em’s ethical gift guide | 2021

November 15, 2021 – Hi friends! The holiday season is upon us – we all know the gift guide drill by now. Especially this year, buying gifts early is essential due to supply-chain and shipping delays. And ethical, small businesses are feeling this even more. It’s important to remember that a lot of countries where we source ethically-made products aren’t as far along in the COVID recovery process. However, Christmas is coming and we still want to shop ethically.

Introducing… Em’s Ethical Gift Guide!

Without further ado, below I’ve rounded up a bunch of ethically or sustainably-sourced gifts for him, her, home, friends, colleagues, parents, siblings, neighbors, etc.

em's 2023 ethical gift guide graphic

Instead of breaking items into different categories, I wanted to keep them all together to give you a central resource and also because I don’t know how you categorize the folks in your life!! Everyone shops differently. Now, let’s get to shopping…

1.Haiti Design Co. Aluminum Cuff Bracelet | 2. MADE51 “Proud Camel” Ornament | 3. French Girl Organics Rose Sea Soak | 4. RefuSHE Clementine Scarf | 5. Girlfriend Collective Halter Sports Bra | 6. Marine Layer Men’s Henley 7. Porter Ceramic Travel Mug | 8. Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls (Sloths!) | 9. MeUndies Men’s Terry Jogger | 10. Machete Green Hair Clip 11. Thistle Farms “Balance” Essential Oil Roller | 12. Kicheko Goods Acetate Earrings 13. Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles (water-resistant!) | 14. Matt + Nat Vegan Leather Card Case | 15. Mercado Global Woven Cosmetic Pouch | 16. Amsha Studio Woven Lidded Basket | 17. Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag | 18. PACT Holiday Socks 19. Stasher Sandwich Bags | 20. Equilibria Daily CBD Drops – Winter Citrus | 21. Abby Alley Brass Message Necklace | 22. Sézane Gaspard Jumper | 23. Printfresh Short Pajama Set | 24. Our Place Always Pan 25. Obakki Serena Fruit Bowl | 26. The Little Market “Pop Fizz Clink” Wine Tote | 27. Preemptive Love Sisterhood Soap Set | 28. The Little Market Cookbook Set (make your own!) | 29. Anchal Project Monstera Tea Towel | 30. Bright Endeavors Pomegranate & Champagne Candle

Voilà – there’s your guide to ethical gifts in 2021!

I have gifted quite a few of these myself, including the Stasher bags, Allbirds (check out my full list of sustainable shoes here), CBD drops, tea towel, and candles. The rest of the items, while I may not have owned or given them personally, come highly recommended or are on my wish list.

Every brand on here has implemented ethical, sustainable, and/or fair trade measures into their production process and some are even NGOs or social enterprises that give back to communities in need (Haiti Design Co, RefuSHE, Preemptive Love, Kicheko Goods – to name a few). I mean, is there anything better than getting a beautiful product and knowing it made a positive impact on someone else’s life?

In the interest of full transparency, a handful of these products have affiliate links, so if you click on it and buy the item, it will help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Win-win!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention – the ethical gifts you won’t see here are items you can make or upcycle yourself and give to others (i.e. food, crafts, services, re-gifts, etc.). That would be a wonderful blog post, perhaps for next year when I have the time and bandwidth to think about it. I will share an “experiences” gift guide and a giving guide soon, though, which are in a similar vein. Keep an eye out…

Anyway, I hope this helps make your holiday shopping a bit more ethical, so you can feel a bit better about the massive consumption that happens this time of year and give back a bit along the way!