The holiday season is now firmly upon us, and if you haven’t started your shopping yet, you may be feeling that unique brand of holiday-related stress creeping up on you.
Or perhaps you’ve got most of your gifts picked out already, but there are one or two people on your list that are just impossible to shop for?
Whatever the case may be, you are about to embark on the biggest, baddest, most ultimate ethical holiday gift guide that ever was. If you don’t have an idea for everyone on your list by the time you get to the end of this guide, you have my full permission to just get a gift card and call it a day.
Now then, time’s a-wasting and shipping times are sharply narrowing, so let’s get to the gifts!
If you’re operating on both a tight timeline and a tight budget, you’ll appreciate this curated selection of gift ideas, all under 50 bucks. If you need a few more, you can check out the full <$50 gift guide right here.
These custom photo prints from WoodSnap offer a unique home decor item or keepsake at an affordable price. You can immortalize your Instagrams, wedding photos, or even a few baby pics for just $28 each. With their 12 deals of Christmas promotion that’s going on now, you can even get a few other customized photo prints without breaking the $50 mark, like a wine box, 3 6x6 prints, an 11x14 print, or an 8x12 print.
Did you ever press wildflowers between the pages of a heavy book for a few days to give to your mom?
These pressed wildflower mugs are along that vein but with a way higher production value. Each one is handmade by the artist and meticulously pressed with real wildflowers. The finished products have a rustic beauty that’s quite charming.
The perfect gift for the goddess in your life, this necklace is made with a row of beaded moonstones and labradorite crystals on a 14k gold chain. Sterling silver chains are available upon request if your goddess is more of a cool tone.
All of Kind Karma’s jewelry is handmade in Toronto by at-risk youth and those who are transitioning out of homelessness. The work gives them a chance to get back on their feet and achieve stability in all areas of life through stable employment first of all.
Know someone who just can’t get enough sushi? Have they already ventured into rolling their own at home, or would they like to? You can gift them the perfect complement to all of their sushi-centric ventures, whether they’re making it themselves or ordering in with this Hand-painted Sushi Set from Ten Thousand Villages.
It comes with 6 sets of gorgeous rosewood chopsticks with buffalo horn inlay, 6 matching chopstick stands, and 6 beautiful blue and white handpainted ceramic bowls.
The blue silk box it all comes in is perfect for both storage and gifting- you won’t even have to wrap this one!
You can’t really go wrong with coffee and chocolate, so the Equity Coffee Gift Box from Grounds for Change makes a perfect gift for almost anyone.
It comes with 6 different 8-ounce bags of coffee and 6 fair trade chocolate bars. Yum!
You can choose whether you want regular or decaf coffee, and in the form of whole beans or one of four different grinds.
You can never have too many throw blankets. And this gorgeous one from Newly will be welcome on the back of any couch.
It’s made from recycled cotton and 12 water bottle’s worth of recycled plastics, and it’s soft as a dream. Its dimensions are a generous 50x60 inches, so there won’t be any blanket tug-of-war on movie night.
If you’re shopping for an eco-conscious consumer, or you are one yourself, you’ll probably want to buy as many sustainable gifts as possible this holiday season. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
This classic sheet set from Eucalypso is sustainably made with Eucalyptus that grows on marginal land and requires way less water than conventional cotton. The eucalyptus is processed in a way that allows for the recycling of the solvent so that very little goes to waste. You can read all about the full process on their website. In addition, Eucalypso donates 10% of its profits in support of wildlife conservation. That should let you sleep well at night!
Also called a tiffin, a name which I much prefer, this stainless steel lunch box is the perfect eco-friendly choice for anyone who wants to bring a lunch into work or school, or even take leftovers home from a restaurant. It comes with three nesting pieces so there’s room to separate all your different food items. This modular bento system replaces plastic lunch boxes and will last you a lifetime, making it a great sustainable option.
Panda makes great, eco-friendly luxury watches from natural materials like bamboo. This particular watch features a bamboo face and a strap that’s made with Portuguese cork and vegan leather. Plus, for every one of these watches sold, the company makes a donation to the Washington National Parks Fund.
If you have a vegan or two on your list this year, you need to be careful with your gift-giving. They’re not likely to appreciate a new leather bag, no matter how nice it is, or a new pair of wool socks even if grandma did knit them herself. Here are a few ethical gift ideas for vegans, and if you need some more, you can always check out the complete guide to vegan gift giving.
If your giftee is hirsute, they may like this beard and hair oil set inspired by classic cocktails and spirits.
You can start the day with an old fashioned without any sidelong glances when that’s just the name of your beard oil.
The scents in this set- Old Fashioned, Gin, and Scotch, are evocative of their namesakes without actually making you smell like you just peeled yourself away from the drink cart.
And she’s got more where that came from. If you’re looking for a slightly boozy bath set, check out her Gin & Tonic set of bath salts and body wash.
