Sustainable gift ideas: the ultimate guide for 2022
Giving a gift to a loved one can be a beautiful way to demonstrate your feelings… or a stressful and expensive exercise in consumerism. Giving should be about thoughtfulness and gratitude, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Sustainable gift ideas aim to use materials that already exist, support artisans and all workers fairly, minimise negative impact on the environment, and give back in a positive manner.
I’ve done a huge amount of research for you here, so you can easily find the best eco friendly gifts for special people in your life. Each product has been vetted to ensure it really is a sustainable option, and you can choose to buy it from my included links or find it locally.
This guide covers sustainable Christmas gifts as well as Hanukkah gifts, sustainable birthday presents, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or presents for any reason! It will help you to find meaningful, useful and environmentally friendly gifts for anyone in your life.
Below are ideas that have been recycled, upcycled, and made with non-toxic materials and processes. They’re the best sustainable gifts for 2022 as they’re fairly-traded, reusable, responsibly-produced, vegan-friendly, and come from stores I trust to be ethical.
I don’t link to Amazon as I prefer to support smaller stores who use fair trade practices and do their best to reduce carbon emissions and their impact on the earth. I’ve also included links to three continents, so you can buy from the store closest to you and keep your personal emissions minimal. Some of these brands will have Black Friday specials, but many don’t as they just don’t have the profit margins to offer large discounts.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, but many aren’t, too, because this guide is to help you find green stores and sustainable gifts even if I don’t get a cut. I do link to many products from my go-to stores on each continent, because they have similar stock and ethical initiatives. This is helpful for us because they’ve done the legwork to find sustainable products already! And if you have several things to buy, you can purchase them all at once and save on postage and handling.
My go-to stores are:
Australia: Biome Eco Store
Biome has a massive range of sustainable products, is 100% palm-oil free, and is the most ethical and responsive store I’ve tried here.
United States: Earth Hero
Earth Hero also has a large range of eco-friendly products, and they’re a certified B-Corp and member of 1% for the Planet among other great initiatives.
United Kingdom: Ethical Superstore
Ethical Superstore stocks a huge amount of products which are fair-trade, eco-friendly, locally produced, organic, and/or otherwise having a positive effect on the environment.
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Still, if you can buy presents within your local town, or make them yourself, that will always be a better option than buying online. But since you’re here I assume some internet ordering is necessary for you!
This green gift guide has been fully updated for 2021 so you can be sure these ideas are relevant and on sale now. This is one of the biggest sustainable shopping guides available, as I’ve really tried to include as many types of people as I can. They’re not only gifts for eco friendly people — although they will love these ideas — the suggestions below are appropriate for everyone, as there’s a better alternative for pretty much everything now!
But being such a big post means that there’s a lot of info here, so to avoid overwhelm, use the table of contents below to easily find the person you’re shopping for, or browse each section and find a suggestion for your location in the table columns: AUS/NZ is always the left column, US/CA is the middle column, and the UK is right column.
Please note: UK readers, you may have to scroll left on the tables to see your column of suggestions on mobiles/cell phones.
To those of you reading from Asia, I’m sorry I couldn’t add suggestions local to you as well. I hope the included ideas give you inspiration that you can find in a store nearby.
- 1 Eco friendly gift ideas for children
- 2 Sustainable subscription boxes
- 3 Ethical gift ideas for your Mum and Dad
- 4 Eco friendly matching family gifts
- 5 Sustainable gift ideas for a teacher
- 6 Ethical gift ideas for the LGBTQIA+ community and supporters
- 7 Sustainable gifts for her
- 8 Sustainable gifts for him
- 9 Environmentally friendly underwear & swimwear for periods and light bladder leaks
- 10 Ethical gift ideas for people who need clothing, shoes, bags or backpacks
- 11 Eco friendly gift ideas for fitness enthusiasts
- 12 Zero waste gift ideas for people who love to travel
- 13 Sustainable gift ideas for organisers, writers & bookworms
- 14 Sustainable gift ideas for people who love gardening or indoor plants
- 15 Gift ideas for people who want to encourage and protect native wildlife
- 16 Environmentally friendly gifts for pets
- 17 Ethical gift ideas for people who like to drink…
- 18 Meaningful gift ideas for people who prefer to give than receive: gifts for a cause
- 19 Sustainable gift ideas for that person who’s always really hard to buy for
- 20 Some last thoughts about eco-friendly gift giving
Eco friendly gift ideas for children
Recycled gifts, certified sustainably sourced wooden products, and fun yet educational ideas are all appreciated by children and teens (who are often very conscious of being ethical and eco friendly.)
Be sure to also check out ‘ethical clothing’ and ‘sustainable backpack options for kids‘, below.
Stuff to play, pretend and dig with
Non-toxic, recycled plastic toys
Let’s make use of plastic that already exists!
Green Toys makes excellent-quality products from 100 percent recycled milk bottles. They’re all BPA-free, PVC-free and phalate-free, and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. These gift ideas won’t add more plastic pollution to the earth yet are safe, sturdy and strong.
We love our Eco Saucer which is perfectly balanced for excellent flight, our watering can set which comes with a mini shovel and hand rake, and our well-used sandpit set; all by Green Toys. They’re extremely durable and last well outdoors, unlike many cheaper plastics which go brittle quickly.
For young kids, their stacking sets, shape sorter and jingly keys are great alternatives to non-safe plastic, and older children will appreciate their sturdy transport range, tea and food sets, or skipping rope.
|Hello Charlie in Australia has a large range of Green Toys products including cookware, transport, outdoor sets and baby toys. |
If you're in NZ, Naked Baby Eco Boutique also stocks a huge range of Green Toys.
|Earth Hero stocks Green Toy's transport range, pull-wagon, watering can set, bath and baby toys, farm and house sets, and their new playdoh range. Use the code "SFBA10" to get 10% off your order at this store.||Ethical Superstore stocks Green Toy's transport range, toolkit, stacking cups and shape sorter, jump rope and cooking sets.|
Sustainable wood games and puzzles
These beautiful options are made to last, with the environment in mind.
|EverEarth make quality toys, puzzles, garden tools, instruments, and games made from 100% FSC-certified wood and bamboo, painted with non-toxic, water-based paint. My daughter had one of their shape sorters and it was excellent quality. EverEarth is also part of the 'Plant-A-Tree' forest sustainability initiative. In NZ, Naked Baby Eco Boutique stocks Plan Toys, another excellent brand made from sustainable wood sources.||PlanToys make their products from rubberwood trees that can no longer produce latex, and woodchips! They're also non-toxic and the company is involved in reforestation projects. They have a huge range including pretend play sets, outdoor games, blocks, instruments and learning tools. We've had one of their tea sets for 8 years and it still looks new. Use the code "SFBA10" to get 10% off at this store.||Lanka Kade also made their wooden toys from exhausted rubberwood plantations, and they're handmade by family enterprises in Sri Lanka. The products are then fairly traded to the UK with minimal packaging.
Younger children will love their colourful building blocks, puzzles, shape sorters and push toys, while older kids might prefer their bright, plastic-free skipping ropes.
Indigenous language resources and cultural learning toys
As citizens of the world we think it’s vital to teach children about cultures and to be inclusive of all races and backgrounds. These ideas are child-friendly and supportive of Indigenous people’s knowledge and languages.
|Modern Teaching Aids stock a great range of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and South Sea Islander games, books, puzzles, dolls, pretend play resources and recycled floor mats. Many are fairly traded and support local artists. Other cultures are also represented, too. ||Native Teaching Aids create indigenous American language and culture resources, including board games, matching games and cards. Some are suitable for younger children and others are educational and fun for older kids and adults.||Little Linguist is a store that specialises in children's books in many languages. They stock story books as well as games, kid-friendly dictionaries, multimedia resources, posters and more in Welsh, Irish and Cornish as well as many African, Asian and European languages. They also stock resources in English as an additional language.|
|Miniland dolls are ethnically-diverse, anatomically-correct, and they are excellent quality. My daughter has one and she is very well-loved, yet still in great condition. They're made of BPA-free and phthalate-free vinyl.||Zeki Learning stock fair-trade toys and learning materials which are hand-made by refugee and low income women in Palestine. As well as non-language resources like stuffed toys, they create beautiful Arabic, Spanish and English games, toys and soft books.||This puzzle and memory game is made from FSC certified cardboard and is printed with with soy and water based inks. It's a lovely way to show young kids that there are many different people in our shared world, and all of us are equals.
