Looking for a sustainable gift guide for the holiday season? Well, we have you covered!
‘Tis the season. By which I mean the season of rampant consumption. Make things a little more sustainable this year with some greener gifts. Here are our picks of some of the best sustainable stocking stuffers made with recycled, upcycled, and organic materials, under fairer labor conditions, and with more planet-friendly sourcing and shipping.
Everyone loves a good pair of cozy socks in their Christmas stocking. Treat your giftee to a more sustainable pair they’ll actually wear with the following fun and fair foot-friends.
Sleet & Sole Parent and Child Octopus Socks made with REPREVE
Highlight: Cute matching Octopus socks made in the U.S. with REPREVE® – a specialized fiber made from recycled plastic water bottles. Each pair comprises 75% REPREVE, saving three bottles from landfill or waterways, helping to keep octopuses everywhere a little safer. Very affordable and a great choice for kids and big kids aged 4 and up.
Smartwool Toddler Socks
Highlight: A three-pack of adorable and cozy toddler socks made with 56% ZQ-certified Merino wool, 33% recycled nylon, 9% virgin nylon, and a dash of elastane for stretch. Smartwool is a Canadian company making gorgeous, quality knitted socks, scarves, and apparel using recycled wool and other eco-friendly materials. Available in three colorways and in 24 m and 3T sizes.
Arvin Goods Recycled Wool Boot Socks
Highlight: A high-performance sock made with recycled fibers and perfect for hikers and climbers and anyone who likes to stay cozy. Moisture-wicking, renewable, and durable, with elastic arch support and a padded footbed, these socks have an average lifespan well beyond the typical sock life expectancy of just a year. Available in off-white, grey/blend, and grey and very affordable! Comprises: 45% recycled wool, 25% recycled polyester, 20% recycled acrylic, and 10% other fibers.
It’s chilly outside, so help your loved ones (or Secret Santa frenemy) wrap up warm with a cozy, eco-friendly scarf.
Organic Basics Recycled Merino Rib Scarf
Highlight: Luxuriously soft and cozy rib-knit scarf made with 100% recycled merino from pre-consumer textile waste that would otherwise go to landfill. Designed in Denmark, made in Scotland, and long enough to keep out the chilliest of winter weather. Courtesy of one of our favorite B Corps and 1% for the Planet members, this scarf if available in charcoal grey, light blue, and dusty rose.
Johnstons of Elgin Recycled Cashmere and Wool Scarf
Highlight: Striped, ribbed, and made with a superbly soft recycled cashmere and wool-blend, this camel and black scarf is a subtle, sustainable, and stylish stocking stuffer. Johnstons of Elgin makes its products in family-owned factories in Scotland. Comprises 50% recycled cashmere and 50% sustainably sourced wool.
Keep it cozy with sustainably made slippers from companies that care about their environmental footprint and your feet.
Allbirds Wool Dwellers [Staff tried and tested]
Allbird’s super cozy and carbon-neutral slippers have a FSC certified natural rubber outsole and an upper made with 60% upcycled merino wool scraps from the company’s shoes and 40% GRS certified recycled polyester. It really doesn’t get much more e-cozy than this! These slippers have a good amount of grip and are available in three colors and in sizes S-XXL. There are now even Wool Dwellers for kids – 5T and up! I can attest to the coziness, grip, and overall loveliness of these slippers, but would note that the smallest size is still just a little too big for feet size 6.5 or smaller, like mine.
Everlane ReNew Slipper
Comfy, cozy, and eco-friendly! Everlane describes these as “like a duvet for your feet”, which sounds like something everyone wants for Christmas. These slip-on slippers have a quilted upper made with 100% recycled nylon, a soft plush lining made of recycled polyester, and a durable outsole made of recycled rubber (natural and synthetic) for grip and structure. Only the trim isn’t made of recycled materials (making it 94.2% recycled!), but Everland is working on that. The slippers are made under fair working conditions in Vietnam, and are available in Parchment and Black and sizes 5-11 Women’s. They run a little big, so size down if you’re a half size.
For the kids
For many families, Christmas involves spending horrible amounts of cash on monstrous plastic toys that quickly break and can’t be recycled. Help kids know things can be done differently with these equally fun toys that don’t wreck the planet, last well beyond the festive season and can be passed onto another child or another family once they’re done.
Honeysticks Original Beeswax Crayons 12pk [Staff Tried and Tested]
Highlights: Chubby eco-friendly beeswax crayons in 12 bright colors. Easier for little hands to hold, these non-toxic crayons are made in New Zealand using responsibly sourced beeswax, vegetable fats, minerals, and food-grade pigments. Totally free of paraffin wax, fragrances, and fillers and free from eight common allergens including soy. Shipped plastic-free with recycled cardboard packaging! (Fantastic crayons for matte paper, but not so hot on anything glossy.)
