When you begin to purchase responsibly your purchases become a cognitive choice chosen carefully and consciously. You begin to lose the drive for the fulfilment of what you classify as ‘needs’, realizing it is just a reactive tendency which our unconscious society has gleefully encouraged you and rewarded you for having.
I recently just had a birthday. Over the years, my family has stopped buying me individual gifts and chosen instead to go in on one really great one. Something I’ve been pining for but unable to get for myself due to my own restricted income. Knowing I am only going to get one gift, I’ve noticed I have started to choose more carefully, and in the end, treasure the gift differently as I associate that single object with the Love of my whole family linked to
With this in mind, I have created this rather robust gift guide with a combination of objects, some I’ve owned for a while, some I made myself, some are recent gifts, and some are gifts I got for others. Each one is made ethically and sustainably and is a thing of quality. Made to last, made to be useful, and made to be loved.
⟠ PEOPLE OF LEISURE | Hunter Green Velour Sweatshirt | $80 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Ethically sourced and manufactured in Lost Angeles, California, People of Leisure has created a beautiful bohemian collection with a capsule-esque feel that’ll bring you back in time. Covering casual to party wear their easy to style quality garments will be amongst those you pass down to your own children. Their Hunter Green Velour Sweatshirt is a staple in my own wardrobe and the item I’m most complimented on when I wear it. It would make a lovely gift for any gal who likes a bit of valour and velour.
WHERE TO BUY? peopleofleisure.co
** I AM HOSTING A GIVEAWAY ON INSTAGRAM FOR THIS TOP, HEAD OVER TO MY INSTAGRAM TO ENTER
⟠ SWAHILI COAST DESIGN | Bone Earrings Stripe | $14 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? The beautiful bone earrings pictured in the gift guide come from the brand Swahili Coast Design, a 100% worker-owned cooperative, 80% of which is made up of women. The coop pays fair hourly wages and also pays out monthly profits back to each worker at the end of the month. These lovely earrings are made from cow bone sourced from the pastoralist people in Tanzania. The design is created with a resistance wax technique similar to batik. It’s an affordable, biodegradable, beautiful gift to give.
WHERE TO BUY? swahilicoastdesign.com
⟠ LEOTIE LOVELY | Conscious Computer Bag | $200 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Years before I started blogging, I was an eco + ethical clutch designer, upcycling fabric I found in second-hand stores to create limited-edition clutches. I had started designing to prove to myself that it was, in fact, possible to create products ethically and sustainably. Though I’ve pulled back on designing to make more room for more writing, I still dabble now and then, and this computer bag is my latest creation. The outer fabric is handwoven traditionally by an artisan in the South of France, the lining is made with vintage batik fabric given to me by a knitwear designer I once worked for, and the small leather detailing is upcycled and repurposed from deadstock cutoffs I found in a discard bin on Brick Lane in London. I handmade the pompom with organic, ethically produced pom poms from Thailand, and braided it in with organic jute and linen.
WHERE TO BUY? leotielovely.com
⟠ VINTAGE | Cowboy Boots | $25 + ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? This year, my family pitched in to buy me THIS pair of vintage cowboy boots which I’ve had my eye on since they were posted in the early months of 2017. The boots are older than I am and still kickin’ it, whereas a newly made vegan pair of boots I bought last year bit the dust in less than 6 months wear. While there are some good, solid, well made new brands out there which are sustainably and ethically made, nothing is greener than second-hand or vintage, and they make for a truly unique gift.
WHERE TO BUY? etsy.com
⟠ MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION | Mantra // Origin // Thrive | $30 / yr ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? I’ve been writing for Origin and Mantra magazine for a few months now and it’s a great source of inspiration for conscious food, aesthetics, and female empowerment. A one-year subscription for people living in the U.S is only $30. An old-school gift with a new school feel.
WHERE TO BUY? Mantra // Origin // Thrive
⟠ HAPPY HABITAT | Aztec Throw | $160 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? I have known about this brand for a while and admired their bright beautiful designs from afar before I finally got my hands on one. They’re cosy, big enough for you, or you plus one snuggler, and they look good just about anywhere you drop them. They’re made out of recycled cotton, giving pre-consumer fibres and clippings that would otherwise end up in the landfill, a second life, and using only a tiny portion of the energy and water needed to produce new cotton. We bought ours camping in Norway, used it as a picnic blanket in Canada, and keep it in our reading corner or on our bed while home in France. It ticks every box you’d want a throw blanket to tick: aesthetically beautiful, environmentally friendly, ethically made, deliciously diverse, and easy to clean and care for.
