If you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint this holiday season, you’re not alone. Eco-friendly gifts have been slowly trending up for years. Fast forward to today and “all things 2020”. We’ve seen out-of-control climate change, ocean garbage islands twice the size of Texas, and micro-plastics showing up in organisms from plankton to people…all pointing to a need to change.
So if you’ve made this year the year to try and make the world a little healthier, you are in luck. So many brands now are finding amazing new ways to produce products that we love, with a bit less of what we don’t.
Our editors have pulled together a great list of Green Gift Ideas that’ll have you (and your loved ones) dreaming of a Green Christmas…
WHO THEY ARE: Founded by Tim Brown, a nature-loving Kiwi, and Joey Zwillinger, an engineer and renewables expert. Allbirds took the concept of lux casual footwear and flipped the script to create shoes made with natural materials, produced with a lower carbon footprint and still look (and feel) amazing.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Their shoe material is a patented mix of superfine merino wool (breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-wicking) and tree fibers (comfortable, breathable and silky smooth). The soles of their shoes are SweetFoam™ made from sustainably harvested sugar cane. Their laces are recycled plastic bottles, and the eyelets on their shoes are created from the micro organisms that feed on plant sugars. Even their packaging is recycled cardboard.
WHAT TO GET: There’s an option for every member of the family, but the current favs we’re crushing on…
- Men’s Wool Runner Mizzles $119 – A wool shoe for running? And water proof? You haven’t seen anything until you’ve tried the Mizzles. Combining cozy ZQ Merino wool and a bio-based water repellent shield, this rain-ready sneaker will keep his feet predictably dry in unpredictable weather. Comes in 7 great colors, though we’re partial to the go-with-everything charcoal gray as seen above.
- Women’s Tree Breezers $95 – Made from eucalyptus tree fiber, these flats are flexible and super comfy. They come in 17 colors to choose from, including Anemone (shown above), which matches the ultra-feminine baby doll pinks that covered the S/S 2021 runways from London to NY as the new favorite hue for Spring.
- Kid’s Smallbirds Wool Runners $55 – Utterly adorable, machine washable and no worries of artificial chemicals or materials that could irritate little one’s sensitive skin. 5 color options, shown above in Blue.
WHO THEY ARE: Founded in 2018, this luxury swimwear company disrupted the status quo by creating an eco-friendly sourcing, manufacturing and packaging company. Adapting the reduce-reuse-recycle mantra as their business model, by 2019 they had ZERO fabric waste that was not up-cycled, or recycled coming from their manufacturing partner’s factory!
WHY WE LOVE THEM: They start with dead-stock from other luxury swimwear brands. Then their talented artisans (who are experts at crochet and knitting) make yarn from the remaining cuts of fabrics to create trendy, sexy and wearable one and two-piece swimwear. Any remain offcuts from that process are given to a recycling thread company that breaks them down into thread and resin, which then goes to other companies to knit new goods and products using the recycled yarns. Pretty amazing. And even all their packaging is made of a combination of compostable polymers and plant materials.
WHAT TO GET: ARO really does like to celebrate all women’s sizes and shapes. They have pieces that run from sexy to demure. These are some of our favorites…
- Keli Top $95 and Bottom $85 – stylish and sexy, this two-piece has it all. Cheeky high cut bottoms and asymmetrical one-shoulder top. Comes in 3 color options, including Aqua blue (as shown above) which just happens to be the new “it” color for Spring 2021 (so grab it now).
- Dylan One-Piece $50 – Consider this your LBS (little black swimsuit). The alternating ribbing textures creating a streamlined waist while drawing visual interest above. A top favorite with the SLHer team!
- Aleesh Top $29 and Bottom $31.50 – with a bralette style top that’s perfect for support and a fuller coverage bottom, this two-piece is made for showing off all sizes of assets. Four color options but our favorite is shown above in Martini Green.
- Rylee One-Piece $175 – for those who love a high leg line, this one-piece, one shoulder has an adjustable drawstring for side ruching to show off as little or as much as you like. The super cute patchwork print brings the look altogether.
AURATE NEW YORK
WHO THEY ARE: Founded in 2015 by Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui (longtime friends from grad school), the concept was to bring quality, transparency and environmental ethics to the fine jewelry industry.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: They only use 100% recycled gold. Why? Recycled gold is an amazing resource, able to be repeatedly reused without diminishing in quality and without creating any environmental decay. Going a step further they take the same approach with their diamonds and precious gems. They track every single one from mine to workshop, strictly adhering to the Kimberly Process and additionally insisting that the mines have acceptable working conditions, offer fair pay, and respect local indigenous communities. For the pearls, they only use family-run farms who give back to their local communities, and use sustainable farming practices to ensure the wellbeing and biodiversity of the marine environment. Lastly, they produce pieces on a made-to-order basis which eliminates inventory waste.
WHAT TO GET: With lots of sustainable bling to choose from, here are three of our faves..
- AURate, Guiding Light Sun Necklace $350 – This necklace takes recycled 14K gold, and reimagines it into the most adorb little bit of sunshine you can take with you everywhere
- AURate, Open Pearl Ring with White Diamonds $550 – Gorgeous ring made of recycled 18K gold, conflict free S1 diamonds and small Akoya style pearls straight from Japan.
