My Top 10 Kitchen Essentials (and some luxury items too!)
Gift Ideas, lifestyle
I’m a big fan of minimalist. A few months ago I sold a ton of furniture online, took pictures off the walls, and I think Jared got nervous none of it…
I love putting these together each year and here’s your 2021 version! A list of things we love, that are sourced the way we value all caring for people and planet in some way.
I choose to curate this list from companies, products and people we personally have experience with rather than just ideas that look wonderful. I research hugely before I buy anything and I really believe in the power of where we spend and how we gift in the power that it has to do good, so here are some ideas for those in the US!
First up, I wrote a book so you could gift it to everyone! But really, I wrote this for you. It’s not just a list of things to do, it’s a walk through a no judgement zone of a journey towards a more ethical sustainable home without being complicated. The perfect stocking stuffer or gift for pretty much anyone, green minded or not.
All our kids have these and they’re my go to bear for gifting too. GOTS certified cotton, ethically made and a bear is gifted for every one purchased. They have a range of animals too and Clayton sleeps with a shark he loves but the bears are my fave!
We both have these Chelsea boots and LOVE THEM! They’re classic, gorgeous and so well made. I’ve had the Lori bag for 5 years as my “diaper bag” and it’s perfect and timeless. Nisolo is a beautiful B Corp brand where everything is made ethically and to be long lasting which is another major factor in waste creation. And you have to check out their Ethical Marketplace too – it will take care of so much of your holiday shopped list!
We bought wool slippers for a lot of people last year and these are on my own list for me this year. Removing your shoes at the door is said to have many health benefits but I don’t like being barefoot in winter so I always end up with my shoes on!
I’ve researched dolls more than I’d care to admit and this is the one item I couldn’t bring myself to get second hand. These dolls and animals are the winner for me with organic materials, ethical production, a reasonable price (for this kind of item, trust me), they actually look gorgeously human, and they have multiple skin tones.
Find them HERE (and for shipping to Canada and beyond see the “where to buy” page) and you get 10% off for signing up to their email so do that!
I use and love all three of these and it’s the best value Beautycounter holiday set in my opinion! (See all their holiday sets here.) It’s a great makeup bundle with one of the best clean mascara’s in mini size, a hydrating stevia sweetened lip jelly (I love these), and a highlighting cream eye shadow with ethically sourced mica and a glass and recycled plastic bottle. For $39 it’s a great bundle for a tween or teen, or anyone!
B Corporation. Woman founded. Carefully selected ingredients. Shop the set HERE. US + Canadian Shipping
This is the glass packaged line I use every day for my skin and the small size makes a fab gift – it comes packaged in a white display box. It’s a B corp which I always love, leaping bunny certified, glass packaged and sourced, formulated well as well as screened for safety. It’s built to help with drier maturing skin, fine lines and radiance and it’s so good for that when I remember to use it regularly 😉 I’ve seen people split it between siblings to gift to a mother or request it for themselves – a personal fave!
These are a few of my own personal BC faves for skincare in small 1-2 month supply bottles! It’s a great price for gifting as a whole or breaking up for stocking stuffers or smaller gifts. All of these are great for pretty much all skin types and I use them all personally. A great gift!
B Corporation. Woman founded. Ships to US + Canada. Carefully selected ingredients. Shop the set HERE
I was given a gift card for Rothy’s last year and I’m an instant convert and was so impressed by the company. The shoes are made from recycled plastic bottles, pulled from within 30 miles of coastlines. All ethically made and thoughtful in every step – the sole are eco friendly rubber and the shipping is all carbon neutral by offsetting, and used biodegradable paper and a ribbon of recycled materials. I was so impressed and happy opening the box. They now have a recycling program too to keep all shoes out of landfill.
I was so happy when Rothy’s came out with this men’s line, I love the look of the shoes and they’re so practical knowing you can throw them in the wash. They’re pricey (not so pricey for well made ethically created shoes but still) but you can save $20 with the link below.
I use this every day for match on the school run! Another B corp coming in strong with one of our favourite things. Miir coffee mugs keep coffee hot, they’re great to drink form (no really, I’m picky) we adore them and they make a great gift! Reminder: don’t build a collection of cups you don’t need, one is enough, but if someone doesn’t have one this is our fave!
B corportation Social impact. Waste saving. Find them on the Miir site HERE
This is one of Oprah’s holiday favourites too! I’ve sent these as gifts and love them! Zack and Zoe is a family run business and anyone who’s working with bees as a family now has my highest respect – we need it more and I love supporting them and gifting a gorgeous product.
