Eco-friendly presents that are good for the planet and good for your pocket.
Buying environmentally friendly gifts shouldn’t have to break the bank. It’s true that buying more ethically and sustainably can come with a price tag, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. If you know where to look, and how to look, you’ll soon discover a whole price range of unique, high-quality pieces that are just waiting to be gifted. To get you started (and save you time) we’ve put together a list of 25 eco-friendly gift ideas – starting at £10 and all under £100.
A quick sidenote: understanding the true cost
There’s no denying that goods made using sustainable and ethical practices will cost more than those that have been mass-produced quickly with the intent to drive profits. But behind the enticing price tag is a hidden cost. That is, the human and environmental costs that result from cheap fabrics, cheap labour and producing on a bulk scale.
Buy nice, don’t buy twice.
Whilst sometimes it may be harder to justify the extra pounds, it’s also important to remember that, more often than not, lower price means lower quality. Although you may save in the short term, the likelihood is, you’ll spend just as much – if not more – on buying replacements down the line. So, investing in quality at the start can actually help to save you money in the long term.
That said, we understand that buying new goods is a privilege and that it may not always be possible to spend the extra money needed. But before turning to the cheaper alternative, consider the true cost of the product and ask yourself: do you really need it?
1. Baobab Balm: Lip + Body, Organic Savanna - £10
A moisturising lip and body balm rich in omega fatty acids and Africa’s “miracle ingredient” Baobab. Plastic-free, cruelty-free and made using locally sourced, natural ingredients that are kinder to the planet and kinder to your skin. A thoughtful gift for a friend or perfect stocking filler.
2. Headband - Yellow, Moto Moto - £22.50
This colourful headband is sure to brighten someone’s day and is made from “Maasai Shuka” fabric – a plaid patterned material traditionally worn by the Maasai tribe. These headbands have been created by Moto Moto using fabric leftover from their other creations – or “deadstock” – in an attempt to minimise their waste. The waste-fighting headband is available in a range of colours.
3. Jelani Ring, Dear Katiopae - £32
Handmade in Ghana, this bold, artisanal ring is made from repurposed brass. Not only can brass be recycled an infinite number of times, but the recycling process uses less energy than other metals giving it a smaller carbon footprint. Jelani means “powerful” in Swahili, making the ring a particularly thoughtful gift for a friend in need of support.
4. Winning Team Soy Candle, Flickerwick - £32
Made from 100% soy wax and finished with a wooden wick, this vegan-friendly candle has a deep fragrance that will fill the room with aromas of Bergamot, Black Pepper and Amber. Hand-poured in small batches, Flickerwick uses natural and sustainable wax (as opposed to petroleum-based paraffin wax), recyclable and reusable vessels, and are free from phthalates, an industrial chemical used as a binding agent. Exclusively designed for Akojo Market, you won’t find this treasure anywhere else.
5. Olive Jute Placemats, Mia Mélange - £33.34
Sleek and stylish, these cotton and jute placemats will fit seamlessly into most tablespaces. The placemats are made from a mix of jute – a sustainable fibre that requires no pesticides, no fertilisers, and relatively little water to grow – and cotton that has been grown locally in South Africa under the Better Cotton Initiative – a not-for-profit organisation promoting a more ethical and sustainable cotton industry. Gift as a complete set or mix and match with other colours from the designer’s collection.
6. Love Leopard Tanzanite Tea Towel, Ardmore Design - £35
Ardmore Design’s love affair with the rich flora and fauna of Africa is reflected in their efforts to design and create in a way that protects and preserves the environment. Kitchen-worthy, wall-worthy, frame-worthy. Whichever way you choose to describe the brand’s whimsical tea-towels, there’s no denying they are completely and utterly gift-worthy.
7. Lotion + Handwash Set - Organic Savanna - £38
It’s hard to go wrong with a good handwash & lotion duo. Made with all natural ingredients and infused with essential oils, this set by Organic Savanna make a fabulous gift – especially for those hard-to-buy-for-people.
8. Handmade Large Rhino, Toy Project - £39
Handstitched in South Africa, each toy is made using little more than a needle and thread, requiring much less energy than its mass-produced alternatives and designed to last longer. Bright and cheerful, this rhino makes a wonderful gift for children of all ages. And who’s to say adults won’t like them too?
9. Cookery Set, QÄSA QÄSA – from £42
Marrying traditional skills with modern design, QÄSA QÄSA uses local and indigenous materials to create functional, sustainably made homeware. Skilfully carved from gorgeous Tanzanian Mninga wood and African Blackwood, this unique cookery set features two wooden scoops, a jam spoon and a butter knife. Perfect for the aspiring chefs or keen foodies in your life.
10. Woven Basket Tray, Raw Label - £44
This minimalist basket tray is crafted from wild Makenge plant roots. Grown in the floodplains of Zambia’s Mongu region, the plant regenerates quickly, making it a long-term sustainable source of weaving material. From a rustic tea tray to a bohemian wall decoration, the tray can be used in a variety of ways around the house. This versatility – along with its neutral colour palette – makes it a sure fit in any home.
