It’s the end of the year and we’re all anticipating the holiday season. Don’t let gifting add any stress to the season, especially when you’re looking for more sustainable options. So, we’ve compiled a list of gifts to express your love for the special people in your life without harming the planet. Our criteria include local, small business, sustainable materials, quality, organic and empowering. We’ve grouped the gift ideas under Jewellery, Home, Children, Accessories, Bathroom, Pets, Donate and an organic drink to celebrate the end of a year and the dawn of a new one.
The first of its kind, AuTerra uses e-waste to create handcrafted accessories made from precious metal, gold and silver. AuTerra products are the perfect companion to an effortless, everyday look.
- Prices: R 360 – R 6 500
The fashion accessory brand, The Herd, tells an African story through beaded accessories. Each piece is handmade by women in Kwa-Zulu Natal, using locally-sourced glass beads and 100% nylon Miyuki thread for durability and strength. These neck pieces are beautiful as they are inspiring.
- Prices: On request
This ethical jewellery atelier, based in Cape Town, is inspired by ancient traditions and cultures around the world. Each piece is a talisman, handcrafted from unexpected, organic materials to create distinctive forms that celebrate empowering narratives of women.
- Prices: R 280 – R 3 750
Founded in 1998, Mungo is the first South African brand to be Global Organic Textile Standard certified. Mungo products are designed, woven and finished at a weaving mill in Plettenberg Bay where they create woven goods using contemporary weaving techniques to create quality products for people to treasure.
- Prices: R 135 – R 3 345
A great way to help the people in your life become more sustainable is with JoJo water tanks. SA’s leading manufacturer of water tanks is passionate about the future of sustainability with their wide range of products. From filters to water containers, JoJo tanks make being water-wise easier with tank storage of up to 20 000 litres. [Stella Hertantyo and Masego Morgan wear W35T, in a shoot directed by Ky Bxshxff and shot by Theo Afrika for JoJo.]
- Prices: R200 – R5 500
Gift a Tree
Stuck on what to get a newborn? Clothes or toys are often discarded, so instead, gift them a tree. By planting a tree in their name, the child will grow up knowing there’s a tree somewhere that’s making the world a better place. Plus, they get a certificate to prove it! That’s quite the conversation starter.
- Price: R145
Petit Fox is perfect for parents who care about the planet and who love quality clothes – here parents can buy quality clothing for their kids without spending a fortune or damaging the environment.
- Price: From R30
Mother and child therapist, Rosa Krauss wanted toys that were beautifully designed as well as long lasting. She found that many toys perpetuated gender norms and broke easily, and so, she started Honest Toys to make sustainable toys more accessible. Featuring both local and international toys, they sell everything from books to dolls to puzzles, ranging across the ages.
- Price: R45 – R1 960
Big Little Store
If you’re looking for sustainable clothes for children, Big Little Store offers just that. Hosting an array of brands that make ethical, handcrafted clothes and shoes for children, these pieces are one-of-a-kind. This small business was started up by former Condé Nest Creative Director and recent mother, Tammy Tinker.
- Price: R220 – R790
iFele sandals take a modern interpretation of the traditional Zulu imbadada shoes. While the original imbadada shoes are made from materials such as car tires and vinyl flooring, the iFele sandals use local ethically sourced leather to create their comfortable and stylish collection.
- Prices: R600 – R750
Launched during the first lockdown to raise money for women and children in need, Freya Hats produces slow, sustainable headwear. Each piece is handmade locally from sustainably sourced natural fibres or up-cycled fabric. All hats come with their own drawstring bag that has been made from discarded fabric.
- Prices: R 150 – R 999
Based in Cape Town, Ballo is an ethical fashion brand that creates handmade sunglasses, apparel and keyholders from waste products. Their custom branded sunglasses are made from unique materials such as cork, fabric, wood and hemp, while their apparel is made from natural fibres such as hemp and linen. Since the pandemic, Ballo has slowed down their production to shorter runs and have recently added fabric face masks, alien timber cutting boards and beeswax candles to their stocklist.
- Prices: R 390 – R 2 190
Beagle + Basset
Beagle and Basset is a Cape Town based eco-conscious botanical dye studio that offers sustainably hand dyed products using organic waste such as fynbos, blue gum bark and avocado pips. Founder Genna Shrosbree makes use of natural fibres to create various biodegradable products that can return to the earth at the end of their life cycle. Below is the scarf made in collaboration with artist Alice Toich.
- Prices: R 70 – R 4 490
Founded in 2015 by Hlah Nyoni, KnotAgain uses macramé knotting techniques to create products, ranging from bags, mirror features, wall hanging art to hanging chairs. Their products use locally sourced recycled cotton and t-shirt yarn. Inspired by nature, KnotAgain’s designs fuse both vintage and contemporary art for the evolving modern world.
- Prices: R 150 – R 15 500
Sealand Gear is grounded by a passion to protect the environment. Through using recycled material, upcycling and high-quality materials, Sealand Gear’s products can be treasured for a lifetime.
- Prices: R130 – R 3 250
Always on our list, Khween Shebar is a cold-process, all-natural soap studio founded by Mosa Skosana. Mosa’s goal is to create skincare that is ethically made and sustainable. Khween Shebar’s pure, natural soaps and lotions are made to heal and take care skin and hair.
- Prices: R 70 – R 420
Ash and Mill
Locally grown premium skincare founded by chemist, Dr Brian Watson, Ash and Mill celebrates the vast botanicals in South Africa, such as Rose Geranium and Rooibos. Ash and Mill offers a variety of naturally-derived products, which are both cleansing and nourishing. Each soap is cold-processed, natural and 100% biodegradable.
- Prices: R 79 – R 389
An all-women team that believes in building a circular economy, Daily Peach, focuses on reducing waste in the cosmetics sector with their handmade makeup remover and toning pads. Both the cotton and bamboo pads are 100% compostable.
- Prices: R 125 – R 499
100% natural, O’live products are vegan-friendly and are made with locally-sourced organic plant oils. Each O’live soap is handmade and has been carefully formulated with a range of active botanical ingredients to add clean, natural skincare to your regime for luminous, nourished and protected skin.
- Prices: R 40 – R 900
Economically uplifting and beautifully hand crafted, Cape Town label, Chommies, uses locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials to create gorgeous accessories for your pets. They have also recently included fashion forward gender-neutral jerseys and cardigans for humans. These come in one-size-fits-all and are perfect for the special someone in your life.
- Prices: R 75 – R 3 500
Instead of giving something that can be discarded, give your friend the opportunity to make an impact by donating to an organisation. Femme Projects seeks to educate, and thereby empower, people on sexual and reproductive health in a safe and supportive environment. Their focus is on young adolescents exploring their gender and bodies for the first time to help them make informed choices.
- Price: anything you’re comfortable with.
Botanical Society Membership
For the outdoorsy friend, the greatest gift you can give them is, well, the outdoors. A Botanical society Membership gives them free access to all SANBI National Botanical Gardens and many other perks.
- Price: R525 (for individual and unlimited access)
… Cheers to you and to 2022
The internationally recognised wine brand, Germanier Wine, is known for organic, sustainable wines that place quality and consciousness at the forefront of their values. Germanier Wine is organic and vegan, with a refreshing and crisp taste. [Please drink responsibly, and definitely don’t drive under the influence of alcohol.]
- Prices: R 85 – R 540
Remember that less is always more. Giving fewer, more thoughtful gifts is not only less wasteful but is far more fulfilling. The Twyg team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.