The puzzle has 48 pieces and the memory game has 24 pieces.
Children’s subscription boxes and DIY kits
Most kids love to create and grow things themselves, and getting special parcels in the post is the BEST — especially when they’re ethical and sustainable!
|This seed kit contains five varieties of edible flowers plus everything you need to grow them. The Melbourne-based company test all of their kits and include biodegradable propagating plugs and reusable plant labels. Other kits are also available.||Green Kids Crafts are a carbon-neutral subscription company who create monthly STEAM kits for kids aged 2-10 and over. Each kit aims to encourage child development holistically, and includes a book, activities + materials made in the USA. Various subscriptions and one-off boxes are available, and they plant one tree for every order placed. And you receive 50% off your first box if you start a subscription! ||This bird cake kit is made in the UK and the cake mould is made from recycled yoghurt pots! It contains recipes and everything you need to make bird-attracting seed cakes, even explaining which seeds attract which birds.|
|This special kit allows kids to upcycle old newspapers and magazines into beads! We've used these beads before and they look and feel great, and it's such a fun use of old paper products.||Raven Reads is an indigenous owned and operated literacy subscription service. Each kids box contains 2-3 books written and/or illustrated by indigenous people, suitable for kids up to age 9. Teen/adults boxes are also available. Choose from several subscription plans or a one-off gift box.||The Toy Box Club is like a toy library by post! It's a subscription service in the UK which delivers toys to borrow each month, and replaces them with others next time around. A great example of the circular economy, and a handy solution to keep little ones entertained.|
And if your kids love to explore the world (like ours), this post outlines all of the best gifts for kids who travel, including experience gifts, journals and more.
Sustainable subscription boxes
If you want to try some sustainable products or support sustainable businesses with a gift box for your loved one, these subscriptions prioritise eco-friendly and ethical products. They feature handmade, locally-produced and zero waste items, and the subscription companies are conscious of their waste and packaging, too.
|ECO. Modern Essentials are an Australian brand of pure essential oils. They source their organic ingredients ethically, are carbon neutral, and use responsible packaging materials as well as run a recycling program for empty bottles (from any essential oil company!) You can buy their products online or save with your choice of three subscription boxes, which can be cancelled at any time: the ECO. Oil Club which delivers up to 5 oils every 2 months for $50; the ECO. Ritual Box which delivers essential oils, wellbeing products, an aromatherapy ritual handbook and DIY recipe card every 3 months for $100; or the ECO. Toxic Free Home Box which is curated by a qualified Aromatherapist to assist you in naturally transitioning to a toxic-free home. It's $50 per month for 12 months, or $500 up front, and includes 28 essential oils, carrier oils and accessories, plus educational videos.||Earthlove offer carefully curated boxes containing beauty, wellness, and eco-friendly household products that are sustainably wildcrafted or ethically sourced, all-natural, and low waste. Each box also contains a book and you can choose from 3 titles with your purchase. Earthlove are a member of 1% for the Planet and are responsibly with their packaging and postage, too. You can choose from their Seasonal Subscription Box for $59.99, which includes 8 eco-friendly items worth a minimum of $150! Or you can choose their Annual Subscription Box and pay up front. Both options are posted 4 times per year (cancel at any time). Currently Earthlove only ship within the US. |
For those of you in Canada, check out Let's Go Eco for beautiful subscription boxes that contain mostly handmade, small-batch items. From treats for your body to homemade foods and kitchen products, these boxes aim to support sustainable and Indigenous-own businesses.
Or get your dog a sustainable subscription with the North Pawz Joy Box!
|Authentic House source their products from small, ethical brands, mostly from the UK, and they're plastic-free! (or occasionally recycled plastic). Their subscriptions are vegan-friendly and are sent monthly, with the ability to cancel at any time and let them know your preferences for products you wish to try. products range from beauty and personal care to snacks and teas, socks, stationary, candles and cleaning products. Choose from their Small Box, containing 3-4 products, for only £15.50; the Medium Box, containing 4-5 products, for £18.50; or the Large Box, containing 6-7 products, for £26.00. Three and six month's prepaid plans are also available and postage is free within the UK for orders over £40.|
|Eco Life Box is an Aussie subscription service that aims to send you "eco-friendly and ethical products to gradually and affordably replace the not-so environmentally friendly items around your home and in your daily habits". They use sustainable packaging and favour products that are zero waste, plastic-free and reusable. Many brands are also Australian and the boxes cover bathroom, kitchen and cleaning products as well as stationary, garden, laundry and out-and-about gear! Choose from their $60 Subscription, which sends you 3-5 items per month; or their $80 Subscription, which sends you 6-8 items per month. Cancel at any time. |
For those of you in New Zealand, check out the Love From You subscription box, which contains 8 full-size well-being products, sourced from sustainable NZ suppliers. It's delivered bi-monthly and part of the proceeds support non-profit mental health charity Voices of Hope.
FREE DELIVERY IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER.
|GlobeIn offer subscription boxes with a difference: they aim to empower artisans from around the world by offering Fair Trade boxes packed with beautiful and useful homewares, fashion and jewelry. Every GlobeIn product is ethically produced and designed by artists in developing countries, who are paid fairly for their work. You can choose from a curated box or use their new 'Box Builder' feature to select 3 artisan crafted items from over 30 of their most popular products. |
Premium Box subscription offers a themed collection of 4-5 hand-crafted items shipped to you every month. You can select a Three Month Subscription for $40/month; a Six Month Subscription for $37/month; or an Annual Subscription for $35/month. Shipping costs are extra and you can cancel at any time. Globein also has discounted Mystery Boxes and Gift Sets, and becoming a member also gives you discounts for purchases on their marketplace.
|The Natural Wellness Box is a small female-led family business, which delivers all vegan, natural, and chemical free health and beauty alternatives. Boxes are based on a theme each time and contain 5-7 products including skincare and some healthy snacks and drink samples. You can purchase a one-off box or subscribe and save: a Bi-Monthly Subscription is £38.00, a Six Month Subscription delivers three boxes for £109.00, or a 12 Month Subscription delivers six boxes for £281.00.
Or if you want total control over the eco products you receive, try certified B-Corp Leo's Box instead. You become a member for £4 per month, and then you can choose the truly sustainable (and mostly UK-owned) products you want in each box for up to 70% off the RRP.
Ethical gift ideas for your Mum and Dad
If you’re looking for a personal and sustainable gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any occasion for your parents, these ideas have you covered.
|Frank Green makes beautiful ceramic cups, bottles and food containers that are completely customisable, and right now you can add a free monogram! You can choose the base, lid and button colour of your purchase and add a monogram of up to 6 letters (and an optional heart) at no extra cost in November. The inside layer is stainless steel so they're unbreakable too, and they're designed and partly made in Melbourne. Add Mum or Dad's initials and favourite colours for a special gift they will love and use forever!||These candles are handmade in the US by a non-profit organisation. They come in a range of designs and a huge selection of natural scents! You're sure to find one to suit you mom or dad, and you can coordinate the best text or image you'd like with the scent of your choice, or even personalise your message. |
The candles are made from a coconut-soy wax blend with a pure cotton wick, and they are vegan, phthalate-free, Prop 65 compliant, and not tested on animals.
|This recycled silver necklace is made from Fair Trade sources, including reclaimed metal from industrial waste! La Jewellery's packaging and jewellery boxes are recycled and recyclable, and their products are made in the UK, making this a truly ethical and eco-friendly gift for Mum.|
|Treat Mum or Dad to an ethical and toxin-free gift pack to care for their bodies with love. This pack from Australian brand Endota includes organic, cruelty-free and nourishing hand cream, and refreshing foot cream to pamper their hands and feet. Other Endota packs available from this link include a bath bomb gift set, a shower pack and beautiful essential oil diffusers and a mood lamp. |
Also, these Wheat Bag Gift sets are a lovely option for Dad or Mum. They're ethically made in Australia and you can choose from many Australian floral designs, as well as inclusions such as bath oils, soaps or eye pillows.
|These silky smooth sateen pyjamas are organic, hypoallergenic, breathable, and are ethically-made with OEKO-TEX certified fabric from sustainably harvested bamboo forests. The lyocell bamboo is made using a closed loop manufacturing process, which is much better than typical viscose bamboo textiles as it reuses 99.8% of the non-acidic solvent, and what remains can be broken down in biological water treatment plants!|
Short and long pyjamas for Mom and Dad are available, plus sateen robes with pockets and eye pillows. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|These clever slippers are made from recycled plastic bottles, with 100% sustainably sourced natural rubber for the soles. There are options for Mum and Dad from Mercredy, and also available from this link are Fair Trade woollen slipper socks.