WHERE TO BUY? happyhabitat.net
⟠ YUHME | Water Bottle | $33.35 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Though I’m still a huge fan of Klean Kanteen water bottles, I was gifted one of these bottles by Yuhme this summer before I went to Canada. Travelling is the ultimate test for water bottles, can they handle being dumped over, squished, refilled, dropped, and so on. 6 months later and Yuhme is nearly as good as new and I’ve not had a spill yet. The bottles are water bottles are produced ethically in Sweden and made from sugarcane, meaning it is free from harmful toxins like health-harming Bisphenol A and Phthalates which are found in plastic water bottles.
WHERE TO BUY? yuhme.se
⟠ ALHAMBRA | Guitar | $33.35 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? My husfriend, thoughtfully, gave me an Alhambra travel guitar for my birthday. I had started learning guitar about 5 years ago but stopped completely when I started this blog. Music is meditative for everyone and thus any kind of instrument is a great gift to give … especially if that someone spends too much time with technology. Alhambra has a strong commitment to environmental care, using wood from companies officially recognized for their reforestation programs. Alhambra has a vacuum system recovers the wood waste and turns it into briquettes as a by-product of surplus wood and dust. The briquettes are used by bakers for their ovens, and in Alhambra’s case, as a form of central heating during the winter.
WHERE TO BUY? your local music store / amazon
⟠ YELLOW 108 | Fedora | $100 ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? My husfriend bought my vintage fedora for an audition a while back and I slowly started adopting it as my own. Because it’s made of wool it adapts to the climate you wear it in and it makes any outfit you wear look put together. I recently discovered an ethical and sustainable brand called Yellow 108 who makes similar fedoras in the USA and as my own fedora is one of my most frequently worn items, figured it would be a good thing to share.
WHERE TO BUY? yellow108.com
⟠ UNDER THE CANOPY | Kimono Robe | $49.99 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Based in the U.S.A, UNDER THE CANOPY makes affordable aesthetically pleasing homeware which is both eco-friendly and ethically made. They recently sent me one of their beautiful bathrobe kimonos transforming my loungewear (aka my work wear) to a cozy new level of lovely. They produce cradle-to-cradle, with the planet and its inhabitants in mind, utilizing a vertically integrated supply chain, meaning they control the supply chain from manufacturing to end sales, which drives cost down.
WHERE TO BUY? underthecanopy.com
⟠ BUY ME ONCE | Lux Multi-Use Peshtemal | £35.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? This Lux peshtemal has become a fast favourite in our home. We purchased 7 organic cotton Turkish towels off Etsy when we moved back to France, but after two years they have started rip and feel generally harsh on the skin. The Lux peshtemal is thick, soft and multi-functional, you can use it as a towel, a scarf, a wrap, a sarong, a throw, a knotted bag or a tablecloth. Each one is made with natural materials, ethically, by a small family of artisans and to top it off they have a 20-year guarantee.
WHERE TO BUY? buymeonce.com
⟠ DHARMA WOODS | Mala | $122.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? My sister bought me this mala for my birthday a few years back. And I’ve also purchased from this company. I’ll always be a big fan of these beautiful bracelets, the owner, Jorge, has worked with me to design the perfect gift (letting me choose custom healing beads for the intended wearer) and letting me send the bracelet back to be updated with new beads once the healing has been done. This has been, and continues to be the most heartfelt and continuously loving gift I have ever bought or given. On top of just being an amazing human Jorge uses eco-friendly components in his designs and delivers each mala inside an organic hemp drawstring pouch (to raise awareness about hemp’s endless applications). He even mails the purchase in a 100% recycled paper.
WHERE TO BUY? etsy.com
⟠ PARA BOTANICA | Nenekti Purifying Mask| $38.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? There’s something really lovely about mixing your own beauty products rather than just pumping, spraying or slapping it on. Holistic skincare line PARA APOTHECARY is one of the few brands I’ve discovered who meet all the eco and ethical stipulations I’ve developed: cruelty-free, not tested on animals, palm-oil free, philanthropic, organic, ethical, sustainable, unisex. I did a blog and vlog review HERE on their collection of handcrafted conscious concoctions made from sustainably sourced bioactive botanicals.
WHERE TO BUY? parabotanica.com
*I’ve got a full post on this brand here, if you’d like to know more about them.
