The act of giving is most fulfilling when it’s mindful of people and the planet. After all, giving a memorable gift shouldn’t cost your sanity or the earth.
Every year we’re inundated with consumerism, an influence that usually only brings short-lived joy and excessive consumption. Mountains of waste, plastic pollution, fast fashion, stress and depleted savings can suck the joy out of Christmas, and this overindulgence only fuels climate change.
Fortunately, there’s an antidote.
Ethical, sustainable and eco-conscious gifts make gift giving so much better for everybody.
There are many Australian small businesses supporting sustainability. This guide focuses on local brands sparking change, full of ideas to help you shop for every person on your list (including those hard-to-buy-for people).
Here are my top sustainable gifts for Christmas to get you feeling festive, and support sustainable businesses.
What are Sustainable Gifts?
But first things first.
What makes a gift, product or business sustainable?
Sustainability includes the planet, people and profits. It covers environmental protection (preserving natural resources), social development (finding ways for humans to live healthy lives) and economic development (the costs of sustainable efforts in businesses and government incentives).
Sustainable gifts for Christmas embrace a climate-friendly lifestyle. They also:
- Reduce waste
- Have no hazardous materials or ingredients
- Don’t deplete natural resources
- Use low-impact production with ethical labour
- Can be repurposed, reused, composted or recycled after use
- Have a life cycle with minimal to no waste
Corporate Gift Giving
Instead of reaching for another branded plastic pen, think about how your business can be more environmentally responsible.
Tangibility is a Perth-based business with sustainable merchandise options. They have a range of eco-friendly products and gifts made from reusable materials such as bamboo, steel, rice husk and wheat straw. Whether it’s eco stationery, bamboo USBs, reusable coffee cups or biodegradable drink bottles, they have a gift option for everyone.
Works With Quirks
Works With Quirks is run by Perth graphic designer and photographer Clare, who uses nature as an inspiration to create quirky digital and traditional works.
Her annual hand-foiled Christmas cards are my favourite to send to clients each year. They’re simple, sustainable and make the perfect addition to a gift or on their own.
Clare also offers logo and branding design services, as well as social media packages. Her prices are reasonable, with quick turnaround times and wholesale printing costs – perfect for small business owners needing new branding.
Gifts for Creatives
Studio P Ceramics
Studio P is a relaxed and charming pottery studio in Leederville, Perth. You can buy vouchers for workshops and classes, or buy a piece from their stunning collection of stoneware online or in-store.
Products use eco-friendly materials and include vases, mugs, coffee cups, teapots and t-shirts. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even buy a potters wheel to create ceramics in the comfort of home.
An Organised Life
Keep your projects organised with stationery designed to bring structure into busy lifestyles.
An Organised Life isn’t shy about its sustainable journey. The products are keepsakes and combine function and style. All calendars, journals, diaries and notebooks use recyclable, acid-free paper with soy ink.
Perfect for the hard-working business owner in your life or a friend, family or colleague who craves organisation and minimal style. You can also add a personal touch with their premium monogramming service.
Product and packaging materials are sustainable and vegan for quality, longevity and impact.
Albox’s founder Darby Johns has been passionate about sustainability for over 20 years. The South Australian business has the best green products for storing and collecting your most precious memories and important records, such as photo albums, archive boxes and office documents.
Their design program uses sustainable materials to replace PVC and paperboard, and all products are acid-free, metal-free, adhesive-free and recyclable. Shop now.
Ask any creative person and they’ll tell you, you can never have enough stationery. For the eco-friendly person, however, it can be hard to find the right notebook that’s kind to the planet and looks the part too.
Notely is a Queensland business setting the example for simple, sustainable notebooks for everyday use. The owner and Brisbane-based designer Jenica Smith built the business on a belief that all actions have consequences, and the smallest spark of an idea can change the world. As long as you remember to write it down, even if it is at 3 am.
Products are vibrant in colour and feature designs from Australian artists. The paper is made from 100% post-consumer waste – meaning they only use the whitest recycled office paper for a delicate, tactile finish.
They keep their footprint light with 100% carbon neutral paper that’s FSC-certified, as well as minimal packaging and partnering with Rainforest Rescue to plant more trees.
Pigeon & Weasel
Candles in bottles are my new favourite thing.
Whether for the home or office, Sydney brand Pigeon & Weasel makes it easy to rethink waste with candles as pleasing for your senses as they are to the planet. They’re crafty, luxurious and sustainable, made from recycled beer and wine bottles.
