I struggled with two aspects of this post: keeping it to ten things or businesses that made 2020 better and titling this post, because of course you can't buy your way to sustainability and promoting shopping is not one of my favorite things to do to say the least. Basically, that's the reason I consider blogging more a hobby than a professional past-time. I don't want to put myself in a position to promote something I don't like or need by accepting payment for review. Currently, if a company has an ethos I support or I enjoy/ need their product, I'm happy to review in exchange for trying the product out. In that spirit, none of my recommendations below were gifted and all are things I'd want for myself or already love. I thought I'd share those recs with you guys, because the reality is most of us do want to purchase gifts for our friends, our relatives and co-workers, our neighbors and the teachers who've made our year special-- never more so than in 2020 where connection feels both sacred and distant.
Maybe we can't buy our way to sustainability but here's a list of ten excellent stocking stuffers that your friends or family will either treasure or that would make anyone's 2020 better!
1. For the Friend Obsessed with Skincare
The vegan, cruelty-free lavender sleeping mask from Kana Skincare is one of all-time my favorite things I stumbled upon this year. As soon as I finish one jar, I order the next. They're currently having a buy one, get one half-off sale, so buy one for someone you love and treat yourself to the other! Other things I love about this cream: it comes in a glass jar and the lavender smells so soothing at night. And the cream leaves my skin baby soft come morning. Be aware however that products containing CBD can't be shipped everywhere in the U.S. Click on the image to shop!
2. For the Friend Who Loves Bags
Each ethically-produced bucket bag from Wild Hand, a yarn and notion shop in Philadelphia, are hand-made of sisal and recycled wool by a member of the Kamba tribe of Kenya. Each bag is therefore strikingly unique, and their website contains a variety of colors and options. Click on the image to check it out! Shipping is also free on orders over $100. On a budget? I also love their signature tote below.
Check out more about Wild Hand in my interview with Theresa Hill of Ewe-Nited States of Fiber, one of their incredible workshop teachers!
3. For the Arts & Crafts Friend in Your Life
Another beautiful option from Wild Hand is this rigid heddle loom table stand for less than $100. I don't know about you, but it makes me want to take up weaving tapestries in my free time. However, I've sworn my next craftsy venture will be learning to sew. I've always dreamed of remaking vintage garments. If there's someone in your life who's excellent with their hands, this loom strikes me as a gorgeous gift. More from their site or click on the image to be taken there to learn more.
3. For the Friend Obsessed with Coziness
If weaving is definitely not your thing and not anyone else in your life's, consider adding a textile handmade by someone else to your own home or to enhance a friend's space. Many of the Berber poufs on Etsy are upcycled from handmade rugs from Morocco's mid-Atlas region. Since they're handmade they also come in a variety of vibrant colors. The shop where this gorgeous pouf is located is only 20 km from Casablanca and committed to fair trade. Click on the image to check it out on Etsy.
4. For the Friend with a Mantlepiece
This past year I began collecting vintage brass or bronze candlesticks. They're only about $10-$12 a pop, and the quality and heft of these old things, as in the case of so many old things, is astonishing. They really add ambiance to our living room this holiday season. Click on the pic to check them out on eBay! Also, here is a post for how to navigate eBay!
6. For the Book-Lover in Your Life
I'm also writing a post about my favorite holiday reads, so check back soon for that! But for now, this light, clever read is the book for a friend you want to cheer up or a book-lover in your life. You couldn't do better than gifting them The Women in Black by Madeleine St John-- a sweet, shimmering, funny, clever novel that takes place over one holiday shopping season in 1950s Australia. Hilary Mantel gives a copy to all her friends! If you purchase it through Bookshop.org, you'll also be supporting local, independent bookstores!
7. For the Candle-Obsessed
itemerie.com offers a variety of scented, gorgeous, hand-made, non-toxic candles that are made in the U.S. Go for the candles, stay for the lovingly curated selection of eco-friendly planters, reusable beeswax wrappers, hand-blown glasses, and more. They have a handy section for gifts at any budget point as well! Image courtesy their website. Click to shop!
8. For the Friend Who Complains About Insomnia
Sam & Lance also offers a variety of gifts by budget and features ethically made products by all female artisans. I love this utra-soft looking sleep mask for only $28! Click on the image to shop it!
9. For the Friend with Long Hair
Also from Sam & Lance, because I love my silk scrunchies! They're a must for any of your long-haired friends, because they reduce the chance of hair breakage. And they're just so pretty. Perfect for a gift. I sleep with my hair braided with one every night. Plus, every purchase helps support girls' education. Click on the image to shop.
10. For the Friend Who Loves Baths
This pink Himalayan salt scrub is currently sold out, and I'm not surprised: I recently discovered the power of pink Himalayan salt for my scalp. I'm excited to try it on my skin when it's back in stock. In the meantime, Blk & Grn is chock full of goodies! From books to soaps to makeup, protein powders, conditioners, tea, and menstrual products, it's an amazing selection, and your purchase supports black artisans committed to sustainability. Click on the image to go to their website and check it out for yourself: and while you're there, be sure to enter their $250 email sign-up giveaway. And for that friend who loves bathtime, there are a lot of other options than this scrub, which I'm keeping my eye out for!