Just google “Sustainable Fair Trade Gifts” and you’ll find 95% of the options are clothes, home goods, or beauty products. 

Though it is important to replace our single use toiletries with long term options, clothing and home goods can ultimately be upcycled… and not everyone is easy to buy clothes and jewelry for.

So… what gives?

The good news is, your homework is already done with this list.  

Here are the gift ideas I recommend that are not for your bathroom or closet, i.e.,  @thousand_fell shoes or @Vrai_diamonds (though they are splurge worthy).

For Mom 

This one is obvious. Make mom’s week by relieving her of cooking, dieting, cleaning and taking out the trash? YES.

Sign her up for a week of Daily Harvest meals (and your sis, and your nephew, and yourself… everyone.) She’ll receive:

  • Beautifully branded farm-sourced superfood bowls, smoothies, flatbreads, and soups 
  • In fully compostable packaging
  • Plus spunky emails for months educating her about:
    • Which kinds of foods are regenerative in her body AND the environment (hello, lion’s mane)
    • Vs exactly what bullsh*t is in “health” foods that turns into cement in her gut (ahem sit down xanthan gum).

& Dad

Daily Harvest offers small to medium size servings, so Dad can literally beef them up with Greensbury shipment of local, grass fed meat or seafood. If he’s really into it, you can give him a sustainable meat subscription through Butcher Box.

Greensbury is US-based, and they care about the environment. Butcher box has the edge of a subscription model, and their website mentions fair labor conditions. However, their beef is from Australia, so if you want to go local for burgers, stick with Greensbury.

For Your Resident  Meditator

Honestly, a meditation pillow is a genius idea.

I’ll make a home goods exception here – Amasouk poufs are beautiful and sourced directly from Moroccan craftswomen, through one of my favorite traveling entrepreneur friends. They come with a moving booklet that shows the artisans and the meaning of the designs, and the poufs will last your meditator to enlightenment.

For Your Resident  Meditator

Honestly, a meditation pillow is a genius idea.

I’ll make a home goods exception here – Amasouk poufs are beautiful and sourced directly from Moroccan craftswomen, through one of my favorite traveling entrepreneur friends. They come with a moving booklet that shows the artisans and the meaning of the designs, and the poufs will last your meditator to enlightenment.

For Your Friend Who  Never Stops

Get them a subscription to a mental health app! 

  • Happynotperfect is a great one for those who are too hard on themselves (millennials and younger). It’s a mental health one-stop shop, started by the fabulous @poppyjamie. Expect undertones of humor and self love, and only 15% woo-woo.
    • WHY THEY’RE GOOD: Mostly because I have a creator-crush on the founder, and I appreciate their light and realistic take on emotional health.
  • Brain.fm is a great one for those who need to switch between focus and sleep on command – and then chill out their anxiety. The music is patented and funded by the National Science Foundation to lock your neurons into the state you choose – focus, relax, or sleep. 
    • WHY THEY’RE GOOD: Any tool that helps people overcome anxiety, insomnia, and overwhelm without drugs is (I think) an innovation in the right direction. And, their team is wholehearted and passionate… believe me, I know 😉 

For Your Friend Who  Never Stops

Get them a subscription to a mental health app! 

  • Happynotperfect is a great one for those who are too hard on themselves (millennials and younger). It’s a mental health one-stop shop, started by the fabulous @poppyjamie. Expect undertones of humor and self love, and only 15% woo-woo.
    • WHY THEY’RE GOOD: Mostly because I have a creator-crush on the founder, and I appreciate their light and realistic take on emotional health.
  • Brain.fm is a great one for those who need to switch between focus and sleep on command – and then chill out their anxiety. The music is patented and funded by the National Science Foundation to lock your neurons into the state you choose – focus, relax, or sleep. 
    • WHY THEY’RE GOOD: Any tool that helps people overcome anxiety, insomnia, and overwhelm without drugs is (I think) an innovation in the right direction. And, their team is wholehearted and passionate… believe me, I know 😉 

Create a full experience for your ever-rushed friend with a relaxing Reishi Mushroom Hot Cocoa Box from Four Sigmatic to help them chill the f*ck out.

*If you have neurotic or anxious episodes, feel free to try these yourself. I do. Loud and proud, baby. 

Create a full experience for your ever-rushed friend with a relaxing Reishi Mushroom Hot Cocoa Box from Four Sigmatic to help them chill the f*ck out.

*If you have neurotic or anxious episodes, feel free to try these yourself. I do. Loud and proud, baby. 

For Your  Adventure  Pal  (or Curious Collegiate) – A Service Travel Experience

My first solo trip abroad was to volunteer at one of the refugee camps near Athens. The trip was organized by a service-travel organization, and about 20 other people joined from all over the world.

We had a brief training before working with a local nonprofit at a semi-permanent refugee camp. Each of us was profoundly moved by the conversations we had with the residents. 

After the service days, coaches on the trip helped us integrate and introspect. The last four days were an island vacation on Naxos – complete with hiking ancient ruins, sunbathing, sound healing, and a new empathy for refugees.

The company I traveled with is no longer booking trips, but Discover Corps are seasoned professionals with a B Corp certification. They have sustainable travel and volunteering options all over the world, for all ages. Start by ordering a catalog to dream together until Covid has run its course.

    For Work Friends

    Nunbelievable Cookies, hands down.

    This company has an incredible founding story – it began as an idea to help two nuns save their soup kitchen from eviction, and turned into a cookie delivery company.

    WHY THEY’RE GOOD: Each cookie provides one meal through their partner soup kitchens, and they are delicious (the GF Double Chocolate is my fave 👌).

    For The Fashionista (Your Sister, Girlfriend, Or Auntie)

    You could get her a Poshmark or ThredUp gift card for endless thrifting… or you could book a session with a professional tailor. 

    Tailors are the forgotten secret of the best dressed women of the modern era. Every well-to-do-madame had a tailor back in the day (you know, before sweat-shop child labor clothes). 

    A good seamstress can take all of the “I almost love this” or “I loved this to death” clothes and make them everyday items again.
    Also, if she’s lacking inspiration, get her one of the mint copies of the new magazine Display Copy – a magazine all about vintage and upcycled fashion (and every body type).

    Make a family movie night with The Biggest Little Farm documentary to show your kids the biggest worm tea (read: worm poo) operation in Los Angeles, and educate them about the symbiotic cycles of nature.

    For Kids

    A worm composting tower! This is the most earth-friendly gift you can put in your home, and (most) kids love the idea of worms in the kitchen.

    But don’t let it be weird: worm tray composting allows you to dispose of vegetable food scraps without the necessary dead leaves (“the browns”) that keep them from rotting in regular compost. The worms convert the waste matter into “worm tea,” which is a plant’s wet dream of fertilizer. 

    Make a family movie night with The Biggest Little Farm documentary to show your kids the biggest worm tea (read: worm poo) operation in Los Angeles, and educate them about the symbiotic cycles of nature.

    Conclusion

    There are so many incredible fair trade and sustainable products available now… but many of them still perpetuate wasteful consumption. Show another layer of attentiveness and love to your people this holiday season by supplementing something they’re already into, and paying attention to what would mean most to them. 

    After all… we’re pretty clear by now that face time, not stuff time, is what makes life good.

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