11. Okun Yoga Bag, Eclectic Chique - £45Looking for a gift for a yoga lover? Blending style with practicality, this bespoke cotton yoga bag makes a wonderful gift for yogis of all levels. High quality, durable and totally unique, Eclectic Chique’s creations are designed to last and outlive fast-fashion trends.
Opt for something truly unique with this one-of-a-kind straw basket-pot. Each basket is lovingly handmade using traditional techniques that are low in energy and create high-quality results. The basket features a sustainably-sourced leather handle for comfort, but should you be looking for a vegan friend, the designer offers a naked handle option as well as a range of other colours and sizes to choose from.
Treat your loved one to the gift of self-care with this cruelty-free essential care kit. Blending ancient medicinal know-how with advanced modern science, the brand takes a farm-to-skin, anti-plastic and zero-waste approach. This set features two face and body soaps, a brightening skin scrub and a soothing skin and hair balm.
14. Dune Hoop Earrings with Pearls and Larimar, Ottoman Hands - £52
Simple yet eye-catching, these unique drop earrings will put a sparkle in her eye. Using handcraft techniques, Ottoman Hand's jewellery is designed to be treasured and passed down the generations – a more sustainable option than “fast fashion” jewellery. Made from gold-plated recycled brass, pearls and larimar, the earrings can be worn alone or layered with more delicate designs.
15. Large Wooden Bowl, Raw Label - £54
16. Kaleidoscope Silk Scarf, Mantua - £55
Is there a more classic gift than a silk scarf? Mantua’s collection of scarves is the antithesis of fast fashion, designed to be worn again and again and passed on to the next generation. Chic, colourful and undeniably versatile, this 100% Chinese silk scarf is suitable for any occasion.
17. Oaxacan Americano Cup, La muerte tiene permiso* £64
Featuring joyful yellow hues, these gorgeous placemats makes an excellent environmentally friendly gift. Woven by hand, the straw is harvested locally and naturally coloured using vegetable-based dyes. Available in sets of four, the woven placemats are sure to add a ray of sunshine to their new home.
18. Juju Bracelet Ebony & Ivory, Set of 4, Soul Design - £65
What’s better than giving one bracelet? Giving four. Working with talented artisans across Africa, the brand’s jewellery is made by hand using local materials to reduce their climate impact. Crafted from agate stones and recycled brass, these bracelets can be worn together or alone, and are designed to bring luck to their wearer.
19. Dove Pillow on Pink Linen, The Milaya Project - £68
This bright linen cushion is made using “milaya” – an intricately embroidered fabric traditionally used for dowries or celebrations in South Sudan. The Milaya Project works with female refugees living in Uganda to provide a sustainable source of income and preserve the traditional art form. Hand-sewn onto 100% linen, the cushions are a thoughtful gift for eco-friendly people and can be used both indoors and out.
20. Tamegroute Candlestick Holder, Artisan Du Maroc - £70
Make your gift extra special with a personalised birth flower necklace. The necklace is available in 12 designs (one for each month of the year) each featuring a solid oval pendant with a detailed floral engraving. Handmade in Cape Town, these necklaces are low in impact and designed to be cherished.
21. Silver Pavé Wobble Necklace, Meraki Jewellery Design - £80
For the person who likes a little colour in their lives, spoil them with this fun and easily adjustable bracelet by Malaika Cotton. The bracelet is made from brass rescued from door handles, padlocks and hinges – making it an innovative eco-friendly present for a loved one – and is complete with coloured beads.
22. Pendo Black, Pala Eyewear - £85
It’s hard to go wrong with these classic, oversized frames by Pala. Made from recycled plant-based acetate and complete with smoky lenses, they make a wonderful gift for a friend, family member, or even yourself. They even come with a sustainable case woven from recycled plastic bags and waste.
23. Asia Earrings Black + Beige, Pichulik - £90
Put aside the pearl and gold earrings for a moment and consider something a little different this year. Made from repurposed rope – an innovative and sustainable choice of material – and complete with brass caps, these Asia earrings make a worthy contender. Each pair is handmade using low-energy traditional crafting techniques.
This playful, artisan-made apron is ideal for home chefs and bakers alike. Made from 100% linen, each apron is hand-embroidered with a beautiful grass illustration. Strong, durable and biodegradable, linen improves with time and washing, making it one of the most sustainable fabrics you can choose.
25. Blue Ceramic Half Moon Carafe, la muerte tiene permiso*
Treat your lucky recipient with something they won't expect with this stunning ceramic decanter. Handmade in Mexico, the shape is inspired by traditional water pitchers found in Jalisco and comes complete with two cups intended to hold salt and limes. Whilst designed specifically for tequila, the decanter can be used for any spirit of your choosing or even water.
Still haven’t found the good environmentally friendly gift you’re looking for? Be sure to check out our range of practical gift guides – including our vegan and fair trade gifting blogs – for more inspiration.