With it being officially December and the holidays and Christmas coming up so soon, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite gifts that you can pick up for a special someone. I truly love giving people gifts and have learned how much fun it is to see the look on someones face when you surprise them with a thoughtful gift from the heart. Growing up I would love Christmas morning, running down the stairs and seeing all the presents under the tree, I was lucky to have that and unfortunately so many kids don’t get that same experience. Now that I am grown up, I also see how stressful this time of year can be for so many people, so if I can help with my ethical gift guide then I am all for it.
My Ethical Gift Guide Just For You:
I really wanted to focus on supporting ethical and local companies as much as possible, because I think its important to give the best quality you can and there is surely enough consumerism to go around this time of year. If I could encourage people to do one thing this holiday season (in regards to shopping) it would be to focus on supporting companies that are trying to give back to their community in some way. Research brands and companies before you decide to invest your money in them as much as possible so that you can feel confident that you are making an informed choice. I wanted to take some of the guesswork out of it for you which is why I came up with this list, so I hope you enjoy! I have categorized all of the gifts into different segments so that you can choose based on who you are buying for what is best for them.
For the Green Beauty in Your Life:
A Detox Market Gift Card: It’s no secret around here that I love The Detox Market and all of their amazing goodies they sell. They have so many brands/vendors that need our support, with many being made right here in Toronto. A gift card from here would allow anyone who is already familiar with the store (or not) the chance to purchase something that speaks to them directly. If you don’t want to do a gift card and would rather purchase something directly but don’t know what to try, you can check many of my blog posts (here, here, here, here and most recently here) that I have written for more info on specific brands and products that I love.
Lvnea Parfume: I ventured out into a different area of the city from me a couple weeks ago and fell in love with this brand. Their scents are out of this world amazing and they are all natural and made of essential oils, and they actually last throughout the day. They are made in Montreal and I particularly loved this roll on perfume the most but I am a sucker for rose, amber and vanilla. If you live in Toronto, you can find them at Rowan Apothecary, it is the cutest shop that offers a selection of organic skincare and folk remedies, alongside bohemian inspired vintage decor, crystals, incense and burnables, local ferments, raw honey, and natural fibers.
Sage Natural Wellness: This Canadian owned business creates products that use local ingredients as much as possible and are 100% natural meaning that they are free of parabens, SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances. I’ve currently got my eye on getting one of their diffusers (hint, hint, wink, wink to a certain someone) and have only ever heard great things about them. If you are into essential oils, this is a great place to start, so be sure to check this place out!
For the foodie in your life:
The Healthy Crunch Company: I can honestly say, I have never had a better tasting kale chip and even the bf was fighting me for the last kale chip, obviously I won haha. They are 100% organic, raw and made in small batches right here in Toronto (well Mississauga to be exact) and they source their kale from here in Ontario and from the U.S. in the winter months. They are beyond delicious and would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves a crunchy treat and they are completely nut free! My favourite flavour is the Say Cheeze one and I love to use the kale krumbs as a crunchy topping on just about anything (avocado toast, popcorn, ice cream, anything!), but I will warn you- they are addictive.
Giddy YoYo Chocolate: If you are into healthier chocolate and live in Canada, you have probably heard or had this chocolate before. It is one of the best made chocolate that I have come across and is made with top quality ingredients that make this chocolate dairy free, raw and organic. They also sell some other really amazing products, like raw cacao, vanilla powder, chaga, cacao butter, goji berries and so much more. As for the chocolate itself, my favourite flavours are maca, vanilla, mint and original.
For the Glow Getter:
withinUs TruMarine Collagen: This collagen supplement is another amazing locally produced gift idea that is made in B.C. and because it is a type 1 form of collagen (made from fish scales) it has proven benefits for improving the texture of your skin, hair, nails and joints. You can read more about how this works directly from their website here and they have also just launched their own premium, organic matcha green tea which works wonderfully with the collagen supplement. I love their on-the-go stick packs that you can carry with you anywhere and because it is virtually tasteless and odourless it can be mixed into almost anything. I like having it first thing in the morning with my lemon water.
For the man in your life:
Styling Cream by Josh Rosebrook: My bf has been using this stuff for quite a while and for anyone that doesn’t know him, his hair is pretty important to him and he likes it looking styled. This cream allows him to style his hair and keep it styled throughout the day by providing a medium hold. Like all of Josh’s products, this one is made with plant and herb extracts. These contain phytonutrients that stimulate the cells in the hair follicle and feed your scalp to keep your hair growing back thicker and healthier. I am always amazed by how Josh formulates his products using all natural ingredients like herbs, essential oils and other oils in his products and this one is no different!
Sage and Grapefruit Cleanser by The Body Deli: This has been another great product that my bf also has been using for a while and prior to this he always used a conventional one that was bright orange and rated a 10 on the Think Dirty app #NotImpressed. So I set out to find one that gave him that same super fresh clean feeling that he seemed to love, without it stripping away essential oils from his skin and changing the pH. I am so happy to report that he FINALLY made the switch and has been using this product for a while now and seems to really like it. This is a great product for more oily skin types and helps with breakouts as well as it works to naturally decongest the skin while providing vital nutrients at the same time.
Local Soup Girl (Various flavours): Of course not every man or woman for that matter is a whiz in the kitchen or even just enjoys making dinner and so for those people this soup is a great idea (for anyone). They come in some delicious flavours and make a great gift during the holidays. All you need to do is add water and boil and then let it simmer on the stove, it is seriously so easy and tasty and actually really healthy as well. My personal favourite is the spicy coconut lentil, it has a great kick to it.
MEC: Mountain Equipment Co-op or MEC is a retail co-op located throughout Canada and features tons of products for those that like to get outside and have an adventure. They also carry a lot of ethical clothing and brands that are trying to make a difference in how they are produced.
For the fashionista:
Nicole Bridger: This Vancouver based designer has stolen my fashion heart and I am so impressed with all that I have ordered from here as they are not only high quality and ethically produced, but they are fashion forward as well. I have already written about how important it is to buy and support more ethical fashion choices which you can read about here. I would definitely encourage you to have a look at her stuff as I am sure they can become staples in your wardrobe as well and perhaps you can start to minimize your closet at the same time (it honestly feels fabulous).
Logan and Finley: This is a cute store located here in Toronto that focuses on featuring thoughtful, ethical and well designed clothing for men and women in addition to skin care, accessories, cleaning products and more. I love that more than 40 of the brands they stock are Canadian, with more than 20 of them coming from right here in Toronto. Although they don’t offer any online shopping right now, if you do live in Toronto, definitely check them out.
Whatever you do, don’t let the holidays get the best of you…
Hopefully this was a great start for you if you find yourself struggling with what to get this year for a special someone in your life. I tried to keep all of the options as local as possible and ethical as well as I do believe this is important when it comes to the holidays when people tend to go overboard with how much they spend and lose track of the true spirit of this time of year. Of course, you can always do homemade gifts for family and friends, I usually bake up cookies and wrap them up and give them to colleagues and family. One year, I made cinnamon rolls and gave them to family as well. I really do find that stuff like this can even beat buying a gift from a store because you put love and energy into making something for them and plus they get to eat it.
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