Family owned small business. Black owned. Plastic free. Find them HERE.
A different kind of gift and one I LOVE. Both Heifer International and Oxfam are great options for giving on behalf of others. You can gift a cow, a hive a bees, education, water, care for mothers or refugee families. Give a hive of bees via Heifer international HERE. See all their gifts HERE
Coffee is a great stocking stuffer or gift depending on who you’re shopping for. Stumptown is one of our faves for being organic (this one but not all of them so check!), delicious and also being packaged in home compostable packaging. Evolve
Biodegradable packaging. Organic options. Find it HERE.
Evolve is my UK go to for skincare but you can get it via Credo in the US and Bio-Retinol is a favourite ingredient! This gold mask is so great for maturing skin and such a fun one to gift!
Fair trade made, organic cotton basics. These have been a go to for us since we potty trained Clayton 3 years ago and couldn’t find organic cotton underwear that was ethically made! Great for kids and baby pyjamas as well as clothing and adult basics too.
Organic Cotton. Ethically Made. Free US shipping + Canadian shipping with a fee. Very well priced. Find this jumper and the whole line HERE.
This is one that’s on my own personal list! I love PACT and I love the colour blocking superficially, and on a deeper level the fair-trade certification and organic cotton.
This is a fiery whisky we love from Louisville, Kentucky. Created by the first black owned distillery in Kentucky and we love the history, their story and the drink.
Black owned. US shipping. Small business. Find it HERE.
Another Whisky with a beautiful story. We won’t get into this but reading into the history of distilleries in the US, slavery, slave owners and how the industry really is the creation of the African American slaves makes me only ever want to buy black owned whisky!
What do I miss about living in the US?! Secco wine. Seriously Secco makes it so easy to shop wine with all the nasties (and there are a lot) out, from a great family company, that are really delicious. They have a subscription or you can buy by the bottle. We used to get three bottles a month and it was such a treat.
Family company. Great ingredients. Better for the environment. US only. Shop them HERE.
ABLE is a fave of mine! They’re all about empowering women, employing women who have gone through a lot, and they publish all their wages across the board for full transparency. Recently they have also worked to make their prices more accessible, and to do the same with sizing which is so needed in the ethical clothing space. I love their leather, jewellery and apparel.
Ethical. Women driven. Social good. Shop this cardigan HERE.
I’ve given these little ring for lots of little gifts, that feel special from a great company! I love them and they’d make a great stocking stuffer.
Ethical. Women driven. Social good. Shop them HERE.
You can monogram these if you want, and for $35 they make a GREAT gift for so many people! For a living room an office, a man cave they’re going to fill a much needed gifting need!
A life long, waste saving, handwriting enhancing friend and a great gift to ask for or receive! I like ones that have refillable cartridges rather than where you need to buy cartridges but the ones we have are adjustable and can be used for both. They come in a range of prices so they can be an heirloom larger gift or a more everyday item that still lasts forever.
Waste saving. Cost saving. Find it HERE.
The Package Free Shop is a personal fave and GREAT place to scroll and knock out lots of gifts at once! Honestly I’ve taught my kids there needs to be a lot of blood to get a plaster so we don’t use many but still, no parabens, pthalates, biodegradable and fun for kids! Highly recommend and a needed item but also fun to throw into a stocking!
Sustainable. Biodegradable. Vegan. International shipping. Plastic free. Find them HERE via Package Free Shop.
I got my razor from Package Free Shop who have a whole host of other incredible led waste products, all shipped plastic free. I love it. It’s a money saver, waste saver… all the things.
Zero waste. Plastic free. Vegan. Plastic free international shipping. Find it HERE.
A great stocking stuffer or younger kid gift, pens and felt tips can create so much and it makes me love these (and other drawing options they have on the site too!)
This was my exact Christmas gift 6 years ago and it’s still going strong! Eco Lunch Box is a fab brand and this is perfect for taking lunch to go or bringing home leftovers from a restaurant. It’s got a sealable tin that clips over another one of the same size, and a tiny one for dressings or a piece of chocolate!
Sparkling water is a my language… but shipping water is not a love language for the earth and the cost is not one for the budget. So we use one of these. If you buy 2 bottles of sparkling water a week on average this will pay for itself in a YEAR without thinking about the environmental savings. It’s a great gift or one to put on the list for you too!
Waste saving. Plastic free. Cost savings. Find it HERE.
Another female founded, deeply transparent skincare brand I love with really great pricing. The chlorophyl mask to the right and the matcha stick are my faves but they also have a mini essentials bundlewhich would make a fab stocking stuffer!