⟠ SHEA BRAND | Lip Balm | $8.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Shea Brand makes skin care for ‘every body’ and they’re doing it damn well. All their products are made with medical grade essential oils, hand-whipped in Brooklyn, which are chemical free, cruelty-free, palm oil free, and packaged in biodegradable or recyclable packaging. They recently came out with this awesome lip balm made with four of the world’s most reliable and desirable natural ingredients: Protective beeswax, stabilizing Vitamin E, regenerative shea butter, and nourishing coconut oil – literally the only natural ingredients you need to get yourself some lush lips. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for sure
WHERE TO BUY? https://www.sheabrand.com/lips
⟠ LOOXA | Yoga Workbook | 10.00 € ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I used to do yoga every damn day, from the time I was about 16 until I moved to Paris when I was 28. Then I stopped completely, I don’t enjoy self-guiding, and classes this side of the pond are horrifically overpriced. Though I haven’t yet written anything in this workbook, I use the images to guide me through a 30-minute routine while I listen to #LiveAwake in the morning. It’s a great gift for beginner yogis, deserter yogis, teacher training yogis, and everyone in between.
WHERE TO BUY? looxa.net
⟠ EARTHEN WARRIOR | Eye Mask | 73.00 € ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Previous to Earthen Warrior sending me one of their masks last year, I had never been a sleep mask user. Earthen warrior sent me one of her masks earlier this year and it transformed my sleep. Turns out sleeping in total darkness allows your body to produce as much of the hormone melatonin as possible, which is beneficial as drops in melatonin production put you at greater risk of breast and colorectal cancer amongst other health risks. Which I never knew. The magnificent mask she sent me is creatively created, upcycling and repurposing every step of the way. The super soft backing is made from repurposed cashmere, while the silky outer made from an upcycled silk blouse. She beautifully embroidered the detailing of the third eye herself, without the use of machines or glue, creating a wearable piece of art which is completely unique and love made.
WHERE TO BUY? www.earthenwarrior.com
* I’ve got a full post on Earthen Warrior here if you’re interested in reading more about them
⟠ | BANYAN TREE | Massage Oil | $28.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? The sister brand to the conscious company, Matter Prints, BANYAN TREE is the spa essentials branch of an environmentally responsible retreat hotel chain. I collaborated with them a few months back to create ‘ the sanctuary bundle‘, consisting of sustainable, ethically made items I specifically selected (with the help of my husfriend) for our slowed down cosied up lifestyle. Each item has truly been a treat for our home, enhancing the senses (apart from taste). We keep the collection dotted around our home: the incense in the toilet, the candle in the living room, the oil burner and massage oil in our bedroom. It’s a lovely affordable gift to give along with some ‘IOUs’ for yo lover.
WHERE TO BUY? banyantree.com
⟠ REWINED | CANDLE | $25.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I recently started making my own candles to save a bit of cash, but for those not in the maker’s market, Rewind Candles are still at the top of my list. They take recycled wine bottles (from Charleston, NC) and transforms them into bad ass handcrafted candles filled with sustainable soy candle wax and scented with the tasting notes of wine. Not only are these candles unique in their manufacturing process, but they are aesthetically beautiful, and smell delicious. We got one of these babies for Christmas two years back and it only finally burnt to the bottom, so worth the investment. Plus you can refill the candle yourself when you’re through.
WHERE TO BUY? http://amzn.to/1KrGI0J
⟠ SLAVE TO FASHION | Safia Minney | $17.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Written by Safia Minney, the founder of Fair Trade and sustainable fashion label, People Tree, Slave to Fashion offers an insider’s view at the issues with fast fashion as well as tools and resources to help you navigate your way to slow fashion and conscious living as a whole, and understand the solutions available to us as individuals, and society as a whole. This would make an awesome gift for those interested, but overwhelmed by the prospect of dressing ethically.
WHERE TO BUY? Amazon.com
⟠ DAVEK | Umbrella | £89.00 + ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I lived in London for 10 years and probably went through hundreds of cheap plastic umbrellas in my time there, all of which were discarded in frustration after they ripped, snapped, or turned themselves permanently inside out on me. Davek offers an umbrella that is made to last, each one produced with a steel and fibreglass reinforced frame and 190 thread count canopy. They come with an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee, which means if your umbrella decides to flake on you, as so many of mine did, they will repair or replace it for free. This is, undoubtedly, a thoughtful and useful gift for anyone dwelling in rain-prone cities.