Highlights: DIY kit includes 10 colored pencils and plastic-free action figures made with FSC certified wood. Color and customize these articulated heroes made by a women-owned business that donates to environmental charities.
Highlight: Made from sustainably harvested FSC certified wood, natural clay, and graphite, these plantable pencils have a biodegradable stub containing 10 non-GMO seeds. Color indoors during winter and plant the stub end in spring! The pencils are non-toxic, lead-free, and safe for children. They arrive in recyclable packaging, with 8 colors in a pack. Have a sharpener handy, though, as they ship unsharpened!
Rubens Barn Ecobuds Mini Flora and Friends [Staff Tried and Tested]
Highlights: Super cute and excellent quality eco-friendly stroller or car seat dolls made with GOTS organic cotton and recycled or virgin polyester or corn-based PLA filling (depends on the doll). Perfect for little hands to hold onto and safe enough for little mouths to explore, with no metal or plastic choking hazards. Machine washable. An instant favorite, make sure to get two, for when Flora the explorer inevitably goes AWOL.
Highlights: Fun, non-toxic, kid-safe nail polish you can easily remove with alcohol, soap, and water. Made in the USA using confectioner’s glaze and Cruelty-Free and microplastic-free. Reuse the glass bottles for arts and crafts once you’re done!
Highlights: Probably the most eco-friendly dollhouse around! This absolutely beautiful dollhouse is energy efficient, with a wind turbine, solar panel, recycling bins, a rain barrel and more. A great way to introduce conservation and sustainability to kids aged three and up. This dollhouse won the U.S. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. Measures around half a meter high, wide, and deep and weighs 15.5 lbs. (7.04 kg).
Reusable water bottle and backpacks
With the advent of indoor heating and Christmas work parties comes… dehydration. Help your loved ones stay on top of their water intake with a reusable water bottle.
Highlights: Reusable glass water bottle available in more than 15 colors and completely dishwasher safe. Not insulating, but safe for hot and cold drinks. Available in 12, 16, and 22 ounce sizes, made from borosilicate glass, with a tight-fitting polypropylene cap and a grippy silicone sleeve that’s comfortable to hold. The wide mouth makes it easy to fill and clean.
Highlights: A rugged and durable 18/8 stainless steel water bottle with double-walled insulation and suitable for hot and cold beverages. Dishwasher-safe, this heavy-duty bottle is able to withstand bumps and knocks but looks stylish and chic enough for the office or gym. The screw-top drinking spout can be removed, making it easy to add ice and clean the bottle. Leakproof and BPA-free, this gorgeous gift is a big hit with customers and holds 26 ounces of liquid refreshment.
tentree Mobius 35 liter backpack [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: Waterproof and PFC-free, this fantastic rolltop backpack is made entirely from post-consumer recycled polyester, for shell, lining, and insulation! It has a smart layout to help you organize your stuff, a clever chest strap design you can easily adjust to fit your frame, and is BlueSign and GRS certified and made by a B Corp that cares. [Tried, tested, and loved by an audio journalist toting a lot of tech that needs to stay dry!]
Terra Thread 16-Liter Earth Backpack [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: A simple, durable, super sustainable backpack made with rugged 14-ounce organic cotton canvas in a Fair Trade Certified™ Factory by a company that cares. A great choice for older kids, college, work, travel, and day hiking, this workhorse of a backpack has two water bottle sleeves, a large outer zippered pocket, small interior pocket and laptop sleeve inside. Not waterproof and no cushioning for the laptop though, but 16 liters of space for all your essentials.
I love Christmas, so I’m definitely counting down the days. Count down the hours too with one of these sustainable watches powered by solar! (Yes, even in wintertime.)
TRIWA [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: More modern and sporty watches made with Humanium metal (sourced from confiscated illegal firearms) and recycled ocean plastic, with some solar powered watches. TRIWA donates 15% of every Humanium watch sold to support victims of armed violence. Look for solar powered watches made with straps comprising recycled PET nylon rather than leather. The watches arrive in a gorgeous cardboard gift box with just two tiny pieces of thin plastic film to protect the watch face and buckle in transit.
Solios [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: Eco-friendly, sustainable solar powered watches made by a B Corporation that supports reforestation and has entirely eliminated single use plastic from its operations.