- AURate, Tableau Earrings $250 – Super cute mod drop earrings, these are made of recycled 10k gold and give a lot of bling for not much cha-ching
WHO THEY ARE: CASETiFY is the fastest growing global tech accessories brand, reaching 1 in 7 millenials. CASETiFY has become the publisher and platform for creativity and self-expression to connect individuals. Key collaborations include Pharrell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Saint Laurent, Thom Browne, and many more. Additionally, CASETiFY has partnered with key retail partners including Nordstrom, Revolve.com, Shopbop.com, Anthropologie, Amazon, AT&T, Lane Crawford, and more.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Let’s think about this a minute. In an average year when a new iPhone is introduced, around 72 million people get that new phone. What happens to that old phone case? You guessed it, about 37 million of them end up in the trash. And that’s only estimating for those folks who only use one case (the average number of phone cases most people have is 2 to 4). See where we’re going here?
It was for this reason that CASETiFY created their CONSCiOUS collection to protect your tech and protect the planet. The collection offers both compostable phone cases and recycled phone cases. Both types of cases reduce the amount of virgin plastics ending up in our landfills. The compostable cases are made to, you guessed it, decompose naturally, and as an additional bonus, CASETiFY has partnered with Earth Day Network and their Canopy Project, which means for each compostable phone case sold, CASETiFY and EDN will plant one tree. But what about all those phone cases already in use? CASETiFY has their RECASETiFY program where you can trade in your current case (even if it’s not one of theirs) and get a 15% discount towards a new case. Those collected cases then get recycled by CASETiFY, in partnership with TerraCycle (a recycling company that specializes in “hard to recycle” plastics) and become part of CASETiFY’s Recycled collection (each case containing a minimum of 50% recycled material).
WHAT TO GET: So much goodness to choose from, but here are our top 3 favs…
- CASETify x Goodful, Astrology Collection Compostable Cases $50 – With a team up with Goodful by BuzzFeed, this line of compostable, biodegradable phone is celebrating all 12 zodiac signs. Rep a sign and protect the tech! Comes in 6 color options and all Zodiac signs. Available for iPhone 7 through iPhone 12 Max.
- CASETiFY Compostable Airpods $35 – Made with ecotify™, a bamboo-based proprietary blend this case is made to break down and seamlessly mix back into earth. No toxins left behind. Comes in 6 color options and you can customize your loved one’s initials or name (up to 8 characters).
- CASETiFY, Recycled Custom Case $55 – Made of 50% recycled materials plus 100% recyclable packaging printed with eco-friendly ink, high impact shock resistant. Comes in 26 color options (including Clear, as shown above). Cases are for iPhone 6 through iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9 through S20 Ultra
WHO THEY ARE: It started in the 80s when a chunky knit sweater company decided to try and create a detergent that was gentle enough for their knit but effective on stains. Lo and behold, they found that a biodegradable, low-sudsing detergent was the best for keeping their fabrics looking better, longer. Fast forward a few decades and this same company started focusing on other ways they could turn one of the “most harmful to the environment” industries into an eco-friendly one. Removing the need for plastic containers altogether, they injected their plant-based detergent into pods made from a water soluble casing called Polyvinyl alcohol. PVOH dissolves upon contact with water and is consumed by microorganisms. Once they could ship liquids without the plastic, they were able to make all their packaging from compostable cardboard. Yes, they are the original creators of the detergent pod, and In Our Humble Opinion still one of the best!
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Okay, we get it that giving the “gift of detergent” may not seem all that jolly. But consider this – Do you have a friend that’s expecting? One who suffers from sensitive skin, psoriasis, or chemical allergies? Wouldn’t they love cleaning products that are fragrance/dye/paraben/phosphate free…that’s never tested on animals? And if they do like it, they can save 30% off by getting their own monthly subscription from 2 to up to 6 months. One less item to have to remember to pick up at the store.
WHAT TO GET: These three items get top marks from our team…
- Baby & Sensitive Skin Detergent $24 – the original formula that started it all. Safe for sensitive skin, babies and pets. Free of dyes, parabens, phosphates, Pthlalate, and fragrances. A single 64-count package is $24 but drops to $16.80 with a monthly subscription.
- XL Wool Dryer Balls (set of 3) $25 – made of 100% premium New Zealand wool, these dryer balls will fight static and wrinkles, soften your clothes, and reduce dryer time. Oh yeah, they’re also good for 10,000 loads. Considering most static sheet boxes contain 160-260 sheets (and most people use at least 2 to 3 sheets per load) that should keep quite a few used polyester sheets from ending up in our landfills
- Lemon Scented Dishwasher Detergent $25 – Oxygen based bleach is effective at cleaning and removing stains, but far less aggressive than chlorine based bleach. Then, for those really stubborn stains that normally require pre-rinsing, are a blend of enzymes (molecules that target the removal of one type of molecule, like proteins, starch or fat). Things you won’t find in there? Dyes, chlorines, phosphates or Pthlalates. A single 64-count package is $25 but that drops to $17.50 with a monthly subscription.