Monday, June 17, 2024

The 23 Most Ethical and Sustainable Gift Ideas of 2023

Share

‘Tis the season to do good for the planet — and sustainable, ethical gift ideas top the list. Here are our top 23 gift ideas for the 2023 holiday season.

Creating a holiday gift guide that focuses exclusively on quality, clean, and sustainably made items is not just a nod to contemporary trends; it’s also a powerful statement about the future of ethical consumerism. Celebrating the season when there’s war, food insecurity, and a looming climate crisis can seem self-indulgent. But there’s much to be said for promoting a better world. Gifting thoughtfully is one of the best ways we can make a difference in our own families and communities. Bring smiles and feelings of gratitude and know that’s making a difference.

To spread cheer and not unnecessary waste, shop eco and upcycled clothing, non-toxic cookware and more sustainable gift ideas to make your holiday truly merry and bright.

Sustainable gifting

Consumers shell out big bucks for themselves and their loved ones during the holidays.  In 2019, Americans spent more than $15 billion on unwanted Christmas gifts — four percent of which made their way to landfills — according to a survey by Finder.com.   

In addition to waste, the holiday buying season largely fuels global warming. The manufacturing, production, and distribution of holiday products across supply chains are resource and carbon-intensive, meaning the more you buy the greater the impact will be on the planet.

How we built this list

In an era where environmental consciousness and ethical practices are increasingly valued, this guide seeks to offer gifts that are not only luxurious and desirable but also reflect a commitment to sustainability and ethical production. We looked for items with the lowest possible carbon footprint, those that are committed to give-back programs, and those committed to personal and planetary well-being.

Categories we prioritized:

Eco candles and fragrances

For those seeking a touch of cozy elegance, a selection of vegan candles offers a blend of luxury and environmental responsibility. From botanical scents to unique design accents, each brand reflects a commitment to sustainability without compromising on style. Candles invite quiet and introspection. Perhaps your giftee has a meditation practice that can be boosted with a candle. Or, perhaps, it will be lit to remember a loved one lost this year. Candles are also perfect for the hard-to-shop-for people on your list. Likewise, a great clean fragrance can set a mood for the wearer and those around them. And that’s reason enough to make sure you’re only gifting clean fragrances.

Non-toxic cookware

When we eat together, we bond. Food is such an easy entry point to understanding and embracing other cultures. And, of course, cooking puts our health into our own hands. So if you’ve got someone on your list working to take better care of themselves or their loved ones, this is an excellent gift category. Be sure to check out our favorite cookbooks, too, as they make excellent gifts.

Bedding

A good night’s sleep, a cozy blanket, or a warm, comfortable bath towel all help promote daily rituals of self-care. So help your giftees get cozy in their book nook, wrap up in an organic towel after a bath or dip in the hot tub, or wake rested and relaxed from a solid seven to eight hours of sleep. These gifts of home goods help us all be better versions of ourselves. We’ve got more eco-bedding picks here if you need more inspo.

Eco-fashion and jewelry

Whether it’s a comfortable pair of organic cotton PJs, a vegan leather handbag, or a stunning sweater, gifting eco-minded fashion shows your giftee you care about what goes on their bodies. Jewelry always makes an appearance during the holidays for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s an engagement ring or a necklace symbolic of a tentpole or milestone birthday. Perhaps it’s the first pair of earrings for a child’s pierced ears. Let your jewelry gifts make another big statement: responsibility. Opt for lab-grown diamonds, recycled gold, and upcycled vintage pieces, and take a stance against mineral and gem mining that’s damaging to people and the planet. Here’s hoping your giftees will pay this forward and support brands doing good things for the planet with low-impact products in their future gift-buying as well. Shop women-owned jewelry brands here.

The most gift-worthy holiday gifts of 2023

By choosing items that are vegan and sustainably made, this guide emphasizes the importance of durability, quality, and environmental stewardship, ensuring that each gift is as kind to the planet as it is indulgent for its recipient. From candles to cookware to cozy knitwear, gift these eco products that will bring comfort to everyone on your list.

Le Labo Concrete Candle

1. Le Labo Concrete Candles, $510

This stunner is sure to stop people in their tracks both with the addictive scent and gorgeous concrete base. The candle’s scent is an elevated, earthy fragrance with notes of smoky leather. Handpoured and filled into a concrete base made from leftover stone dust making each candle unique.

One of our favorite brands for a reason. Le Labo is committed to clean fragrances and quality ingredients and this is a must-gift.