Toad&Co stocks these awesome Women’s vegan sneakers from Veja that are stylish, comfortable, and sustainable. These sneakers are made from a combination of 100% organic Brazilian cotton, vegan suede, wild rubber from the Amazon rainforest, and a few less sexy synthetic materials for the insole.
These shoes come in a very Christmassy red and white color scheme that will look good with even the ugliest of Christmas sweaters!
These adorable little candles are hand-poured in Vancouver, Canada by some kind of wizard who is able to make ridiculously cute things out of soy wax.
You can choose either the Pine & Vanilla scented cactus terrarium candle or the White Tea & Jasmine scented poppy one, but I don’t see how you could bear not to get both in the most precious little set ever.
Or maybe two of each- one to burn, and one to just look at forever.
These candles are both totally vegan and totally awesome, and your gift recipient will definitely love them. At least they will if they are me.
Know someone who is all about female empowerment? Did you know there are gifts that are perfect for that? Not only do all the gifts here and on our full feminist gift guide rep women’s rights through their designs, they actually walk the walk. Each of these items helps to further women’s rights in the real world when you buy them, which is the best gift of all.
Etched with words and quotes from inspiring women, the She Inspires series from Prosperity Candle is a great gift idea for any woman who inspires you. Choose one or two, or get the full set. Here’s what they each say:
Persist "Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women." Maya Angelou
Fearless "One isn't born courageous, one becomes it." Marjane Satrapi
Fierce "She remembered who she was and the game changed." Lalah Delia
Queen "Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail." Oprah Winfrey
No matter which candle you choose, know that it will be empowering not only the woman you gift it to but also the women who made it.
Prosperity Candle provides a good job and path out of poverty for female refugees in the United States. The stability of this work helps them to get on their feet and make good lives for themselves in their new home.
Starfish Project is an awesome organization that provides shelter, work, and life skills training for survivors of sex trafficking in Asia.
Their holistic care programs provide shelter, healthcare, vocational training, counseling, and education for survivors and their children.
The jewelry business helps to fund all of that. It also provides a productive outlet for women to work with their hands, create something valuable, and learn different work skills in the process.
The jewelry is not only beautiful, but it’s meaningful and it tells the story of those who create it. Anything you gift from Starfish Project will be both a beautiful adornment and a beautiful symbol of the resilience and healing of exploited women and girls.
Bird + Stone stocks a bunch of badass cuffs in your choice of silver or gold.
You can choose from a variety of different empowering sayings, including The Future is Female, Nevertheless, She Persisted, Who Run the World? and The Future Is Feminist. They even come in 2 packs, 4 packs, and mixed sets so you can share them with all your best friends, or have a new one for every day of the week.
These cuff sets are great for gifting not only because they’re awesome, but also because they each include a little note explaining the impact your purchase makes, which in this case is a 10% donation to Planned Parenthood of NYC.
You can also customize the cuffs with your own message to make the gift extra special!
Whether your adventurer loves to travel the world, the mountains, the ocean, or just their backyard, there are tons of gifts that can make travel and outdoor activities more enjoyable. Our Adventurer’s gift guide is chock full of them, and here are a few of the best:
T-shirts are a staple of the gift-giving season, at least in my family. This t-shirt has an outdoorsy message on it so you can still signal your love for the outdoors, even when you’re not currently outdoors.
It’s made from 100% organic cotton and it’s super soft. Each one is made in Peru and, as with all Krochet Kids products, you can actually trace it back to the specific person who made it for you.
This thing is amazing and I need to take a break from writing this to add it to my own wishlist.
Now, where were we?
Oh yeah, the travel scarf. Not only does it keep you warm and cozy through chilly airports and planes, but it also has a comfy secret. Inside this super soft, warm scarf is actually an inflatable neck pillow!
Isn’t that amazing?
It’s well hidden when it’s not inflated, and when you want to use it, it just takes a few puffs of air to transform your stylish infinity scarf into a totally supportive, soft, and warm neck pillow.
If there was ever a chance at getting good sleep while in flight, this thing is it.
The perfect gift for the minimalist adventurer in your life, a trip is something that’s hard to wrap, but always well received anyway. And the options are just about endless.
If your adventurer is an avid hiker who always talks about seeing more parks, the National Park Tour offered by Have Fun, Do Good may be just the thing to make them squeal with delight on Christmas morning. You may squeal with delight yourself when you hear that there’s still a little time left to secure early bird pricing on 2020 National Park Tours!
If they’re more of a globetrotter, help them put another stamp in their passport by gifting a personalized trip through Context Travel. They run tours of over 60 cities across 6 continents, so you’re bound to find somewhere that they haven’t been- yet!
Ethical Gifts for Everyone Else
Whew, that was a lot, wasn’t it? I hope you were able to find something for everyone on your list, if not in this post then in the others that were linked!
If there are still a few question marks on your Christmas list, maybe one of these gift guides will be able to help:
Freelance writer working with bighearted businesses who want to better our world.