Another option is a lovely gift box with organic socks from Thought.
Or find mum the perfect Fair Trade pyjamas!
Eco friendly matching family gifts
If your kids are like mine, when they’re young they love to wear something of the same design as you. Many family sets on the market are cheaply and unethically made, but these options are not: they feature natural materials, fair and safe production methods and local businesses.
|Oobi's Mummy & Me collection includes matching skirts, dresses, aprons, hats, lounge pants and sunglasses! In sizes for young kids, teens, and adults size 8-20, it's a cute way to match a family member while also supporting an ethical manufacturer. |
For ethical swimwear in matching fabric try For the Dreamers or Elle Evans for Mums and daughters, or Class of 84 for Dads and kids.
|This Mom & Daughter bracelet set was handcrafted by artisans of a Fair Trade organization in Colombia. It's a lovely way for a little one to match their Mom and comes with a lovely sentiment on the card. |
For matching "Mommy & Me" beaded bracelets, Aid Through Trade has a large collection of roll-on bracelets, with many different colors and patterns to choose from.
|These barefoot shoes come in a range of styles and colours for men, women and kids. The adult's and kid's versions of many runners are very similar, allowing your little one to match Mum or Dad, or both! My daughter has a pair of red runners from Vivo that match mine, and she loves it so much.
Vivobarefoot shoes are ethically made and many ranges are vegan and/or made from recycled materials. You can also send them back for repairs! They are also a UK-owned company.
|Kind is Cool is an Aussie brand aiming to stop bullying and spread kindness! Their range of tees, jumpers, and tracksuits are ethically-made, toxin free and come in bright and neutral designs for men, women and kids. Their collections at present include Rainbow, Indigenous artwork by Cungelella Art, and Deck the Halls for Christmas!||This "Bee Yourself" design comes on baby bodysuits, tees for kids, women and men, dresses, headbands, tote bags and carry pouches! They're all made responsibly in the USA from organic and recycled materials. A bee mandala design is also available. |
Or for daughters who want to match their moms, Tamga Little has pretty designs in the same fabrics as their womenswear.
|These 100% cotton pyjamas are fully made in the UK by Cool Pyjamas, who are also a plastic-free and minimal-waste company. Their sleepwear is available in bright and neutral colours and their range is from size 6-12 in kids, as well as matching men's and women's designs.|
Sustainable gift ideas for a teacher
If you want to thank a special teacher in your life or at your kid’s school, here are some ideas that are ethically made with only the best ingredients.
|This sweet apple brooch was handmade in Brisbane and would make a lovely gift for a favourite teacher! It's made from ceramic clay and comes attached to recycled card to write your note on.||These teacher appreciation candles come in a range of designs and you can choose from many scents to suit your teacher. You can also personalise the message for only an extra $6! |
The candles are handmade in small batches, in the USA, by women who have settled as refugees. They're also non-toxic and the glass vessel is also made in the US.
|These apple chutneys are a lovely gift that are under £5, come in reusable jars, are vegan-friendly, and are made in the UK. The sweet chutney is gently spiced, while the festive apple and cranberry chutney is mulled with ginger, cider, lemon zest, and sultanas. It also makes use of 'ugly but tasty' apples that would otherwise have gone to waste.|
|This Fair Trade chocolate is vegan, organic, under $8, and delicious! They are also made by a carbon-neutral facility and the company supports women and reforestation in the Amazon. |
Many flavours are available including hazelnut, mint, raspberry and coffee, and smaller bars ($3) might just be that little thing you need to give with a card to your teacher.
|These hot chocolate discs will help your teacher easily make authentic Mexican hot chocolate. They're vegan-friendly with three non-spicy flavors to choose from: Almond, Vanilla, and Dark Sweet. |
The chocolate supplier pays a fair price directly to the farmer, and all other raw materials are purchased in the local community market. The discs and even the reusable cloth packaging are all made in Mexico. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company that is also co-owned by cocoa farmers. Their large and affordable range includes chocolate bars of different sizes, chocolate coins, drinking chocolate, and hampers priced from £19.99 - £50.00. Vegan options are available from Divine, and they really are delicious!
Ethical gift ideas for the LGBTQIA+ community and supporters
Show your Pride or support for LGBTQIA+ kids and adults with these ethical ideas: many of which also give back to LGBTQIA+ charities.
Also see the section near the end of the post “Meaningful gift ideas for people who prefer to give than receive” as some socks available in Australia, NZ, the USA and Canada help to save LGBTQIA+ lives.
|This Pride picturebook is beautifully illustrated and covers the history of Harvey Milk and the origin of the rainbow flag. It's a story about fighting for equality written just for kids, introducing this important history and discussing the role of the flag today. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride, it's a wonderful addition to all young readers' bookshelves.||This rainbow underwear is made in Oregon from 90% organic cotton, 10% spandex, and 0% elastic! Sizes range from S to 3XL and a matching bralette is also available. Other rainbow designs include hipster underwear and pastel rainbow stripes in all items, as well as a kid's range of rainbow underwear in both colour types.||Amnesty's Love is a Human Right range includes this kid's t-shirt, a unisex adult's tee, a drawstring bag and a wash bag. All are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and made in a Fair Wear Foundation accredited factory in India. These products support Amnesty's human rights work across the globe.|
|Minus18 are a non-profit organisation who aims to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth in Australia with preventative mental health support, education, advocacy and empowerment projects. They sell a range of merchandise from which 100% of the proceeds go to supporting LGBTQIA+ youth at Minus18. As well as tote bags they have pins, badges, lanyards, stickers, flags, tees, bandanas and posters available.||This Pride jewelry is made from 100% recycled sterling silver in a USA-based studio that's powered by wind and solar energy! It's also nickel-free and hand forged and stamped. Chocolate and Steel is a woman-owned company, and they donate a portion of all proceeds from their pride collection to the Trevor Project. Other Pride jewelry options from this store include a sterling silver circle with rainbow beads, and some rainbow earrings made from FSC-certified wood. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".||The Pride Shop has a large range of jewellery that are all made in the UK and all support the Pride Fund: a project to support the development of Prides in the UK, by offering grants to facilitate their growth, outreach and longevity. Their jewellery range includes bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, bag charms, watches, and wristbands, and clothing, homewears, badges and flags are also available.
Sustainable gifts for her
There are many ideas suitable for your wife, girlfriend or BFF in this post: be sure to check out ‘Slow fashion for men and women‘, ‘Eco friendly handbags, wallets and purses’, and ‘Ethical shoes and footwear made from sustainable materials’ below, plus all of the sections based on her interests: is she a writer, gardener, animal-lover, bookworm or fitness enthusiast?
These ideas are very personal for your special lady, and all are ethically made. Be sure to check out the ‘Sustainable subscription boxes‘ section above, too.
|Natural perfume is a lovely gift that shows you know her preferences and that you care about chemical-free gifts! Choose from scents such as strawberry and vanilla, mango and coconut, rose, patchouli, lavender, jasmine, citrus, sandalwood, or beautiful blends to suit her personality. Roll-on, spray and cream perfumes are available.||This Fair Trade jewelry is all handmade with recycled metals and ethically-produced or lab-grown gems and mother of pearl. Impress her with a stunning necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings, or hair accessories in modern and classic designs. Many are made in the USA, too.||Neal's Yard Remedies were the first certified organic UK beauty brand. All of their products are handcrafted in their Ecofactory in Dorset, and made without the use of parabens, GMOs, synthetic fragrances or colours, and are never tested on animals.