Highlights: Sustainable watches handmade in Vancouver, BC, using 100% reclaimed or recycled wood! These watches are powered by premium Rondo 6004D Swiss Movements or Japanese Miyota Watch Movements and many are waterproof to 5 ATM, with straps made of vegan leather. Tense is also a member of 1% for the Planet.
For the ultimate stocking stuffer that will dazzle its recipient, get an ethical diamond ring. After all, if it’s meant to last, you’ll say it better with a sustainable ring that’s made fairly, using ethically sourced minerals and conflict-free or lab-grown diamonds that don’t harm people or planet.
Highlights: Going well beyond conflict-free, this B Corp uses exclusively lab-created diamonds and recycled metals and helps rebuild communities ravaged by mining. MiaDonna is based in Portland, Oregon, and offers stunning and sustainable diamond rings and other jewelry. Partners with One Tree Planted!
Highlights: A fantastic B Corporation, using Fairmined, Fair Trade, nickel-free gold to make beautiful engagement and wedding rings. Pop the question this Christmas with a proposal loaner ring, then swap it free for your spouse-to-be’s preferred ring!
Highlights: Beautiful jewelry made with recycled gold and the world’s first certified Carbon Neutral® lab-grown diamonds. All created using hydropower from Washington State’s Columbia River!
For the person who has everything and doesn’t like to be indulged, indulge them quietly with good quality, sustainable underwear.
Highlights: Boxer briefs made in Southern California using GOTS-certified organic cotton and hemp with a touch of lycra. Available in sizes S-XL, each pair is breathable, durable, super comfortable and features flatlock stitching for a cozier fit without bulk. Timeless and sustainable, this underwear is made with low-impact dyes and is ECOCERT Certified organic. Despite the name, the company definitely makes Sustainable Santa’s ‘nice list’ as it ships each pair in biodegradable cardboard packaging, and donates 10% of all proceeds to charity.
Highlights: Affordable boxer briefs made by Australian-based loungewear brand that focuses on sustainability and fair working conditions. Available in sizes S-XXL and in four colors, these briefs are made with 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane and have wide elastic for a comfortable fit.
Highlights: Available in sizes S-XXL and made with 95% GOTS organic cotton and 5% elastane, these simple, stylish briefs make sustainability sexy and sensible all at once. Organic Basics is a B Corp and 1% for the Planet member!
Organic Basics Women’s Underwear
Highlights: A wide variety of styles and fabrics, mostly comprising organic cotton, TENCEL, and recycled nylon with non-toxic Polygiene® treatment. Organic Basics supports regenerative agriculture!
Cozy base layers
Once you’ve got your recipient sorted for underthings, they’re going to need some sustainable base layers! Check out these eco-friendly options for cozy ski-wear or casual cabin wear – perfect for on-piste and off-piste Christmas fun!
Women’s Woolies 2 Zip [Staff tried and tested]
Highlight: Cute, cozy, incredibly well made 100% merino base layer top with a practical zip and optional thumbholes, made sustainably and hands-down my favorite base layer for snowy days on the mountains (and extra cozy days at home!).
Women’s Woolies 2 Bottom [Staff tried and tested]
Highlight: Super cozy and comfortable 100% merino wool base layer bottoms. These bottoms offer a skin-tight fit, are really soft, and are stylish enough to strip down to off-piste.
Help your giftee face the new year with a fresh look or make Secret Santa a bit more sustainable this year with some affordable, ethical, eco-friendly make-up.
Highlights: Canadian B Corp making sustainable vegan makeup with almost exclusively Fair Trade and organic ingredients. Products come in reusable, zero-waste aluminum and FSC certified bamboo housing with seed paper pouch refills!
Highlights: Made mostly in the USA and Canada, this vegan-friendly, Feingold and PETA certified Cruelty Free nail polish looks great and lasts a long time, but is easily removed with rubbing alcohol. Honeybee Gardens is well rated by the Environmental Working Group and uses ethically sourced (in the U.S.!) mica and recycled packaging.
Highlights: Almost totally zero-waste, 100% vegan company making high-quality cosmetics and personal care products. Ingredients are mostly organic, wild foraged, and homegrown by the company.
Highlights: USA-made, fruit pigmented, all-natural, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly lipsticks that are actually good for your skin! Made with vibrant pigments from plums, raspberries, grapes, and cocoa, these lipsticks offer full coverage and a satin finish. They glide on easily, almost like a lip gloss, and there’s a wide range of colors that last all day. No parabens, phthalates, or potentially toxic FD&C colors, Made by a company that uses solar power, donates to charities, and packages everything sustainably.
