Have you noticed that every gift guide looks the same?

Apparently the internet limits gifting suggestions to candles, slippers, tote bags, and ornaments. As I’ve collected sustainable and ethical gift guides, the missing ingredient has been personalization and creativity.

This gift guide is the result of months of collecting links and ideas for people I know.

Unfortunately, I can’t list my favorite gifts here (yet) since my partner and family will probably snoop this post. But that doesn’t limit the list (in fact… you guys can look here for my wish list, hint hint!).

Here are the gift ideas I recommend that are more fun, creative, personal, and satisfying to give than generic options – and they’re still great for the world.

For Mom 

Have you ever seen clay flowers?

They look so shockingly REAL that you have to touch them to believe they’re everlasting. I found a gorgeous pink orchid sculpture from a local artist, and I think my mom would love it.

Here is a link to an Etsy seller who creates them, too! 

Bonus: Etsy offsets 100% of their carbon emissions from shipping and runs on 100% renewable energy!  

& Dad

Does your dad know how to shop for clothes that look good on him?

Odds are, he doesn’t have a great leather bomber jacket or classy trench coat. Get his sizes and find name brands on poshmark.com 

If your mom or dad is a  gardenerAir plants!! Seriously, air plants are the most amazing gift. They are hearty and need nothing but air. You can string them up or display them in all sorts of creative ways, name them, and set them in water for an hour a week to make them happy!

For The  go-getter

Building blocks are not just for kids.

A balancing stone set or building block set is a soothing stress-reliever to keep close at hand, on desk or side table. For the artist, MOMA’s shop has a Kieth Haring set. I wish it was my idea! 

Similarly, desk puzzles or moving sculptures offer calm and style to the go-getter’s command center.

Stackable stones, Etsy • Kieth Haring Set and Kinetic Mobile, MOMA Shop

(P.S. The Museum of Modern Art shop is a grotto of unique treasures, from sculptures to unusual homewares and games. 😍) 

 

For The  go-getter

Building blocks are not just for kids.

A balancing stone set or building block set is a soothing stress-reliever to keep close at hand, on desk or side table. For the artist, MOMA’s shop has a Kieth Haring set. I wish it was my idea! 

Similarly, desk puzzles or moving sculptures offer calm and style to the go-getter’s command center.

Stackable stones, Etsy • Kieth Haring Set and Kinetic Mobile, MOMA Shop

(P.S. The Museum of Modern Art shop is a grotto of unique treasures, from sculptures to unusual homewares and games. 😍) 

 

For the  chef

I once received a gift of turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon straight from a Morocco market. I’m not even a cook (at all) and I loved it!

Grab a sampler kit of spices – Mediterranean, Indian, or BBQ for some ideas. My favorite is Spicewalla. Started by five James Beard award nominee Meherwan Irani, this company started their spice blends with Indian recipes that had been passed down for generations.       

 

BONUS: They work with a bunch of food security and youth education nonprofits! AND… their branding is gorgeous!

For Your  wellness lover  

  • I discovered Rainbo mushroom tinctures and products while in Charleston. Sustainably grown in Canada, their message and ethos is charming.
  • Pair that with a thoughtful note about what they mean to you. Those notes are the best gifts I’ve ever received, hands down. ❤️

For Couples, Work Friends, and Philosophers

I adore the School of Life London. Their gifts are unique and incredibly thoughtful. Here are my favorite:

  • The Who Am I gift set: complete with self-knowledge prompt cards, an emotional barometer, and a book called “How to Overcome Your Childhood.” And more…  🧘‍♀️

For The icon (artists, teens, and big personalities)

I’ve got a lot for this one.

  • I can’t get over the colors and shapes of Farmrio’s sustainable clothing. 100% carbon neutral, and 1 purchase = 1 tree planted. Check out their collabs with Addidas and Levi’s!
  • One of my personal career, style, and impact icons, Eva Geraldine Fontanelli, started a boutique sustainable shop in Italy where she works as a major magazine editor and stylist. It’s called gOOOOders, and it’s so HAPPY! I love this face mask as a gift. Browse to find fun wear!
  • I can’t get enough funky and bright objects. I saw chunks.shop accessories at a local hair salon, and I love them. They’re made with acetate, not plastic!

 

  • Even better is the incense holder and clips I got from a London-based artist on Etsy, Jake, who hand-makes them from clay. His little delivery boxes are full of thoughtful touches, too! 

Two picks for Native American and southwest-inspired garb (which I love) that is ethically produced: Turquoise Skies and 4kinship.

 

  •  T Skies sells one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry and dainty southwest gold and silver pieces from a small shop of artisans in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve been to their shop, had a potluck with their awesome team, and I wear their ring stack sets almost every day. 
  • I just discovered 4kinship, but their upcycled and ethnic vibe caught my eye. They are “a Diné (Navajo) owned sustainable artwear brand.” 

My FAVORITE discovery for creatives and fashionistas turned up just a few days ago at the most interesting store in the world (that also supports sustainable and ethical brands!) SHOWFIELDS. Everything in their shop is fascinating, good, and fabulous.

What was my special find? A bright green real leather purse covered in eyes! 

This shop, Min & Mon, works with Columbian artisans and handcrafts each piece. Some have fun and positive messages on them. And they’re just– weird! #WIN

For Kids

There’s a couple of great streaming services focused on conservation and social good that can take kids around the world.

  • Ecoflix focuses on conservation, and has a cool little show about a girl exploring wildlife called On Safari with Nala. Subscriptions support nonprofits.
  • Waterbear has a beautiful animated short telling the myths of the Inuits. It’s a free service. 

Conclusion

The best thing you can do is ask what would be meaningful to avoid throwaway gifts, or listen throughout the year for things your loved ones say they like. Then, shop donegood.com, Etsy, or Poshmark for more ethical and eco-mindful purchasing. 

If you’re really stumped, commission an art piece! Supporting creatives and giving personalized gifts is all kinds of impactful. Check out this artist to commission ;).

Or, try this… Gift Idea #20:

Draw 2 stick figures on a fancy sheet of cardstock with smiley faces. Write “remember someone thinks you’re awesome” on the bottom. Present with a straight face. 

They’ll love it, but not more than you. 😉

You’re invited to

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