This gift set include geranium and orange shower gel, body lotion and hand cream. They have other gift sets available or make up your own hamper from their large range of individual products.
|HINT HINT to my partner! The Very Good Bra are an Aussie brand who make the world's first zero waste bras. Yes that's right, all materials used make these are fully compostable at the end of their life! They're also toxin-free and come in proper bra sizes: from 10B to 16E. They get rave reviews for their support (without underwire) and comfort, and there are patterns and plain designs to choose from. |
Anthony take note: I need some new bras and really like this pattern!
|These delicate bras are made entirely from recycled materials! They're ethically made from recycled polyester, recycled nylon and recycled elastane: keeping plastics out of landfill and using less energy than virgin materials require. They're also PETA-approved and available in clay and beige colors, with matching underwear. |
But if she'd prefer natural fabrics for her underwear, Knickey only use organic cotton for their comfortable range of thongs, hipsters, bikinis, briefs and bralettes. They have an excellent recycling scheme, too!
|These organic cotton bras and high rise briefs are also Fair Trade certified and available in white, almond and lace-free options, in sizes 8-16. People Tree is GOTS certified too, and these garments are PETA-approved vegan-friendly. Matching hipster and thong underwear are also available.|
Sustainable gifts for him
These gift ideas are very personal for a special man in your life. There are many other ideas in this article suitable for your husband, boyfriend or friend too, such as ‘Slow fashion for men and women‘, ‘Eco friendly handbags, wallets and purses’, and ‘Ethical shoes and footwear made from sustainable materials’.
You can also search below based on his interests: is he into fitness, reading, gardening, or animals? If not please scroll all the way down to ‘Sustainable gift ideas for that person who’s always really hard to buy for’ as there should be a suitable idea there!
|These trunks underwear come in grey, blue stripe and black, and are ethically made from GOTS-certified organic cotton. Etiko is a family-owned Australian brand who are also Fair Trade certified, and regularly receive awards for their commitment human rights in the fashion industry.||These trunks underwear are made with super sustainable hemp and organic cotton, and they're so comfortable and won't ride up under any pants! My partner Anthony has several pairs, and I have some women's underwear from Wama. They're extremely durable and breathable, naturally antibacterial, and they continue getting softer with age. They're also made ethically, and boxers and briefs are also available in black, green, natural hemp, and 4 shades of nude. Read our full review of WAMA's underwear and bralettes.|
New customers automatically get 20% off their first order with WAMA, and you can get 10% off subsequent orders with the code EMMA10.
|These organic cotton boxers are free from AZO dyes and GMOs, and are made to the highest ethical standards. They're breathable and mould to his shape for extra comfort and everyday wear. They're available in white, grey and black, and in a gift box with organic cotton socks also by Thought.|
|A safety razor is handy for a great shave and to reduce bathroom waste! This razor by Leaf has been designed to be the easiest-to-use, most manoeuvrable and perfectly balanced safety razor. It includes a magnetic plate to assist blade loading, and a rubber-footed stand which maximises airflow when it's not in use. |
The bundle comes with 5 single edge blades, a travel case and a blade disposal tin: you can also just purchase the razor and blades from the link above.
|These sustainable sunglasses are made from FSC-certified bamboo! They're polarised and come in many designs and colours to suit all face shapes and preferences. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial and lightweight, yet it's also stronger than steel! These will also float in water, and each purchase from Wear Panda gives back to their global charitable network. |
If he would prefer recycled materials, this range includes sunnies made from recycled metals and recycled plastics.
|Green People are a leading UK brand of ethical, organic skincare. They have a range specific to men, but their core products are also suitable for men as well as women and their packaging is not 'feminine'. Many products are unscented and there are products for different skin types and needs, which all receive great reviews. Choose from specific facial and body care items or one of their many gift packs.|
Environmentally friendly underwear & swimwear for periods and light bladder leaks
If a special person in your life is keen to try alternatives to pads and tampons, Modibodi menstrual underwear is fantastic. They completely replace the need for pads and panty liners and they’re more comfortable too.
I’ve found that they’re also very handy for travelling: no more days anxiously wondering if my period is going to arrive, no more sweaty rear-end showing to the world, and no need to try to clean a menstrual cup in a public toilet or find disposables on-the-go.
Modibodi has a fully vegan range, a collection for teens (bikinis and boyshorts), a maternity range, and a new discreet range for men, too. They also make menstrual swimwear now which I’ve used for several years and find them to be fantastic. This is my full review of Modibodi’s underwear and period-proof swimwear which answers all of your FAQ’s and more.
|Shop Modibodi Aus here. |
Shop Modibodi NZ here.
|Shop Modibodi US here.||Shop Modibodi UK here.
Shop Modibodi EU here.
Ethical gift ideas for people who need clothing, shoes, bags or backpacks
Please don’t buy into fast fashion. Too much is still produced in sweat shops, grown unethically or made with cheap, toxic materials. There is an enormous range of sustainable options now, for all budgets and tastes, so you really don’t need to support the stores who haven’t changed their ways any longer.
The other issue with fashion and accessories is simply an excess of it on our lives. These are suggestions for people who truly need a new product, not for someone with a bulging wardrobe already. Too many choices only encourages further waste and under-use of apparel in their life. There are plenty of other ideas in this post to pick from instead!
Slow fashion for men and women
|Outland Denim is possibly the world's most ethical denim brand, and it's Australian! Meghan Markle loves them and so do I: I have an Outland jacket and dress, and their quality and fit is amazing.|
Outland makes clothing for men and women in Cambodia, employing victims of human trafficking and exploitation.. Outland's ethical and environmental standards are outstanding and they're regularly acknowledged for their great work and products.
Use the code "EMMAW10" to get 10% off your order with Outland Denim.
|Tamga Designs make beautifully soft women's clothing from plant fibres such as Modal, Tencel and Ecovero. They are all ethically made, dyed with water-saving dyes, and shipped plastic-free. Their range includes dresses, skirts, pants, tees, loungewear, jumpsuits and kimonos, as well as a few accessories. |
I have a dress and skirt from Tamga and the fabric really is super soft and lovely to wear!
Most of their range are bright floral patterns, except for their tees which come in plain, complementary colors like the seafoam one pictured.
But if you're after other women's clothing in neutral and single colors, try Neu Nomads instead. They use similar fabrics and have the same eco and ethical standards as Tamga.
|Ethical Superstore stock a large range of men's and women's clothing, footwear, sportswear, sleepwear, underwear and accessories. From organic statement t-shirts to more formal attire like this shirt, all of their fashion is ethically made and free from harmful chemicals.
|Biome's slow fashion is a large range of ethical and sustainable clothing for women, men and children. Many of their brands are Australian and all garments, shoes and accessories are ethically-produced, conscious of their environmental footprint, and made to last. Some also make use of off-cut materials. ||For the free spirits, Soul Flower makes men's, women's and children's wear with eco materials like organic cotton, hemp and recycled PET blends. Their large tee collection and many of their dresses feature nature motifs and positive affirmations.|
Soul Flower use low-impact dyes and hand-make all stock in the USA. They also sell a large range of accessories and eco-friendly giftware and notebooks.
|People Tree is a leading UK brand of Fair Trade and sustainable fashion. All of their clothing is dyed using low impact dyes and free from harmful azo chemicals. They stock womens clothing, activewear and underwear in natural and organic fabrics.|
Aussies: also check out my huge list of Sustainable Australian Swimwear brands if someone you know needs some bathers! Men, women, teens and little kids are covered, and many brands have reviews and discount codes included.
Ethical fashion for babies, kids and teens
|Oobi is my daughter's favourite clothing brand. Oobi make pretty dresses, tights, shorts, skirts, tees, PJs, swimwear and winter gear for babies and kids up to size 12. They also stock coordinating face masks and hats, and some matching mummy items, too. |
Oobi received the top rating for ethical production, animal rights, humane work conditions and environmental practices from Good On You.
|Nudnik are a brand focussed on upcycling pre-consumer waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill. They use offcuts from the fashion industry to make soft and affordable clothing for kids aged 1-7. All of their garments are ethically made and are GOTS, OKEO-TEX, SA-8000, FairTrade and UPMADE certified.||Tobias and the Bear is a UK brand who make unisex clothing for babies and kids up to 6 years old. Their range is ethically made from organic cotton and features foxes, bears, and Miffy with "wild little cubs always at the heart of the main collection". Orders are shipped in recycled packaging and all pieces are made to last generations.|
|Lonely Kids Club is an Sydney brand for older kids and teens, which focuses on unisex clothing and pyjamas. Their range include positive mental health messages, Australiana, video games and retro images, and all are ethically made in Australia. LKC also sell hats, beanies, socks, patches and tote bags.||Mini Mioche ethically make all of their clothing in Canada, for babies, kids and teens. Their range comes in gender-neutral colours and simple, everyday styles, and they use low-impact dyes and no plastic packaging.||Frugi clothing make ethical, organic baby and kids clothing, and use recycled PET from plastic drink bottles for their outerwear, backpacks, pencil cases and lunch bags. They also support various charities.
