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What we’re gifting. The Lagom 2021 holiday gift guide.

Photography by
Words by Tracey Creed and Amandine Paniagua

Published December 19 2021

These holidays, where we might wish to show appreciation through considered gifts, things that we know will be used, are of a need, we find great pleasure in surprising those who are near and dear to us. When it comes to gift-giving, we adhere to the one-for-you-one-for-me approach, an endorsement of sorts. A genuine demonstration of the high esteem in which you hold the recipient. Gift what you wish to receive. Your selected present should be so good, you had to have one too.

So after closing many tabs, hours spent searching gifts for others, and admiringly newer purchases of our own, to save you the time we have compiled a list. Like last year, it’s a curation from brands who believe there’s power in championing integrity, quality, form and functionality, items that are enduring and ideas that seek to create an impact for others, our environment and ecosystems beyond the holidays.

You can view the 2020 guide here.

Rinse and repeat. Normalise second-hand gifting

With online shopping reigning supreme, scouring for thrift finds is still a viable option — given the time, commitment and perhaps an enthusiasm for eBay filters, you will find one-of-a-kind items — that today, the only way to acquire them is through the secondary market. That and the Internet holds no shortage of upcycled curators who have already done the work for you. I would highly recommend, in addition to online stores and Instagram accounts — browse Etsy. You can view our Etsy home objects list here.


Facial gua sha This one has been covered a lot on the Internet recently, and if I am being honest, I had not been focused on this Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of my routine. My housemate Eden, who has beautiful skin, sold the practice to me, which is why I was excited to discover Oli Oli. Gift the Sculpting Tool, Cactus Face, or opt for the duo. I'm 100 per cent positive that anyone would be honoured to add this to their daily ritual.

Underlena Bruxta Body Warmth Kit Thoughtful and intentional, the Bruxta Body Warmth Kit is a loving gift pairing the Body Oil of Summer, Scents of Wild Jasmine and Lubrication of Water with the Underlena knicker bag, a seasonal exclusive made in Wellington, Pōneke by ethical manufacturer Nisa. Consider gifting yourself.

Facial washcloths My favourite beauty secret to share is a stack of washcloths to pat skin dry after each face washing. You’ll have slightly more laundry to fold, but good clean skin is priceless. Personal favourites include Baina and Otto Loom.

Aesop Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol For that friend who requires a pick-me-up throughout the day. In Ayurveda, the rose is used to balance all three Doshas and the heart, and a mist instantly revives and rejuvenates the skin. Ideal for long hot days, coordinate with a 4 p.m. caffeine fix. Anything Aesop, however, would suffice for those you care for.

Bar soap A bath house staple reimagined. These bars bring the herbal botanicals straight to your shower sans the packaging. Wonder Valley Two Desserts Soap or the Hinoki Bar, anything Sphaera and Binu Binu. Curionoir is one of my personal favourites. Their Hard Soaps are infused with one of four different Curiornoir parfums.

Foile Angel Eye Jellies As we approach the end of the year, this might require more social commitments and tighter work deadlines, and you might look tired. Or your eyes might. Mine are. So, finally, after buying my Foile Angel Eye Jellies earlier this year, I am using them. I pair mine with their Skin Sponge Serum, which contains cucumber oil. Help someone feel not tired.

Gloria scrunchie Hair accessories that are both beautiful and functional. These scrunchies are made in New Zealand from archival fabrics—Gloria is a new project by New Zealand artist and designer Kristine Crabb.

Lip balm The key step to getting your best lips ever is an ultra-nourishing clean balm. Ideal for Secret Santa and stocking stuffers, a balm. Everyone needs one. Our favourites are all here.

Moro Darbon A partnership between London-based designers Austin Moro and Eliza Dabron, Moro Dabron blurs interiors and gardens, and their waxed fragrances are now available as a discovery set. Simon James is retailing the brand here in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The latest offering from Curionoir A serious gift. And one I would love to receive. The latest offering from Curionoir, Moon Moss.

Grounding down at home

Future heirlooms Sarah Espeute’s brand Œuvres Sensibles, is the artists' form of visual communication. Independent Marseille artists are tasked with creating minimalist embroidery works on antique and ecological fabrics that are human and Mother Earth respecting—a future purchase. Budget dependent, start with the napkins.

