The Best Sustainable Gifts For Everyone On Your List
by Maddy Shaw
The holidays are around the corner already! How did that happen? I personally love gift-hunting. It’s a challenge that I love to rise to, especially for those people that are just impossible to shop for!
For some people, holiday shopping can take away from the joy that comes with this season. Some agonize over which gifts are perfect for each person on their list, where to find gifts, and even which places and brands will give you the best products for your money.
And on top of all that, maybe this year you are trying to be more intentional about who you buy from, or what you buy.
This year I am definitely going to be supporting companies that are driving change through their business for my gift list this year – and there are so many amazing options (which can be a little overwhelming!).
So here I am, along with the Primally Pure team, to help guide you through some of our favorite sustainable brands and gift ideas for your holiday shopping.
Gifts for Home and Self-Care
HILMA | I love plant-based medicine, and I think most of you who shop at Primally Pure do too, but I also want it to be as effective as the drugstore counterparts. Hilma is an all-natural remedy startup that produces plant-based alternatives backed by science. They collaborate with doctors while using plants and minerals and adding no fillers, dyes, and less than a gram of sugar. They are also committed to having a 100% carbon offset and supporting community gardens in their home base of New York. A good gift to start with would probably be the Starter Trio! | SHOP
ROOTED WOMAN | Rooted Woman is a black-owned, non-toxic, ethical nail polish and treatment company that promote radical self-care for women. They make their polishes in small batches and offer online self-care courses. I think we all know by now how toxic nail polish and nail polish remover ingredients are for ourselves and the environment, so this company offers alternatives free from those ingredients. One of their products I am especially excited about is their nail polish remover, which is oil-based and works on any conventional nail polishes you may already have! | SHOP
JUPITER ORGANIC CBD DROPS | Do you remember when I said that holidays can be stressful for some people? Fear no more, here’s a gift for you and all of your stressed-out family members. Jupiter is 100% USDA organic, partners with a single-family farm to produce small batch products, takes time to use only the flower of the hemp plant, triple lab tests, makes it in the USA, and uses only four organic ingredients. Their packaging is also BPA-free and 100% recyclable. They also have an extensive FAQ page for anyone nervous about using CBD for the first time! | SHOP
PLANTS | A really easy sustainable gift you can give to someone is house plants! Now I know not everyone has a green thumb, but houseplants are very easy to take care of if it is the right plant. Plants clean our air, make us happier, and for me, being around them makes me more creative. For those of you who know people that live in cities devoid of parks or greenery, indoor plants are a wonderful way to bring some of outdoors inside. You can get house plants at any nursery or home improvement store, but one of my favorite websites is The Sill. They can deliver indoor houseplants right to someone’s door, and they have lots of tips on how to take care of different plants. | SHOP
PRIMALLY PURE HOME COLLECTION | Air quality in our home goes hand in hand with the products that we use to clean and make our home smell nice. In addition to plants, using non-toxic, wildcrafted, and sustainable alternatives to home products are important to encouraging air wellness inside our homes. Our new Home Collection is a pure alternative to artificial hand-soaps, air fresheners, and candles. A blend of organic and wildcrafted essential oils that smell like the best Autumn day of apple-picking and warm cider, bottled in recyclable glass packaging, this collection is the perfect gift for someone who loves sustainable home products. | SHOP
Gifts for the Fashion-Forward
JANESSA LEONE | Our founder loves this LA-based accessories label – you will rarely see her around the office without one of their hats on her head! Janessa Leone creates minimal yet unique designs that are perfect for those people in your life who love timeless accessories. They are all hand-made with the highest quality materials that, with proper care and love, will last a lifetime. From Panama straw to wool, their hats are all sustainably made in the USA and crafted through multiple skilled artisan’s hands. Some of our favorites are Felix and Aisley! | SHOP
TRIBE ALIVE | One of my personal favorites, Tribe Alive is a champion of women artisans in five different countries, providing fair wages and safe work environments. They also produce sustainable clothing made from up-cycled and organic materials that are built to last. Can you think of that person in your life who likes to look chic but be extremely comfortable at the same time? This is the brand for them, especially the Everyday Collection. The Everyday Crop is one of the most comfortable pair of pants I have ever owned, and still makes me feel fashionable. | SHOP
SHADES OF GREY | Some of the best clothing comes from brands that make small batch production runs, resulting in exclusive, well-made pieces. Shades of Grey partners with a small, family-run factory in China and keeps their prices down by selling directly to their customers instead of other retailers. Some of their standout pieces are their dresses and jumpsuits, specializing in structured yet simple, utilitarian staples. If you have someone in your life who likes one-piece garments that stand on their own, Shades of Grey offers the perfect look. | SHOP
GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE | Anyone else wear leggings 90% of the time? I can’t be the only one. Girlfriend Collective is one of my go-to’s for sustainably well-made, size inclusive, and comfortable activewear. Their leggings are made from recycled materials and fiber waste in a factory in Taiwan that specializes in eco-friendly and high quality textiles. Girlfriend Collective really thinks about every step of the process and describes in detail the way they make their clothes. They offer a wide range of sizes from XXS-6XL, and at a relatively low price point, striving to be available to everyone. | SHOP
TWO DAYS OFF | For those who love a curated, simple, and high-quality online boutique, this is the store for them. Two Days Off is a black-owned, sustainable clothing company based in LA. They make their clothes in limited edition batches, or made to order, putting the slow in slow fashion. They use deadstock fabric that has already been manufactured but not used, and that means each of their designs are super limited and super special. They also offer a wide range of items other than clothing, such as facial tools, coffee table books and home products. Pieces such as their Mioko Jacket are simple, a timeless staple, and slowly made. | SHOP
Gifts for the Reader
THE CONSCIOUS CLOSET | The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good by Elizabeth L. Cline. This book is perfect for the person just diving into ethical and sustainable fashion and what it means to shop consciously. This is a definitive guide to building a wardrobe that you love that also happens to be ethical and sustainable. It gives you the tools to build a wardrobe that will last, is within your price point, and is best for your particular lifestyle. Elizabeth L. Cline is a journalist and clothing resale expert that has investigated the effects of fast fashion on garment workers and the environment. | SHOP
THRIVE | Thrive by Kamea Chayne is not just a book, but a holistic guide to living healthier, conscious, and thoughtful lives. Kamea has created easy exercises through research-based evidence to create sustainable choices in all aspects of our lives. This is not only a guide to make more eco-conscious decisions, but to boost holistic physical well-being and happiness. Kamea Chayne is the host of Green Dreamer podcast (one of my favs!) wherein she interviews pioneers in the world of sustainability and phrases questions not just to them, but also ourselves, on how we can improve our own sustainable journeys. | SHOP
CRADLE TO CRADLE | Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart – for those in your lives who are interested in business and science, this book is for them! There are three main principles in this book: everything is a resource for something else, use clean and renewable energy, and celebrate diversity. Cradle to Cradle emphasizes re-designing our framework for the economy, shifting from linear to circular economies. William McDonough is an architect and Michael Braungart is a chemist, and together they promote the integration of design and science to create beneficial systems for our society. | SHOP
BRAIDING SWEETGRASS | Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer – for those you may know interested in intersectional environmentalism, this is a book that explores that topic. This book explores the relationship between humans and our role in restoring the natural world, from the perspective of indigenous people who have lived on the land and harmonized with it for centuries. By listening to their wisdom and experience, we can be led to a more regenerative environment. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist and member of the Potowatomi Nation who trains to answer questions of nature with the tools of science. | SHOP
WASTE NOT | Waste Not: How To Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation – While I love collecting cookbooks and looking at all of the beautiful recipes, I am not a cook. But for those of you that are or know people who are, this is a great gift! This features 100 recipes from chefs across the country who teach you how to be a full-use cook. These recipes will show you how to reduce food waste, save money, and use ingredients that normally go in the trash in new and exciting ways. The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization that celebrates leaders who make America’s food culture more sustainable. | SHOP
Gifts for Everyone
LEAF SHAVE KIT | Everybody needs a good razor, but millions of disposable razors end up in the landfill year after year. Leaf Shave has offered a solution to this problem, with their all-metal safety razor, a razor built to last you for years to come. They package and ship 100% plastic free and actively offset the carbon footprint that they create. Their Leaf Shave Kit comes with a razor, a stand, a razor blade pack, and my favorite part, the blade recycling tin. Essentially, you fill up the recycling tin that holds years worth of blades and mail it back to them to recycle! They also have a lot of information on how to start using a safety razor if you are nervous. | SHOP
SUSTAINABILITY STARTER KIT | This is one of my favorite gifts for people who might be interested in more sustainable living, or who are just on the go a lot! A sustainability starter kit consists of:
- a tote bag (for unexpected grocery store stops)
- a reusable water bottle (we love MiiR)
- some reusable straws for restaurants or coffee shops (there are so many different kinds and everybody prefers something different so I don’t have a specific recommendation)
- a bamboo or metal reusable cutlery set for work lunches or takeout
This is something that can be fun, unique, and different for each person you are buying for! Everyone should have something like this in their car or their purse, because you never know when you will need them. This kit can also be added to or simplified depending on the person, but I think these four things are the perfect combo!
