Our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts is back
The guide to sustainable Christmas gifts has now become a regular feature of Sustainable Gate. This is because we know how Christmas is the time of year marked by greater waste and impulsive last-minute purchasing choices. That's why, as every year, we come back with many tips suitable for every person you have in mind, so that this Christmas can be really good, for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Choosing the perfect Christmas gift for all your loved ones is not easy, we know it well. For this reason, as every year, we have prepared for you our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, where you can find the perfect idea for everyone, from relatives to friends, from little ones to your pet. To make your choice even easier, we have divided our proposals for occasions of use: after years of restrictions and holidays different from the usual, this year our gift proposals can be used really everywhere!
Are you looking for the perfect gift idea for your friend who stays in pyjamas until noon on the weekend, or for the friend who now works almost exclusively from home? Then the first showcase in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts is the one for you, because it contains perfect clothing and accessories to be used within the home walls.
Are you looking for inspiration for your cousin who has just started working and is still looking for the perfect outfit for the office? Then take a look at our second board, which collects sustainable clothing and accessories perfect for a more formal look, suitable from the office to the post work aperitif.
What to take instead to the friend who loves to spend his free time outdoors in the company of his dog, or to the lucky colleague who will spend the Christmas holidays in a tropical destination? Find the answer in our third board, full of ideas for those who love to spend their free time outdoors.
Browse the boards of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, read our tips and choose your gifts!
Christmas 2022 will inevitably be marked by contradictions. On the one hand, in fact, after complex years, the desire to celebrate, be together and live experiences that for a long time have been precluded from us, returns to be felt. On the other hand, this year’s Holidays are affected by the period of uncertainty that we are experiencing globally: attention to price will be a constant in our purchasing choices, whether it is gifts, travel or organization of Holiday lunches. According to the study by Google and Ipsos Holiday Shopping, which takes into account Italian consumers, a third of those who shop during the holidays this year are particularly attentive to promotions and looking for good opportunities. This, however, without sacrificing quality: still according to a survey conducted by Google, in fact, 75% of respondents choose brands and products to give at Christmas because they think they are of good quality. And it is always a Google survey that highlights how sustainability is also becoming an increasingly relevant and considered value in purchasing choices for Christmas gifts. Already on the occasion of Christmas 2021, Italian users searched on Google for “sustainable Christmas gifts” more than in 2020. On the occasion of this Christmas, 78% of the interviewees then say they are willing to give up a well-known brands in favour of ones that are more attentive to sustainability. This trend is also confirmed internationally by Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, according to which 88% of consumers expect brands to openly declare their values. 66% of respondents say they move away from brands whose values are not in line with their own. Among these, those considered most relevant concern the way in which customers and collaborators are treated, environmental practices and actions taken to counter economic and racial injustice. All themes dear to brands included in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts!
Attention to price, but also to quality, sustainability and ethical issues: different instances coexist and become equally important in the choice of Christmas gifts this year.
Themes that together also contribute to making functional gifts prefer, which do not represent a waste from any point of view, neither economic nor environmental: according to Google data, this year’s purchasing choices are 70% oriented towards gifts considered useful.
A logic that we also wanted to follow for our guide to this year’s sustainable Christmas gifts. While it is true, on the one hand, that it is important to choose brands and products that abolish all forms of waste of upstream resources, it is equally important to make sure that our gifts will actually be used and will not remain at the bottom of a closet. In fact, even sustainable and ethically produced products end up being a waste if they are not then used. It is important to underline that there are no products that do not generate environmental repercussions, even if only for transport that takes them under your Christmas tree! The products we have selected for our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts will only be truly such if they are then used over time.
Our first advice, therefore, is to think carefully about the person for whom you are choosing your gift: how does she/he mainly spend her/his days? What are her/his favourite activities? Choose the board of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts to be inspired by!
Relax on the couch:
the perfect gift ideas for those who love to stay at home
In this first board of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts you will find the perfect idea for those who prefer comfortable clothing, for the mother who works mainly in smart working and for the uncle who loves to spend his free time reading a good book on the sofa.
