Calling all the wise men! Here’s our shortlist of conscious and eco-friendly brands creating unique and special gifts for the men in your life that will make Christmas shopping a piece of (Christmas) cake.
Why is it always so hard to find gifts for men?! If you’re bored of buying another shirt for your boyfriend, husband, Dad, Grandpa, or Jeff next door, don’t get your tinsels in a tangle just yet. Here’s our handy conscious gift guide for him that’ll take the heavy lifting out of gifting this Christmas.
Kmana is a passionate, ethical, family-run design company producing leather travel bags and accessories handcrafted in Bali. The leather used by Kmana is a locally sourced by-product of the food industry (and yes, we know leather isn’t for everyone. But if you are going to buy it Kmana is a conscious brand). In particular, we’re fans of the duffel bags which are perfect for weekend staycations, hand luggage (for when we can finally travel again), or a smart gym bag. All in all, Kmana encourage their customers to buy less and to buy better — a great initiative for everyone at Christmas.
The problem: there is a massive amount of tyre waste in the world and it is nearly impossible for tyres to decompose. The solution? Indosole; by repurposing tyre waste into durable soles for footwear, it’s created cute kicks that help save the planet. In case you wondered, since launching Indosole has prevented 80,000 tyres from entering landfill. Specialising in sliders and flips flops in a variety of colours that are chic, comfortable, and conscious, each vegan-friendly pair is responsibly made in Indonesia. Indosole has also recently collaborated with local community groups in Bali to help feed people in need by donating a percentage of its profits. Buy one pair of flip-flops and you’ll help feed three hungry people. Or buy one pair of sliders and help feed five.
Is it even Christmas if you don’t gift the man in your life new boxers? When it’s time for the annual cull of pants with holes in, look to LivingWear. It creates quality underwear and undershirts for men that are built to last. Made from sustainably grown Austrian eucalyptus wood and Tencel™ Lyocell, its collections are three times softer than cotton and naturally thermo-regulating. Your fella won’t be complaining of sweaty baubles if he finds these in his stocking.
Tending plants and vegetables has become a hobby du jour in recent times, but not everyone has access to a garden, especially in high-rise-tastic Hong Kong. Enter Rooftop Republic. These urban farming pioneers offer urban farming workshops for green-fingered folk who have balconies, rooftops, or small outdoor spaces. The workshop teaches participants how to grow and nurture their own crops, as well as offering them the chance to spend time outdoors and meet fellow plant-loving city-dwellers. Rooftop Republic’s ethos is all about changing the way we interact with food and pushing for sustainability within cities.
BHUMAN™ create men’s cleansers that don’t cost the earth or too much time and money. Drawing inspiration from ancient Asian wellness remedies, they offer natural plant-based powder formulas which are activated when water is added, making them simple, cost-effective, and eco-friendly. Their offering aims to combat the problem of paying for and shipping skincare products that consist of 80 per cent water – a resource we already have – and in single-use plastic, no less. BHUMAN’s cleansers are offered in both an aluminium bottle and a bamboo bottle, both of which can be sent back to the company to be refilled once empty.
The question behind Caval footwear is this: we have two different feet, so why wear two identical shoes? The French sneaker brand is all about stylish mismatching that draws attention without being clowny. They’re not just passionate about making a statement, though; their mission is to build trainers that endure. Their footwear is made in Portugal, much of it using Italian leather and all of the trimmings that count – wax shoelaces, untearable soles, breathable lining. For vegan fellas, they also make PETA-approved, leather-like trainers from recycled apple peels, and GOTS-certified organic cotton kicks.
With the noble mission of reducing global food waste by 1% over the next ten years while producing beer, who wouldn’t want to support CRUST? The Singapore-based brewery ‘reincarnates’ fresh surplus bread to create their beers, giving a new lease of life to bread that might not make it out of the bakery. Basically, they’re saving bread (and the planet) to make beer. And not just any old beer. We’re talking stouts and IPAs in different flavours (mango, anyone?) and made in collaboration with local markets and bakeries (for example, Beerguette is made with surplus baguettes from Tiong Bahru Bakery in Singapore).
The men in your life don’t have to be tough to appreciate tough trainers. The gang at Asphalte have created the Solid Sneaker – a hardy, made-to-last pair of trainers that’s built to handle everything life throws at it. Its mission is to make quality items that are resilient, sleek, and accessible. They pre-order everything meaning they can reduce waste and put their finances towards the things that matter, like quality, service, and continually improving their sustainability agenda. Their sneakers have it all – durability (all of its products are created to last), waxed-cotton laces that are easy to keep clean, air ducts to keep feet fresh, and removable natural-dyed insoles for comfort. The perfect gift for men with feet! Or, take a gander at the other limited items available for pre-order, like the perfect jumper, T-shirt, or pair of jeans.
For any vegan, plant-based, teetotal, hangover-hating, designated-driving or English-countryside-loving men in your life, we recommend Seedlip. The British-born drinks company is behind the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit, solving the problem of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’. Their bevvies are also free of animal products, refined sugars, sweeteners, additives, and chemicals, instead focusing on all that nature has to offer; herbs, spices, fruits, even peas. The company is run on a 300-year-old family farm and works with growers and fellow farmers to pick only what’s needed before starting the traditional distilling process. The spirits can be bought in their online shop or at various bars. This is the gift that keeps giving: a drink as fresh as daisies – and the guarantee they’ll feel that way the next day!
