The best eco-friendly gifts to buy and make!
Need some eco-friendly gift inspiration? Look no further. Here’s our collection of the best sustainable presents to make and buy.
Giving gifts is an act of kindness and care, so why not extend this love to our planet? 2023 is the year of eco-friendly gifts and there’s a huge array of beautiful options on the market.
From beauty to homewares, there’s a sustainable alternative for all your present ideas and we’re here to prove it to you! We’ve collected six wonderful sustainable gift ideas to help you make more eco-conscious choices.
We’ve also gathered six eco-friendly gift ideas to make since we all know the most planet-friendly option is to repurpose, recycle and upcycle. There’s projects for complete beginners and patterns to help you make a truly one-of-a-kind present.
Get ready, it’s time to shop for some eco-friendly gifts!
6 eco-friendly gifts to buy this Christmas
1. Seed paper calendars
The gift of planting seeds is a beautiful one. The invention of seed paper has combined practicality with planting. Opposed to the typical seed bombs, you can find lots of seed paper stationery on the market and they all make great eco-friendly gifts.
You’ll be doing two things at once with this seed paper calendar – organising and planting! This clever calendar is by Little Green Paper Shop and is helping to spread wildflowers one month at a time. As soon as the month is done, head outside, bury the paper and wait for flowers to bloom!
- Buy your seed calendar from Not on the High Street
2. Sustainable homeware
Is there anything better than receiving new, handmade homewares? We think not. Combined with sustainable practices, homewares make brilliant eco-friendly gifts that can be treasured for years to come.
LIGA’s eco-friendly coffee mugs are a fab example of this. Their gorgeous two-piece set not only looks amazing but is sustainably made from organic cork and earthenware ceramic. They’re the perfect gift to unwrap on Christmas morning and can accompany your loved ones on their Boxing Day walk!
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- Buy your coffee mug set from Not on the High Street
3. Eco-friendly socks
It isn’t Christmas if you don’t receive a pair of socks! Sustainably bought clothing and accessories make cosy and comfy gifts. They help curb the fast fashion trend and many, like these socks, give back to the community too.
These organically-grown bamboo socks are created by a wonderful brand named Thriving Earth. For every pair of socks sold, £1 is donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. They’re vegan-friendly, donate to an important cause and look pretty cool too. What more could you want?
- Buy your bamboo socks from Etsy
4. Unique handmade pieces
Buying eco-friendly gifts often have more perks than you realise. A lot of sustainable Christmas gifts are made by small businesses that put the environment at the heart of their business.
Badger and Birch are a fantastic example of this. They’re an independent business specialising in personalised, eco-friendly gifts. Their wine cooler is made from eco-resin and uses crushed, recycled mussel shells to create a unique pattern. You can have your loved one’s name or an important date stamped onto the front making it an ideal wedding, birthday or anniversary gift.
- Buy your handmade wine cooler from Not on the High Street
5. Fun glassware
Glass is one of the most sustainable materials and can be reused endlessly unlike plastic. Unique glassware is always a welcome addition to any home and these cool glass straws are no exception.
Designed by Luna Creates, these abstract glass straws can be bought singularly, as a pair, or as a trio. There’s six different straws in various colourways to choose from. They not only look impressive but they’ll help ban plastic straws (and even paper straws as these can’t be reused) from your loved ones kitchen!
Wrap them up with some handmade wrapping paper, finish with a DIY Christmas card and you’ve got a funky sustainable Christmas gift.
- Buy your colourful glass straws from Etsy
6. Plant power!
Flowers are a much-appreciated gift and although we love them as much as the next person, they’re not very eco-friendly. The mass production of flowers coupled with the fact they’re thrown away after a few days makes them bad for the planet and bad for your bank balance!
Instead, opt for plants. They’ll live forever (if taken care of properly) and will bring an abundance of blooming joy every year. If you don’t trust your loved one with looking after a plant then air plants are a great alternative.