From the office to the evening out with friends:
the perfect gift ideas for days (and evenings) in the city
In our second board of sustainable gift ideas you will find the perfect proposal for your colleagues, with whom you spend the day at the office and then go for a post work aperitif, and for all your friends who in their daily outfits seek sustainability without sacrificing elegance.
Always moving on:
the perfect gift ideas for those who love to be outdoors
On the third board of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts you’ll find the perfect one for relatives and friends who would always be away from home, whether it’s strolling in a park, relaxing on a beach or walking in the mountains.
Each of the three boards contains many sustainable gift ideas to choose from: you will find the perfect gift for everyone, with the certainty of choosing sustainable, ethical, quality and really useful products! To guide you through the many proposals, you can be inspired by the advice in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts: what are our favourites? What do we suggest for each person on your gift list? Read our opinions below and let yourself be inspired!
Our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts opens with some perfect gift ideas to wear at home: practical and comfortable, they are proposals that will immediately make anyone wearing them feel at ease.
Inside the first board we propose you, find some perfect gift ideas for anyone you know who loves to spend a lot of time within the home walls, especially in winter: from those who work from home to those who love to spend the Sunday afternoon on the sofa. You will find comfortable underwear, home wear and nightwear, but also perfect ideas for the little ones and for your four-legged friend.
Among our favourite proposals, there is the perfect gift idea for two friends who love home relaxation: the set of two pairs of socks by Saint Basics. This gift idea really meets all the requirements that, as seen before, guide our purchasing choices this Christmas: they are friends of the planet (like all the ideas in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts), they are useful and allow you to make two gifts at a small price! The set, in fact, includes two pairs of unisex coordinated socks, which can also be chosen in different sizes: they are thus the perfect idea for a little thought to a pair of friends. The socks are made of recycled polyamide and are designed to be used for a long time, thanks to the reinforced heel and toe. The substances used for the production also help to prevent the risk of fungal infections and the athlete’s foot. As our most dedicated readers know, we at Sustainable Gate strongly believe in certifications, because they ensure that “sustainability” and “ethics” are real concepts and that we are not faced with yet another case of greenwashing. Here, these socks can count on two important certifications: they are OEKO-TEX certified, which guarantees it is a safe product for the health of the consumer, and PETA Approved, which certifies a vegan and cruelty-free product. Saint Basics is in fact a brand committed to a very clear mission: to produce “clean underwear”, both from the point of view of the materials used and from the point of view of the conditions guaranteed to workers. This gift is a concrete example of how not necessarily sustainable is synonymous with expensive: we are sure that it will make the couple who will receive it really happy, because it is a useful gift that will not be forgotten on the bottom of a drawer!
Another perfect matching gift idea for a couple? The boxer and bralette that you can find on the US Underwear Store website can be the perfect gift idea for your partner and… for yourself! There are many models produced by A-dam and present on the site: we offer you the perfect model for a couple of cinephiles. The garments we have chosen, in fact, are self-ironic and irreverent, thanks to the print inspired by Pulp Fiction. Like all the ideas in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, however, these garments are not only aesthetically pleasing, but have something more: they are eco-friendly and made of GOTS certified stretch organic cotton. In our opinion, comfort is also a significant value, because it allows a garment to be worn often and exploited to the fullest. These boxers are designed to have a perfect fit, with removable labels to ensure maximum comfort. The bralette, on the other hand, has a practical band under the breast, which supports without squeezing, and removable padding. What we offer you are excellent examples of the products you can find on the US Underwear Store website, an Italian company focused on underwear, nightwear and home wear in natural, ecological, sustainable and certified fibers, for all sizes and for all ages. If you want to know more about this brand, visit the dedicated page and read the interview with Valeria Cremisi, founder of the brand that told us the origins of its project. Finally, if you happen to be shopping in Parma, you can go directly to the physical store of the US Underwear Store, so as to avoid even issues related to the transport of orders made online!
We have proposed two gift ideas for him and for her, but even the little ones in winter spend a lot of time at home, which becomes their playground par excellence. For this reason, in our board, we also offer you some gift ideas for them: suits, pyjamas and sweatshirts perfect for playing at home or watching a cartoon with mom and dad.