Babi Pur stock Frugi clothing as well as Patagonia Kids, Raspberry Republic, Little Green Radicals and more ethical brands for kids and teens.
Ethical shoes and footwear made from sustainable materials
Allbirds make casual and athletic shoes for men and women from wool or tree fibres, plus sugarcane for some soles, and their laces are made 100% from recycled plastic bottles. They’re a certified B-Corp and are carbon-neutral, too.
VIVObarefoot combine two things I love: barefoot movement and recycled materials! Much of their collection is made from recycled PET, and they have a fully vegan range for men, women and kids. They really are tough and comfortable: I’ve had several pairs of runners and they’re fantastic. I even wear them for Spartan races! And the roll up completely for storage or travel thanks to their very flexible soles.
As well as activewear they make boots, sandals and everyday flats. My winter boots from Vivo are still in excellent condition after three years of usage, and my daughter is enjoying their kid’s sandals made from algae at present!
Links to both companies plus some other suggestions for ethical footwear are included below.
Allbirds New Zealand
|Allbirds Unites States|
|Allbirds United Kingdom
VIVObarefoot New Zealand
|VIVObarefoot United States|
|Etiko Shoes are an Australian brand that are 100% Fair Trade and vegan. If you want to get someone you love a new pair of thongs, these really are the best! They're thicker and stronger than regular thongs and are very well-made. My husband was dubious at first as they're a bit more expensive than regular thongs ($22 - $29) but he's convinced now! They last so much longer and are so comfy, you'll never go back to other brands. |
We also love that each design gives back to a charity, including Sea Shepherd, Animals Australia and Save the Children.
And Etiko also make super-comfy sneakers, ballet flats and slip ons: also all Fair Trade certified.
|Oka-B Shoes make comfortable ballet flats, flip-flops, spa sandals and slides in Buford, GA from up to 25% recycled materials. All of their shoes are, in turn, recyclable, and are vegan, flexible, and machine-washable, too! They come in bright and neutral colours. Oka-B takes care of the recycling if you mail them back at the end of their use. |
Check out the Okabashi store for their men's and kid's collections.
|Matt and Nat sandals are responsibly made from recycled vegan materials: these are made from windshield glass resin! They have other styles and colours available too.
Also available at this link are natural rubber short Wellington boots in a range of colours for men and women. They're lined with organic cotton and are 100% ethically made.
Eco friendly handbags, wallets and purses
|Flora and Fauna have a huge range of vegan bags, purses and wallets. I love the cork leather collection, which is a very sustainable and durable material. Vegan leather and recycled materials are available, too.||Made Trade have a wonderful collection of bags that are all sustainable and ethically made. Choose from small clutches, cross-body or belted bags, large totes or shoppers, messenger bags and more. Many of their brands are owned by women or BIPOC, most are vegan, and some use recycled materials.||Elvis & Kresse make bags, wallets and purses from reclaimed fire hoses! They are also ethically made and 50% of all profits to go the FireFighters Charity.|
|Spacecraft is a New Zealand store with "a passion for New Zealand artists, handcrafted objects and sustainable products". They have a great range of ethical, vegan wallets and bags, and many feature recycled materials.||Soul Flower have a large range of ethically-made cross-body bags, canvas backpacks, zipper pouches, messenger bags, fanny packs, and hip bags. This one is made from recycled materials, others feature hemp or organic cotton. ||Matt and Nat ethically make different sized bags, purses and travel wallets from recycled materials. This is made from resin from windshield glass, and lined with recycled nylon from plastic bottles! They're also free from GMOs and AZO dyes.|
Sustainable backpacks and laptop bags
|Beekeeper Parade is a social enterprise in Cambodia that makes bright backpacks, weekender bags, bumbags and other carry cases in support of children's education projects. All of their products are upcycled from end-of-roll, remnant, discarded or donated fabrics and clothing. |
For non-pattered backpacks in neutral and bright colours, Terra Thread has a huge range and they're all GOTS certified and Fair Trade.
|TenTree are a Canadian company who plant 10 trees for every products sold: which you can track with an included metal token. This backpack's fabric is 100% REPREVE® (recycled polyester), and the padding is BLOOM Foam (from algae). It features a laptop compartment and several other compartments inside.||This laptop backpack by Patagonia is made from 100% recycled materials and is responsibly made. It features side-access to your laptop and a non-toxic finish, and also comes in black.
Patagonia are a member of 1% for the planet and they donate 1% of annual profits to environmental organisations across the globe.
|SoYoung make beautiful backpacks and lunchboxes for kids that are completely free from phalates, BPA and PVC. They're also made responsibly and include stretchy side pockets. |
Older kids might prefer Fjallraven's simple and sturdy designs.
|These LEGO backpacks come in green, purple and gray, and are made from recycled PET: each uses 13 plastic bottles to complete! They have ergonomic handles and are free from PVC, lead and phthalates. |
For older kids, this organic laptop backpack is simple and very practical, and comes in three colors. It's also fully machine washable!
Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|Fjällraven has a recycled polyester line of children's backpacks. The company is committed to sustainable production, reducing emissions and low-impact materials. They also have a large range for older kids and adults.|
Eco friendly gift ideas for fitness enthusiasts
Whether they’re into yoga, the gym, running, cycling or walking, these are ethical and eco friendly options for your loved one. Also check out ‘Ethical shoes and footwear made from sustainable materials’ above, as two of the recommended brands make excellent sport shoes.
|This innovative range of bike storage bags are made in Thailand by a local community of women, and they receive rave reviews. Two sisters own the brand Vincita and they work closely with cyclists to create functional solutions for modern riders. The Nash Bag pictured featuring easy-release anti-theft design, and expandable pockets for more storage.|
Vincita's range includes Brompton bags, rack bags, handlebar bags, frame bags, saddle bags, many different bike transport bags, and accessories like cork handlebar grips.
|This waterproof plant-based bike grease is entirely non-toxic and biodegradable. It's perfect for keeping your bike moving as it should without endangering the environment! Also available at this link are a plant-based bike wash and degreaser, and a vegan bike lube. |
Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|These award-winning bike lights will help your cyclist be more visible on the road, and they're designed in London by Certified B-corp Beryl. Choose from the lightweight, red or white, clip-anywhere Pixel for £19.99, the Burner Brake which detects when you slow down and have a flashing day mode, or Laserlights to illuminate the path ahead.|
|These plastic-free yoga accessories include a cork yoga block and 100% cotton yoga straps. Both are made of only natural materials and are therefore biodegradable at the end of their life! Dharma Bums also has a great range of ethically-made yoga and workout clothing for men and women, and many designs are made of recycled materials. ||This non-slip hemp yoga mat comes in three other colors and doubles as a floor runner! It's also is handwoven in Northern India by artisan partners who work in factories that are Good Weave certified. Ma Wovens is a women-owned company and ensures all of their makers are paid a fair and living wage. As well as hemp the mat is made from non-toxic foam for extra grip.|
Also check out this handcrafted 100% cork leather yoga bag which fits a standard yoga mat, towel, water bottle and strap.
|These yoga straps are made from 100% recycled PET! They're made by UK brand Yogi Bare who also produce extra-grippy yoga mats made from natural tree rubber yoga mats and bamboo yoga blocks.
|DK Active are an Aussie brand who also manufacture all of their garments in Australia! They use sustainable fabrics like recycled nylon, organic cotton and modal, and their range for women (inc. maternity) is inclusive and long-lasting. My partner and I have several items from DK and can report that they're excellent quality. And you will get $15 off your first order (over $50) if you're a new DK customer by signing up to their newsletter! ||Tentree are an ethical Canadian lifestyle brand who have a great range of activewear for men and women. These shorts are made from 90% recycled polyester, and their tees, sweats, leggings and sports bras also feature Repreve, organic cotton and Tencell fabrics. Tentree also has a sustainable fleece collection to keep warm and feel good! And they plant 10 trees for every purchase. ||These recycled sports bras are ethically made in London and come in a range of colours. As well as bras, Scultura make leggings, crops and tops for women, and they're all made from ECONYL® regenerated yarn with a low carbon footprint process.
