The Better Holiday Guide: Ethical + Sustainable Gift Ideas {US Edition}

The Better Holiday Guide: Ethical + Sustainable Gift Ideas {US Edition}

Holiday shopping with ethics and care for the environment can be overwhelming! But it really matters, so I’m here to make finding conscious, thoughtful, sustainable gift ideas a bit simpler, and more fun! Each year I LOVE putting together these lists! I fall in love with my favourite companies all over again as I write to help you shop, without the stress of having to think of options yourself.

How to plan for better conscious gifting

In reducing our footprint as we shop for gifts, I don’t go straight to shopping “things.”

  • First we make a list of everyone our family is shopping for.
  • We go through and see where we can eliminate tangible gifts without losing important celebration! This looks like mutually gifting to charity, organising a meal out together or event in place of gifts, or agreeing gifts don’t matter to us!
  • Then we try to look at where we can gift things second hand, and…
  • After that, we look at how we can be intentional in having a positive impact with the more traditional gifting we do.

Ideas for more conscious holiday gifting!

The affiliate part! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. it means I make a small commission when you shop through them, but you pay no more – sometimes less. It lets me take time to write lists like this so I’m always grateful when you shop through them!

No ‘things’ gifting: Give an experience, service, or your time, or mutually agree no gifting!  

We do this a lot with my family! For my sister’s birthday I took her on a winery tour, and for another sister and brother in law we all agreed to go on a fun double date dinner in lieu of gifting. Doing things together can be a great gift! I was once gifted someone making me a compost heap, and my carpenter brother gifted me installed counter tops. Or babysitting is a great gift for parents! You could do this as a gift voucher for them to use, an invitation to go together, or all deciding together to do something in lieu of gifts.

Search for a gently used item from Vinted or eBay!

Shopping second hand can make AMAZING and thoughtful gifts! It can be a great option for a lower budget, getting more for your money, or just embracing the value of not buying new! I love choosing used clothing pieces, and searching brands creating clothes ethically even when they’re used. Here’s a list of what some brands we search used! If you’re worried about it being used (you don’t need to be, gift boldly with your values!) you can search for things “new with tags” and there are still some real bargains. But I embrace going second hand and write a note explaining the value to me behind it in terms of the planet and ethics, then I think it can be really thoughtful.

Put together a “date night” basket for a family, couple, or for one!

I love doing a date night gift basket for a couple or a family! A jar of bulk popcorn is really budget friendly but fun as a gift then some chocolate or a bottle of wine or another drink, and an iTunes gift card for a movie. You could keep this on the budget end or adjust for any budget. Search out some fun charity shop mugs, include hot chocolate mix, add another gift card for food, buy socks for the movie, or add in a voucher for you babysit kids. It’s great for families with kids of various ages if you don’t know what to gift and want the ease of giving one gift!

Olive and June 96% Recycled press on nails

I reluctantly fell in love with these last year! I wanted to try some recycled press ons (which these are) and they amazed me with how easy, fun, and non-press on looking they were. Everyone was shocked they weren’t real or professionally done! They’re recycled, and reusable, and so fun!

Find them all HERE with safer polish and advent calendars too! Use KeziaA20 for 20% off your first order.

Apolis Customized Market Totes

These bags from B Corporation Apolis have been one of my favourite things to gift! It’s SUCH a beautiful piece to customise for a thoughtful piece. Perfect for a parent with the places their children live, the coordinates of an event, moment, or statement. It’s also one Apolis can ship quickly so a last minute option too. It’s also one they can send quickly so a last minute option too if you need one!

Find the whole gorgeous range HERE

Christy Dawn Regenerative Revolution Pin

Christy Dawn is a beautiful clothing company, making ethical and regenerative, timeless clothing. They’re investing in regenerative cotton, which means farming in a way that heals the soil, sequesters carbon, and gives back rather than just taking. In their words: ‘it’s an opportunity to participate in a solution — one where you look good and feel good at the same time.’ This pin is a smaller more affordable piece from. the collection but everything is stunning, and done right.

SHOP here and if it’s a big order: $25 off $275 HERE

ABLE Gold Filled Studs

I LIVE in my ABLE studs, and this is one of the best of the best brands doing everything right. They are the only brand I know who publish wages of employees and strive for the deepest transparency, and security for their manufacturers. “Made by women who overcome” is their tagline on jewellery, helping women secure employment in Nashville. It’s a beautiful company.

