I’m not great at gift-giving, I’ll admit. Growing up (and still…) my mother required everyone to tell her exactly what we wanted and she’d buy it for us for birthdays, holidays, etc, so I got used to the idea of asking and buying. I think now though, I prefer a more nuanced version of gift giving; I like to give things that the recipient probably would never buy for her/himself either because they just don’t know about it, it may be too expensive (or at lest something they’d not spend their OWN money on), or they just feel like it’s too frivolous. I also tend to choose gifts or suggest gifts based on what I own and love and think others will too. Enter this year’s gift guide.
I personally own or would love to own any of these items. They’re also mostly sustainable, either because they’re made from eco-friendly fibers (Scarf Shop organic cotton scarf), they’re made by smaller, independent designers local to the US/Canada (Janessa Leone), or the design/manufacturing process altogether is more thoughtful and sustainable in purpose (BAGGU).
1- Vontrueba Nordic 2 print | $52 at Garmentory (use my link to add a $20 credit to your acct)
I LOVE all of Vontrueba’s prints right now, especially since I’m trying to add a little something to my office walls. The artist is a Spanish architect living in London and works on several platforms.
2- matt & nat bag vegan pouch/crossbody bag | 25% off at Zady with GRECHEN
I have this bag and I use it mostly for traveling to use at my destination so I don’t have to carry my big tote with me everywhere (it packs nice and flat). It’s equally great as a clutch and as a crossbody bag. It would make a wonderful gift for someone who’s not sure they can “do” faux leather; it doesn’t look like it’s not leather, and is lined with 100% recycled plastic bottles.
3 – janessa leone slate hat | $166 at Aro after GRECHEN15 code for 15% off
This is the darker version of my Janessa Leone Sylver hat that I love so much. Janessa’s hats are handmade in small batches in Los Angeles. Perfect for a hat-lover who wouldn’t necessarily splurge on herself…
4 – scarf shop organic cotton scarf | $75 at Garmentory – also available in more colors at scarf shop
I have the wool cloud scarf from scarf shop but for warmer weather I’m thinking of getting one of these organic cotton ones. The colors are beautiful, and the scarf is long/wide enough to use as a blanket on the plane if you need to (and I absolutely did…). My favorite gift idea – such a beautiful, thoughtful gift in my opinion.
5- J Hannah pinky signet ring | $138 after GRECHEN for 25% Off at Zady
This is such a beautiful, heirloom quality simple silver ring – I’d give this to a teenager, or any woman, really, as a very special piece of jewelry. Made in LA.
6- Midori brass ballpoint pen | $20 after 25% off at Zady with code GRECHEN
I’m a HUGE pen fan but I don’t buy them for myself – they seem a little spendy for me. But that doesn’t stop me from loving interesting pens, especially this little brass one, that is handcrafted in Japan.
7- wrap it all in a baggu bag | $12 at Baggu
I give Baggu bags as gifts all the time, and if that’s all you can give, it’s still good…they fold up into tiny little packages and are the perfect size for keeping in your purse (I always have a large and a small one with me) for groceries or Sephora trips. They also make great wrapping “paper.”
8- Lindsay Hampton mug | $32 at Need Supply
I bought myself a Lindsay Hampton mug with some referral credits at Garmentory and it’s my favorite thing; I use it everyday all day long, just washing it gently with soap and water every night. It’s large and relatively heavy, which only makes it more amazing. I love that I drink my favorite beverages (coffee and peppermint tea) in a mug that was so lovingly made in Canada. Know someone who loves coffee or tea, but would never “splurge” on a mug for herself? Perfect gift!!
9- Osei-Duro cushion covers | $110 at Garmentory
Another thing I have a hard time buying for myself, but would love to have; unique cushion covers for the sleeper sofa in my office. These are exclusive to Garmentory by Osei-Duro Founders Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh, who work with local garment workers and artisans in Ghana to create their collections, applying traditional techniques to each piece.
10- Ceramic french press | $150 at Rodale’s (15% off orders over $150)
I have a wonderful large french press I make my coffee in everyday (it’s part of my beloved morning ritual) and I swear the beauty of it makes it that much more enjoyable. This ceramic french press was designed in San Francisco and manufactured in partnership with a Fair Trade ceramics house in an ancient village near Hanoi, Vietnam, and is gorgeous, to boot. Excellent gift for a coffee lover…
More sustainable (mostly) holiday gifts, and be sure to use code GRECHEN at Zady for 25% off your order (not valid on sale items) through this Sunday (12/13).
What are your thoughts on gifts? What do you like to receive? Give?