Sustainable Gifts You Can Feel Good About Giving

12 thoughtful gifting ideas that are easier on the planet

The holiday season is notoriously wasteful—but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to an ever-increasing consumer demand for more ethical products, there are more options for eco-friendly gifts than ever, from consciously manufactured clothing to toxin-free toys. Here are 12 sustainably made gifts that have a small carbon footprint and are guaranteed to earn big smiles.

Pink wool sweater with "Emotional Support Sweater" stitched across the front

Recycled-wool sweater

Eco-friendly clothing brand Reformation has partnered with Nativa, the world’s leader in luxury combed wool, to create a collection of regenerative-wool sweaters, cardigans and accessories that look as good as they feel. I’m particularly fond of the “Emotional Support Sweater,” because, frankly, we could all use a little coddling after the past two years.

Emotional Support regenerative-wool sweater, $298,

A patterned clay pot from Nordstrom

Handmade planter

These ceramic planters are made to order by NYC-based artist Josephine Noel and typically take up to two months to ship, but now Nordstrom Canada is stocking them in limited quantities, so get one while you can.

Recreation Center planter, $125,

A folded chunky-knit blanket by Bearaby

Weighted blanket

This temperature-regulating weighted throw is made from renewable, plant-based Tencel and, unlike some of its less attractive competitors, comes in an array of trendy colours that will fit nicely into any aesthetic.

Tree Napper, $329 (15 lbs),

A 3-D Eiffel Towel puzzle made from painted wood blocks

Eiffel Tower puzzle

This 3-D puzzle is made from FSC-certified wood and water-based paint—no toxic plastics in sight. It’s suitable for kiddos aged four-plus, but I wouldn’t blame you for buying it as living room decor…

Janod Build-It-Yourself Wooden Eiffel Tower, $40,

Allbirds red wool slippers

Wool slippers

These limited-edition slippers are made from wool scraps left behind by Allbirds’ sneaker manufacturing, and FSC-certified rubber for the soles. They come in four colours, but I’m partial to this festive red.

Wool Dwellers, $90,

A colourful striped shopping tote

Market tote

This sturdy shopper is made by refugees in Italy using sustainably and ethically sourced materials from Burkina Faso. Unlike the ubiquitous branded cotton totes, this one is strong enough to hold a laptop and attractive enough to wear anywhere.

Bassi market tote, $253,

A bread banneton and cloth cover

Proofing basket

For the loved one whose pandemic bread baking has become a permanent hobby, this banneton comes with a reusable cloth liner and cover—no need for plastic bags or cling wrap.

Round banneton, $24.50,

A jar candle with lid

Soy wax candle

Slow-produced in Ottawa, these charming scented candles pay homage to the Canadian capital with 100 per cent essential oil scents inspired by its distinct neighbourhoods.

Barrhaven candle, $28,

A red mesh bralette

Festive bralette

Parade makes soft, supportive bralettes using a signature fabric created from recycled yarns. Developed by a team of former lululemon design experts, these sustainable undergarments have become an internet sensation and are finally available to Canadian shoppers.

Plunge bralette, $38,

An alpaca wool blanket featuring a snake design

Alpaca throw

Two throw blankets in one gift guide?? Hear me out: This one is arguably a work of art. The brushed twill blanket is made in Canada with super-soft baby alpaca yarn—tempting to cuddle up with, but it would look fantastic hanging on the wall.

Blacksaw peyote throw, $495,

A hand and body care set from Aesop

Hand and body care set

If your skin doesn’t turn to sandpaper every winter are you even Canadian? Give some much-needed TLC with this vegan hand and body care set from Aesop. Their grainy hand soap gently exfoliates while a duo of balms restore much-needed suppleness—all with those signature, delectable Aesop scents, and packaged in a reusable recycled container.

The Advocate kit, $140,

A red, white and green decorative plate with a floral design

Decorative plate

Top this handcrafted Egyptian clay dessert plate with homemade cookies for a host gift that will actually get used year after year.

Malaika red bloom dessert plate, $45,

Charlotte Herrold
Charlotte Herrold
Charlotte Herrold is the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Business and the Special Projects Director at SJC Media. She was previously the Editor-in-Chief of Flare magazine and has an M.Sc. in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh.