7 ways to gift more sustainably: The things they actually need

When gift-giving, it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Sometimes, it feels like we're just buying things for the sake of it, or to pick up something quick and easy, rather than making sure it's meaningful, useful or something they actually need. Like we're just adding to all the unnecessary stuff out there that nobody really needs or wants, just to make sure we're not arriving empty-handed to the birthday party. 

We get it. When we're rushing and not in the mood to shop it's handier just to pick up the nearest thing. But there are lots of easy and sustainable options out there in term so f gift-giving. Stuff they'll actually use, things they really want and that won't either find them selves returned or at the back of someone's wardrobe. Check out our ideas for sustainable and cute gifts that won't break the planet or the bank!

Eco friendly products

The possibilities here are endless – a thermal bottle, an eco-alternative to their usual go-to beauty brand, a cute shopping tote, a set of cute containers, a soy candle…whatever tickles their fancy! There are so many great options out there these days that you’re honestly spoiled for choice.

Gift vouchers

white envelop and gray pencil on white panel

Some say they’re impersonal, but it just depends on where you get it for. Picking a thoughtful place like their favourite coffee shop, that cute little vintage store they always talk about or the restaurant they mentioned to you last week are all thoughtful and fun things for them to go do and bring you along too. So you’re not only giving them a gift, but a chance to hang out too.

Baked goods

person standing and making dough

A classic, the timeless home baked goods are popular for a reason. If they’re having a gathering, offer to make the birthday cake, or else just make your famous lemon tart that they always rave about. As we get older, gifts get less important, and we look for something thoughtful and heartfelt instead. It’s the effort that we really appreciate.

Plants

green plant on white ceramic pot

For all the plant moms out there and even those of us new to indoor plants, we all appreciate a bit of greenery around our homes, now more than ever. Plants have been proven to be mood-boosters, relieve stress and even have health benefits, especially in home offices. They have a calming effect, so not only are you gifting a beautiful, sustainable item, but you’re also gifting a little moment of calm and beauty in their day.

Small and local businesses/designers

person molding vase

I know, I know. It’s so much easier to go for the big brand names, especially for the fashionistas in our lives who love to stand out. But what’s even better than a flashy logo, is an item that no one else will have. Homeware, clothing, food...whatever they're into. By supporting small businesses and designers with ethical practices, we get one of a kind pieces that feel really personal and thoughtful, and we ensure that there is variety in our towns and cities’ economic landscapes. Win win!

Experiences

person performing heart hand gesture

This year more than ever, we’re dying to get out and about and do things, We’ve been cooped up for so long that we’re raring to go again, so tickets for an upcoming concert, festival, show or even something like booking afternoon tea together is a great idea. We know things are a little up in the air still, so maybe exercise caution when booking anything too major and be sure you can get your money back just in case!

Thrifted/vintage fashion

person holding assorted clothes in wooden hanger

Sometimes the most stunning finds are the ones stuffed away in the back of the charity shop. That vintage YSL bag that no one else seems to have? Thrifted. The mint condition Gucci top in exactly their size? Thrifted. Good for the environment, supporting charity and something no one else will have!

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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