The holiday season is notoriously wasteful–but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to an ever-increasing consumer demand for more ethical products, there are more options for eco-friendly gifts than ever, from consciously manufactured clothing to toxin-free toys. Here are 12 sustainably made gifts that have a small carbon footprint and are guaranteed to earn big smiles.
Eco-friendly clothing brand Reformation has partnered with Nativa, the world’s leader in luxury combed wool, to create a collection of regenerative-wool sweaters, cardigans and accessories that look as good as they feel. I’m particularly fond of the “Emotional Support Sweater,” because, frankly, we could all use a little coddling after the past two years.
Emotional Support regenerative-wool sweater, $298, thereformation.com
These ceramic planters are made to order by NYC-based artist Josephine Noel and typically take up to two months to ship, but now Nordstrom Canada is stocking them in limited quantities, so get one while you can.
Recreation Center planter, $125, nordstrom.ca
This temperature-regulating weighted throw is made from renewable, plant-based Tencel and, unlike some of its less attractive competitors, comes in an array of trendy colours that will fit nicely into any aesthetic.
Tree Napper, $329 (15 lbs), bearaby.ca
Eiffel Tower puzzle
This 3-D puzzle is made from FSC-certified wood and water-based paint–no toxic plastics in sight. It’s suitable for kiddos aged four-plus, but I wouldn’t blame you for buying it as living room decor…
Janod Build-It-Yourself Wooden Eiffel Tower, $40, charlotteetcharlie.ca
These limited-edition slippers are made from wool scraps left behind by Allbirds’ sneaker manufacturing, and FSC-certified rubber for the soles. They come in four colours, but I’m partial to this festive red.
Wool Dwellers, $90, allbirds.ca
This sturdy shopper is made by refugees in Italy using sustainably and ethically sourced materials from Burkina Faso. Unlike the ubiquitous branded cotton totes, this one is strong enough to hold a laptop and attractive enough to wear anywhere.
Bassi market tote, $253, goodeeworld.com
For the loved one whose pandemic bread baking has become a permanent hobby, this banneton comes with a reusable cloth liner and cover–no need for plastic bags or cling wrap.
Round banneton, $24.50, leevalley.com
Soy wax candle
Slow-produced in Ottawa, these charming scented candles pay homage to the Canadian capital with 100 per cent essential oil scents inspired by its distinct neighbourhoods.
Barrhaven candle, $28, valleycandleco.ca
Parade makes soft, supportive bralettes using a signature fabric created from recycled yarns. Developed by a team of former lululemon design experts, these sustainable undergarments have become an internet sensation and are finally available to Canadian shoppers.
Plunge bralette, $38, yourparade.com
Two throw blankets in one gift guide?? Hear me out: This one is arguably a work of art. The brushed twill blanket is made in Canada with super-soft baby alpaca yarn–tempting to cuddle up with, but it would look fantastic hanging on the wall.
Blacksaw peyote throw, $495, ssense.com
Hand and body care set
If your skin doesn’t turn to sandpaper every winter are you even Canadian? Give some much-needed TLC with this vegan hand and body care set from Aesop. Their grainy hand soap gently exfoliates while a duo of balms restore much-needed suppleness–all with those signature, delectable Aesop scents, and packaged in a reusable recycled container.
The Advocate kit, $140, aesop.com
Top this handcrafted Egyptian clay dessert plate with homemade cookies for a host gift that will actually get used year after year.
Malaika red bloom dessert plate, $45, goodeeworld.com