If you’re going to get your dad socks for the umpteenth Christmas in a row (because really, what else can you get a man who doesn’t want anything?), why not go sustainable? Conscious online company Thought offer up jazzy pairs in a soft bamboo organic cotton blend. Not only are they fun (hello, dino print!), they’re also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so you won’t need to pop an odour spray in your gift bag. In fact, no bag necessary – the gift-bundle socks come in a reusable box (made using vegan glue) and are as snazzy as the socks themselves.
Brothers We Stand
Brothers We Stand is a company selling ethical menswear. It was initially set up in solidarity with the people who make our clothes, and with the mission of offering sustainable, long-lasting menswear and being totally transparent about the products they sell. Their diverse selection of swim shorts, created by sustainable brand Riz, are made from recycled polyester originating from plastic bottles. While they offer shorts in block colours and classic prints, they also offer nature-based designs, from sea urchins to endangered flowers, to remind everyone how awesome our planet really is. Whether your loved ones are keeping their fingers crossed for a winter sun getaway or are heading for a poolside staycation, encourage them to dive-bomb sustainably!
The sportswear giant has re-imagined a street sneaker favourite – recycled style. The airForce 1 was Nike’s first basketball shoe to contain Nike Air and it revolutionised the sport, as well as street style. Its new, sustainable counterpart – airForce 1 Craters – are just as game-changing. They’re made with Crater Foam and contain at least 20% recycled materials. Hoping to make a statement in more ways than one, the translucent fabric on the toe reveals a jazzy kaleidoscope of salvaged materials that were rescued from the scrapheap. Being Nike, the sneakers are unique and durable, with the foam adding a new level of comfort. Gift these to the guys who love basketball, streetwear, or, y’know, being comfy and cool.
Wolf & Badger
As everyone knows, shades are the ultimate cool accessory. What’s cooler though, are shades that save the planet. British online marketplace Wolf & Badger stocks a diverse array of sunglasses from international sustainable brands such as RAIE (planet-saving mavens) and Urican (French eco-friendly titans). They also have every style under the sun, meaning there’s a pair for every fella’s personal style (Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Neo in The Matrix? Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?). Best of all, in shopping with Wolf & Badger, you know you’re consuming sustainably and ethically, and supporting independent brands.
If you have a serious runner or gym-bunny in your life, give ‘em Hylo. The company creates sustainable sneakers that can be recycled at the end of their life and recreated into their next generation of sneakers. Yep, mind blown. Their kicks are made using only natural materials: corn fibre, algae bloom, castor oil, natural rubber, corn starch, and water-based glue. Not only are their materials planet-friendly, they’re also performance-friendly – each has a stellar track record (no pun intended!) for durability, comfort, and performance. They offer credit when you return your used Hylo sneakers so they can compost them before using them in their next collection.
Watson and Wolfe
If you know a man who still carries a Velcro wallet, consider this the perfect (and necessary) gift. British accessory brand Watson and Wolfe create luxury vegan, cruelty-free, sustainable wallets. They use non-food grade corn (from a renewable source) and plant content to create their eco-leather. To produce the luxurious lining, they reclaim and use 100% post-consumer bottles, which use less water, energy, and CO2 than virgin polyester. Customers also have the option to personalise the wallet with up to four characters. Better still, it will arrive in Watson and Wolfe’s signature sophisticated recyclable gift wrap.
Dagne and Dover
U.S. bag brand Dagne and Dover are the masters of bag organisation. Their popular waterproof neoprene Dakota backpack offers endless smart storage compartments and comes in small, medium, or large and a variety of colours. It’s also vegan. The brand, founded by three women, is also friend to Mother Earth: it avoids hazardous chemicals in its dyes, uses all of its scrap materials, and donates excess inventory to charities and upcycling companies. This Christmas, help a loved one say goodbye to backpack chaos!
Tokyo Bags is an independent crafting studio creating minimalist high-quality bags for men. They are one of the first 100% vegan and sustainably-minded men’s bags store in Asia. Without using any animal products, their bags are made only from eco-friendly materials from the crafting of their bags down to the stitching and packaging. Their vegan leather is coated with water-resistant coatings which creates a material that is just as durable as animal leather. They use only 100% recycled paper packaging with soy-based ink printings to ensure they minimise their environmental footprint.
Looking for a stylish pair of shoes to gift the man in the family? Desi Hangover brings you a perfectly handcrafted pair of leather footwear; designed for style and engineered for comfort. Made from ethically sourced upcycled leather while bringing life to a village of traditional artisan cobblers who had lost their livelihood to the mass production revolution. Every Desi Hangover shoe creates new opportunities, new hope and helps a community stitch their life back together. Plus they are downright beautiful shoes.
JOSÉ sweaters are the Peruvian equivalent of a festive Fair Isle knit. Made using 100% natural fibres by local artisans, if you’re on the hunt for a chic, conscious Christmas jumper, look no further. They’re also working on becoming more environmentally-friendly, starting with removing plastic packaging and replacing it with simple craft paper instead. Dashing and dapper, JOSÉ sweaters are a sure bet for any boy in the family.
Arthur Zaaro makes BEAUTIFUL serving boards from sustainably harvested wood that you’ll find in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore. They’re are also lean, green and locally crafted. From planting to final sanding, their production cycle requires little transportation, and they employ local talent for their fine carpentry work. They also craft tables and other pieces of furniture from exotic woods that leads to no loss of habitat.
Monsieur Arsène’s makes bio-vegan skincare and perfumes for men that are unique, powerful and totally innovative. The fragrances are made from 90% organic ingredients (rare for the perfume industry). The brand is also founded upon the basis of an eco-responsible and ethical business model.
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