Costa Brazil candle

2. Costa Brazil Veja Jungle Candle, $165

Another luxe candle made from plant-based waxes, this beauty will burn for more than 60 hours and fill your home with the most luxe scents of wild jungle flora, crushed cypress root, and Brazilian vetiver that will transport you to the jungle. Like its other luxe products, this Costa Brazil candle is made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, PEGs, mineral oil, or artificial colorants.

PF Candle

3. P.F. Candle Enoki Cedar, $24

For a luxe, eco candle priced for a budget, here’s a holiday gift for everyone. P.F. Candle’s Enoki Cedar Candle is a grounding blend formulated for relaxation with an earthy scent designed to remind you of walking through a forest. Hints of petitgrain, sandalwood, rosemary, and patchouli will bring deep calm and relaxation.

le creuset dutch ovens

4. Le Creuset Cookware, $50-$500+

With a range of options from saucepans to Dutch ovens, the enamel-coated non-toxic French cookware brand Le Creuset is essential for any home cook. Gift this to the seasoned or new chefs on your list and watch their meals come alive in new and delicious ways.

staub dutch oven

5. Staub Cookware, $35-$500+

Another luxe enamel-coated cookware brand, Staub is as equally a great investment as Le Creuset but right now you can grab Black Friday deals on the brand at Sur La Table. And even when it’s not on deal, it’s a great deal as it’s built to last for decades.

coyuchi linen sheet set

6. Coyuchi Relaxed Linen Sheet Set, $598

The finest organic French flax makes these linen Coyuchi sheets the ultimate in eco-luxury. The breathable sheets will adapt to your body temperature while also feeling cozy and comforting. They’ll get softer and more luxe with each wash. You’ll treasure these for years.

Parachute blanket

7. Parachute Gauze Cloud Linen Blanket, $199-$219

From home goods label Parachute, this blanket is made from a blend of OEKO-TEX-certified cotton and linen so super soft you’ll want to get to bed early just to cozy up.

bed threads sheet set

8. Bed Threads Terracotta, Rosewater & Lavender Bedding Bundle, $402-$512

For a gift that’s as thoughtful as it is esthetic, put this OEKO-TEX-certified linen sheet set on your list. The color scheme is so cute and you’ll feel good about gifting a clean and comfy sheet set. Linen is not only so soft, but it’s anti-static, antibacterial, and naturally temperature regulating.

clean gender-inclusive perfume and fragrance

9. Le Labo Fragrances, $36-$322

Le Labo makes stunning candles, but it’s best known for its perfumes and fragrance products. All are gender-neutral, vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, Made in the USA, 100 percent recyclable, and Prop 65 compliant. For the fragrance lovers o your list, this is the jackpot.

henry rose perfumes

10. Henry Rose Fragrances, $35-$120

The EWG-certified fragrances developed by Michelle Pfeiffer aren’t just the cleanest on the market, they’re some of the most creative and luscious perfumes, too. Created for layering and in defiance of gender norms, you’ll get oohs and aahs when this is under the tree.

Chloe parfum

11. Chloé Eau de Parfume Naturelle, $100

Aligned with Chloé’s B Corp-status sustainability ethos, the Eau de Parfume Naturelle is soft and sensuous with a floral spirit and a grounding, cedar base. It’ll remind you of forests and bouquets of the finest flowers. This luxe, vegan fragrance is all-natural and made with no artificial ingredients. The glass bottle is made from 25 percent post-consumer glass and it comes in a cardboard box made from 40 percent recycled materials.

Jean Dousset tennis bracelet

12. Jean Dousset Mini Lab-Grown Diamond Tennis Bracelet, $3,900

For a gift that will keep on giving, opt for lab-grown diamonds instead of mined. Designer Jean Dousset says mined diamonds will soon be a thing of the past as lab diamonds are more ethical and economical to produce. And, critically, they’re stunners as the designer demonstrates in this on-trend tennis bracelet made with recycled gold.

Oscar Massin diamond ring

13. Oscar Massin Lab-Grown Diamond Rings, starts at $1,400

This reimagined legacy brand is focused on two things: quality and sustainability. Mined diamonds and gold are replaced with lab diamonds and upcycled gold, and vintage designs reign supreme. If you’re popping the question or just looking for a stunning gift, Oscar Massin rings will do both.

