The holiday spirit has a knack for bringing out the giver in all of us. For some, it manifests in the desire to bake for loved ones. Others are urged to help elderly neighbors with their yard work – it’s a time of year for selflessness and sacrifice. One form of goodwill is especially prevalent during the holidays: gift giving!
While many of us were raised on the department store method, millennial consumers are much more conscious of where their gifts are coming from. More and more, today’s shoppers are avoiding fast fashion and animal testing by trusting ethical brands.
When you shop for specifically vegan gifts, you’re sure to find something that’s cruelty-free and kinder to the planet. Since finding the perfect gift for a loved one can be a daunting task as it is, we’ve come up with a helpful guide for creating a thoughtful, compassionate gifting experience.
The Gift of Clean Beauty
One of the best gifts you can give a loved one is the gift of self-care. High-quality skin care products made with gentle, nourishing, vegan ingredients are the perfect fit. When choosing the right product for the one on your list, keep in mind that your special someone may have special requirements for their skin.
For instance, maybe they’ve expressed the desire to clear their skin and pores. For this, we recommend Puristry’s Perfect Pores gift set that features a vegan cleanser and toner. The Nopal Cactus Cleanser uses cactus to cleanse and purify and nourish the skin, and the Flower Water Toner employs botanical extracts like rose water and lavender to soothe and soften the skin.
Meanwhile, friends and family members who regularly undergo a lot of stress may want a boost of antioxidants to the skin. This makes the Glow Getter Duo perfect for them, which features Vine Therapy Serum and Restorative Facial Oil. Together, these products protect your skin from the free radicals that are often caused by stress, and promote firmer, softer skin.
If someone you know experiences sensitive, dry skin (especially during cold weather), the Seaberry Moisturizer is an excellent choice. This best-selling formula uses nourishing shea butter and sea buckthorn, which work together to nourish the skin and fight off the causes of aging.
If vegans and plant-lovers were placed in a venn diagram, it would be a circle. Houseplants are a wonderful way to brighten up a home; they look great, provide extra oxygen, purify the air, and even uplift your mood!
The best part about houseplants is that you can give them to anyone. Thanks to an endless variety of species, colors, shapes, and sizes, plants are easily the most customizable gift without going down the DIY path. Plant lovers are always willing to have one more green little friend!
Even the friend who insists that they don’t have a green thumb might just need that first successful plant that doesn’t die in the first two weeks. For the latter kind of friend, definitely stick with a sturdy plant, like a ZZ plant, pothos, or rubber plant.
You can find potted plants in a variety of places, including local nurseries, curated plant boutiques, and the gardening section at home improvement stores. If you simply don’t have access to a storefront, plants are becoming widely available on the internet. Plants are sold anywhere from popular sites like Etsy and Amazon, to boutique sites like The Sill.
Note that ordering plants online can get expensive, and the plants are usually delivered bare-root (leaving them vulnerable for a period of time). That being said, buying plants online is really only recommended if it’s a plant that you simply can’t find in your area, or if you’re seeking a rare species for a giftee who is an avid plant collector.
If the task of finding a truly ethical brand is too exhausting or expensive, making your own gift is a guaranteed method for ensuring you gift family and friends with vegan, cruelty-free goodies. Plus, it’s usually more affordable!
Plant-Based Sugar Scrub
Our top pick for friends who love homemade clean beauty products. If you only possess the basic kitchen, sugar scrubs are by far the easiest things to make. Plus, they’re great exfoliants for the dry weather!
To make a basic scrub, simply start with three parts sugar and one part carrier oil. You can use any kind of sugar, though organic sugars like raw turbinado are recommended. As for oil, coconut, jojoba, and rosehip oils are especially nourishing. You can even add essential oils for a fragrant effect, like lavender, eucalyptus, or lemongrass.
Vegan Cookie Recipe in a Jar
Who doesn’t love a fresh batch of holiday cookies? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your plant-based friends can only eat the treats they make themselves during this time of year, since most of the goodies at the holiday parties are full of eggs and dairy.
Let them know that you’re thinking of them with a vegan cookie recipe in a jar! Filling a mason jar with pre-measured dry ingredients will knock out most of the steps for them, and make being vegan a little easier. Tie it off with a burlap ribbon for a rustic homemade touch.
Vegan No-Bees-Wax Wraps
If you know someone who is trying to reduce their use of disposable plastic goods, they can replace their seran wrap with beeswax cloth! This innovative and earth-friendly household cloth sticks to containers just as well as plastic wrap, and is fully reusable.
But if your giftee is vegan, they probably won’t want a product containing beeswax – luckily, we have a recipe to make your own bee-free formula:
0.75 oz. sustainably sourced pine resin
0.5 oz. organic carnauba wax
1 Tbsp. organic jojoba oil
Combine the ingredients in a double-boiler or heat-proof bowl in a saucepan. Next, brush the melted mixture onto a clean square of cotton, laid out on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake the fabric at 300 degrees fahrenheit for 2 minutes. Leave the tray out to cool and dry for an hour. These cloths are suitable for covering leftovers, and wrapping up snacks to take on the go!
Volunteer with Them at Their Favorite Charity
Giving a present to someone you care for is always fun – but giving a gift to someone else together is also a great way to celebrate your relationship while donating your time to a greater cause.
This is a particularly special gift for a friend who is passionate about a cause, whether it’s animal rights, forest conservation, or oceanic wildlife. Setting up plans to volunteer with your friend for a charity that matters to her says that you recognize the things that matter most to her, and that you seriously support it. If you live near a beach, for instance, you can join a local organization that focuses on cleaning up the trash that can harm sea creatures. Make a morning of it by bundling up and grabbing coffee, before heading out for an early morning stroll with your local beach or river cleanup team.
You can also check your area for family-owned farms. Smaller farms are among the few sectors of the animal industry that use ethical practices; some even work as sanctuaries for rescued animals! You can show them you appreciate them by offering your help as a volunteer worker. Another idea for animal lovers is adopting a pet for a day at your local Humane Society, or offering your services at the facility.
No matter which vegan gifts you choose to give this year, one thing’s for certain: the benefits of your gift go far beyond material. Read more on cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle tips on our blog!