12 Stylish, Ethical Gifts for Everyone on Your Holiday List
Every year, I swear I'm only going to purchase gifts that "give back," so to speak — an ethically-knit sweater for my mom, a motorcycle for my dad that releases zero carbon emissions, a gigantic Barbie playhouse for my little cousins that's made entirely of recycled gum wrappers, and so on. But ever year, it's the same sad story: I blow approximately a paycheck and a half on mass-produced junk from the mall. What can I say? Sometimes "ethical gifts" just aren't that cute.
Not any more. Every year, the ethical gift scene gets bigger, better, and most importantly for the aesthetes among us, way hipper. There's something here for everyone on your shopping list, from your grouchy boss to your foodie pals to that dude who you're hoping to kiss on New Year's Eve.
For the Netflix binge-watcher
The prettiest throw, perfect for snuggling up in. Keep one on the couch, one in the bedroom. Hand-dyed and hand-loomed by artisans from Eco Tasar, a "sustainably-minded silk cooperative."
Herringbone Throw, $299, melaartisans.com
For the farmer's market afficionado
This adorable market tote is lined with bright red-and-white chevron, and made from recycled coffee sacks.
Eco-Friendly Nautical Anchor Market Tote Bag, $20, etsy.com
For the cutest newborn you know
100% organic cotton hats for 100 percent precious baby heads. A portion of the proceeds from every sale goes to buying formula for babies in need.
100% Organic Cotton Knotted Baby Hat, $12.95, baby-theresa.com
For the manic pixie puddle-splasher
Break away from the Hunter-boot-wearing crowd! For every Roma boot sold, a brand-new pair is donated to a child in need.
Roma Boots Glossy Yellow, $90, romaboots.com
For the adventurous nature girl
This off-the-shoulder sweatshirt is made from eco-fleece and screen-printed with non-toxic inks. Best of all, the quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air."
Eco-friendly Off the Shoulder Sweater, $38.60, etsy.com
For the luxe fashionista
The brand "A Peace Treaty" was born out of a "personal pact between Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Libyan Jew." They work with artisans from Pakistan, India, Nepal, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and the U.S., preserving textile and metalsmith techniques that are at risk of extinction. This scarf is pricey, but oh so (ethically) gorgeous.
Nash Indigo Scarf, $398, apeacetreaty.com
For the mom with the spotless kitchen
What's better than paper towels? Unpaper towels! This set of 12 rainbow-trimmed towels made with fair trade-certified fabric will clean up her messes while keeping her kitchen waste-free.
Unpaper Towels, $12.95, etsy.com
For the girl who deserves diamonds
An ethical diamond is truly a girl's best friend. If there's a lady in your life you need to impress, make sure her diamonds have a spotless résumé.
18K White Gold Eucalyptus Diamond Earrings, $675, brilliantearth.com
For the grouchy CEO
It's an F bomb. Get it? Even edgier: It's made from recycled steel.
F Bomb Paperweight, $45, uncommongoods.com
For the hippie cutie
Raven + Lily employs marginalized women in Ethiopia, India, Cambodia, and the U.S. And sure, this necklace is handmade, fair trade, and eco-friendly, but it's also super hip.
Alem: Triangle Tube Necklace in Steel Blue, $20, ravenandlily.com
For the still-just-a-friend
It would be weird if you spent a lot of money on him this Christmas, but it would be cruel if you didn't get him anything. This soap is made with beer and organic fair trade oils, making you the best of both worlds — a cool, socially-conscious gift giver who's got a quirky sense of scent.
Porter Soap scented with Black Pepper and Juniper, $9.95, greenheartshop.org
For the kind-hearted foodie
Give the gift of chocolate in the name of your foodie-loving pal. This Oxfam gift provides a newbie cocoa grower with "everything from cocoa seeds to tools, training to marketing advice, even help to establish a cocoa-growers’ co-operative so everyone gets more of the benefits."
Oxfam Chocolate, £19.00, oxfam.org.uk
For the concert-goer
This handmade floral headpiece is all vintage — both the flowers and the chain. Pairs best with consignment cut-offs and an all-inclusive pass to Pitchfork.
"Coachella" headpiece, $66, loveitjewelry.com
For the hipster host
The better to place your craft brew on, my dear. Made from recycled wine corks.
Mustache Eco Cork Coaster Set, $12.95, greenheartshop.org