What better way to commemorate the season of giving than with gifts that really give more?
What better way to commemorate the season of giving than with gifts that really give more － by improving ecosystems, business practices and financial security; and eliminating waste, pollution and carbon emissions around the world － while spreading holiday cheer? Here are just a few of our favorite discoveries this year of products we'd be proud to give.
For sustainable urban active-ists
The Form's carbon-neutral yoga mat | Image credit: The Form There are plenty of sustainable gift options for those who are always in motion but conscious about how they get there: On the light electric vehicle (LEV) front, think Faraday’s beautiful electric bikes, or the Immotor Go – a portable, foldable, high-performance LEV fully integrated with users’ smartphones and powered by a patented “super battery.” For lower-tech options for fun and carbon-free transport, check out Bureo’s growing family of products — everything from skateboards and frisbees to a Jenga game and sunglasses — made from upcycled fishing nets.
And for the eco-conscious yogi, Form makes biodegradable and even carbon-negative yoga mats; while Corc Yoga makes mats and accessories from, you guessed it, cork — 100 percent recyclable, renewable and biodegradable; a portion of sales benefit non-profits in Portugal that help young adults cope with mental illness.
A wardrobe for the anti-waste warrior
Luckily, someone discovered a while back that all of those plastic bottles piling up in landfills and waterways can be turned into fabric, and now companies around the world are putting them to good use — recent examples include Thread’s Better Backpack and Everlane’s ReNew collection of jackets and pullovers. But the fashion industry is making use of all sorts of waste these days — Girlfriend Collective’s Cupro collection uses waste produced by cotton manufacturing; United by Blue uses bison down — often discarded by the ranching industry — in insulated jackets, socks and beanies; and LEZÉ the Label upcycles not only plastic but coffee into women’s pants, skirts and blazers.
Other noteworthy options include the Renewal Workshop, which offers refurbished, high-quality items from brands such as The North Face and Prana at a discount (***Use 20% discount code: CLOSEDLOOP*)***; For Days’ closed-loop subscription service for its organic, zero-waste, made-in-LA T-shirts (***Use 20% discount code: CLOSINGTHELOOP*)***; and responsible menswear brand Outerknown, whose S.E.A. (Social and Environmental Accountability) line of 100 percent organic cotton jeans, tees and khakis all come with a lifetime guarantee — plus, they’ll repair or replace damaged items and take back old pairs for upcycling.
And for those who need a few more pieces of flare, jewelry and accessories made from recycled and responsibly sourced materials — from Bayou with Love’s rings and earrings made with gold recovered from Dell’s recycling programs; to Linhaus’ custom pieces, made in Manhattan with FairTrade and FairMined metals; and responsibly sourced, recycled and lab-grown gemstones (get 20% discount on custom pieces, vintage diamonds rings, and fashion jewelry*) — are the perfect finishing touch.
Because, what matters is on the inside! Founded in 2017, Arvin Goods makes sustainable socks, underwear and accessories from 100 percent donated/upcycled materials, including ECONYL and Polylana — a low-impact alternative to 100 percent acrylic and wool. And launched just last month, Knickey makes organic GOTS-, Oeko-Tex- and Fair Trade-certified intimates “for the woke woman who seeks comfort, versatility, durability, and certified sustainability”; They even make it circular with an end-of-life take-back program.
Drink (and eat) responsibly
As if beer itself wasn’t its own reward, now there are beers with benefits: In the UK, Toast Ale and Thorough Bread Amber are giving new life to old bread; while here in the US, AB InBev is helping its beer byproducts live on in the form of Canvas fiber + protein shakes, made from the brewer’s nutrient-rich saved grains.
For those who value what they eat and drink from as much as what’s on the menu: Zero-waste meals are now easier than ever (as long as you finish them) with the new Zero Waste Kit, which eliminates daily waste from disposable straws, napkins and utensils for meals on the go; while the Huskee Cup — made from coffee husks — and Loliware’s edible, hypercompostable and marinedegradable straws and cups take care of beverage footprint.
Gifts that pay it forward
Give your loved ones a dopamine boost along with their present, with gifts that help those in need: On the human side, Ecuadane’s handmade blankets, scarves and ponchos keep you warm, while 50 percent of proceeds go to help build homes for families in Ecuador; a donation to BelieveInYourself.org helps promote a positive body image for young women and provides brand-new designer dresses for underprivileged girls to wear at school functions; and each purchase of coffees, teas, French presses and tea pots from Grosche International provides more than 50 days of safe, clean drinking water to those in need.
For those you love with a soft spot for animals and their homes, donations to the Elephant Protection Trust help protect elephant preservation efforts in Kenya; a portion of every purchase from The Body Shop in November and December goes to its charity partners working to restore 10 million square metres of forest in the UK and Armenia; and for $1/tree during Treecember, plant trees in a loved one’s name with One Tree Planted.
Happy holidays from the SB team!
*Thanks to Closed Loop Partners for the discount codes!