Also recycled nylon men's swim shorts in black and blue are available from Organic Basics.
|This natural muscle rub is handmade in Australia from 100% plant based ingredients. It does not contain paraffin or petroleum, and it great for post-exercise aches as well as sprains, strains, painful joints, and tension. It's also vegan-friendly and not tested on animals.||This sore muscle balm is made in the USA by a family-owned company, and it doesn't smell like a typical muscle rub. It's made from certified organic oils, fruit extract and essential oils, and is completely free from chemicals, synthetics, fragrances, parabens, GMOs, BPA, phthalates and gluten. The tin is reusable or easily recyclable once the balm is finished, too. ||This arnica gift set is designed to help soothe tired bodies with no harmful chemicals for people or the environment. It includes a muscle soak and shower gel to naturally soak away aches and pains, and help to feel relaxed and refreshed. Weleda products are suitable for vegans and are free from parabens, triclosan, phthalates, plus no animal testing.
Zero waste gift ideas for people who love to travel
Eating out and shopping
Travelling, shopping and eating out without producing much waste requires just a little bit of planning. These utensils won’t take up much room but will reduce plastic waste every time your loved one needs to eat out!
I also recommend always having foldable shopping bags with you, whether at home or while travelling. They’re strong yet so light you don’t even notice them, and they can be used for shopping needs as well as carrying laundry, an impromptu seat covering, or even an umbrella!
|This bamboo cutlery set comes in a recycled PET pouch with a handy carabiner for easy carrying. Cutlery and chopsticks are included and the set is BPA and phalate-free, and available in kid's sizes. |
If you hate the feel of bamboo (like my husband!) a stainless steel spork is another lightweight option for travel.
|This travel utensil set is biodegradable and makes use of factory scraps of bamboo fibres plus sugar cane starch. They're completely free from plastic, BPA, phthalates, or synthetic additives and are dishwasher safe, too. |
Also from this store are bamboo kits containing chopsticks with a knife, fork and spoon, in kid's and adult's sizing.
|Choose from these travel utensil kits for the option that works best: stainless steel or bamboo? Need a straw or chopsticks too? There's a kit to suit your loved one here and all are reusable, sustainable and easily transportable.
|These reusable bags weigh only 55g but can carry up to 20kg! They come in many colours and patterns to suit any personality, and are made ethically with food-safe, non-toxic material. Loqi bags are made to last and are also water-resistant and hand washable. They roll up very small for storage or carrying anywhere!||This reusable bag is lightweight yet strong and is made of 100% RPET. Even the carabiner and cord clip are made from recycled materials! Chicobag is a Certified B-Corp, and at the end of its life, they'll recycle your old bag into something new.||Onya RPET bags are now available from their UK store and a range of stockists, too. Their shopping bags come in several sizes and colours, and are all made from recycled plastic bottles. They fold away small so they're perfect for handbags or backpacks.|
Zero waste travel bathroom
These package free suggestions are perfect gifts for a conscious traveller to reduce their bathroom waste while travelling. They could be ‘wrapped’ in a sustainable toiletries bag if your loved one needs that, too!
|These solid shampoos are made by a small Aussie business, and they're palm oil-free and excellent for travel. We have used Dindi's shampoos and they're lovely even at home, and can be used as soap as well! They also make beard soap, and cheaper refills are available for your tin.||This shampoo bar is handmade in the USA and is certified vegan and cruelty-free. It's also made with solar energy and comes in a reusable aluminium tin. For every order, Bestowed Essentials collects & recycles 1lb of beach trash through their partnership with Ocean Blue Project.|
Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|This reusable Morri tin is perfect for storing soap or shampoo bars while travelling. It's responsibly made from food grade stainless steel and is highly durable, too.
Pair it with a 100g or less shampoo bar for an excellent travel gift! Shampoo bars are also available from the link above.
|These pretty makeup bags can be used for toiletries or travel needs, and many other patterns are available. Beekeeper Parade is a social enterprise that upcycles bags from fabric remnants.||These zipper bags are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton in a fair trade factory. They are made by carbon-neutral Terra Thread who donate 10 meals to Feeding America for each bag sold. Larger toiletries bags are also available from the link above. |
Use the code "SFBA10" for 10% off at this store.
|This travel case is made in the UK from reclaimed fire hose and waste parachute silk! Elvis & Kresse donate 50% of the profits to The Fire Fighters Charity, and they also make other products from firehoses.|
Also check out the Little Sun solar lamps near the bottom of this post: they’re solar-powered lights that are awesome for travel and also give back to a great cause. And this post details more eco-friendly travel gear that you might be interested in for any travellers in your life.
Sustainable gift ideas for organisers, writers & bookworms
Fully recycled and reused materials are features of these products, as well as tree-free paper!
Eco friendly journals and notebooks
|This pretty journal is made from 100% recycled paper and it's carbon neutral too! It's printed using soy-based inks and is chlorine- and acid-free.|
I can also recommend the Choose Kind Journal for kids: my son has one and it's a lovely prompt to recognise and do good things.
|This fair-trade journal is bound with leather off-cuts from food production, processed naturally, and filled with unlined, tree-free paper. |
Or if you prefer something leather-free and funkier, these fully recycled notebooks are made in the USA with 100% renewable energy. There is a huge range to choose from so you will easily find one to suit your loved one, and they're all only $13!
|These unique notebooks are (partly) made from elephant poop! It may not sound pleasant but they are germ and odour-free, and they make great use of a waste product. They're fairly traded and handmade with a mixture of dung, tea leaves and recycled cotton.
We visited the Elephant Poopoo Paper company in Thailand hand had a great experience learning how paper is made from dung and trying it ourselves!
Ethical 2022 diaries
|This beautiful diary also comes in blue and pink and features art by Indigenous artist Natalie Jade. It's made in Australia from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, and the company offsets their carbon emissions.||These pocket diaries come in a pack of three and are made from tear and water-resistant stone paper. They're printed with non-toxic soy ink and have no added chemicals, and they're produced with solar energy. |
Use the code "SFBA10" to get 10% off at this store.
|The Amnesty International Art diary is made in the UK with FSC certified paper, and printed with soy inks. A slimline version is also available here.
Second hand books
We often find new or barely-used books at our local op shops (charity/thrift stores) so I recommend checking them first. But if you’re after a specific book it is MUCH easier to search online!
|Brotherhood books is a non-profit who works to alleviate poverty across Australia. |
They stock a huge range of quality second hand books and I was very pleased with our order. They deliver for free if you order three or more and offer 20% off your first purchase.
|ABE books supports independent sellers from around the world on their platform. You can find second hand books including rare and first editions, and textbooks on their site.||ABE books supports independent sellers from around the world on their platform. You can find second hand books including rare and first editions, and textbooks on their site.
Sustainable gift ideas for people who love gardening or indoor plants
Native trees are usually well-received by garden enthusiasts, but if you’re looking for something smaller or for indoor spaces or courtyards, these links are for you!
And for kids who love gardening, there are some growing kit ideas in a previous section, under the subheading ‘Children’s subscription boxes and DIY kits’. The brand Green Toys (also see above under ‘Stuff to play, pretend and dig with’) make excellent garden tools for kids from 100% recycled plastic, too.
|This paper pot maker allows you to make three different sizes of seedling pots from old newspaper! Seedlings can be left in the paper pot for planting to avoid disturbing the roots. We have used these and they are excellent tools.||This gardener's nail brush is made from sustainably harvested Beechwood and tampico plant fibres. Redecker uses raw natural materials and plastic-free packaging. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".||This 2-in-1 garden accessory is made from FSC-certified wood and is very handy for garden enthusiasts! It can be used as a crate to carry tools and small plants, and when placed the other way around, it's a study stool.
|This microgreens kit comes in a white porcelain box with a bamboo lid/drip tray, and everything you need to grow broccoli, radish and rocket microgreens on your windowsill! It's made in Australia and comes with Aussie seeds. Herb kits and smaller kits are also available.||These beautiful planter kits come with everything you need to grow aloe, prickly pear cactus, lavender, daisies or poppies. They feature an internal hydroponic watering system that gives the plant the exact amount of water it needs. |
Also available is a self-watering glass herb jar that's perfect for the kitchen. All seeds are non-GMO and all kits are made in the USA. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|This Italian herb kitchen includes three herb growing pods, basil, oregano and parsely seedballs, and everything you need to grow herbs in your kitchen! The aluminium pods are reusable and can be used for growing more herbs or storing dried herbs later.