Bodha Their latest offering, Moon Vibration Perfume Oil—described as smoke and wood, reflective and meditative is calling me. Bodha incense has been on my list for some time; however, I only recently discovered the brand now offers international shipping.

LOEWE Tomato Leaves incense I bought these on a whim the other week and have no regrets. Anything from their home range would be wonderful to gift or receive.

Francie. socks A new favourite in my sock drawer. Francie. socks are a beautiful merino and possum blend, sustainably knitted in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

SUTRAM In many ways, this was a suggestion from Instagram. SUTRAM bedding could be the gift of a good rest. Their bedding is GOTS-certified, Fair Trade certified cotton with a 300 thread count—a modern colour palette, breathable and crisp.

Anything Fourth Street Located in Auckland and Sydney, this online store is filled with things you’ve been looking for but are yet to find. One I’d recommend if you are searching for that person who has everything. Fourth Street’s enviable wares didn’t end with the egg sculpture.

Cold Picnic These bath mats.

For the fermenters! Benoit, Amandine’s partner, loves fermenting, so for his birthday, we collectively offered him the ultimate fermenting crock, a beautiful, hand-thrown ceramic piece by the super-talented Ella Rose Shnapp. For those who are serious about food, their gut health and aesthetics and appreciate functional objects, consider this crock.

Moon Lists Journaling, if that is a daily ritual you know a friend engages in, or might consider, then this workbook allows you to document your days thoughtfully.

Noa Blanket Co. I love wool throws because, beyond adding interest to a space and immense comfort, they are easier to launder than my duvet or sofa cushions. Wool is also anti-microbial. While searching for another, I discovered Noa Blanket Co. a beautiful business offering blankets crafted from 100% pure wool sourced from various farms and regions, drawing on Māori design. All blankets are either limited edition or made-to-order, working with a small mill in Te Whanganui a Tara, Wellington and their Toitū Envirocare Mark accredited manufacturer in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.

Gumboots Amandine’s partner Benoit asked for a pair of gumboots to work at ease in the garden, so I thought I would share the results of my investigation. Two options adapted to your wallet possibilities. Made in New Zealand, the Bata Industrial are sturdy and practical, or the Muck Boot, breathable and built to last, made abroad. And both are gender-neutral.

Seeds for the garden For those who managed to have a plot of land, or soil in a pot, seeds are the gift of abundance. We source ours from Koanga Institute and Kings Seeds. Check your local reseller. Try to opt for those who promote plant diversity and heirloom varieties.

Uplift and empower

Here’s to abundance, prosperity and limitless gifting for all, including those you are giving the money to educate you, nourish you or inspire you.

Subscription to an interesting newsletter There are talented writers worldwide, sharing their passion topic and yet not employed by mainstream media. God bless there are newsletters from them to express their talents, and us to put our money towards something of value, improving our brain and their livelihood. If you are willing to broaden and challenge your views on the food industry, consumption and capitalism, my suggestion is Alicia Kennedy’s newsletter—$30 per year to support her.

A volume of Atmos magazine (or several!) We discovered Atmos through Instagram. Expect in-depth stories put together by an eclectic group of adventurers, creatives and journalists, exploring climate and culture, the keys to project into a more sustainable future. There are so many incredible independent publishers to support platforming essential conversations, some of our favourites include It’s Freezing in LA, and Lux Magazine.

Local blooms Either a one-off offering or on repeat for the year ahead, you can and should buy others (and yourself) flowers. Occasionally I buy myself flowers. I like supporting our local Florist and Floral Artist, Georgie Malyon, owner of Greenpoint Florist. Find your local florist.

Organic veggie subscription Support the shift toward a sustainable and regenerative food production system, by participating in a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Here in Auckland, we have a subscription to Organic Market Auckland CSA. Ask Google what growers and gardens you can support!

And let's not forget that giving is the greatest luxury. Here are some of our favourite international conservational causes: Locally, Project Jonah, Koha Apparel, Lifewise, Youthline, Kokiri Marae. Internationally, Native Organic Alliance, Oxfam, Ocean conservation research. Dear to our heart: Virunga National Park, Lion Recovery Fund, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation. Also look for your local animal sanctuary, here we have The Animal Sanctuary or The Black Sheep. Reach out if you know others!

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