Flora Animalia dress

14. Flora Animalia Dresses, from $95

Handmade right in Los Angeles by one of our favorite designers, Rozae Nichols, everything at Flora Animalia is worthy of your finest wrapping paper and bows. Nichols’ garden-inspired sustainable clothing is worthy of wearing everywhere. And there’s much more than the dresses. You’ll find denim, tops, bottoms, and aprons, and more.

one golden thread sweater shirt

15. One Golden Thread Leisurewear, from $88

Made in Los Angeles from a custom fabric that blends high-quality European BCI cotton, the top one percent of ethical cotton from California family farms, and from Lenzing, Tencel and micro modal made from regenerative beech tree fibers. You’ve never felt material like this before. One Golden Thread’s leisurewear hugs your body with a softness that’ll make you feel like you’re still snug in bed. With a range of essentials that are anything but basic, you’ll want to make sure your name is on Santa’s nice list, too with a link to the One Golden Thread website right alongside.

Mate the Label sweatshirts

16. Mate the Label Basics, from $48

For everyone on your list, Mate the Label’s basics are a must. Made from the softest organic cotton, you’ll want to stay in these cozies all day. Whether sleepwear or sweats, these will be a hit for kids and grandparents alike.

Stella McCartney falabella tote

17. Stella McCartney Falabella Fold-Over Tote, $1295

Stella McCartney has been leading the sustainability shift across her collections and the Falabella bags are no exception. This hand-made in Italy bronze-colored fold-over is made with vegan deer fabric in a semi-gloss grain, GOTS-certified organic cotton lacing, recycled polyester, recycled brass, and aluminum diamond-cut chain. You’ll win the holidays with this gift.

Tory Burch Ella Bio Tote

18. Tory Burch Ella Bio Tote, $298

Made from the 64 percent USDA-certified bio-based BioFabbrica Bio-Tex, the best-selling Tory Burch Ella Bio Tote is as responsible as it is stylish. Made in Italy with non-GMO plant proteins, Burch worked with materials innovation platform Modern Meadow to develop the textile. And it’s an affordable option, too.

maika tote

19. Maika Tote Bag, $82

Waxed recycled canvas, eco-friendly pigments, and vegan leather straps turn a simple tote into a statement piece. For the bag lovers on your list, this will be a go-to essential for work, school, and even a night out.

Monos water bottle

20. Monos Kiyo Water Bottle, $80

More is not always better, but in the case of reusable items like refillable water bottles, do you ever want to be without one? The answer is no. Help your giftees reduce their plastic water bottle use by making sure they have at least one reusable water bottle like this Kiyo option from luggage brand Monos. Quality matters when it comes to water bottles; when they work, when they feel good in our hands on our lips, we’re more likely to want to use them. Good thing Monos ensured this bottle ticks all the boxes for our well-being and sustainability commitments.

Silicone food savers

21. Silicone Food Savers, $16.99

You might walk right past these if you’re doing your shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, but let us stop you right here. The eco-conscious cooks in your life will absolutely love this gift. Not only does it help you break the plastic cling-film habit, but it makes food storage so much easier, too. You can stack on top of these lids with no risk of spilling and leaking like with plastic. They stretch to fit a range of cans, bottles, and jars. Plus, you can pop them into your dishwasher for an easy clean-up. Find more zero-waste kitchen essentials here.

six sense fiji
Six Senses Fiji | Courtesy

22. Experience gifting

Whether a voluntourism trip, an eco safari, or just a beachy getaway for some much-needed R+R, why not gift an experience instead of another product? Check out our travel guides for some inspiration and plan a getaway for your lucky giftee.

fruit tree planting
Courtesy FTPF

23. Donation gifting

With the world feeling upside down right now, give a gift that will impact more than just the people on your list. With a donation to a nonprofit like our favorite, The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF), you’ll help plant fruit trees in communities around the. world.

Related on Ethos:

All products featured on Ethos have been independently selected by our editorial team.
When you buy something through our links, Ethos may earn an affiliate commission.

Related

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Dining Room on a Budget

Transform your dining space into an eco-friendly haven without breaking the bank.

Wild Raspberry Waffles With Yogurt and Candied Seeds

Brunch your way to bliss and better health with these vegan waffles topped with raspberry relish, dairy-free yogurt, rose syrup, and candied seeds.

From Drugstore to Department Counter, 7 Clean Makeup Brands

Looking for a cruelty-free makeup or vegan brand to add to your kit? The category is booming but Ethos has narrowed down the best.

Can We Really Define ‘Eco’?

It's appearing more and more in our daily lives from energy to food to fashion. But what does 'eco' really mean?

Smart Home Devices for an Eco, Energy-Efficient Home

As we strive to minimize our environmental impact and create more sustainable living spaces, eco-smart home devices are an easy way to increase our efforts and save money at the same time.