Also see this post which has 25 lovely ideas for gifts to make from your garden!
Gift ideas for people who want to encourage and protect native wildlife
Protecting wildlife is increasingly important with their habitats and populations decreasing. These gift ideas can be used to encourage wildlife in our own backyards to do their vital pollenating jobs or to give them a safe space to live.
|This recycled timber birdhouse is made by Queenslanders Colin and Jess. They upcycle wood, scrap metal and cutlery to create unique birdhouses (and art) and their products are non-toxic and made to be used by native wildlife.||This recycled birdhouse is made from a wire frame and snack wrappers! Women in India make these (in several designs) in a fair trade environment. Bird houses from other materials such as coconuts and twigs are also available from this link, as well as a beautiful terracotta hanging bird feeder.||This affordable bird feeder is made in the UK from recycled plant pots. As well as helping birds you'll be making use of food waste from your kitchen! And it's small and easy to use.
Many other bird products are available from this link, including upcycled sari or wooden nesters, different sorts of bird feeders and bird baths.
|This seed kit provides ideal food for bees, along with eight recycled coffee cups and coffee soil for planting in. 10% of profits go to Beemunity Research to find a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder which is impacting bees globally.|
Or try a Native Solitary Bee Hotel to provide safety for Australia's native bees.
|At the Joyful Butterfly you can buy seeds that feed and encourage Monarch butterflies! Monarchs need more plants throughout North America to help their populations thrive again. You can buy a range of seeds or plants for your particular area and get support from this link.||This ladybird tower is made from naturally-dried, FSC-certified wood. It provides shelter and protection for ladybirds and looks lovely in the garden.
Other hotels, feeders and seed kits are also available from this link to help your backyard butterflies and bees.
|These humane deterrents keep cats or foxes away from your home using an ultrasonic frequency. They get great reviews, and won't affect other animals or your neighbour's cat either! Also available at this link are nesting boxes for different Australian birds, possums, bats and sugar gliders.||A Bat House can be a great helper for bat populations while keeping them away from your home. These houses are built in Wisconsin by Veterans, using cedar and pine wood. There are three sizes to choose from and they do not need assembly.||This Hedgehog Crossing gives vital passage to hedgehogs in urban areas. It's made in the UK from recycled plastic and it strengthens your fence after cutting a small hole for hedgehogs to pass through.
Other items to support hedgehogs in your area are available from this link, including houses, feeding bowls and seed balls.
Environmentally friendly gifts for pets
Pet parents will get a kick out of these sustainable ideas, and their furry besties will benefit from toxin-free alternatives.
|This shampoo bar by Urthly Organics is less than $10, made ethically with ingredients sourced locally wherever possible, and free of all toxins and palm oil. It's suitable to wash dogs, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other furry animals -- except cats!||The Good Dog Company makes leashes and toys from eco-friendly hemp, as well as collars for all sizes of dogs and cats. They're all extremely durable and machine-washable, too. Use the code "SFBA" to get 10% off at this store. ||This zero waste shampoo bar is made with renewable energy and is free from palm-oil free, animal products and chemicals. It's handmade in Cambridge and comes packaged completely plastic-free.|
|This natural rubber toy is made for puppies and small dogs to remove treats from, and it's also perfect for teething pups. The Hevea rubber is completely non-toxic to pets and the environment, and it's durable and biodegradable. |
Other great rubber dog toys at this link include balls and a fetch toy, as well as collapsible rubber bowls.
|This recycled cat basket is handmade in Bangladesh from strong jute, recycled plastic and recycled saris. It's also fairly traded and is the perfect size for your kitty.||This dog collar is hand-made using reclaimed rubber tyre inner tubes. It's also soft and comfortable and comes in 3 sizes to suit most dogs.|
Ethical gift ideas for people who like to drink…
Coffee or Tea
It’s enjoyed in most countries of the world, but coffee can be a very unsustainable drink. Tea can also be produced unethically, and all hot beverages can be wasteful if they come in single-use containers.
These ideas will help you find practical, ethical, zero-waste and interesting gifts for the coffee or tea-lover in your life.
Fair trade producers & subscription services
Coffee and tea taste best when they’re grown by people who are paid properly to do what they love.
|Tribes and Nations are based in the Blue Mountains and stock Fair Trade certified coffee, tea and other products. They offer sample boxes and single orders as well as coffee and tea subscription programs.||Spirit Animal Coffee source all of their beans from independent farmers in Honduras. The coffee is shade-grown, organic and low in acid. Subscribe to get 50% off your first order, 20% off subsequent orders, and lifetime free shipping within the US. |
Also Phil & Sebastian are Canadian coffee roasters who source 100% of their coffee direct-trade with small producers.
|Halo Coffee Co have created home-compostable coffee pods, with ethical coffee options to suit any taste. They also sell roasted whole beans in eco friendly packaging. Subscribe to save and delivery is free within Europe for orders over £35.|
|Love Tea are an organic brand from Melbourne who trade fairly with communities and cooperatives. Their loose leaf tea and tea blends are available in several beautiful gift boxes, and they also gave ceramic tea canisters and matcha accessories that would all make lovely gifts for tea lovers!||Equal Exchange Co-op is a worker-owned business and their teas, coffees, chocolates, nuts and dried fruits are all organic and fairly-traded from small scale farmer co-ops.||These gift tins are perfect for tea lovers and come in a range of designs and sizes. Choose from traditional teas, wellness teas, Christmas-themed teas, or a set with tea and a lovely mug included. All teas are ethically-produced and many are organic, too.
Or treat your special tea-lover with a gift box or subscription from award-winning Bird & Blend Tea Co. They make amazing blends in the UK and provide unique experiences for every type of tea!
Reusable coffee & tea accessories
No need for disposable and single-use items with these great accessories to complement a great beverage!
|This French Press has a ceramic inner layer to ensure your coffee tastes fantastic, and a stainless steel plunger that won't get coffee everywhere. It's also unbreakable and insulated, so it will keep your coffee hot or cold for hours! Frank Green produce a wide selection of colours for their products, which also include spill-proof mugs and tea infusers that fit all of their products. You can customise the colour scheme of your Frank Green, and for a limited time, add a monogram of up to 6 letters for free! ||Reusable coffee filters are a great alternative to disposable ones, and they come in many sizes to suit your coffee machine. Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10"||Coffee Union sells ReCap stainless steel reusable pods, for use with Nespresso machines.|
|Try a stainless steel tea infuser with loose leaf tea for a zero-waste brew at home. Or for more portability you can try a tea flask (also via the link above) that infuses your tea and is spill-proof for on-the-go adventuring!||This cute kitty tea cup with its own strainer is suitable for large tea leaves like chai mixes. It's handmade by women who are part of a Fair Trade organisation in Nepal, and it's dishwasher and microwave safe!||These bamboo/cotton reusable tea bags are handmade in the UK. Wearth partners with independent UK brands and all products are sustainable and vegan.|
|Did you know reusable cups can be ceramic too? These are insulated, designed in Melbourne, fit cup-holders, are spill- and shatter-proof, and toxin-free. Also browse this huge range of Keep Cups: there's one to suit any personality.||These insulated mugs come with a lifetime warranty and are available in neutral or bright colors. They're also BPA-free and phthalate-free, and don't come with any plastic packaging. Hydro Flasks are available in 12oz and 16oz sizes and keep drinks hot for 12 hours or cold for up to 24 hours! ||This reusable travel mug from is made from recycled, single-use paper cups! It's BPA-free and doesn't contain melamine, and it's designed to be used for 10 years before being fully recycled. It has a push lid for easy drinking and can be sipped from any angle for added usability.
