TriplePundit’s 2021 Sustainable Holiday Gift Guide

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Written by Publishing Team

Whether you’re wishing your loved ones good tidings in person or from afar, we’ve got you covered with our sustainable holiday gift guide. From zero-waste options to gifts that give back, check out your list of these big choices that are delightful but low-impact.

For the most sustainable holiday gift, start by shopping local and buying second hand

As we say every year, it’s hard to find a more sustainable holiday gift than something that already exists and may be lost. Fortunately for waste-free shoppers around the world, a host of top brands are diving into re-commerce and making it easier than ever to passive shopping without sacrificing style. Check out REI and Patagonia for outdoor gear or brands like The North Face and Eileen Fisher for apparel and outdoor gear that deserve a second life. Check out more of our favorite re-trade stores here.

If you can’t buy used, buy local. Most small businesses are still struggling amid the pandemic, and your support can help them survive. Even if you still avoid shopping in person, sources like Google Maps and Yelp make it easy to find nearby moms and kids through online shopping options. To support black-owned businesses, which have been hit particularly hard, directories like We Buy Black, Official Black Wall Street and EatOkra can help guide you. And don’t forget the restaurants! Buying gift vouchers can help your favorite restaurants and bars weather the storm and stay a part of your community.

National Parks Wall Calendar - A Sustainable Gift
(Photo courtesy of The Gardens Project)

US National Park Wall Calendar from Project Parks

Gift the nature lovers and art enthusiasts on your list with this practical and sustainable holiday gift. Sales of this eye-catching calendar, made with certified sustainable paper and featuring art from White Hersey in Chico, California, go to support the National Park Conservation Association. Parks Project also sells a range of other great sustainable holiday gift options such as puzzles, scented candles, and outdoor items that showcase the work of up-and-coming artists and benefit various organizations working to protect public lands.

Price: $25

Sustainable Wooden iPhone Charging Dock - Sustainable Gifts
(Image via Oakywood).

Handcrafted Oakywood Shipping Dock

These smart charging docks for iPhones, Apple Watches, and Android devices are handcrafted from responsibly sourced wood, and this Polish brand plants a tree for every purchase in partnership with One Tree Planted. They also sell handmade laptop sleeves, cases for phones and AirPods, and stylish work-from-home desks that are sure to make your favorite tech smile.

Price: Starting at $49

Recycled Plastic Cutting Board - A Sustainable Gift
(Photo courtesy of Material Kitchen)

Recycled and renewable cutting board from Material Kitchen

Enhance foodie-favorite slices with the Material Kitchen favorite cutting board. With a simple, modern design made from recycled plastic and renewable sugar cane, the board has quickly become a favorite on social media—and it’s easy to see why.

The New York City-based material regularly gives away to hunger relief organizations, and this year 50 percent of the profits from two re-painting colors (a nude peach color called To Pó-Po with love A rich green called Reimagine justice) will support two popular local organizations: Heart of Dinner, a nonprofit meal delivery service for East Asian elders, and Drive Change, which trains formerly imprisoned youth for jobs in the food and hospitality industry.

Price: $35

Ojas and Woo Candles are vegan and eco-friendly - a sustainable holiday gift
(Photo courtesy of Ojas & Woo)

Sustainable scents by Ojas & Woo

Brooklyn-based Ojas & Woo is an eco-friendly, vegan, and waste-free fragrance store that collaborates with artists and artisans from across the United States. The scent,” says our writer who tried it in her home this year. The best part is: When you use the candle, your favorite luxury aficionado can return the glass jar to refill at a steep discount compared to the original label price.

Price: Starting at $33

GOTBag Ocean Plastic Backpack - Sustainable Holiday Gift
(Photo courtesy of GOT BAG)

GOT BAG Ocean Plastic Backpack

This German brand bases its supply chain on a network of around 2,000 fishermen and women in Java, Indonesia, often with plastic caught in their fishing nets. GOT BAG uses 3.3 to 9.9 pounds of this plastic “bycatch” to produce both its stylish and practical carry-on bags, which range from laptop sleeves to foldable travel backpacks. I tested the $99 Daypack (pictured above) for last year, and with its seamless transition from backpack to bag and strap that slides easily over the handle of foldable luggage, it’s perfect for on-the-go and travel alike.

Price: Starting at $49

The Honest Company Reusable Paper Mask - Sustainable Gifts
(Image courtesy of The Honest Company)

The Honest Company Reusable Sheet Mask

It might be tempting to gift your favorite skincare junkie with the latest viral product you’ve seen on social media, but let’s be real: You probably don’t know enough about someone else’s skin to choose the best one, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work. For them, your well-meaning gift might be meant for trash.