Find them HERE and shop the whole fantastic site! 

Regeneratively Farmed Organic Wine

I love finding companies using regenerative practices. The ideas is to farm in a way that restores the soil, and puts more back in to the environment than is taken by the framing. Troon Vineyard is one of only two vineyards in the world to be gold level Regenerative Organic Certified™️. Wines range from $25 to $65 and would make a fantastic gift with a positive impact.

Shop the wines here

Nisolo Shoes + Leather Goods

Nisolo is an exemplary company in terms of sustainability, ethics, sourcing and impact. We both have a few pairs of Nisolo shoes and adore them. They’re classic, gorgeous and so well made. I’ve had the Lori bag for 5 years as my “diaper bag” and it’s perfect and timeless. The accessories come at a lower price, and the shoes are more pricey – for good reason but still out of a lot of price brackets for gifting. Nisolo is a beautiful B Corp brand where everything is made ethically and to be long lasting which is another major factor in waste creation. Ethically made. B corporation. Climate Neutral. Leather Working Group. 1% for the planet.

Shop the whole brand HERE

Tough Mother Tonic

We get this when we’re stateside and needing an immune boost or to kick anything we feel coming on. I LOVE it, (and Jared takes it!) Tough Mother creates organic, raw, pure tonics for long-term health. It’s something we’ve gifted too and would make a great gift!

Find the tough mother range here

Yeti Wine Tumblers + Wine

Perfect for coffee or wine, throw in bottle of wine or a bag of coffee for a bigger gift. We got these in the summer and have used them… a lot. If you know people who picnic with wine? Take wine to the pool? Hike with drinks?! They’re perfect. And bonus they have a magnetic close on the top so they can take a little bit of real life! Pair a couple with a bottle of wine for a GREAT couple gift! Another B Corp we love. 

Find the range HERE

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven (+all their cast iron!

Skillets are a gift that lasts actually forEVER. You can’t destroy a good cast iron piece. And that’s a huge reason I use it; It saves so much waste from landfill. But it’s also a teflon free, safer way to cook, that done right is still non stick, naturally. This one will sort your home cook family member, creative friend, baker, it’s an essential for taking bread baking to the next level. You could pair it with some dried sourdough starter and it’s an EPIC gift! Or the Tartine book I use for all my sourdough. Lodge also do a Rosie the Riveter pan which would be the perfect gift for the right person! There are also much lower prices single serving pans for a much lower price but equally useful and everlasting.

My go to skillet – you can run a kitchen on just this pan || This is the dutch oven for a bread baker gift ||

Tartine Bread Book

One of the bibles of sourdough baking. Tartine was a favourite restaurant when we lived in California and their Country Bread is my daily go to. But this also gives focaccia, croissants, and a book of creative fantastic recipes for the sourdough baker. And they’re easy to follow which not all sourdough recipes are! 

Find it HERE on Amazon or HERE on World of Books 

My book: The Green Edit: Home: Under $20

In 2019 I was asked to write a book for this Green Edit series. I said yes so you could read it and gift it to anyone it might help! It’s the small steps and mindset tips I share online, but in a a tour around the home covering every aspect of the home. But really, I wrote this for you. It’s not just a list of things to do, it’s journey through the home with no judgement. Just small steps on the journey towards a more ethical sustainable home without being complicated. 

get it HERE on US Amazon

Animal Vegetable Miracle Book

A fun and educational memoir of a year eating locally. It’s a thought provoking but light read about a family who moves states and learns to eat locally along with the challenges and joys that come with that. I blew though it and loved every page from the gardening memoirs, to the dives into the socio-economic factors affecting food and eating in America. A brilliant gift for anyone who things about where their food comes from and its impact.

Find it here

Consumed by Aja Barber

A must read for everybody as we look to consume with a more positive impact. And especially everybody on the journey of caring about the way we consume. Aja writes about the clothing industry (and more) explaining start to finish what it’s actually like, it’s true impact and every aspect of why we need change. It will be the explanation, or the extra fuel someone needs for the journey.

Find the book here

Seeds of change seeds: Budget friendly

Seeds make a really fun thoughtful budget friendly and more than sustainable gift! I’m really careful about the seeds I buy, and this is my top choice and what I always choose. Vital seeds are always organic, open pollinated and open sourced and they have a great variety!