WHERE TO BUY? BuyMeOnce.com
⟠ KEEP CUP | To-go Coffee | $17.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I have a big crush on these cups and bring one of them everywhere with me. Coffee cups take 50 years to break down due to the polyethylene plastic which keeps the paper cup intact. This is true for Starbucks and every other company selling to-go coffees anywhere in the world, even your local hipster joint with those clever quotes and mustached men are contributing to the problem. You can help your family members avoid the messy side of to-go coffee by getting them one of these beauties to tote around. They’re stylish, practical and durable.
WHERE TO BUY? Selfridges UK / Amazon US
⟠ OFKT | Footwear | £323 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I’ve owned a pair of OFKT Mules for a year now, and I have not a single negative word to say about them. They’re comfortable enough to be on your feet all day, they can be dressed up and dressed down, they’re incredibly durable (I’ve put them through all the tests). They’re amongst this extraordinary elite who create with reverent and venerable pace, offering shoes made traditionally by hand in a small Yorkshire factory, designed with a thoughtful and transparent circular story in mind and sustainability and artistry at the core of its brand. They use offcuts of leather to make the uppers of their limited-edition shoes, redirecting some of the 23.22 million tons of leather which end up in the landfill each year. Though they’re expensive, you genuinely do get what you pay for and I get the feeling, these ones are good enough they might be the only shoes I own that will be passed down through generations.
WHERE TO BUY? YoungBritishDesigners.com
⟠ FREEDOM ARRAY | Earrings | $30.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Freedom Array is a beautifully curated collection of bohemian things for those who search out an ethical, globally influenced style. The earrings pictured are by Sasa Designs, a collection of jewellery produced to empower and employ individuals regardless of physical ability or geological location, many of whom were deemed ‘useless’ by their families due to their disabilities and are now empowered by their work.
WHERE TO BUY? freedomarray.com
⟠ SACET | Ring | 171.00 € ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Made from 100% recycled materials, Sacet’s jewellery is produced both ethically and consciously with eco-friendly packaging, ethically polished diamonds and gemstones, all custom made and hand finished by ethically paid artisans. Each item comes with a two-year warranty, complete with free repairs, and when you receive the item they provide you with an introduction to the individual person who plated, filed, polished and set the stones in each piece. The beautifully curved ripple rose gold ring sent to me is a piece of true artistry, one which can daintily and unobtrusively accompany any type of ring. It’s a truly sophisticated and beautiful collection of jewellery, perfect for any ladies in your life.
WHERE TO BUY? sacet.com
⟠ ELATE BEAUTY | Lipstick | $22.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? Over the past year, I’ve really grown to love this gorgeously green brand whose mission it is to care for each other, our communities, and the world by valuing spirit, kindness, wellness and authenticity. I use their mascara, eyeliner, Their collection, partially made in my home province of Manitoba, offers a wide array of beautiful volumes and skin loving ingredients, and sustainable packaging. They’re certified by Peta and Leaping Bunny and took Environmental Defence’s ‘just beautiful’ pledge. Their products are free of nasties, ethical, sustainable, and lovemade.
WHERE TO BUY? elatecosmetics.ca
⟠ LEOTIE LOVELY | Dejlig Dansk Clutch | £42.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? My pal Kumi helped me upcycle this beautiful piece of Danish textile art into 4 limited-edition eco-friendly and ethically made zero waste pouches. I found the woven material in a charity shop in Aalborg, Denmark this summer and lined the top with upcycled deadstock leather I found in a discards bin on London’s Brick lane a few years back. It fastens with a hidden magnet and is lined with the original backing it came with.
WHERE TO BUY? leotielovely.com/shop
⟠ VICTORIA ROAD | Upcycled Tie Headband | $38.00 ⟠
ECO + ETHICAL HOW? I was sent this headband when I worked with Victoria Road for my AW17 Lookbook, it is made from remnants of their luxe cotton printed and embroidered fabrics, helping them stay true to their zero-waste commitments. Their products are truly works of art, aligned with their motto of ‘bridging cultures through design’. They use fashion as a stepping stone towards positive cross-cultural dialogue, protecting age-old techniques by incorporating them into their creations. Everyone in the production team works in Fair Trade workshops and are paid a living wage. One which provides valued benefits like paid holidays, overtime pay, regular working day breaks, state pension fund benefits, and assistance with access to health care.
WHERE TO BUY? victoria-road.com