For us sustainable shoppers, Christmas can feel like a massive mountain we don’t have the tools to climb. We want to be conscious and caring, but we also need to cover a lot of bases, such as stockings. And the whole business of, y’know, filling them. Good news: it’s more than possible.
We’ve put together this handy gift guide for stocking fillers – eco-friendly items for under $50. From men’s socks to solar lanterns, and jazzy bags to natural lip stains, you’ll have those stockings brimming in no time!
LUSH needs no introduction: the British cruelty-free beauty brand has become a staple in the cosmetic world, whether you’re vegan or just into fun, fragrant bathroom bits. With the December chill fast approaching, help your loved ones keep their lips hydrated (and kissable, for all that mistletoe) with LUSH’s Candy Cane Lip Scrub. For a festive take on LUSH’s most traditional treat, why not opt for this lavender Snowman Dreaming Bath Bomb or the cherry and almond Rudolph Nose Shower Bomb?
Plantable stationery is Left-Handesign’s trademark; in fact they are Singapore’s first plantable stationery and lifestyle brand. Within their BĪJ stationery range, you’ll find pens that contain seeds and can be planted once used, as well as notebooks with plantable front and back pages – for real (see: Be The Change notebook that becomes basil once planted). Enjoy watching your loved ones lose their minds over these seed-stationery wonders.
Toothpaste might not seem like a typical stocking filler, but when it’s refillable, it’s a different story. We’re talking, never having to buy a tube again and being sent refills on subscription at the right time, as well as being super kind to the planet. In response to the amount of plastic toothpaste tubes that end up in landfill (far too many), NOICE have created a natural, organic, vegan toothpaste that can be topped up using compostable refill pods. The toothpaste comes in a glass bottle, packaged in recyclable cardboard. Their starter pack, featuring the filled bottle and two months’ worth of refills costs just USD 18 (with free worldwide delivery, hurrah!).
Forget about toxic lipsticks and chemical-infested lip stains, Coconut Matter offer coloured lip balms made of natural delights. There are three different tints to choose from (Coral, Passion, and Sunrise) and each can be used on cheeks as well as lips, giving repurposing a glamorous new spin. The balms are made from plant ingredients (including, of course, coconut oil) and are free from preservatives, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, and synthetic colour dyes. They come in super zero-waste packaging: hand-rolled cardboard tubes with food-grade wax paper on the inside.
It might seem unoriginal to buy socks for guys at Christmas time, but there’s nothing unoriginal about Kind Socks or their ethos: ‘Realising sustainable fashion is not a trend but the only way forward for the fashion industry’. The brand’s socks are made from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton and come in an array of funky patterns. We’re big on the Monstera socks, which are all about those jungle feels. For the really natty dressers you know, how about the Heart socks? Kind Socks pay their suppliers a fair wage and give them a safe working environment, as well as donating a percentage of their profits to different charities.
There’s no handier beauty product than the face wipe – perfect for late nights, tipsy evenings, camping trips, and beyond. They’re not so handy for the environment, though. Enter French brand Lamazuna, who offer a set of planet-friendly wipes made of microfibre fabric, meaning they can be washed and reused. As well as being environmentally sound, the wipes are also super simple to use – just add water, no product necessary. The fabric acts like a magnet, attracting and sweeping up makeup and grime from your face. And at €17.50 for ten, they’re a worthwhile investment for both skin and the planet!
Stasher: protector of packed lunches, saviour of scheduled snacks, and friend of freezer meals. The popular eco-friendly food bags are plastic-free, reusable, waterproof, and air-tight. Even better, the brand gives a portion of profits from every bag sold to ocean-committed organisations. For anyone who likes snacks (ergo everyone), this reusable snack bag is an invaluable stocking filler. It can be used for just about any snack at any time: blueberries on the bus, nuts after the night shift, crackers by the canal; you get the gist. Low blood sugar and poor snack purchasing, no more!
Giving the gift of trash doesn’t sound very festive, but when it comes in the form of a reusable bag-for-life, it’s actually the perfect stocking filler. Peco Bag make rip-resistant, foldable, reusable bags from plastic bottles. Once the bottles are cleaned and melted, their pellets are made into fabric, and voila – bags! They come in a variety of fun patterns, from lemons (You’re The Zest!) to bouquets (Are You Feeling Bouquet?). Our favourite has to be the All I Avo Wanted bag because, really, who doesn’t love avos?
You won’t be offending anyone by gifting a ZeroYet100 deodorant stick because they’re so darn delightful, whether you suffer from a mad case of the sweats or not. The Hong Kong-based company makes unisex natural deodorants, sans toxins and the consequent health risks they pose. Each push-up stick comes in recyclable packaging but can also be refilled, massively reducing waste. They come in scents like ‘Refresh’ and ‘Spa’, and aptly for Christmas time, ‘Snow’.
Menstrual cups are nothing new, but they’ve come a long way in recent times, especially as the truth about their nasty counterparts – tampons and sanitary pads – has come to light (their ingredients are linked to chronic health issues and their materials take up to 500 years to degrade). LUÜNA has created a safe, hygienic cup made of soft, medical-grade silicon in order to fit the wearer’s unique shape. It’s often touted as ‘the softest cup ever made’, making it perfect for cup newbies. Each cup comes with an eco-friendly pouch and leads to the donation of one cup to women in Asia and the UK as part of a plan to end period poverty.
