Sustainable and Thoughtful Ways to Gift Give This Holiday Season
Gift giving during a pandemic might be kind of weird and maybe not even possible. Either way, our planet needs our help to create a more sustainably-minded approach to shopping. Even if you have decided that loading up on presents for your friends and family is not in the cards right now, you may still need to purchase some things for yourself. I’ve compiled an assortment of sustainable and thoughtful options to consider when purchasing gifts for yourself or a loved one this year.
Let's normalize buying secondhand items as gifts. Our cultural fixation with newness is causing our landfills to be littered with plastic embedded clothing made by fast fashion brands. There has got to be something to the phrase “exercise is so much better when you have the right outfit”. Ok maybe not, but, for me at least, having a comfortable and cute outfit to work out in helps motivate me. These secondhand options always have an array of fitness gear in great condition for you to choose from.
Buffalo Exchange is a family-operated fashion resale retailer that buys and resells used clothing. The company has 50 stores in 19 states across the US - you can find one in many major cities. They are known for their trendy styles and super fashionable (and knowledgeable) employees!
Beacon’s Closet is a Brooklyn-based, female-founded company, that embraces sustainability and ethical business practices. They are known for their color-coded racks that are filled with everything from vintage to designer - all meticulously curated, of course!
There are many second hand stores popping up all over now, from vintage to trendy to bargain. As consumerism becomes less popular and re-use becomes more common, you will continue to see this trend come more into the forefront of fashion. Even if you don't have one of the above said stores in your area, there are smaller mom and pop shops in almost every town across America. I always like to do a quick Google search of thrift shops in any town I'm in!
Depop is a peer-to-peer social shopping mobile app where you can buy and sell items from your closet. Known for its trendy users, Depop has items that are often vintage in age but avant-garde in execution. It’s a great place to not only shop but also get style inspo.
Etsy is a digital marketplace focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. You can find a wide range of gift items including jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor and furniture, toys, art, as well as craft supplies, and tools.
In addition to Depop and Etsy, many new and awesome peer-to-peer marketplace have popped up recently like Poshmark and Mercari. All of them offer a little something different, in terms of ambiance. You can find a wide variety of items on all those platforms.
Shop Small and Local (especially during this holiday season)
If you are in the market to give gifts this year, consider shopping locally. A simple google search can send you to the best little shops in your neighborhood that truly appreciate your business. And, since the pandemic, many smaller businesses have taken to shipping worldwide. Here are some awesome Brooklyn brands that are offering to ship.
Fanciful Fox - Handmade, natural, vegan, and small-batch bath, body and face care soaps, and other good smelling products.
Cafe Con Libros Bookstore - Intersectional feminist-community bookstore and coffee shop. Their ethos is to create a vibrant community space where everyone; specifically female-identified folx, can feel centered, affirmed, and celebrated through books and community.
Green Light Books - located right in the heart of Fort Greene, this bustling bookstore is a great place to get your loved one a gift. They offer online ordering as well as pick up.
Send Practical Items
What better way to say “I love you AND the planet” than sending someone something that they can totally use in everyday life? Send your loved one some delicious artisanal (and vegan) cheese or reusable containers this holiday season!
Riverdel Cheese - delicious vegan cheese shop located in the new Essex Market and delivers nationwide!
KeepCup - a great alternative to one time use coffee cups, the KeepCup comes in a variety of styles and materials. Bring your own cup to the coffee shop from now on!
Nature Bee Beeswax Wraps - this small, Canadian, woman-run business is doing its part to save our precious planet. They make reusable alternatives to plastic wrap and aluminum foil. They even used locally sourced beeswax to make their wraps!
Onyx Containers - Stainless steel reusable to-go containers. Perfect for storing food and bringing your lunch with you!
Sustainable Fitness Brands
If you are able to spend a little more and would like to get some sustainable activewear for yourself or a loved one, these brands are doing awesome stuff for the environment:
Pansy - an organic cotton lounge company, born from a need for comfy dreamy ethical undies, their organic cotton is grown and milled domestically and their underwear is designed and sewn locally in Oakland, Ca.
Purusha People - a small, plant-based clothing company that offers stretchy activewear without any plastics! This company is doing their absolute best to create clothing that is not only earth-friendly but also beautiful.
Kenco Outfitters - the place to go for knowledge and gear for outdoor sports and athleisure alike. They are the non-corporate alternative to big-box retailers and the staff is super friendly. They are located in Kingston, New York, and ship nationwide!
Girlfriend Collective - looking for a sustainable sportswear company that makes their clothing from plastic bottles? Look no further! Girlfriend Collective is doing great work to create a more sustainable planet through clothing. They are a super trendy brand that offers a wide variety of staple items and limited edition colors.
Organic Basics - Ethical and environmentally responsible produced basics. Sustainability is in their core values and they have a wide range of staple clothing items for all genders!
However you choose to celebrate this holiday season, we know that that probably looks different for you than years past. We hope that, whatever you do, you take care of yourself.
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Meet the Author
As the General Manager for Pongo Power, Izzy helps oversee and manage ongoing projects in all departments. Her knacks for organization and administration help Pongo Power implement the much needed systems for a growing small business!
She brings over 10 years of administrative, client-oriented and managerial experience as well as a personal passion for health and wellness! During her free time, Izzy is often at the gym/yoga studio, on a long walk through the city or searching for a new vegan restaurant!
“My passion in life is to make things as simple as possible. I believe we can achieve anything as long as we truly understand it. We can understand anything if it’s broached to us in a language we comprehend. My goal is to speak YOUR language!”