Idea: Grab a budget friendly terracotta plant pot and fill it with a few veggie or plant seeds for a fantastic under $5 gift!

shop a seed selection here

Gua Sha Tool for Facial Massage: Under $40

When I take the time for some self care – this is the little tool I pull out and I can’t recommend it enough. Follow @treatmentbylanshin on instagram for amazing little videos to follow – they relax me like nothing else!

Find it HERE

Beautycounter *new* EWG verified Safer Fragrance!

A new EWG verified fragrance duo from Beautycounter! I’ve been using it for 6 weeks – my first perfume in 15 years after I gave up due to the health concerns associated with undisclosed ‘fragrance’ and headaches – and I’m adoring it! They chose to be completely transparent which doesn’t usually happen with fragrance so you can read every single ingredient in each scent. The woodsy fresh Miles Away is my top choice of the two but I love the brighter, warmer Sun Spill too – it’s not overly sweet like I thought it might be. And actually combining them both might be my favourite!

Find it HERE, shop the whole brand and use CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off your first order

Stunning Sparkling water machine + Glass Bottles

The footprint of shipping just water isn’t most sustainable thing, and the cost adds up too. So, gift the a way to make your own! Yes it’s a pricey investment BUT have you added up the cost and footprint of buying it?! A refillable cartridge (exchange via post or local store) turns tap water into perfect bubbly water in a glass bottle. If you buy 2 bottles of sparkling water a week on average this will pay for itself in a bit over a year without thinking about the environmental savings. Plus it’s beautiful. It’s a great gift or one to put on the list for you too!

Find it HERE and the glass bottles HERE and on Amazon HERE

Vitae Watches

This is the best watch company with the most beautiful, ethically made watches. They’re everything I want them to be and oh how I’ve searched for ethical watches. (I mean, ones that look nice too.) These have a higher price tag, but not a higher price tag than buying one every year because they break… and they’re doing social good at the same time. In partnership with House of Wells and Pen to Paper Ghana, each piece sees a child with school uniform and solar light to make education possible. These are stunning, classic, ethically made, a company built around doing social good, black owned and just a DREAM find.

Black owned. Ethically made. Social good. Shop the whole brand HERE.

 ABLE Wristlet

I love gifting Able and the personalized leather gifts (you can add three initials) are a timeless lifelong gift. And it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Their whole lines is very ethically made, and it’s a business existing for good and to bring change to women and the clothing industry. They’re taking industry strides in being size inclusive to the point of offering size swaps. These lather pieces make a beautiful gift!

Find it here

ABLE Apparel

Like the jewellery and leather from ABLE, their apparel makes a gorgeous, consciously consuming gift. Their whole line is very ethically made, and it’s a business existing for good and to bring change to women and the clothing industry. They’re taking industry strides in being size inclusive to the point of offering size swaps.

Find it all here || and the FULL sizing range here

Nudies Denim + accessories

The ultimate denim that’s really truly backed with values for a gift that lasts forever. These pieces are truly ethically made from organic cotton, and each pair comes with free repairs for LIFE to reduce waste. They’re pricey, but not for what you’re actually getting. Nudies is a company that deeply cares about the impact of the clothing industry and they’re really working (and succeeding) at finding the clothing sales model with the most positive impact and we love them!  A great gift for any deeply committed to eco ethical clothing. For a smaller gift look at a gift card or accessories.

Find them here and the rest of their clothing line too with some smaller accessories like belts and Tees.

Boden Apparel + Pajamas

A good catch all brand for a dad, mother in law, kids pyjamas, so many options! Boden has been around in the UK for ever and lots of people don’t know it’s a more ethical clothing brand! You can read about their factories, and commitment to nothing going to landfill HERE. Did you know they give you a £4 credit when you send back a used item?! It’s a long lasting brand so a favourite to shop second hand too.

Shop all Boden’s ethically and sustainably made range HERE

For Kids: Hazel Village Dolls 

I’ve researched dolls more than I’d care to admit and this is the one item I couldn’t bring myself to get second hand. These dolls and animals are the winner for me with organic materials, ethical production, a reasonable price (for this kind of item, trust me), they actually look gorgeously human, and they create a beautiful range of skin tones which I want to see. 

Find them HERE (and for shipping to Canada and beyond see the “where to buy” page) and you get 10% off for signing up to their email so do that! 