Highlights: U.S.-made mascara featuring plant-derived waxes and natural pigments for rich color. Volumizing, clean, and green, this cruelty-free, vegan mascara uses mostly organic and ECOCERT ingredients that are fairly sourced. Use code LEAFSCORE for 20% off!
Need to help an amateur Santa spruce up that facial hair? Or is there a lingering Movember moustache that requires some taming? We’ve got you (un)covered with sustainable shaving gifts for the hairier folks on your shopping list.
Highlights: Offering six levels of blade ‘gap’ to tailor your shave, this sustainable razor is ideal for any skin type and stubble length. A great choice for all shavers, beginner to pro, the 6C comprises stainless steel with high-end chromed zinc alloys. A real heirloom gift, this razor could easily last for generations to come, which is why Rockwell offers a lifetime warranty. Replacement blades cost just 10 cents!
Highlights: Stunning, easy to clean and maintain, synthetic fiber brush made by a longstanding company that knows its business. This durable, stylish brush is made with chrome and matches Mühle’s R89 safety razor to make a handsome shaving set. Great for creating a lather, this brush is made with several fiber thicknesses to create great backbone without scratchiness. The knot is easily replaceable when the time finally comes!
Highlights: This Leaping Bunny certified, vegan-friendly shaving cream whips up a luxurious lather and helps soften hair, while providing extra glide for a smooth, close, easy shave and soft, hydrated skin. Made in the USA by a B Corp and USDA organic certified company, it comes in recyclable and reusable tins with mostly recycled packaging.
Let’s face it, for almost all the adults on our gift list, the best gift of all is a morning cup of coffee. Make it greener with some beans from a B Corp!
Highlights: Absolutely delicious, unique, small-batch Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee from a longstanding eco-friendly and sustainability-minded B Corp. Larry’s Coffee is based in North Carolina, and boasts an eco-friendly roastery and offices with rainwater collection, solar water-heated flooring, company-wide composting, and local delivery using a veggie-oil-fueled school bus. Larry’s roasts the beans in small batches to find the perfect time for each harvest, to highlight the flavors unique to every seasonal bean crop.
Highlights: Great-tasting, Fairtrade and organic certified coffee roasted in a LEED standard energy-efficient Smart Roaster. Each bag comes with a unique QR code that tells you exactly where your coffee was grown, when it was roasted, and its score from the company’s Director of Coffee, Canada’s first Certified Q Grader!
You can’t go wrong with chocolate. After all, it’s easy to regift (or you might even get it back!) if your recipient isn’t a lover of cacao. Here are our top picks for sweet sustainable chocolate stocking stuffers.
Highlights: Beyond direct-trade, value-added at source, all vegan, all organic, all delicious eco-friendly, palm oil-free sustainable chocolate! The entire Beyond Good line is organic, vegan-friendly, and made at the source using heirloom cocoa from Madagascar and single-origin chocolate from Uganda, with regenerative agroforestry projects a core part of this super ethical company’s core mission.
Highlights: Totally vegan, organic, biodynamic, delicious and sustainable chocolate from a company that adds value at source to keep profits in the community where the cocoa is grown and the chocolate produced.
Highlights: Mostly vegan-friendly organic and kosher certified chocolate from a socially responsible and eco-friendly sustainable Seattle-based business that tracks the environmental footprint of every pound of chocolate!
If an ugly Christmas sweater is more your jam, you might want to check out our round-up of the best online thrift stores. For more conventional, but sustainable, sweaters, here are some of our top picks, mostly made with recycled and natural fibers.
Highlights: This cozy, stylish sweater is made in Portugal by one of our favorite B Corps and 1% for the Planet members. It comprises 100% recycled merino wool and is shipped carbon neutral!
tentree kids treefleece crew sweater [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: Super soft and cozy kids’ winter sweater made with 55% Organic Cotton, 26% Recycled Polyester, and 19% TENCEL™ lyocell. Features the familiar tentree cork patch and is made using four-way medium stretch knit fabric for extra snuggliness (personally verified using a LeafScore family test-toddler!). Available in 1T to 5T and in eight colors.
tentree Women’s ¼ zip quilted fleece
Highlight: Super cozy ¼ zip quilted fleece made with soft organic cotton and recycled polyester. A great mid-weight layer with a kangaroo style front pocket, high collar, and a front and back yoke. For every fleece sold, tentree plants… 10 trees!
Reading environmental impact reports can be… sobering. If your giftee needs to let loose a little, check out these sustainable wines from vineyards doing things better.
Highlights: Demeter Biodynamic certified winery big on biodiversity, solar energy, water conservation, and other sustainable strategies for winemaking. All wines have been certified organic, sustainable, and/or biodynamic since 2006!
