But others can’t live without the stuff! And as it turns out, there are plenty of health benefits to drinking coffee – so we’re thrilled to find a brew we can feel good about drinking and buying for others!
Free Coffee Lunch is a brand that was created out of a dream that no child will go hungry on our planet. Founders Frida and Vin are all too aware that our world is filled with abundance, and that we can all share some of what we’ve been given. They’re achieving this with their range of gourmet coffee.
The Fair Trade coffee company donates a whopping 50% of their profit to end child hunger. Buying just one bag of coffee will provide 10 meals to children in the schools of South Africa, allowing a child to eat for two weeks.
Not only do you get to drink delicious organically grown, fair trade, premium-grade coffee beans, you help children get their next meal. It really is a beverage with a cause, and makes for a heartwarming gift.
Price: From around $20
Best for: Your teacher, neighbour, best friend…anyone who loves coffee! Makes a great stocking stuffer, too.
Let’s face it: gifting cash is, well, lazy. But the truth is, there’s nothing worse than that feeling when you’ve gifted someone with something, and you can just tell it wasn’t quite what they wanted.
A gift card from Net A Porter solves that issue by 1. being elegant and 2. letting the recipient choose whatever they want. We love the fact that they have a wonderful Sustainable Edit, allowing your lucky friend or family member to choose something ethical and/or eco-friendly. In fact, Net A Porter also has their own ethical Christmas Gift Guide on their site.
And the best part? By the time your recipient opens his or her gift, the sales will be on!
Price: From $100
Best for: When you really don’t know what to get someone!
While my favourite part of Christmas is sitting down to write out my Christmas cards, the part I don’t like so much is the waste. Each year 6 billion Christmas cards are thrown away – that’s shocking, right?
So, if you’re old school like me, and still want to send physical cards to your loved ones over the festive period, make sure you choose cards that are ethical as well as gorgeous.
1 Tree Cards have two festive boxes to choose from. Not only are their cards super cute with festive motifs, but they’re also great for our planet. Made with 100% recycled card, vegan inks and completely plastic-free, the company also work with Eden Projects, and have pledged to plant one tree with each and every card sold.
Oh, and each card comes with a flower seed token to plant which is such an adorable gift to the recipient.
Best for: Gifting to colleagues BEFORE the 25th, of course!
An ethical Christmas Gift Guide should also include ethical Christmas gift wrapping, right?
Whether you’re a full-on eco-warrior or someone who is trying to make small changes towards being a little more environmentally conscious this year, gift wrap is a fantastic place to start. Each year, we use copious amounts of gift wrapping which is tossed aside mere seconds after the gift is opened – which is horror for the planet as most wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it’s dyed, laminated or contains non-paper additives.
What is the answer, I hear you ask? Wrappily! The brand creates reversible gift wrap printed on local newspaper presses. The renewable newsprint which is milled, printed and packed in the US, with many of the prints being created by local artists. Each piece of newsprint can be recycled up to 7 times! And the printing requires less energy and uses gentler, soy-based inks. And your presents still look absolutely fabulous – what’s not to love?
Price: From $10
Best for: Making small steps towards being eco-friendly this Christmas!
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