Beautycounter Plastic free hand cream trio: (Under $15 each)

Tip – buy these and spilt them up into 3 gifts! Add a bar of chocolate or just tie it onto an envelope for a more budget friendly gift! I always have a hand cream in my bag and these are ones in luxe metal tubes keeping them plastic free. They’re safely formulated like everything Beautycounter does, and gorgeous gentle natural scents, with fully disclosed ingredients for transparency. B Corporation. Woman founded. Leaping bunny certified. Carefully selected ingredients.  

Shop the set HERE. US + Canadian Shipping and browse the whole brand

Rothy’s Recycled Plastic Shoes 

I was given a gift card for Rothy’s four years ago and I was an instant convert and so impressed by the company. Their shoes are made from recycled plastic bottles, pulled from within 30 miles of coastlines. All ethically made and thoughtful in every step – the sole are eco friendly rubber and the shipping is all carbon neutral by offsetting, and used biodegradable paper and a ribbon of recycled materials. Four years on I now know they also hold up so well, they’re much more durable than leather in terms of how they look after 4 years – which is pretty much like new. They now have a recycling program too to keep all shoes out of landfill.

Find them all HERE with $20 off

Dr Bronners Chocolate + Soap

Dr Bronners is an incredible brand focusing on regenerative growing, using recycled materials, and giving back through commerce. They cap their highest salary at 5 times the lowest which is unheard of and really is how they do business. They make soap and more newly, regeneratively grown chocolate. It could make a great under $10 useful and fun gift!

Shop the line HERE

Wildflower Honey with Matcha: under $20

This raw honey comes from a family in New York, is a Black owned business and was one of Oprah’s holiday favourites too! I’ve sent these as gifts and love them! Zack and Zoe is a family run business and anyone who’s working with bees as a family now has my highest respect – we need it more and I love supporting them and gifting a gorgeous product. 

Family owned small business. Black owned. Plastic free. Find them HERE.

Onxy Coffee: Under $20

A coffee brand thinking about everything from growers to fuel use to packaging. A great gift for a conscious coffee lover. The entire roastery and production area are off grid operating fully on solar powered energy – part of making it a carbon neutral roastery. Then transparency, each coffee is accompanied by its pricing and trade data. So you can see what was paid for it, who it was bought from, and other details. And the prettiest packaging for gifting, right? 

Order it HERE

Evolve Gold Bio-Retinol Mask: 25% off sitewide

Evolve is a beautiful female founded B Corp investing in regenerative growing, safe sustainable ingredients, and making really effective skincare. Bio-Retinol (or bakuchiol, it’s not a retinol product) is a favourite ingredient of mine for loving my skin and helping with fine lines and keeping skin fresh! This gold mask is so great for maturing skin and such a fun one to gift! For every day this isn’t a part of my daily routine but it’s a beautiful universally usable one to gift.

Find it HERE via Credo Beauty (also a great spot to browse cleaner beauty for gifting!)

Uncle Nearest Whisky

A whisky with a story. We won’t get into it but reading into the history of distilleries in the US, slavery, slave owners and how the industry really is the creation of the African American slaves makes me only ever want to buy black owned whisky! If you watched my Walmart whisky quest instagram stories over the summer… this was what I finally got my hands on. It’s a wonderful gift for a conscious whisky love.

Black owned. Find it on Reserve Bar HERE for the US or locally and other platforms. 

ABLE Stacking Rings: Under $30

These will always be on every list! I’ve given these little ring for lots of little gifts, that feel special from a great company! Ethical. Women driven. Social good.

Find them HERE!

Yoto Player + Cards

Our kids (and us) ADORE the Yoto player. It’s been one of the best probelm solvers we’ve bought in all of parenthood. No joke. It’s a small screen free audio player with cards you can insert to play audio books and podcasts. You can make your own cards with family recordings or buy their pre made ones – those can make great smaller gifts once you have the Yoto player. We LOVE it for early morning to keep the kids in their rooms, for car journeys and travel, and quiet time.


Fountain Pen: Under $20

A life long, waste saving, handwriting enhancing friend and a great gift to ask for or receive! I like ones that have refillable cartridges rather than where you need to buy cartridges but the ones we have are adjustable and can be used for both. They come in a range of prices so they can be an heirloom larger gift or a more everyday item that still lasts forever.