PELA CASES | I know some of you have tech junkies in your life, who always have the latest device or add-on. New phones come out every year, and every year new plastic phone cases come with them, and consequently right into the landfill (or our oceans) when they are ultimately outdated. Pela offers biodegradable and compostable phone cases, Apple watch straps, and AirPods cases made out of raw materials derived from renewable resources that eliminate the need for fossil fuels. They make products that stand up to the best plastic phone cases, ship with as little packaging as possible, and take old cases back to make new cases out of them. | SHOP
BRANCH BASICS | Gift products with a purpose to help those you love take cleaning to the next level and transform their health with this non-toxic cleaning solution. Branch Basics female co-founders are women on a mission to create a plant + mineral-based alternative for cleaning and to inspire others to create a healthy home in hopes that they, too, could experience a transformation in their health. Be sure to gift Branch Basics Concentrate (a multi-tasking powerhouse) along with their chic, sustainable glass bottles for all-in-one cleaning that actually looks cute on their countertops. | SHOP
SOCKS | I love a good pair of socks, and I know many other people in my family do too. Fun socks have become a super popular trend in the past couple of years, and they are definitely an easy gift! Fun socks does not have to mean they aren’t ethical or sustainable. Kind Socks is a black-owned company that started because the founder wanted to combine fun and ethical. They sell non-toxic, organic socks that have fun, colorful patterns while also paying workers fair wages and providing a safe workplace. Conscious Step is another sock company that is ethical and sustainable while staying fun. Each sock design is partnered with a charity that helps protect or support a cause, such as these socks that stop violence against women! They are also organic, fair-trade, vegan, and of course, sustainably and ethically made.
I hope this gift guide gave you some sustainable ideas for your loved ones (or maybe even yourself!).
Holiday shopping doesn’t have to mean choosing quantity over quality. I am someone who appreciates one thoughtful, well-made gift over multiple cheap items that don’t last very long. Remember, “good quality is never cheap and cheap quality is never good.” Sometimes investing in one higher-priced item will save us and someone else money in the end, because it will likely last longer and perform better than the lower-priced items.
I also have some tips for wrapping your sustainable gifts!
- Use what you already have: Why buy new wrapping paper for everything when we have a multitude of alternatives at home? I have seen people reuse bags they already own, like a tote bag they no longer use, the fabric bag Girlfriend Collective sends their clothing in, or even a Primally Pure mesh bag! There are also options such as paper bags from the grocery store, magazine or newspaper (if you still get one), and even parchment paper from your kitchen. The concept of “wrapping” is still the same, without buying new paper or throwing it away after one use.
In the end, have fun with the holidays, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Sustainability is a journey and no one ever becomes an expert in it.
Use these ideas as inspiration to make your own versions of things, if you are creative, or just be inspired to be more intentional when you shop in general. The more we question the status quo, and challenge ourselves to think about what we buy, the more we can make a difference in the world around us.
What are some of your favorite ethical gift ideas this year? Share with us below!
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