You might have a birthday, housewarming party and other special occasions coming. All which come with quite a bit of waste usually.
Maybe the person you are gifting is into conscious living or natural beauty but you are not sure what to get him or her. Or maybe you are the one who wants to be more responsible towards others and the planet and make some positive choices.
No matter the occasion, your dearest environmentally conscious family and friends will probably appreciate considerate thoughts you put into choosing an eco present. However, finding the right one can be tricky since you probably need to balance your budget, consciousness and the functionality of the gift itself.
Here are some ideas and tips on how to be the ultimate eco-friendly fuss-free gift giver, whether you’re looking for sustainable, plastic-free, vegan or biodegradable meaningful presents.
Shopping on the high street doesn’t necessarily make being conscious easy, especially when you are on a budget. Still, they are ways to think outside the box that don’t cost the earth or your wallet.
In the kitchen
If there’s a big party lover or your gifting list, there’s a good chance he or she would enjoy a lovely barware or cocktail accessories. In case your budget doesn’t stretch out as much, reusable metal straws might just be the right gift. Prices from £5.
Any coffee lover on your gifting list is likely to be thrilled with a reusable coffee cup. Simple and functional product anyone can use over and over again. There are bamboo, glass, silicone, ceramic and stainless steel cups of different sizes so you have plenty of inexpensive options. Take a look at these eco brands:
Produce bags are an easy alternative to plastic bags you can find in most stores when buying fruit and vegetables. Reusable natural mesh bags are also a functional and affordable gift for someone just starting to live more consciously as they can save waste without much of an effort. Prices from £2.
Mentioning food storage, if you have a daily commuter on your gift list, a bamboo launch bag is a quite unique and sustainable gift that doesn’t disappoint. Find one here. Prices from £18.
If you want to get a bit more creative take a look at the beeswax food wraps. They are a greener alternative to the single-use plastic cling film and often come in different colourful designs since they are made of cotton that is coated with beeswax. Brands we love:
It may not seem like it, but most teabags actually contain plastic to keep the tea bags from falling apart. Luckily, reusable organic cotton tea bags make all the difference since you can wash and reuse them over and over again. Take a look at these. Prices from £0.55.
Talking about organic cotton, luxurious napkins, aprons and kitchen towels made of natural fabrics are also a nice feature in an eco kitchen. Take a look at The Organic Company. Prices from £7.
In the bathroom
Reusable face rounds make all the difference in the bathroom! Yep, this small but mighty tool can actually help reduce waste since many women use wet wipes or regular disposable cotton pads to remove makeup. Made of cotton or bamboo, these are anti-bacterial and machine-washable. Prices from £5.
Reducing the one-use plastic is probably the easiest way to go eco in the bathroom, which makes metal safety razors a big game-changer. So far they were mostly used by men only; however, all of the reusable razors are unisex and will last a lifetime! Brands we love:
Another great sustainable alternative in a conscious bathroom is a wooden hairbrush. Made of sustainable materials such as bamboo, maple or beech wood they are durable and suitable for all hair types. Some of the brands we recommend:
It might be a bit awkward to buy someone a toothbrush, but when you are gifting something this cool, you are good. Bamboo toothbrushes are crafted from organic bamboo, which is known to grow really fast without using much water. They are also biodegradable. Check these:
A menstrual cup is not something you will buy for anyone, but if you have a close friend or a sister you think could benefit from it, give it a go. Read our review here to get more information about it. Prices from £9.
In the wardrobe
Clothes, handbags and shoes might sound like an obvious choice when talking about sustainable wardrobe, but we wanted to mention a few other interesting gifts.
Starting with scrunchies. Yes, there are back in fashion and they are here to stay! However, most of the high street options are made of polyester which is essentially plastic. Luckily, there are beautiful machine-washable scrunchies created using organic cotton or recycled off-cuts. Price from £7.
Another reusable eco gift worth mentioning is watch. But we don’t think just any watch, rather vegan and cruelty-free watches that are equally beautiful, sustainable and functional.
Talking about accessories you can use over and over again, the list would be complete without sunglasses. From recycled to wooden sunnies, buying meaningful sunnies have never been so easy. You might want to check these brands:
Finally, if you need a few more ideas, what about eco-friendly wallets and cardholders? Passport holders and small travel accessories? Pretty much everyone uses them, so you can’t go wrong with this gift. Here are some interesting animal-friendly brands:
Wherever you go
If you are looking for a gift for someone who’s a true multitasker, look no further than Tesalate‘s towels. Originally designed as a sand-free beach towel, it also works as a gym towel, improvised yoga mat or picnic blankets too due to its lightweight, fast-drying fabric and compact size (basically it can perfectly fit in a carry on or a backpack).