Waste saving. Cost saving. Find it HERE.

In every stocking always! Panda bandaids

Every year: these. The Package Free Shop is a personal fave and GREAT place to scroll and knock out lots of gifts at once! Honestly I’ve taught my kids there needs to be a lot of blood to get a plaster so we don’t use many but still, no parabens, pthalates, biodegradable and fun for kids!  Highly recommend and a needed item but also fun to throw into a stocking!

Sustainable. Biodegradable. Vegan. International shipping. Plastic free. Find them HERE via Package Free Shop. 

Bee Fearless Book + Gift Set for Kids

A great one for kids, Mikaila has a fantastic story of overcoming and entrepreneurship. Her lemonade is sold. in Wholefoods across the US so it’s easy to pick up along with the book. You can just get the book or her site has a full gift set with lip balm and sticker sheets.

Find it here

Eco Lunch Box via Package Free Store

This was my exact Christmas gift 6 years ago and it’s still going strong! Eco Lunch Box is a fab brand and this is perfect for taking lunch to go or bringing home leftovers from a restaurant. It’s got a sealable tin that clips over another one of the same size, and a tiny one for dressings or a piece of chocolate!

Find it HERE via Package Free Store or HERE via Amazon

Parker Clay Belt

Jared wears this all the time, it’s beautifully made from responsibly sourced and tanned leather and it would make a beautiful gift. Parker Clay is another B corp brand just doing things so well and using business for true true good.

Find their range HERE and browse the whole brand

Zkano Socks: Under $20

My all time best and favourite socks. For kids and adults too, they’re really high quality and thick enough to darn if they get a hole making them long lasting and truly sustainable. Made with organic cotton grown in the US, spun and dyed with low impact dyes. Made ethically in a family milll. They repurpose and recycle old socks too. 

Recycled polyester. Organic cotton. Sustainable. Ethically made. US shipping only. Find them HERE with 10% off. 

Patagonia Hats

There’s a Patagonia hat for everyone! So many different styles, we both own them and have gifted many as they’re a nice price point for a B corp, well made and useful gift! I have a cap and a recycled wool beanie, we gave my dad a gardening and hiking hat, and there are so many more. Such a great catch all! 

Find it HERE

Frownies Facial Patches

Frownies are facial patches that are used to smooth the skin and relax muscles. I’ve found them honestly incredible for relieving facial tension and also undoing find lines from expression by retraining the muscles. Some gifts you only gift to someone you know really well – and these would probably be one of those! But also a great one to ask for if you’re building a list!

Find the ones I love here and use code whole10 for a discount

Timeless gift for kids: Patagonia jacket 

A great one to ask for/buy if you want a well made, B corp, heirloom gift for kids. We asked for these early on and they look brand new after many seasons and 3 kids. Join a birthday and a Christmas together, club together with family or give/ask for money towards one. Buying one larger gift that lasts can be so much better than multiple smaller things!

Shop Patagonia jackets HERE. International shipping.

For family: Artifact Uprising Personalised Calendar: Under $40

We gift this calendar every year (or just the refills now!) and it’s a much loved gift that our family now asks for! It’s printed on FSC paper and clips on a reclaimed wood board with a magnet for the fridge.

Find it and customise your own here

Eco Temporary Tattoos for all ages!

We LOVE these! They’re really high quality, plastic free temporary tattoos. They’re more pricey than the cheap and plentiful ones with thousands of small tattoos, but I’d rather have fewer of these one. And the quality and art is perfect for kids and adults alike.

Find them here

The Adventure Challenge books!

Creative family, friends or couple adventure ‘date’ ideas! It’s a fantastic, highly reviewed (loved by Anthropologie) and all over guided date night ideas! Or family date ideas, there are a few. It gets RAVE reviews from people where it’s turned family or couple dates around and there are different price points but we’re excited to gift them this year! They also have an Advent Calendar on my list! 

Find it HERE with US/Canada/Australia/UK shipping

Plan well, keep it simple, do what you can!

Don’t be overwhelmed. Make a list of people, plan your budget, then get shopping. Look out for sales and shop for people when you see the right things, then check them off!

Some final helpful spots to browse and check off multiple great gifts with one cart:

They all have a range of beautiful gifts for various people you need to shop for, and everything on their site is produced with the values of caring for people and planet which just makes shopping easier! Happy browsing!

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