7 lovely sustainable gifts for the special people in your life

Turns out you can be thoughtful and sustainable when it comes to treating loved ones

(Image credit: Getty)

As consumers, we hold power in where and how we spend our money. If you’re passionate about the environment, you might want to wield this power in as many of your buying decisions as possible – and extend it to the things you buy for other people, too.

Thanks to the ever-growing number of independent eco-friendly brands, there’s no shortage when it comes to lovely sustainable gifts. From thoughtfully chosen pieces of jewellery made from reused metals and presented in recyclable packaging, to gin distilleries which are run entirely by renewable energy, producing world-class botanical blends in beautiful reduced-glass bottles, there’s plenty of present ideas to choose from. 

Below you’ll find seven sustainable gift ideas, accompanied with our tried and tested suggestions of the coolest eco-friendly brands to check out. 

Boujie Candle

(Image credit: Boujie)

1. Candle 

The moment you receive a quality scented candle and feel genuinely grateful is when you’ve graduated to adulthood. In your younger years, this may have felt like a ‘nothing’ gift, but once you’ve settled into a pad that you’re inspired to make feel like home (this applies to fellow renters, too!), a beautifully-packaged candle is just the touch of atmosphere you’ve been looking for to get that hygge feeling. 

But any old, chemical-filled candle simply won’t do these days. And, with so many independent, women-led, sustainable brands out there, why would it? The big tick boxes when shopping for a sustainable candle are choosing soy wax over paraffin because it’s non-toxic and made from renewable vegetable-based materials, which means it’s better for your health and the environment. 

Recyclable packing is also a must – it goes without saying that brands who are plastic-free are high up on our list. We also have a lot of time for businesses that are passionate about innovating unusual, creative methods of sustainability such as Selfmade Candles. This London-based brand has created seed labels which can be planted in the glass candle jar after it’s been used. They even provide the soil. Pretty cool, huh? Selfmade have seven candles in their collection, we particularly like the Boujie Candle, which smells like a Spanish orchard.

Eve Keel chakra

(Image credit: Eve Keel)

2. Chakra cleanser 

Burnout was the big buzzword of last year. It felt like every 20-something woman we knew was juggling a side hustle alongside building a career, maintaining a social life, managing her money and finding time to travel, date, exercise – and that’s just the start. So, it’s no wonder that self-care has become such an integral part of our routines.

If you’ve got a friend who could do with a little self-care, a scented chakra roller is a thoughtful and practical gift. Eve & Keel’s joy: heart chakra roller contains a balancing blend of essential oils and crystals to encourage open, joyful energy. Roll the delicate mix of rose geranium, Melissa oil and bergamot on the wrists and follow this independent, female-founded brand’s advice on how to de-stress and practise visualisation. 

We like Eve & Keel for its commitment to recyclable packaging and that it uses organic ingredients which promote soil sustainability and bee survival. Plus, the brand’s philosophy is all about empowering yourself to achieve your dreams, which is a message we can get on board with.

Aerende Product

Aerende's rustic pitcher

(Image credit: www.emmaandkiri.com)

3. Ceramics

If you’ve seen the tablescaping trend that’s all over Instagram, you’ll know that handmade ceramics are the purchase du jour. Best when created on a small scale by an independent ceramics artist (of which social media, joyfully, has many), we’re craving deliciously uneven bowls, one-of-a-kind plates and unusual vases that we can decorate our homes with.

When shopping for a friend, you can’t go wrong with an earthy but minimalist trinket dish, for which afton / by palm’s work is perfect. Try the line art-decorated small terracotta clay plate for a stylish place to keep keys, change, jewellery or nothing at all.

We’re also big fans of Aerende’s conscious crockery collection which spans a rustic pitcher half dipped in an olive black glaze and neutral, stoneware side plates.

KIND - Hidden Orbit Ring Gold

(Image credit: KIND)

4. Jewellery

For a milestone birthday, a thoughtfully chosen piece of sustainable jewellery is a beautiful gesture. There are loads of brands to choose from, so whether you’d peg you loved one’s style as minimalist, feminine or quirky, shopping sustainably shouldn’t restrict you. 

Both Kind Jewellery and Milly Grace Jewellery are great places to look if she’s into the trend of layering delicate pieces of gold jewellery. Kind Jewellery’s Gold Demi Orbit Ring is exquisitely delicate and would look elegant stacked with other rings, while Milly Grace’s Orbit Layered Choker features two dainty chains punctuated with tiny gold-plated balls, presented in recyclable packaging.

Yala Jewellery uses eco-friendly materials like zero waste brass to create earthy, organic pieces using ethical methods. Founder Audrey Migot-Adholla works with communities in Kenya to receive fair wages, safe and healthy work environments, and are celebrated for their talent. We particularly like The Kisian Ring, which has jet black horn inlays.

Petra longline bra

(Image credit: Petra)

5. Lingerie

For us, lingerie must be four things: comfortable, high quality, sustainable and beautiful. In a world of fast fashion, it can be all too easy to grab a pack of pants for a discounted price. But even though underwear isn’t on show for everyone to see, slipping on something nice just for ourselves can make a difference to the start of the day.

This is where we come in, with a list of brilliant, eco-friendly brands who all happily adhere to our checklist. Les boys les girls has a range of simple, feminine underwear (we particularly like the smooth longline soft bra in lilac) and the brand ships by road and sea, not air, to reduce its carbon footprint, avoids extra labels and uses biodegradable and recyclable packaging. 

If you’re seeking something more flamboyant, Studio Pia is an independent brand which specialises in luxury lingerie inspired by couture – it even has a ‘show stopper’ section. The Petra longline bra is crafted from cruelty-free, organic, stretch silk satin in periwinkle blue.


(Image credit: Cooper King)

6. Gin

Thanks to the gin revival, handing over a bottle as a birthday present is now as acceptable as bringing bubbly. But, of course, this depends on the brand and blend chosen. 

Gin is becoming more sustainable with an increase in both eco-focused independent brands and larger makers putting their efforts into sustainable batches. 

Cooper King Distillery specialises in sustainable spirits and is completely powered by green energy. Its founders are passionate about preserving the earth and have teamed up with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to plant one square metre of woodland for every gin bottle sold. They also offer gin refills, plastic-free packaging, source raw materials locally and save as much water and energy while manufacturing as possible. We like their Herb Gin which balances basil, lemongrass and clove.