If you thought that mason jars were only good for zero-waste shopping and trendy drinks, think again. SONNENGLAS® has turned the classic jars into solar-powered lights and personal works of art. Via four solar-powered LEDs inside, the jars store energy during the day and, with the flick of a switch, release light at night. SONNENGLAS® encourages users to fill their jar with natural treasures galore, from sand and shells to dried flowers. The lantern’s uses are endless: garden parties, camping, romantic dinners, barbecues, even as a bedside lamp (it’s bright enough for reading!).
Les Nanas Zero Dechets
For the zero-waste newbie, Les Nanas Zero Dechets offer handy starter kits, filled with awesome products from different sustainable brands. The Bathroom Starter Kit contains a vegan, compostable lip balm, a rechargeable toothbrush and head, a toothbrush pouch, a compostable face-cleansing sponge, a small bag, and a zero-waste recipe card. The Kitchen Starter Kit is also full of handy items, like a reusable teabag, a bulk shopping bag, reusable ZD wiping towels, and reusable wraps. Even better, most items feature beautiful patterns from local designers.
No stocking would be complete without chocolate. This year, skip the Terry’s Chocolate Orange and give your nearest and dearest a slab of fine, ethical chocolate from Benns Ethicoa instead. Each bar is named after the region its cacao beans were sourced from, such as Calinan in the Philippines and Sungai Ruan in Malaysia. The company, whose aim is to produce chocolate more naturally and sustainably, works with family farms in those regions to keep it local and fair-trade. The bars are vegan, natural, and gluten-free, and come in either ‘plain’ or ‘with cacao nibs’. Oh, and the artwork is gorgeous, making these bars the perfect pressies!
Preserve’s POPI Shave 5-Razor System is all about comfortable shaving and saving the ocean. The razor’s handle is made from recycled ocean plastic (collected by their clean-up partners), the blades are ceramic coated for comfort, and the lubricating strip is all about cocoa butter and aloe. Even better, the razor handles are recyclable through Preserve’s recycling programme, and 25% of the proceeds of POPI products sold are donated to non-profit organisations that support clean oceans, marine conservation, and research on plastic pollution.
Little Karma Co
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive candle. Bypass the tacky, overpowering apple-cider numbers and head to Little Karma Co for one of their glass-jar delights instead. The brand really gets Christmas, as evinced by their candle names: All Day Eating (cinnamon and orange), Post Dinner Nap (lavender and frankincense). Our favourite is Up Yours Corona – a sure-fire way to make your loved ones smile. Every candle is made from 100% natural wax, 100% pure essential oils, and a cotton wick that’s waxed in-house to avoid paraffin, which is used on most pre-made wicks.
Berf & Bash
Playful and original, Berf & Bash earrings are an ideal stocking filler for the magpie or art-lover in your tribe. The London-based brand’s earrings are made out of lightweight clay, fitted with stainless steel findings, and finished with a protective varnish. The Creta Circle earrings in blue are reminiscent of the Earth, which is apt given that Berf & Bash is an eco-friendly, conflict-free jewellery brand. For a friend with all the feels, these Drop N Drop Long earrings – ‘poetic tear drops’ according to Berf & Bash – are the perfect pressie.
Ashley & Co
Handwash has become a staple item in our lives this year, which is why it’s super important to opt for something safe and sustainable (and, ideally, free of that medical clinic smell). Ashley & Co make hand washes that are natural, PH balanced, soap free, and also smell divine. Each wash is made up of a combo of natural antiseptics, such as aloe and grapefruit seed, and is lightly scented. Choose from washes like Parakeets and Pearls (exuding an Old World vibe) and Bubbles and Polkadots (snuggly, fresh baby aromas).
The sustainable straw game is pretty slow across eateries worldwide, but that doesn’t mean your gang need to opt for plastic straws when they’re dining. Jungle Straws offer responsibly sourced bamboo and stainless-steel straw sets at an affordable price. The Bamboo Straws Set features six reusable bamboo straws with one hessian pouch (which can fit two straws) and a cleaning brush – perfect for Mother Hen friends (or actual mothers!) who find themselves toting useful things for their loved ones. For cocktails at home or smoothies with pep, the Ocean Themed Reusable Metal Straws Set includes eight stainless steel straws (4 bent, 4 straight), all dip-dyed in blues, greens, and whites.
O’Douds is a US-based grooming brand with a focus on creating simple and effective products that are good for humans and the planet. Their Baume De Parfums make a perfect stocking filler for your dad, brother, boyfriend, husband, friend – basically, any and all men you know and like. Made from essential oils and rice bran wax, the balms are vegan and natural as well as long lasting, and come in a handy, travel-sized tin. To wear, simply scoop some out and apply to your bod. Choose from Sandalwood, Labdanum, and Neroli.
The Beeswax Wrap Co
Beeswax wraps have revolutionised food storage, and no one does it better than The Beeswax Wrap Co. The British brand offer beeswax wraps made from local beeswax, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton handcrafted by a family in India, organic jojoba oil, sustainably sourced pine resin, and organic dyes. The company also offers vegan beeswax wraps (ingredients include sumac wax and rice bran wax), so even your vegan pals can get in on the food-wrapping fun. To top it off, the wraps come in fun patterns including collabs with iconic British designers and institutions (e.g. National Trust, Emma Bridgewater, and Cath Kidston).
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