Coffee and tea-themed products
Circular consumption is the key to these clever items that make use of coffee and tea grounds. Or grow your own for the ultimate sustainable cuppa!
|This tea kit enables you to grow your own cuppa! It comes with everything you need to grow and brew your tea. Choose from Echinacea, Peppermint, Chamomile and Lemon Balm.|
Or try this Microgreens kit which allows you to grow eight cups of mizuna and cress in coffee grounds! Reused coffee cups are also part of the kit.
|This handmade soap is made from coffee grounds and other vegan, non-toxic ingredients. It's made in the USA with solar power and every order removes 1 lb of beach trash! Use the code "SFBA10" to get 10% off your order at this store.||These beauty products are based on waste from coffee and chai tea. All of Upcircle's range are also vegan, non-toxic, palm-oil free, easily recyclable, and made in the UK.
Quality reusable water bottles are an excellent sustainable gift: they will really last while removing the need for a huge number of plastic water bottles. Our favourite bottles are leakproof, insulated and straw-free, but they’re only readily available in Australia so I’ve provided links to similar products in the US and UK.
Buying insulated bottles ensures that you don’t get any condensation dripping from your drink, and they are strong enough to last a lifetime.
|These leakproof bottles are the best we've ever had! They have great insulation, are easy to clean and use, and have minimal components. Great for travel, work and home life, they comes in three sizes and a huge range of plain colours or patterns, so you will find one to suit any child or adult in your life!||This insulated water bottle by Klean Kanteen are leak-proof and can keep drinks icy cold for up to 50 hours! They also come in a large range of sizes and colors suitable for kids and adults. Klean Kanteen is a certified B Corporation and 1% for the Planet Member, and is a leading manufacturer of reusable drinkware. ||This insulated water bottle is made from stainless steel and food-grade silicone. The faux leather strap ensure you won't lose the lid, and the double-walled design ensures your water stays cold for up to 24 hours. The large opening is easy to drink from and ice or a filter can easily be added to the bottle.
Wine, beer or spirits
You don’t need to know a good vintage from a bad one with these ideas!
|These wine holders are made from old wine barrels! They come in single or double-glass capacity, and the same company also makes cheese and sushi boards and share platters.||This beautiful set includes 4 jicara tasting cups and a large decanter, hand-blown by artisans in Mexico. Also available by Verve Culture is a wine caraf and stunning tumblers, all using recycled glass. Use the code "footprints10" to get 10% off at this store. ||These beer soaps are made by a passionate family business in the UK. All of their products are hand made and free from animal fats and chemicals.|
|This DIY Gin kit has everything you need to turn vodka into gin yourself! Mad Millie are a New Zealand company passionate about helping consumers get back to basics while enjoying a successful and delicious experience.||This wood and cork bottle topper is a sweet and handy little gift! It's handcrafted by fairly paid artisans in Kenya, and will keep an open wine bottle fresh. A zebra topper is also available.||This DIY gin kit is made in the UK and contains everything you need to make two bottle of gin from vodka, including: an Italian glass bottle, label, filter papers, funnel, fine mesh sieve, four gin toppers, and two botanical mix sachets which include juniper berries and an instruction card. And the gin is prepared in just four steps, and ready in under 24 hours!|
Meaningful gift ideas for people who prefer to give than receive: gifts for a cause
Gifts that give twice are the best gifts for environmentalists and minimalists. There are so many charities who need support, and a donation in your recipient’s name is a thoughtful and very useful gift idea. Choose a reputable organisation working to help a topic they care about, such as poverty, climate change, wildlife support, violence against women, or emergency services assistance.
These ideas below also help those in need while giving your recipient a small gift, too.
Oxfam charity cards
Oxfam is an international charity organisation which helps people in crisis and conflict all over the world. We love their Unwrapped gift card collection, which allows you to donate towards a cause that your recipient relates to.
You get a card (electronically or hard copy) all about your gift to give to your loved one, and some people with very little get a chance to live a better life. We’ve bought these for family and friends for years and they really are a gift that everyone can feel good about.
Little Sun solar lamps
I recently bought one of these for our travels and absolutely love the product and what it stands for. The lamp shines brightly for hours or can be used in a dimmer mode. It’s charged during the day via sunlight and can be used as a night-light at home or for travelling with. Kids love it but so do adults! It’s awesome for festivals, outdoor areas and more.
Each purchase of a Little Sun allows another solar lamp to be purchased at a low price to one of the 1.1 billion people living without access to power, through partners in rural Africa. The Certified B-Corp is also involved in other humanitarian and environmental projects. Little Sun stockists can be found worldwide.
Aus/NZ and US/CA
Fair Trade socks that support the cause of your choice
Conscious Step make certified organic cotton, vegan-friendly socks for men and women with sustainable manufacturing processes. They also support a range of charities around the world with each purchase.
Want to empower women, save LGTBQIA+ lives, help animals, clean oceans, plant trees, or support mental health? Choose the socks that support the cause you care about, and Conscious Step make your donation through verified Impact Partners.
Choose one pair of socks or a gift pack which includes three pairs of socks supporting different causes.
|Biome stocks Conscious Step socks and gift packs.||Ten Thousand Villages stocks Conscious Step socks and gift packs.|
Life Less Ordinary hand-make ethical jewellery in Brighton, UK, from tagua nuts (vegetable ivory). Their collections include bracelets, anklets, earrings and cufflinks, with nature-based and adventure symbols, and positive messages.
Many can also be personalised! Handwriting can be replicated on the tagua plagues, or initials, coordinates or a message printed.
As well as supporting a small UK business, 10% of profits from this shop go to Indigo Volunteers and the ‘Reserva’ Youth Land Trust. The Reserva Collection bracelets also further assist the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador.
Sustainable gift ideas for that person who’s always really hard to buy for
We all have one of those people: they would love a small gift but they’re hard to please. Or perhaps it’s someone you don’t know very well but you’re obliged to give them a little something. These eco friendly Christmas gifts are useful for just about anyone!
|This organic cotton hankie is designed and handmade in Australia. It can also be used as a pretty napkin, and is fully machine washable. Many other colours and designs are also available.||These cotton napkins come in a pack of 12 and are made in the USA from 100% organic cotton. They're small and easy to wash, and will come in handy in many situations. |
Get 10% off at this store with the code "SFBA10".
|These hot water bottle covers are hand crocheted with 100% wool by artisans at fair trade organisation Pachamama, which helps underprivileged kids to have a better future. A Christmas design with reindeer is also available.
|These photo frames are made in Melbourne from rescued and upcycled timber. Mulbury saves it from going to landfill and hand crafts each frame before using plant-based wax to seal them. Several sizes and colours are available.||This photo frame is handcrafted by artisans from a fair trade organisation. The materials are ethically sourced and make use of a food by-product: bones! |
But if bones aren't appealing, there are frames decorated with old computer keys, bike chains and hex nuts too; all unique gifts that make great use of waste materials.
|This range of photo frames are made from brass and glass by fair trade organisation Nkuku, who are an equal opportunity and environmentally-friendly organisation. The frames come in a range of sizes and have glass on both sides for double-sided displaying.
Some last thoughts about eco-friendly gift giving
The most valuable gift you can give to someone is your time. Whether you use it to make something for them or to buy a thoughtful gift, your time and energy are part of the giving. Spending time because you want to, not because you HAVE to, is much more enjoyable and reflects in the gift you end up giving.
You can also give people your time by planning an experience together, or by simply being with them or helping out in some way. (This post lists 30 gift experiences if you need some inspiration) Many people would appreciate special time together more than a present that’s all wrapped up.
Some friends and I have re-gifted toys and puzzles that our kids no longer use, which has been a great way to minimise and circulate rather than buy new all the time. Our kids have never cared that they’re not brand new!
Have a think about whether you need to buy wrapping paper and gift cards. You can get creative with children’s paintings, old cards, newspapers, used ribbons, tissue paper from floral arrangements and more, to wrap gifts in a unique and waste free way. Kids usually love to help make and decorate cards!
Finally, whatever you receive this year, please practice gratitude. Being thankful in receiving is something our family talks about often, so we can truly recognise the effort, time, thoughts and hopes that someone is giving us along with a gift.
I wasn’t always grateful in the past, and I now see the effect of that on the people who gave me something with all their heart. I have since vowed to recognise and appreciate every gift offered to me, however small; even a rock that my child thinks is nice. I want to be a model of gratitude to my kids and anyone else I can inspire. I hope you will join me.
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