One of our favourite sustainable gift ideas for little ones is the Snella t-shirt, because it has an irresistible print with so many little foxes that will undoubtedly win their hearts! In addition, for those who want to give a complete look, it is part of a line that also includes trousers, sweatshirt and hat. Made of organic cotton, also perfect for children with particularly sensitive skin, it has a very comfortable fit to allow them to move freely. And, even in this case, sustainability does not mean not looking at the price: this t-shirt has all the benefits of a sustainable garment, at a very little higher price than what we are used to finding in traditional shops in the city centre.
Sustainability that is truly all round: Snella is a brand that tries to make the entire life cycle of its products sustainable. This is reflected not only in the choice of materials, but also in the desire to offset all CO2 emissions and in the programme created for the recycling of used garments. As a specialized brand for children, in fact, Snella knows that its garments cannot be used for many consecutive years: also for this reason, the brand has created a program that allows you to return used garments obtaining a 30% discount on the next purchase. The used garments, depending on the conditions, are then resold in a special area of the online shop or recycled. A truly valuable idea, which has meant that we have automatically included this brand in our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts! If you want to know more about these and other facets of Snella, you can read the interview we did with Hannah Granström, CEO and founder.
What to give instead to those who, on the contrary, spend most of their days away from home, between office and post work appointments? For them we have thought of elegant but comfortable ideas, practical and perfect to wear on multiple occasions.
If you work partly or entirely on site, you will know how, to stay out of the house all day, perhaps going from the train to the office, from the race to the supermarket to the after-work aperitif, the bag or backpack that accompanies you is an irreplaceable ally.
Why not focus on this area for a gift to a colleague or friend who is about to embark on a new professional adventure?
Two of our favourite brands in this regard are Eve Cork and Regenesi: of both, within our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, we have selected some models to allow you to find the perfect gift for anyone you have in mind.
Eve Cork, as the name suggests, is a brand specialized in handbags and accessories made by hand from the bark of cork oak: sustainable and cruelty-free products, which enhance the beauty of a lightweight and resistant natural material.
The Bora model, is the most spacious that you will find inside our second board, perfect for those who always carry endless accessories. It can be worn over the shoulder or crossbody, thanks to the removable accessory, and is large enough to hold a 13” tablet or laptop. Perfect for the office, thanks to the numerous pockets you can always have keys, phone, sunglasses or any small accessory you are looking for! The ideal gift for the friend who goes to the office with public transport and must always carry a PC, book, agenda, umbrella and many other items!
The Keanna model, on the other hand, features an original design with a perforated black exterior to recreate an effect similar to lace. A little smaller in size, it is also perfect for the evening: the ideal choice for the colleague always on the move, who between office, restaurant and after dinner never finds the time to go from home to make an outfit change! Also in this case, the removable shoulder strap allows you to carry the bag in several modes: shoulder, hand or crossbody.
Finally, the Zoe model, is our favourite for the evening and for the most elegant occasions: a compact but comfortable bag that can be carried crossbody without sacrificing a glamorous look. With a magnetic closure and an external zip pocket, it is perfect for those who prefer to carry only the essentials and for days that end with a special evening out: the ideal gift idea for a friend who never comes home early!
Regenesi, on the other hand, is an Italian brand that was born with the intention of giving a second life to post-consumer goods. If Eve Cork enhances a material that nature gives us, Regenesi instead transforms raw materials already exploited into exclusive design objects. These are two paths that we at Sustainable Gate appreciate and love in the same way: a clean production with natural materials but little used by traditional fashion brands, and a production that is based on a circular economy, selecting exclusively small companies that take care of environmental processes and do not use toxic substances for the recovery of raw materials.
In our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts we have selected four perfect Regenesi accessories to take with you to work and on all your daily journeys.
The Re-Flag backpack is the perfect gift for all your friends who spend the whole day away from home and prefer the great practicality of a backpack to a bag. It is made with a fabric that derives from the recycling of plastic bottles, with a soft texture and pleasant to the touch. In melange grey colour, it can be combined with the polyester shoulder straps available in seven different colours, to find the perfect combination for anyone you have in mind! The shoulder straps also come from recycled materials, specifically from the warehouse of a fashion brand where they were destined for disposal. The backpack is available both neutral and printed with a maxi writing that indicates its origin and it says “I was 16 bottles”: you choose the most discreet alternative or the one that communicates your commitment to the environment, depending on the person to whom you will allocate this gift!