All products use high-quality soy wax, lovingly poured and smoothly finished in amber-coloured bottles. Flavours range from vanilla bean to chai latte and coconut lime. It’s hard to choose just one!
Gifts for Foodies and Wine Lovers
Winestains is a distinctive South Australian business that thinks outside-the-barrel when it comes to recycled goodies.
Run by a father and daughter duo, they use wine barrel waste to craft functional, stunning pieces. Their products are great for picnics and entertaining, with innovative and upcycled designs.
Oaktree barrels are only used a few times before they’re discarded. To combat this, Winestains give the waste new life in the form of quality cheese boards, wine glass stakes, platters and more. They use all parts of the wine barrel including the heads, hoops and staves.
The duo’s sustainable journey continues with every sale. For each product sold, they plant a tree to support forest regeneration. Winestains has planted over 15,000 trees with the help of its customers.
The magic of mushrooms can be found in medicinal varieties and Life Cykel is the Australian business harnessing its goodness.
Co-founders Julian Mitchell and Ryan Creed started Life Cykel to grow gourmet mushrooms from coffee waste and reconnect people with sustainable, healthy plant-based food. Initially a Melbourne startup, they’ve bloomed into a booming business with mushroom labs in Australia and the USA.
Products include medicinal mushroom extracts, native bush food flavourings, mushroom chai and organic mushroom honey. Their mushroom, alkaline and bee pollination grow kits also make for great gift ideas. They even have a new range for pets!
Life Cykel is environmentally-focused, reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint and creating a closed-loop system in food production, waste products and medical mushrooms.
Pretty Green is an online supermarket shaking up the industry with affordable groceries, foods and gifts.
The Sydney business provides a sustainable service resulting in less food waste. Pretty Green’s gift section allows you to send hampers, vegan treats and other handpicked products nationwide with over 300 gifts to choose from.
Micropod Grow Kits
Micropod’s grow kits sit on the kitchen bench or windowsill and sprout a little microgreens garden in less than two weeks. The kit comes with everything you need to get started. You can grow your own organic food free from nasty GMOs, pesticides and herbicides.
All the materials are sustainable including the biodegradable grow trays made from bamboo fibres and compostable seed mats. The perfect gift for anyone who loves healthy food.
Kimberley Coffee Company
Kimberely Coffee Company is passionate about producing sustainable coffee. Located in the outback pearling town of Broome, Mark and co know the best coffee not only comes from great beans but from a holistic approach to roasting as well. As such, they only use the freshest water and work in a natural, clean environment.
They have an extensive range of delicious Fairtrade beans, coffee subscriptions for home and business, decaffeinated options and herbal and chai teas to tempt your taste buds. You can also buy gift vouchers. Every coffee subscription delivery in December comes with a free coffee seed pack to grow your own coffee plant.
Gifts for Plant Addicts
Succulents and cacti are some of the best eco-friendly plants because of their resilience and natural tolerance to harsh conditions.
If you’re looking for the ultimate plant gift, Owy’s Garden in Bunbury is a must to visit. The paradise property is more than a nursery with a walk-through section home to life-sized dinosaurs and giant cacti that have been growing for over 5 years. It’s the perfect space to see the sheer size of different cacti, and how fast they can take off once in the ground.
There’s also a section for succulents, cacti and tropical varieties to buy with so much to inspire your next project, gift or plant baby. Still stuck on the ultimate plant present? Why not buy a gift voucher from Owy’s.
Owy’s Garden is family owned and operated. A hidden gem with unique plants for every space. Owy, Dave and the rest of the team are enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable, armed with the latest advice and tips.
Stop in next time you’re passing through – you won’t be disappointed! In the meantime, have a sneak peek here (although it has evolved a lot since).
The Little Veggie Patch Co
Give the gift of growth and better-tasting food this Christmas.
The Little Veggie Patch Co encourages 100% sustainable gardening with efficient water-saving technology, eco raised garden beds and planters, bamboo plant labels and other sustainable gardening products.
Koa by Kaitlin
Slow living meets multi-functional, toxic-free and sustainable products.
Koa by Kaitlin is an ethical homeware brand designed by Kaitlin Liddell. Products are mindfully crafted from the earth by hand and colourful enough to brighten any home, office or alfresco space. Her collection includes ceramic plant pots, vases, mugs and bowls with striking designs to make an impact, without contributing to landfill. Made with love for years to come.
We the Wild
The go-to place for organic and natural plant care.
We the Wild is a sustainable collective for plant addicts putting a stop to synthetic and plastic-coated fertilisers. Products use all-organic ingredients made by worms, with over 200 active microbes for plant-powering performance that’s better for plants, people, pets and the planet. Check out their Christmas gift packs.