This elegant terrarium by The Best Room contains a collection of pretty air plants. They need very little attention (the occasional spritz of water), but make a statement in any room.
- Buy your air plant terrarium from Not on the High Street
6 sustainable Christmas gift ideas
1. Reusable beauty products
One of the easiest sustainable present swaps is beauty and skin care. High street beauty products use tons of plastic, often contain chemicals and many still test on animals. Choose the eco-friendly route and learn how to make your own products.
Many everyday products can easily be recreated. We show you how to make your very own natural lip balm and DIY cuticle oil here on Gathered. Both make handy stocking fillers!
You could accompany these DIY beauty products with some reusable makeup remover pads. Our crochet makeup remover pads pattern is easy to follow and a whole bunch can be whipped up in just a few hours.
Pop them all neatly inside our DIY makeup bag and you’ve got a handmade, cruelty-free gift!
Looking for more planet-friendly projects?
Make this Christmas the most sustainable one yet with our collection of eco-friendly Christmas crafts. There’s more sustainable Christmas gift ideas, decor swaps and even some upcycling projects.
2. Handmade, practical gifts
One of the best presents you can buy is something practical. Thousands of presents end up in landfill every year so give gifts your loved one can use in their everyday life.
We show you how to make beeswax wraps and how to knit your own reusable dishcloth here on Gathered. Both eliminate the need for wasteful kitchen products and can be personalised (use their favourite colours or prints when making).
Gift them as a little duo and include a note on how to use them. Use our how to do Furoshiki wrapping tutorial to wrap them sustainably and ta-dah! Your very own useful, eco-friendly gift set.
3. Make some personalised clothing
Handmade clothing is good for the mind, body, soul and planet! Not only do homemade clothes fit better, feel more comfortable and are completely customisable but they say no to fast fashion and overconsumption.
We guarantee if you take the time to make your loved one their own piece of clothing they will treasure it with all their heart.
You could crochet them a jumper for Christmas (why not use our chunky red jumper crochet pattern?). Or you could sew them a fun easy tulle skirt for their birthday. We have endless crochet, knitting, sewing patterns here on Gathered so you can create something extra special.
4. Sew a new best pal
Everyone remembers that one special toy they had as a kid. The one that followed them through childhood and became their best friend! Instead of buying plastic kids' toys which often end up broken and in landfill, sew them their own keepsake teddy.
We have some extra adorable toy patterns here on Gathered including our knitted teddy bear pattern and our penguin sewing pattern. Pop your finished cuddly toy in their stocking and watch their little face light up.
5. Make the home smell delicious
Candles, wax melts, and oils all make the home smell gorgeous. They make fantastic presents for friends, family, and colleagues. They’re really easy to make too!
Learn how to make candles at home, how to make wax melts and how to make lavender oil here on Gathered. Use soy wax, old glass jars and natural scents to make them extra eco-friendly.
You can customise the fragrances to suit your loved ones. Cinnamon, fresh lavender, rosemary – there’s plenty of household spices and herbs which make wonderful scents.
Wrap your handmade gifts in some eco-friendly gift wrap and leave under the tree!
6. Upcycled gifts
Upcycling is the perfect way of breathing life into old items. It’s cost-effective, can create truly unique pieces and will save old items from going to landfill. Repurposing is the best!
We have a huge array of upcycling projects here on Gathered. We show you how to turn old books into vintage bookmarks, tea cups into upcycled bird feeders, and maps into fun eco-friendly gifts.
Give the gift of green this year
Whether it’s a birthday surprise or Christmas present, eco-friendly gifts are the best way of giving and spreading joy. They’re good for the planet and will spread the sustainable message to all your loved ones.
It doesn't matter if you buy or make your gifts, the most important thing is you’re making the eco-conscious choice one present at a time. Sustainable swaps are the future of gift-giving!
Make more sustainable swaps with Gathered
You’ve given your pals their eco-friendly gifts now it’s time to green up your own home! Here’s seven easy DIY eco-friendly products you can incorporate into your everyday routine.
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.
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