If you are looking for a more elegant gift idea, we offer you two. The Shorty Fruit Bag is handmade by Italian artisans starting from regenerated leather and tanned with natural substances, in a more complex process but also much more sustainable than the standard. Although it is not particularly large, it is extremely spacious and comfortable to carry with you throughout the day, thanks to its long handles and wide, very secure closure. The Midi Peonia model, on the other hand, is characterized by an incredible softness: it is a medium-sized bag, designed to be carried by hand with great comfort and made of soft velvet, made of 100% Reach CL 1 yarn obtained from the recycling of plastic bottles and polluting waste destined for landfills. It will be the perfect gift for the friend who wants to choose sustainable but elegant accessories.
And for the friend who loves traditional forms? The Fruit Bag model is a real must-have for Regenesi, which reinterprets and elevates the classic shopper to rank. Spacious and perfect for always carrying everything you need, thanks to the additional internal pocket, it is made of the same material as the Shorty Fruit Bag, which is in fact inspired by this iconic model. In short, the models of Regenesi are so varied (but all sustainable!) that you can surely find the special gift idea for anyone you have in mind!
Spending the whole day away from home definitely requires a practical bag or backpack to carry everything you need, but not only. For this reason, within the second board of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts you can also find many other proposals to choose from.
Do you have a friend or relative always on the move, who spends her days running from one meeting to another or who is always in danger of missing the last bus back home in the evening? Then the perfect gift will be practical sneakers, which are elegant and wearable even with less casual outfits. We suggest you two of Womsh, an Italian brand of sustainable shoes, which respect the planet and those who live on it. Womsh is committed on several fronts: it returns 1% of its turnover and 5% of its profits to various projects and initiatives; it participates in ImpattoZero, a Lifegate project aimed at protecting and creating new forests by offsetting the CO2 released into the atmosphere; it recycles soles to create pavements for playgrounds together with Esosport and collaborates with One Tree Planted to protect forest areas by planting 800 trees every year. In addition, Womsh works exclusively with selected materials: for example, the leather used for some shoe models only comes from waste from slaughter and EU countries, but plant-based alternatives such as Appleskin are also sought. This raw material is the basis of the two vegan models that we propose: it is a new and particular material, certified PETA Approved and made of 50% apple fibre and 50% polyurethane. The YNG model is truly special: not only vegan and made with sustainable materials, it is also designed to be unisex and genderless, thanks to an iconic and timeless look that never goes out of style, and thus helps to further reduce waste. The Hyper model, on the other hand, is specifically designed for a female target and combines a romantic interpretation of street style with a vintage reference to the 80s, also thanks to the 3 cm high sole. Two models very different from each other, but united by a great sustainability: perfect to find the right look alternative for anyone you have in mind.
In our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, are you looking for a perfect garment for an important woman in your life, such as a really special friend? In our second board you will find an outfit by Nicoletta Fasani composed of skirt and t-shirt. You can think of giving it as such, perhaps to someone who at the beginning of the new year will live an important day, such as the first day of work or a professional meeting of great importance. Or you can also choose only one of the two garments, for a gift that, we are sure, will still make the person who receives it very happy! Nicoletta Fasani is in fact an Italian brand specialising in women’s clothing, which places its creations halfway between design and craftsmanship: the brand’s garments are born from the study of simple geometric shapes and are transformable and modular by their nature. Sustainable materials are used, such as hemp, organic cotton and bamboo fiber, as well as silks from some factories in Como that are depositaries of the ancient tradition of Italian textile production and waste fabrics from large-scale production. The skirt that we have included in our outfit is slightly balloon-shaped, with side pockets: available in five colours and in three different fabrics, it will allow you to find the perfect combination for the person you are thinking about. The silk and viscose t-shirt, on the other hand, has a wide boat neck and the possibility of choosing between kimono or three-quarter sleeves. Together, they make up an elegant outfit but at the same time full of personality. If you are in Milan, go and look at the brand’s collection directly in the store: you will find many other ideas and you will avoid emissions related to the transport of garments by courier.
