I won’t lie. I love the holiday season. All of the things that come with it: the lights, the food, the parties. I love gifts, giving and receiving but mostly receiving.
But environmentally friendly holidays can be a challenge. An abundance of decorations, food, gift wrap and some questionable gifts can leave us longing for that initial holiday magic. About ¼ of waste from the entire year is created between thanksgiving and the new year!
So I’ve created a gift guide that will keep us in good spirits long after the holiday season. This guide sets itself apart from others with a focus on Canadian made. All of these fabulous products are not only handmade but must also be either:
Sustainable- maintain natural resources for future generations
Eco-friendly/environmentally friendly/green- aren’t harmful or damaging to the planet
Supporting small local businesses and reducing our footprint is something to celebrate. Another bonus of these companies: all share the common goal of zero waste.
Latibulle: fabric gift wrap. You can get a Furoshiki for yourself, or give a gift that keeps giving. Inspired by traditional Japanese wrapping clothes, used for gifts, lunches and belongings.
Ficelle et Baluchon: fabric gift bags!! Double your gift giving by using a bag that your recipient can re-use in the future. By hiring folks who are likely to live in isolation, this company shows a great socio-responsible initiative, helping them foster and maintain a social network.
*Did you know? Most wrapping paper can’t be recycled due to hologram foils or coatings.
- If you do use wrapping paper, use ribbon to enclose your gift instead of tape so the paper can be reused.
- Save bows, ribbons, boxes and even labels (i mean, we do give gifts to many of the same people every year)
- Use newspaper, fabric scraps or old bedding
Petit Laurier co: reusable, washable sacs. Fill one of these bags with treats and encourage a family member to replace their plastic bag use for loose fruits and veggies at grocery stores. Made from recycled cotton.
Body and Skin Care
Liliblanc: shampoo or conditioner bar. Montréal made skin care products that are a great alternative to liquid shampoo/conditioners and cut down on packaging.
Etnika Accessories: reusable make-up pads. I actually didn’t switch to cloth pads until very recently making my own. They are soft, washable and save me a lot of TP (I know, nice choice of make-up wipe…) But if you don’t have a serger and wanna hop on board, Etnika is black, female-owned and has super fun prints.
Lingua Nigra: brass lipgloss pots. Packaging that will outlast its contents!! Once empty, can be refilled with homemade lipgloss or deodorant, or to keep some special jewelry.
Fair trade chocolate: consumables are a great gift idea!
NKD: ethically sourced, single origin cocoa (beans from one region or country). I like a thick chocolate bar and as a fan of ‘healthy’ desserts, I love that it’s sweetened with maple syrup. They also have a blueberry lavender, the latter being one of my new found obsessions.
Theobroma: Canadian chocolate that checks all the boxes- vegan , fair trade and organic! Discovering them through dumpster diving, their milk chocolate has become one of my fav chocolate bars.
Dauree: upcycled undies! Daurine is a queer babe that upcycles second hand tshirts and fabrics (did someone say blue sparkle velvet?!) to make super cute undies. She also lent me a copy of Roald Dahls ‘Witches’ so she is very much in my good books. Heh, get it ;). Shop her one-of-kind pieces off IG: @dauree_mtl
Atelier Gram: washable handkerchiefs. I’m an avid hankie user. Even though I grew up seeing my Grandad use one, I didn’t adopt one until later in life, but have never looked back! I don’t know about you but my nose runs constantly all year round; they save soo many kleenex from the waste. They might not be for everybody, but a little hand sanitizer after each use cleans my conscience! A great gift for dapper folks in your life that might enjoy a pocket square.
AV Muse: fabric cutlery holder. Handmade, washable utensil holders in cute fabrics. Solving the problem of cutlery floating around in the bottom of my lunch kit, poking holes in the fabric. Some even come with a napkin!
Lord Violet: SADDLE UP Leather Tassel Earrings. The perfect balance of sustainability & luxury: recycled leather. A great gift for your ride or die, who, like leather, stays with you until the end!
SULTRY Brass Tip Earrings. More recycled leather for the win. An easy stocking stuffer that pairs black leather or cream vinyl with brass collar tips that shine.
Whether you find some new gifts from this list, make a kit or gift basket with them, or take inspiration to DIY your own, I hope you enjoyed my curated list and dicovered some new artisans.
Lets encourage our families to shop local, starting with a convo of where we can go, and then a trip there together. Even holiday meals can be sourced locally by getting creative with available seasonal produce.
Not everyone has the space for a stash of wrapping materials, but save what you can for gift giving occasions throughout the year. It reduces waste and saves $$, which can be reinvested in the local economy. Why not treat yourself with some locally made chocolates!
If you have favorite makers from your cities or your own tips and tricks, please share them in the comments below.
Wishing you a luxurious, yet eco-conscious holiday season.