In their own words “…we combine beautiful, minimalist watch design with maximal social justice.”
I’m in love with these. Jared has this one pictured, and it’s perfect. The company too is beautiful, mission driven but with quality product, black owned and making everything ethically.
Black owned. Ethically made. International shipping. Social good. Find them HERE.
Jared was the instigator of these being in our home when I removed plastic sandwich bags just a tad too fast for him. And these are a far better replacement. They can make a great gift in a bundle, or stocking stuffer, fill it with a chocolate bar or something else for a gift. There are tiny sizes too which are amazing at $13.99 for 2!
B corp. 1% for the planet. Plastic free. Find the Stasher store HERE.
*buy one get one free* I’ve had Pela Cases for years and love them.The number of phone cases that are discarded as people upgrade is shocking, yet they save the waste of broken phones – so this is the perfect solution. A phone case made from plants, that’s still stylish, and is fully biodegradable at the end of your life with it. And they’re shockingly good at protecting phones – I’ve never had a phone break in one in 7 years!
Biodegradable. B corporation. 1% for the planet. International shipping. Shop the full line HERE.
We both have blue light glasses and I have sunglasses. We love them. They’re fully biodegradable even the lenses and you can return hem them to be made into other products by Pela too. You can get the blue light lenses for half price when you buy sunglasses and they’re interchangeable making it a great two in one.
Biodegradable. B corporation. 1% for the planet. International shipping. Shop them HERE.
I’ve gone back and forth with Everlane after some of their lack of transparency within the customer service base. However, 2 years on from stepping back as an affiliate I’ve seen them be a really good resource for people moving away from fast fashion towards more sustainable materials and more ethical production. I’ve seen a lot of people recommending Shackets from Target and this is 100% a better brand than high street fast fashion with a focus on ethical production and low impact/zero waste materials.
For kids and adults too, they have a wider range this year and I love them. They’re really high quality and thick enough to darn if they get a hole making them long lasting and truly sustainable. Made with organic cotton grown in the US, spun and dyed with low impact dyes. Made ethically in a family milll. They repurpose and recycle old socks too.
Recycled polyester. Organic cotton. Sustainable. Ethically made. US shipping only. Find them HERE.
There’s a Patagonia hat for everyone! So many different styles, we both own them and have gifted many as they’re a nice price point for a B corp, well made and useful gift! I have a cap and a recycled wool beanie, we gave my dad a gardening and hiking hat, and there are so many more. Such a great catch all!
A great one to ask for/buy if you want a well made, B corp, heirloom gift for kids. We asked for these early on and they look brand new after many seasons and 2 kids. Join a birthday and a Christmas together, club together with family or give/ask for money towards one. Buying one larger gift that lasts can be so much better than multiple smaller things!
We gift this calendar every year (or just the refills now!) and it’s a much loved gift that our family now asks for! It’s printed on FSC paper and clips on a reclaimed wood board with a magnet for the fridge.
I have this tee and Organic Basics leggings and have worn them for years. I’m so encouraged by Organic Basics’ commitment to the lowest impact fabrics, regenerative cotton, and the best labour practices, and really well made clothes that last! Anything from them is the perfect gift for someone really invested in slow fashion and eco/ethical production.
Santa brought me a few of these last year and I LOVED getting them! Organic cotton in a few colours for mending or sewing. I have about 6 colours now that span most things that need mending. The perfect gift for a low waste living friend or someone who’s moving to a slower approach to fashion.
We LOVE these! They’re really high quality, plastic free temporary tattoos. They’re more pricey than the cheap and plentiful ones with thousands of small tattoos, but I’d rather have fewer of these one. And the quality and art is perfect for kids and adults alike.
The ultimate denim that’s really truly backed with values. Ethically made, from organic cotton, and each pair comes with free repairs for LIFE to reduce waste. They’re pricey, but not for what you’re actually getting. Nudies is a company that really cares about the impact of the clothing industry and they’re really working (and succeeding) at finding the clothing sales model with the most positive impact and we love them!
Don’t be overwhelmed. Make a list, plan your budget, work out what budget you can allocate to gifts and divide it up roughly between the gifts you need to buy, the stockings, the friends and family and work out how much your’e working with in each area. Look out for sales and shop for people when you see the right things, then check them off.
Go second hand where you can for earth and budget. Or invest in well made and sourced options like the ones above!
Some helpful spots to browse and check off multiple great gifts with one cart:
They all have a range of beautiful gifts for various people you need to shop for, and everything on their site is produced with the values of caring for people and planet which just makes shopping easier! Happy browsing!
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