Instead of adding to your potential waste stream, consider a clever way to slim down, like The Honest Company’s Reusable Silicone Sheet Mask. The mask locks in any essence, serum, cream, or oil, and can be washed off and reapplied after each use for an effective, no-waste nighttime treatment.

Price: $15

Cookbook supporting restaurants during COVID-19 sustainable holiday gifts
(Photo courtesy of Penguin Random House via Amazon)

A cookbook for struggling restaurants

This digital cookbook from Penguin Random House includes never-before-seen recipes from celebrity chefs like Ina Garten and Bobby Flay, and all proceeds go to support the Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which provides direct crisis relief to restaurant workers, and supports Nonprofits serving restaurant workers in crises, offers zero-interest loans to help restaurants get up and running.

Price: $6

J.Hannah Dune Nail Polish - A Sustainable Gift
(Image via J. Hana)

Globally seductive nail polish from J.Hannah

This nude nail color with a reason is a good look for any of the beauty lovers on your list. All profits from this global shade are donated by the emerging sustainable brand J. Hannah to a growing list of human rights organizations. This season’s recipient is Jane’s Due Process, which helps young Texans access abortions and birth control.

Price 19 dollars

Recycled Fiber Blanket - A Sustainable Gift
(Image from burlap and ash)

Nature-inspired burlap and ash blanket

Entrepreneur Bob Dalton founded Sackcloth & Ashes after his mother found herself homeless in 2013. The brand donates one homeless shelter blanket for every one sold, and is on a mission to “cover the US” by donating 1 million blankets by the 10-year anniversary year 2024.

This throw is one of five new designs created in collaboration with National Geographic and inspired by the diverse terrain of planet Earth. Like all blankets from the brand, it’s made with recycled fibers by fair-wage workers, and as an added bonus, a portion of the proceeds from this collection go to support the nonprofit National Geographic.

Price: 130 dollars

Handmade necklace - sustainable gift
(Picture courtesy of Jewelery Purpose)

Purpose jewelry small necklace

Designed to train young women who have escaped human trafficking with introductory skills in jewelry making, this beautiful necklace will go to the brand’s international non-profit, which provides artisans with fair wages, education, and health care as they look to rebuild their lives. For other styles to choose from, check out the One Day of Hope line, which consists entirely of “training pieces” made by women who recently arrived at one of the nonprofit’s havens.

Price: $26

Sustainable Soap Set - Sustainable Holiday Gifts
(Photo courtesy of Hand in Hand)

Hand in Hand Soap Variety Set

Friends don’t leave their friends with dry, cracked hands due to COVID-19. If someone on your list is pass by itGet this gentle bar of soap from Hand in Hand, which is palm oil free and made with fair trade, organic, and vegan ingredients. The brand provides soap and clean water to children in need with every purchase, benefiting communities in more than 20 countries so far. (Also available without fragrance.)

Price: $30

Homeboy Industries Gift Pack - Sustainable Gift
(Image via Homeboy Industries)

Delicious Gift Packs from Homeboy Industries

If food is your go-to gift, consider swapping out your prepared lists for a gift package from one of your favorite socially conscious 3p brands. Homeboy Industries operates under the motto “Jobs Not Prisons,” and provides employment, education, and other services to former gang members after their release from prison. Having served more than 100,000 people in her hometown of Los Angeles since 1986, she now runs the global Homeboy network of more than 400 organizations committed to giving formerly incarcerated people a second chance.

The Homeboy Gift Set includes coffee, snacks, preserves, and baked goods, and all proceeds support re-entry programs.

Price: Starting at $35

Graystone Bakery Brownies
(Photo courtesy of Graystone Bakery)

Sweets from Greystone Bakery

Grayson Bakery is another perennial favorite among the TriplePundit team. The brand’s cakes are delicious enough to feature in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors like Half Baked, and the social enterprise is also a leader in open recruitment. Having built her team without interviews, job applications, or background checks, Greyston is now primarily staffed by people with a history of criminal justice, as well as those with homelessness or substance abuse problems or who, for whatever reason, find Difficulty finding steady work.

From classics like brownies and blondes to creative flavors like Snickerdoodle and cinnamon rolls, these socially conscious foods are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth on your menu. (And yes, they have vegan options!)

Price: Starting at $25

Image credit: asife/Adobe Stock and Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash


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