One item, multiple uses! Prices from £49.
Tesalate To Tuscany
Tesalate Bora Bora
Support craftsmanship, artisanal techniques and people behind it by choosing small local labels that make unique products in small batches.
A great example is perfectly imperfect ceramics that are a bit more special and unique than regular porcelain. It’s handmade using natural materials, and many brands are most likely open for special orders too which is a nice touch. Brands to check:
Dor and Tan
Another handmade gift worth looking at are soy wax candles which are not only sustainable and plastic-free but vegan-friendly too. They also provide a longer burn time than paraffin wax and don’t have any nasty chemicals or synthetic ingredients. These are the brands we love:
Forget about shiny new things, pay a visit to one of your local vintage or second-hand shops.
You might find buying vintage clothes or shoes a bit awkward, so stick to smaller gifts such as jewellery, books or accessories. You might come across some hidden gems.
Think considered materials
Another way to step up your eco gifting is to buy from brands that go above and beyond when it comes to using sustainable materials in their production.
British designer Stella McCartney is a great example of a fashion brand that goes above and beyond when it comes to innovative eco-materials. For example, one of the latest technologies brands’s been using is microsilk TM, silk fibres produced by spiders!
When it comes to the conscious accessories, vegan bag brands have really stepped up their game leaving not so eco PU behind and introducing more natural vegan leather solutions.
London-based Mashu creates vegan handbags using sustainable materials such as piñatex, leather made of pineapple leaves, hemp, dinamica (eco microfiber) and repurposed wood. Prices from £200.
Similarly, another vegan accessories brand Hozen (as well as Alkeme Atelier ) uses piñatex, as well as 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, including zippers and threads, natural rubber and remnant rope. They also use vegan adhesive!
To make things even more impressive, brands such as Happy Genie make bags from apple skin (yes, apple!) which is a waste byproduct of the juicing industry. Then they are dehydrated and grounded into a powder which is mixed with polyurethane to create a durable, leather-like material. Prices from £100.
The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning leaf leather. British brand Thamon created accessories using fallen tree leaves which are treated with an environmentally friendly polymer to restore and enhance their properties. Prices from £40.
If there’s a true fashion lover on your shopping list, they probably know a thing or two about sustainable trainers. These footwear brands use raw materials such as organic cotton, corn waste and natural rubber to produce their trainers in ethical factories. Prices from £75.
Humans Are Vain
Talking about sustainable materials, is there a better gift than beautiful and comfortable lingerie? Even better, lingerie made of environmentally- friendly materials! German brand Dorina has launched their first eco collection based on regenerated fabrics such as recycled microfiber, sustainably certified lace and organically grown cotton. It includes wireless, push-up and T-shirt bras as well as micro and lace panties created in gorgeous colours. Available online and in-store.
When it comes to sustainable materials, the jewellery industry has really shown endless possibilities, especially when it comes to crafting pieces from pre-used materials such as gold and silver. Jewellery brands using recycled materials:
The beauty-savvy would be pleased with organic, cruelty-free beauty products created with carefully selected ingredients without nasty chemicals.
With that being said, the first budget-friendly idea with looking are plastic-free soaps and shampoo bars. Support local businesses by buying from brands such as The Funky Soap, East London based company that uses only 100% natural ingredients to handcraft skin and hair products. Prices from £3. Other brands to check:
As well as small natural skincare brands:
Refillable, plastic-free makeup is still at early stages due to the safety and quality reasons, but Zao Makeup is a true pioneer leading the trend. They use sustainable bamboo cases which are refillable, as well as organic cotton pouches to store their organic and cruelty-free beauty products. Prices from £9.
Think something living
No, we are not talking about getting your friend a pet (remember, pets are not a gift!), rather something a bit low maintenance, but equally love and attention deserving. Yep, we are talking about plants. Any plant lover will appreciate the idea of bringing the outside in, plus they are excellent mood-boosters. Take a look at the Ecopots made from recycled plastic.
Additionally, if you have green gardeners on your gifting list, surprise them with eco gardening alternatives such as compostable plastic-free plant pots, wooden bee and bug houses or gardening tools.
And that’s it! Hopefully, you will find something creative, as well are functional. Download our guide here so you can come back to it when in search of eco gift ideas.