Our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts designed for people on the move and divided among the many daily commitments closes with a very special thought for a very important person in your life, such as your girlfriend or mom. Give them the perfect accessory to complete any outfit, from the very formal to the more casual! We suggest you the cuff bangle by Earth Heir, a brand specialising in collaboration with small artisans, especially in disadvantaged parts of the world, with the aim of supporting them and at the same time contributing to the preservation of a heritage of knowledge handed down from generation to generation. The artisans involved in the project are also trained in design, market logic and production techniques, to make their products competitive and maximize their quality. The bracelet we suggest is available in gold or silver, is adjustable in width and features a pattern in romantic spring colours, inspired by the rolling mountains of Myanmar to honour the heritage of Burmese refugees living in Malaysia. The production, in fact, involves a team of refugee women in Malaysia, who have transposed their memories into this jewel: this bracelet is part of the collection created with MADE51, a UNHCR initiative created to connect refugees with artisan skills to the global market. It will be the perfect gift for a special woman in your life.
The third board of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts is designed for all those who love to be outdoors: from the friend always ready to a walk with his dog, to the colleague who will spend the summer holidays in a tropical destination, to the uncle who loves to go to the mountains.
Within this selection you will therefore find many different garments and accessories, designed for men, women and children and for the pet that often accompany many of us on our outdoor adventures. Strictly sporty clothing, but also comfortable casual garments to move freely in nature, swimwear and warm clothing. No matter what your destination is, this board is the perfect inspiration for anyone who prefers the outdoors to the home walls or streets of the city!
So don’t be surprised if, even in the middle of winter, we offer you some gift ideas related to the sea: they could be the perfect starting point for the lucky friend who is planning a nice trip during the winter holidays, or for the brother who loves summer, so that he can store it and use it later. Thinking about these possible people on your gift list, here are two men’s swimwear from Arctic Seas, a Belgian brand of sustainable and ethically produced beachwear and swimwear. For its own production, Arctic Seas uses recycled and regenerated materials, such as Econyl® and materials derived from recycled plastic. All garments are designed to be particularly resistant, not only over time, but also to sea water, sunlight or chlorine: all inevitable elements when it comes to swimwear, which must not, however, make a garment last only one or two summers. In our board you will find two very different models, perfect to meet different tastes. For the friend who loves classic looks and solid colours, go on the safe with a classic total black swim short, made of recycled nylon and infinitely regenerable. It ensures a comfortable fit, thanks to the three pockets and the internal mesh lining made of recycled materials and seaqual, a special material deriving from the recycling of marine plastic waste.
If, on the other hand, the person you are thinking of, prefers more pleasant and ironic looks, then choose the swimwear decorated with a pattern that recalls the plastic waste dispersed in the sea: a pleasant look that nevertheless carries an important message. With a slightly longer leg than the total black model, it has the same strengths linked to the fit and is also made of recycled materials and seaquel. So, while choosing between two very different styles, you are sure to make a sustainable gift from every point of view. We have tried and tested the swimwear of Arctic Seas first hand: to learn more read our dedicated review and get to know more about the brand’s value by reading the interview we did with Franky Claeys, founder and designer of the brand.
What about the other way around? What to give someone who loves winter and doesn’t let the colder climates stop his/her desire to make long walks in the open air? If by reading this description you have thought of a friend or relative, we suggest you the fantastic ankle boots by Womsh. We’ve already talked about this Italian brand before, in relation to the perfect sneakers to complete the city looks. Now we suggest you a pair of shoes perfect even for more intense walks, for example in the woods or in the mountains. These boots are also vegan, because they are made of Appleskin, without sacrificing waterproofing characteristics that make them suitable for winter and rainy days. The comfortable upper in fabric then ensures maximum comfort both in the fit and when walking. We are sure that these boots will become the inseparable adventure companion of the lucky lady who will receive them as a gift.
