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Your ultimate holiday gift guide. Redefine what you seek to gift and receive

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua and Goji
Words by Tracey Creed

Published December 10 2020

As we enter what is arguably retail’s holiday season — and with the year that has been 2020, be ready for the bombardment of all kinds of marketing tactics and an overwhelming amount of junk. Gift giving is one of five universal love languages — an act of thoughtfulness where the price tag is irrelevant where the heart is present. This year, skip the stress inducing financial pressures, regrettable purchases, the overwhelming amount of junk made just because — or all of the above and redefine what you seek to gift and receive. Whether that’s nourishment, empowerment, energy or adventure, let this article guide you.

Second hand — anything really

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.

Begin within. Gifts to nourish

Loco Love Where cacao and healing herbs collide. Gift a box to them, one to you. The soul-soothing magic of this handcrafted chocolate is real.

Fix & Fogg Everything about this brand. We all go through an immense number of Fix & Fogg jars in any given month. There aren't enough good things to say about Fix & Fogg nut butters. I’m still eating their almond butter everyday. Find your flavour.

Storm & India Matcha Drink your focus. Grassy, antioxidant rich, our afternoons are all the better with Power Matcha blended with oat or almond milk. Founder, Dooley Crighton upholds her values and quality to the highest order.

Seedlip For those who don’t wish to feel distracted by discipline but aim to feel vibrant and present a bottle of Seedlip is a must. I’ll be sipping on Spice 94 this summer paired with East Imperial.

Rivsalt Salt Like gemstones, this Himalayan salt encourages remineralisation, a high health option for cooking or finishing meals. This version includes a Japanese style stainless steel grater and stand made from FSC-certified oak wood.

ZenBunni I love coffee, and there is no shortage of quality roasters with a higher level of ambition for raising ethical standards in the industry. My daily ritual is upleveled with this in the cupboard. Global shipping is available.

Sun Potion These potent mushroom blends and tonic herbs support me all day long, and this is the one that I reach for first thing in the AM. Fuel someone’s morning, afternoon.

Noble Tonic 02 This one has SO much flavour. An ideal substitute for honey. This version incorporates Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Egyptian Chamomile Blossom — waffles, breakfast in general will never be the same!

Pineapple Collective ACV Founded to create community and support the incredible women in food, this apple cider vinegar was created in partnership with Joanne Krueger using Gravenstein, Red Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious and Pink Pearls hand harvested from her orchard, Little Apple Treats. For whenever there’s a need for a hit of acid or something to elevate dishes. Even the non-practicing cook can take it as a tonic.

Self indulge

Monarch Jewellery Courbure Hoop Earrings Handcrafted from silver of a 100% recycled and certified source and gold vermeil, a very wearable earring for all occasions.

Maggie Marilyn The Answer Is In The Ocean tote For summer, The Answer Is In The Ocean tote from Maggie Marilyn. Made from natural jute fibres by local artisans in Boikari, Bangladesh, as part of the Ethical Edit. You'll either want one for yourself or know the perfect recipient of one.

General Sleep Everyone Trouser Perfectly simple, I have worn these General Sleep pants every evening since they were delivered, and who isn’t spending more time at home now?

Benjamin Alexander Falcon skirt Ethically produced here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, for those craving a 2000s era fashion vibe.

Bare Hands Well groomed hands and nails are an understated luxury. Bare Hands takes the art of nail care higher, with her kit that relies on just two steps for a clean manicure.

UMA Oil Absolute Anti-Aging Body Oil An Ayurvedic and aromatherapeutic blend dominated by Frankincense and Juniper Berry Oils, intoxicating because of Neroli and Sandalwood Oils. Heavily herbal, UMA’s Absolute smells, well, interesting.

Curionoir Pocket Parfum These fragrances transport me. Since travel is not currently an option, gift 5ml of escapism. And if your budget is slightly smaller, the hard soap.

Orris Paris Bar Soap Handcrafted in Paris and made from a healing, signature mix of nourishing botanical oils and butters to cleanse and decompress — no palm. Lather up!

Merino Possum Socks If you are going to gift socks, consider these socks for the AM and these Penney & Bennett Cloud Sleep Socks for when the sun goes down.

Go-To Face Mask For the fatigued friend. Nothing could be more self indulgent than masking, where you do so little but can be rewarded so greatly. Gift better skin.

Herbivore EMERALD CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil Magical CBD, botanical oils and ingredients of ancient Ayurvedic healing practices to de-stress, nurture and protect the skin from environmental stressors. Amandine gifted my bottle. Who doesn’t need this?

Winden Pre-Consumer Recycled Comb Machine-made using scrap material from the factory that manufactures other Winden combs and barrettes — elevate someone’s hair care ritual.

J Hannah Nail Polish For friends who adorn their hands, J Hannah polishes are seven-free, highly-pigmented, cruelty-free and made in the USA. Mini Polish Sets are ideal for those undecided or concerned with wastage.

Youth To The People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial Exfoliator For those seeking new ways to exfoliate, this at-home triple-powered microdermabrasion treatment combines active enzymes, micro-exfoliants and caffeine for radiant skin in minutes.

Everyday Oil (Mainstay Blend) A heady base of Coconut, Olive, Argan and Jojoba Oils that creates something that smells almost exactly like a hot summer night. Palo Santo and Clary Sage introduce grounding energy. A gift for everyday, everywhere.

