As we hurtle toward the holiday season at full speed, you may be growing a little concerned about your holiday shopping budget. It’s a common phenomenon this time of year, but can be even more impactful for those of us who are trying to shop ethically.
It’s not that ethical options are always expensive, but the brands that are running their businesses at a higher standard and the brands that put on larger-than-life Black Friday sales don’t share a ton of overlap.
But don’t throw in the organic cotton towel just yet, because we’ve got something better than Black Friday planned- Shop For Good Sunday! It’s happening on December 1st this year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and it’s the ethical alternative to all the Black Friday madness.
Check out our special Shop for Good page for coupons, sales, and even more gift ideas!
But if you just can’t wait to start your holiday shopping, don’t worry, you’re in good company. Let’s get to the gifts!
Coffee and Chocolate
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.
Perfect for passionate home cooks, in-laws, and the people who are hosting your holiday dinner party, these cutting boards are made from locally-sourced East Coast Ash, Cherry, and Walnut woods that will hold up to years of use.
They’re also engraved with the UTEC logo, because 100% of the profits from the sale of these boards go to support that organization.
If you haven’t heard of it, UTEC is an organization dedicated to breaking barriers to youth success. They work with at-risk young people to help them develop the skills they need to live independently, hold down a steady job, and not resort or return to criminal activity.
So, with this gift, you’ll be making someone’s Christmas and helping to change someone’s life. Not bad!
A New Scarf
The holidays are a great time to stock up on some new warm gear before the worst of the cold weather really sets in.
Your gift recipient might like this Khmer silk scarf from Slate + Salt, or they might prefer this organic cotton scarf from Indigenous.
Fancy Sushi Set
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 a 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!
A Cuddly Throw Blanket
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.
The All-You-Need Towel Set
If you have a child or other loved one who’s set to be leaving the nest soon, this holiday season could be the perfect opportunity to stock them up with some basic home essentials.
These organic cotton towels from Under the Canopy are definitely a step up from the typical dorm room fare, but the price is pretty reasonable for a 6 piece set.
They come in a wide range of different colors, so you’ll sure to find something that will suit your little fledgling.
A New Wallet
Wallets are a popular holiday gift for the person who has everything mainly because, well, everybody needs them! They’re a perfect fallback option for the person in your life who’s just hard to buy for.
If 2019 was the year that your loved one finally got into meditation (or if they swear they will in 2020) then this meditation pillow could be the perfect gift for them.
Its shape and firmness lend just the right amount of support for a long meditation session, or a short one. The organic cotton inner liner is filled with buckwheat hulls, which conform to the curves of your body without being too squishy to hold you up.
It may not seem like it, but the sun does still come out in the winter. And skiers and snowboarders know that those rays reflecting off pure white snow can actually be pretty intense. So, a sweet pair of sunglasses that can be used year-round wouldn’t go amiss for the outdoor adventurer in your life.
A pair from Norton Point might be just the ticket! They’re made from 100% recycled ocean plastics and 5% of profits go toward global clean up efforts.
A stunning glass pitcher would be a welcome addition to anyone’s kitchen. It’s made from handblown recycled glass of different colors, and the effect of the finished product is just incredible.
Any frequent host or hostess would be happy to have this functional work of art in their arsenal.
A New Bag
If your loved one’s New Year’s resolution is to travel more often, you can help them out with that by gifting a brand new bag to take with them on their trip.
Of course, the type of luggage required will vary based on the type of trip they want to take.
If they’ll mostly be touring cities, traveling light, or going on shorter trips, the Pike Weekender Bag from Known Supply will be perfect. If they plan to rough it a bit more, something like the Tarak Backpack from Cotopaxi might be more appropriate.
And, if the furthest they’re likely to go is down to the local coffee shop, this leather laptop case from CAUSEGEAR might be all that they need.
Jewelry That Tells a Story
If you want to give a gift that’s both beautiful and meaningful, look no further than Rimu’s Necklace.
This piece is made from the brass rings that Rimu, a member of the Kayan people, chose to wear around her neck when she was a girl. When she was young, this was an important choice for her, since the rings represented power, strength, and femininity in her culture.
When she was older, she chose to remove the rings and have them remade into something else- these necklaces. 20 have been made, each one a powerful symbol of feminine strength and self-determination.
Tangier Planter Set
For the green-thumbed person in your life or the one who’s always talking about starting an herb garden, pretty pots are a perfect gift. They’re perfect for the aspiring gardener without a lot of outdoor space. They’ll look lovely on a balcony, fire escape, or kitchen windowsill!
Belts are one of those things that always seem to need replacing before you’re quite ready to replace them.
Not this belt.
This belt from Taylor Stitch might be the last belt that you ever buy.
It’s made from weatherproof suede and vegetable-tanned leather that’s made to stand the test of time. If it doesn’t, Taylor Stitch offers a guarantee that they’ll repair or replace any defective item for the life of the product. Make sure your giftee knows about that!
Gravity Defying Bottle Holder
A copper bottle holder makes for a gorgeous addition to any bar. Its smooth curves and shiny surface are pleasing to the eye, and you may even get an “ooh” or “ahh” from the audience as you demonstrate how it levitates wine bottles in a way that looks simply impossible.
It’s made from pure copper, so you can keep it shiny with copper polish or let it patina naturally over time- whichever look you prefer!
If someone on your Christmas list has been trying to cut down on the amount of paper products they use or the amount of trash they produce in general, this set of cloth napkins could be the perfect gift.
It can be expensive trying to outfit a zero-waste kitchen all at once, and you can really never have too many cloth napkins once you account for the 50% that are always in the wash or mysteriously disappear. The point is, these napkins will be a welcome gift for anyone who’s trying to break their paper towel habit.
Freelance writer working with bighearted businesses who want to better our world.