Highlights: Family-owned CSWA certified sustainable winery focused on world-class winemaking, biodiversity, energy efficiency, water conservation, and good employment practices.
It’s been a hard year for many, which may require hard liquor for some. For a taste of sunshine and sustainability, check out eco-friendly mezcal!
Highlights: Super sustainable mezcal – even the bottle labels are made with agave leaf remnants! Noble Coyote offers several premium single-origin mezcals made from four types of agave – Espadín, Tobalá, Jabalí and Coyote. They’re all made in the village of San Luis Amatlán in Oaxaca, Mexico, using carefully selected wild and semi-wild agaves.
Highlights: Organic mezcal made by a company that went net-zero in 2021 and plans to be carbon negative by 2024. The range includes a solar-powered mezcal!
Okay, so you’ll need a big Christmas stocking for this gift, but the recipient definitely won’t be off piste.
Highlights: Super sustainable skis made by a socially engaged company that has been around since 1947 – Salomon knows its skis and clearly cares about its ‘planetary playground’.
Highlights: Sustainably made skis and other outdoor sports gear from a company making every effort to produce eco-friendly products.
For your dog!
Be honest, your dog’s Christmas stocking is usually better stocked than your spouse’s or kids’, right? Skip the chaos of shredded toys and the grossness of meaty treats this year and go for a more sustainable seasonal spread for your favorite pup.
Petaluma Sweet Potato Jerky [Staff dog tried and tested]
Highlights: Petaluma’s plant-based jerky for dogs is made from organic, air-dried sweet potatoes grown in North Carolina. Tried and tested by my lucky pup, this jerky goes down a treat! The generously sized bag contains pieces of jerky of different sizes. Open the bag with care though as it’s made with home compostable materials, meaning it can rip fairly easily.
Highlights: A great choice for dogs who love chewing on sticks or gnawing on furniture. Save your table legs from harm by getting this toy made of solid olive wood, hand-harvested and sustainably sourced, then soaked in olive oil.
Hip Doggie Starfish Loofa Organic Dental Toy [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: Designed to floss your dog’s teeth as they play, this cute starfish/sea star is made with natural loofah material and natural flavoring. It’s pretty small and will shred eventually, but it will keep most dogs entertained for several weeks first!
Highlights: Fabric flyer that’s incredibly durable, non-toxic, and sustainable to boot! Made for days by the water or hours at the park, this dog-friendly disk comprises regenerative hemp and ethically sourced wool, meaning it can float, fly, and roll. Available in small (6-inch radius) and large (10-inch radius). Honest Pet Products is committed to safe and fair labor practices and sources hemp responsibly from Romania and wool from Woolgatherer Carding Mill in California. All hemp toys are assembled in Wisconsin.
For your downward dog
Got an aunt or uncle who could benefit from being a little more zen? Treat them to a sustainable yoga mat, then at least there’s somewhere to lie down once dinner table talk turns to politics.
Gurus Roots Cork Yoga Mat [Staff tried and tested]
Highlights: This naturally antimicrobial yoga mat is versatile thanks to its cork top layer and rubber bottom layer, plus it doesn’t absorb heat. Personally tested by our team members for over two years of use. Make sure to choose the Roots, not the Sprout mat!
Highlights: One of the only GOTS organic cotton and FSC certified natural latex yoga mats around! It’s machine washable and Climate Neutral!
Really want to wow someone? Get them an all-inclusive trip to one of these top choices for a sustainable vacation. If they’re living somewhere, like me, where it rains for six months of the year, the promise of a little sunshine, or just a change of scenery, is the perfect gift.
Highlights: 5-star resort with LEED Certification and some serious sustainability features and practices. All-season indoor and outdoor activities include ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort, named America’s #1 ski resort by Ski magazine for 2008- 2011. Family-friendly, there’s a gourmet gastro-pub with bowling lanes, billiards, darts and nostalgic arcade games, and a 35,000 square foot alpine-inspired spa, as well as outdoor pool and whirlpools.
Highlights: 5-star resort and spa with 200 acres of the enormous property assigned to conservation easement. Lots of sustainable practices including an innovative on-site Culinary Garden that provides fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables for its entire food and beverage programming. A 20-min drive from Washington Dulles International Airport and just an hour from Washington D.C.
Final thoughts on a sustainable season
Once you’ve got something for everyone on your list, there’s one last thing to do: wrap everything! Don’t fall at the last hurdle, though.
Make sure to use eco-friendly gift wrap for those sustainable stocking stuffers.