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 2021”. 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 three strong women from different backgrounds who came together in their desire for three things: Problem-solving bags that look as good as they work, Eco-friendly practices that try to leave less footprint, and a desire to work with creative makers from all over the world to make the “best badass bags” around.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Their not fans of waste or big fans of clutter, especially when it comes to bags and landfills. So Dagne Dover decided to do something about it. Working with materials such as Repreve (made from recycled plastic bottles), organic denim (no synthetic blends makes recycling easier) and organic cotton (zero artificial fertilizers, pesticides or genetically modified seeds), Dagne Dover has created an entire Eco-Friendly Gift Guide chock full of fashionable bags, totes and pouches
WHAT TO GET: There’s an option for every member of the family, but the current favs we’re crushing on…
From Left to Right:
Pacific Tote $175
– A perfectly sized, unisex tote made from 100% organic denim. This tall tote is your new go-to from office commuting, gym trips, grocery runs, busy new Moms on-the-go, travel…just about everything! Comes in four colors, including the denim blue shown above. It’s like your favorite pair of jeans…but in tote form.
– This little organizer carries a big pedigree in that it’s made from Repreve® recycled polyester. Each organizer is made from 4 recycled plastic bottles, and the included dust bag from 3 recycled bottles. It makes a great gift for travelers, dorm dwellers, or that one friend we all have who loves keeping things so organized they could give Marie Kondo a run for her money. Comes in four colors and two sizes (7.94 oz Weight shown above in Rosewood and a 10.26 oz Weight).
WHO THEY ARE: Founded by professional artists Steve and Joan Feinsod. Their challenge? How to source great quality, affordable frames for their art work that were created using conscientious manufacturing practices and sustainably sourced materials.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Their reclaimed wood selection comes from recycled barn & farm wood, driftwood, and oak. Their sustainable materials include felled plantation trees, banana bark, cotton husks, tobacco leaves, bamboo and eco-aluminum (saving 95% of the energy required to produce aluminum from raw materials). They also follow the rules of Conscious Consumption and Waste at their company – i.e. energy efficient and green buildings wherein all workers contribute to recycling 79% of materials and the 21% left that cannot be recycled go to a Waste-to-Energy company.
WHAT TO GET: From Rustic to Modern, you can really take your pick, but these are two of our favorites…
From Left to Right:
Rustic Gray w/Whitewashed Picture Frame, starting from $45.12
– Made from reclaimed barnwood and fence board. Handcrafted by Artisans, it’s finished in driftwood gray and features a whitewashed inner edge, distinctive knots and natural weathering for a unique photo frame that’s proudly made in the USA. This frame would look great in any home interior from Boho to Cottagecore, or Farmhouse to Urban Rustic.
White Cotton Husks Wood Picture Frame, starting from $39.52
– This one is quite possibly our absolute favorite. It starts with frames made of wood from sustainably managed forests. Artists then add hand-laid cotton husks (the portion of the cotton plant that is discarded in the clothing making process). The result is a one-of-a-kind look that resembles a creamy, swirly, almost marble-like appearance that would go perfectly in any home interior from Contemporary to Industrial, Grand Millennial to Minimalism.
WHO THEY ARE: In 2013, NYC-marketing-agent-turned-entrepreneur Cassandra Grey was already well known in the industry as an uber-beauty authority. After cultivating key relationships with make-up artists, celebrities and creative partners for years, in 2014 she decided to do more than just share her recommendations but offer them to others as well. With an online store presence, and a brick and mortar store located in Melrose Place, Los Angeles, the Violet Grey brand selections are coveted and purchased by hardcore beauty fans in over 170 countries.
WHY WE LOVE THEM: Walking the makeup aisle of any drug or department store is an experience in overwhelming choices. But which ones are truly worth your time and what is just plain hype? This is the question that Violet Grey seeks to answer. Instead of looking to create massive stock inventory, the ladies of Violet Grey literally flip the script on the “more is better” business model and focus exclusively on the concept of curation. They keep their inventory down and focused on only those items that have been approved after a rigorous vetting process known as The Violet Code . By keeping their product supply streamlined they lessen excess inventory, thereby creating operating costs that are less wasteful and much more eco-friendly and sustainable than other major retailers.
WHAT TO GET: This is not fast-fashion beauty. The prices are appropriate for the high-quality products they recommend and sell. Here are two items that caught our eye that any beauty authority would welcome as a gift…
From Left to Right:
– With a cutting edge formula powered by the brand’s patented TFC8® technology, this complex actually works by triggering your existing stem cells to repair and renew your skin. Taking amino acids, vitamins, omega fatty acids, and putting them with natural ingredients such as evening primrose, this Vegan-friendly complex does what it says – it creates a healthy, more youthful-looking complexion using groundbreaking stem-cell technology. It’s the #1 seller on their site for a reason…quite simply, it works.
– If science can put a man on the moon, why can’t it solve for on-set acne, puffy eyes and proper anti-aging? Short answer? There’s an app for that. In combination with the ZIIP iPhone app, and to be used with the ZIIP Conductive Gel Treatment, the ZIIP Nano Current Device is the scientific answer. Nano-currents measuring one billionth of one ampere stimulate the skin, promoting collagen and elastin production (hello younger skin) , promotes lymphatic drainage (bye-bye puffy eye) and eradicates acne-causing bacteria on a cellular level (sorry-not-sorry breakouts). All in the comfort of your own home.
WHO THEY ARE: Founded in 2018 by post-college grads Cloe Hymowitz and Danielle Cavalher, 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…
From Left to Right:
Caro One Piece $96
– The little black one-piece is a staple every gal should have in her swim wardrobe. This timeless beauty has a fresh twist (literally) with a front knot that accentuates the body shape beautifully. The bottom is a goldlocks of not-too-cheeky, not-too-full medium coverage. It’s also an exclusive collab from the ARO Swim x Madelyn Cline eco-conscious collection. Made from 88% recycled nylon and sustainable spandex.
– Fresh from their 2022 S/S season, this lovely lavender two-piece is made from over 90% recycled nylon and sustainable bamboo. The bandeau top fits true to size and the bottom has a high waist design that’ll give you legs for days.
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..
From Left to Right:
– This necklace takes recycled 14K gold, and reimagines it into the most adorbs little bit of sunshine you can take with you everywhere
– Not only is this ring gorgeous, it’s made of recycled 18K gold, conflict free S1 diamonds and small Akoya style pearls straight from Japan.
WHO THEY ARE: Launched in 2011, CASETiFY is the fastest growing global tech accessories brand, reaching 1 in 7 millennials. Their founder, Wes Ng, has led the company to key collaborations with 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. 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 2 favs…
From Left to Right:
– 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 7 color options and you can customize your loved one’s name or another phrase (up to 8 characters). Other options also include several original art prints as well as collabs like Netflix’s “Squid Game” (as shown above).
– Made of 65% recycled materials, including upcycled old phone cases, these cases still carry the company’s high impact shock resistance guarantee from up to a 9.8 foot drop. Comes in up to 14 color options (including Clear, as shown above). Cases are for iPhone 7 through iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S20 through S21 Ultra. Even the packaging is sustainable with 100% recyclable packaging printed with eco-friendly ink.
WHO THEY ARE: It started in the 80s when a chunky knit sweater company, owned by son Jonathan Propper and his mom Lenore Propper Schwartz, 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 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…
From Left to Right:
– 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.
– 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
– 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 Phthalates. A single 64-count package is $25 but that drops to $17.50 with a monthly subscription.