How to take everything you may need with you on an outdoor outing? Also in this section of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, we suggest you again some practical bags, perfect for your friend who loves to walk and go out. Let’s start with a really spacious model, perfect for a weekend away where you can travel light: the perfect gift for a friend who can’t resist discovering a new destination at every possible opportunity. The Duffle model by Regenesi, a brand that we have already presented before, is made with a fabric deriving from the recycling of plastic bottles: a characteristic that can also be highlighted in this case by opting for the model with the maxi writing “I was 30 bottles”. The polyester ribbons, of a beautiful bright red colour, are instead recovered from the warehouse of a fashion brand where they would otherwise have been disposed of.
Again from Regenesi, we also suggest two smaller models, perfect for a walk in the open air without giving up a touch of elegance: they are the perfect choice, for example, for the colleague who never gives up a walk in the park during lunch break. The Flap model is in beautiful sage colour that recalls the tones of nature, and can be worn both by hand and on the shoulder. The Saddle model, on the other hand, is in a beautiful dark blue: with a portability very similar to the Flap model, it allows you to choose according to the tastes of the person you want to give this gift to. Finally, both models are made of a soft velvet, made of 100% Reach CL 1 yarn obtained from the recycling of plastic bottles and polluting waste destined for landfills.
Always thinking about bags, we suggest you a model of Eve Cork, a brand specialized in cork processing that we have already presented previously. Perfect for those who prefer crossbody bags, Riley is the ideal bag for those who, with them, carry the essentials and prefer not to weigh themselves down. This bag is really designed for practicality, also thanks to the two external pockets with zip closure that allow you to always have everything you need at hand: the perfect gift for the friend who wants to move freely during her outdoor adventures!
In our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts, you could not miss the idea for those children who… love to make children! We’re thinking about your friend’s son or cousin who loves to be on the move, play in the park and run freely outdoors. For them we thought of Babbily’s trousers, which will make not only the young receiver very happy, but also his parents! These trousers, in fact, have reinforced knees to play freely without fear of damaging what you wear. In addition, thanks to the adjustable length and waist, they can be used much longer than a standard model: an excellent solution to reduce waste in a sector such as children’s clothing that by its nature does not include exploitable garments for many consecutive years. This is the core business of Babbily: clothes for children always on the move, made to last, an element that Elena Miroshnichenko, founder of the brand, also told us about in the interview she gave us. Not only that, however: the trousers that we propose, in fact, are also made with sustainable materials, such as GOTS certified organic cotton. The perfect present for the kids on your gift list!
Finally, we want to close our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts with a little thought for your pet. Recently, we have in fact implemented on our website a new section dedicated to sustainable accessories for our four-legged friends. Thinking about friends who love to be outdoors, almost certainly at least one of them has a dog with whom she/he shares his walks. Well, then, the gift to your friend might actually be a gift to her/his dog. Or, if you share your home with a pet, you might want to give it a special thought this Christmas.
We suggest the Smug Mutts toy, perfect for having fun together outdoors. 100% plastic free, this interactive toy, also perfect for chewing on, is made of hemp and beech wood. These materials, in addition to being resistant and biodegradable, are also safe for dogs: hemp acts as a “natural toothbrush” for your four-legged friend and is not dangerous if accidentally few filaments are ingested. Beech wood is not treated with chemicals and is also a resistant and safe material, in fact it is also widely used in children’s teething toys. Available in three sizes for dogs of all sizes, this toy is sure to please your dog or the friend who receives it for its pet!
Thanks to the advices of our guide to sustainable Christmas gifts we are sure that you will find a really useful gift for everyone on your list. In addition, as every year, Christmas will also become an opportunity to share with those you love your love for the planet and a new idea of fashion that can be friendly to the environment and do good to those who work in this sector.
Not only, therefore, a way to find gift ideas for those who already share these important values, but also an opportunity to demonstrate that sustainable can be synonymous with beautiful, comfortable, elegant and practical!
This year, you can also choose to give a gift directly to the fashion system, and to all the people who work inside. How?
Signing the Good Clothes Fair Pay, campaign, an initiative aimed at EU citizens to demand a law that guarantees a decent salary to all those working in the fashion, footwear and textile sectors. A gesture that takes you a few minutes, but that could really change the lives of many people!