Typology gift set If you are looking for new products that are clean, efficace, and not tested on living creatures, Typology is the perfect brand. With concise formulations, certified B Corporation, Peta-approved and made in France, Typology also complies with the stringent European regulations for cosmetics. They also have a no-use list and ingredient priority is given to those that are the product of organic farming. Ship to most places.

HINU hair care Founded by Allie Cameron. Use her Hair Growth Oil as an overnight treatment for softer and amazingly fragranced hair and the Mist to tame flyaways, and during the summer months, avoid sun damage.

Face Gym Founded by Inge Theron, a former beauty and wellness journalist, FaceGym range includes vegan collagen booster spheres—the first brand offering vegan collagen. It is derived from fermented yeast. All FaceGym products are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Aleph beauty Anything from the brand really, mascara, gel liner, eye pigment for extra shine on the eyes, or concealer/foundation. The products are multi-functional; you can do a lot with a small selection. And this makeup also has potent skincare properties.

Fara Homidi The lip-obsessed makeup artist behind countless campaigns who prioritises quality over quantity, made her debut earlier this year with her Smudge & Contour Lip Pencil, Lip Brush and The Essential Lip Compact, which is infinitely refillable. From conception, Homidi ensured that all products and materials were sustainably sourced and that waste was minimised. All Fara Homidi products are clean and cruelty-free.

Grounding down at home

Petley Slotted Servers I do like to give gifts that have a practical element — highly useful in the case of these slotted serving spoons. Hand carved from reclaimed Tōtara, this gift will straddle between practical and luxury.

Bonnie and Neil Tea Towels Also highly practical — though also displayable, these Bonnie and Neil tea towels are hand screen printed in Melbourne, Australia using a combination of traditional and bespoke techniques and I’m really loving the Island collection.

Iron Candle Stand A perfect stocking filler this minimal KOMA cast iron candle stand is ideal for any home. And the candle size, perfect for a non-intrusive table setting. You couldn't go wrong with this for anyone.

Situ Linen Throw Perfectly simple, Situ carefully selects linens from mill over-runs and designer end stock (all sustainably produced) then manufactures each piece locally.

Houseplants Plants are living. And life fuels a healthy home — cleaning the air, vibrating with growth, bringing the outdoor world indoors. Amandine’s friend is a procurer of plants, his home a suburban jungle with listings on Trade Me—the Internet provides no shortage of small sellers and Instagram accounts. Gifting for those looking to hop into the plant game? Find a plant that’s not too fussy, your local plant dealer should be able to assist.

Organic Towelling There is no better feeling than wrapping oneself in a fluffy towel or at the very least patting dry one’s face! I’m extra enthused about Otto Loom and Baina.

Aesop Room Spray Elevate a friend’s space. Scent has always had the ability to ground me, so in addition to all the incense I burn, I keep a bottle of this around. Vibrant, floral and smoky, it's really transportive.

Iris Hantverk Dustpan and Brush Making the chores less so. Invigorate a friend’s cleaning rituals with a dustpan and brush that can be left out of the cupboard.

Marimekko Puteli Candlestick Holder Make the everyday mystic. This beautiful candle holder is everything we need to unwind. Pair with unscented tapered natural candles and make candlelit dinners the new evening ritual.

Binu Binu Marble Soap Dish Find us a better soap dish than this. We’ll wait. Hand-polished marble, designed as a platform to partner with large bar soaps — consider this a solid investment for someone committed to hard soap.

Gata duvets Korean, and made in Korea, brand Gata conveniently categorised their duvet by tone. They also sell towels. The 'SUNNE', produced in collaboration with STOFF STUDIOS, is OEKO-TEX certified and, likely, my next purchase.

Sunnup mat Made from 100% recycled polypropylene plastic, SUNNUP would encourage anyone for an leisurely outdoor ritual—a subtle reminder to connect yourself to the present and to unplug.

Untouched world Rubbish socks Made from an exclusive 50/50 blend of raw merino fibre and natural recycled materials. These socks are 100% natural fibre. And they're made locally.

Uplift and empower

Here’s to abundance, prosperity and limitless gifting for all.

Books Gift someone their next nightstand read. Our wishlist on Bookshop has recently grown since my boyfriend asked me for suggestions.

Print Magazines Always seeking inspiration in words and imagery, Stack Magazines is a great place to start.

Digital magazines/subscriptions For when their reading cap goes beyond one free article per day. Give the gift of access. Our favourites include The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Guardian and The New York Times.

And let's not forget that giving is the greatest luxury. For a useful, and low waste gift, The Good Registry is an online platform that reunites charities in need of support. It makes it easy to give and gift funding to those who need it the most. We also share some of our favourite international conservational causes: Virunga National Park, Lion Recovery Fund, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation.

Everything we create is an effort to participate in a culture shift. All products featured are independently selected and curated by the authors, and we only feature items we use or would use ourselves that align with our values. As part of our business model, we do work with affiliates such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you decide to purchase through our links. The price would be the same to you either way, but if you find value in our work, then these affiliate links are a way to support it. We only recommend brands, makers and products we use — that we support. Transparency is important to us, so if you have any questions, please reach out to us.

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