Gifts for Him
Pod Star was started by Sydney couple Mark and Kirsten with a mission to reduce waste, plastic pollution and the impact coffee pods have on the environment.
They designed the first reusable, stainless steel coffee pod for the Nespresso machine. Followed by pods for the K-Fee (Aldi) and Espressotoria machines, eliminating the need for single-use parts completely.
Pod Star only uses the highest grade stainless steel for their products, compostable packaging and carbon-neutral delivery. They also sell 100% organic and FairTrade coffee beans. Shop the starter or barista packs for the sustainable coffee lover in your life.
Whipper Snapper Distillery
Whipper Snapper is Perth’s first urban distillery with a focus on sustainability.
They handcraft a range of premium, authentic craft whiskeys using 100% local Western Australian grains, as well as stock branded clothing and gifts made locally. If you’re in Perth, head to their South Perth distillery for tastings or visit their online store for Christmas gift ideas.
Bondi Joe is a sustainable clothing line producing swim trunks for boys and men made from 100% recycled materials. They melt down plastic bottles and other PET materials to turn them into bold, comfy fabrics.
Created in Bondi Beach, the garments can be worn in and out of the water, sunrise to sunset, beach to bar. Bondi Joe uses plastic-free packaging and has a fully transparent supply chain with carbon offset. They only work with suppliers who follow a strict Code of Conduct for plant-friendly boardshorts, so you can trust their processes are ethical.
Will & Bear
A small Aussie brand with a thirst for the outdoors, Will & Bear makes ethical headwear for on and off the road adventures.
The business was born on the road, from the van of co-founders and couple Alex and Will. Their designs stem from a love for the outdoors and the great Australian landscape. Think earthy colours, all-natural materials and traditional, simple styles that inspire a deeper connection to the environment.
They use biodegradable and renewable materials which can be upcycled. Will & Bear also follow strict eco-friendly goals and plant 10 trees for every hat sold. Their designs are unisex and suitable for kids too.
Gifts for Her
Pottery for the Planet
Pottery for the Planet is the creative love-child of two artists who were drawn together through a shared passion for the environment and a mission to reduce waste.
Single-use coffee cups are a big problem for landfills. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on plastic at home or in the office, Pottery for the Planet makes it easy with its extensive range of ceramic travel coffee cups, travel lunch bowls, teapots and vases.
These sustainable alternatives are unique and beautifully handcrafted with love. They’re functional and most of all, great for the planet. The Sunshine Coast team uses natural resources such as clay to craft their products, working with nature as opposed to against it.
Because ceramic pieces are made from the earth they can be returned after use leaving no waste or pollution.
All the Wild Roses
Have you made the switch to sustainable fashion yet?
All the Wild Roses design and make ethical pieces to help put a stop to fast fashion. It’s an independent women’s label with sustainability at its core. Using upcycled fabrics, the pieces are effortless and classic to (hopefully) become the next generation of vintage. Look out for exclusive, one-off pieces too.
Orchard St is a cafe, elixir bar and organic shop on the north side of Bondi.
Created to connect people with nature through the powerful and potent benefits of plants, they sell high-quality products such as juices, powders, tonic herbs, botanical teas and medicinal mushrooms in-store and online.
Orchard St is dedicated to a better world. This small business honours health, the plant realm and giving back, which they do by partnering with Rainforest Trust for direct donations on every purchase.
If you’re in Bondi, visit the cafe minutes from the beach for raw meals, booster shots and other wholesome treats.
Colouron Cotton is a small family-owned business passionate about sustainable fashion and timeless, non-toxic pieces.
The slow fashion label aims to make eco-clothing simple and reduce waste through design. Without jeopardising quality or style, the pieces are for the conscious consumer who wants to feel comfortable and confident. Colouron Cotton combines traditional handcrafted fabrics with toxic-free dying techniques and modern tailoring for a sustainable style.
Gifts for Couples, Family and Kids
Make the practical fashionable with Kollab Collection – an Aussie brand with affordable essentials.
I came across Kollab in February when I was gifted a monstera print picnic mat from mum. The brand’s signature prints are original, colourful and fun, with multifunctional and ethically-made products for everyday use.
Kollab Collection wanted to create something more than just beach bags. Their sustainable, vegan range includes lunch boxes, drink bottles, shopper totes, clutches, play and picnic mats, and storage solutions.
Sustainable, stylish and sand-free towels designed to suit your lifestyle, for all travels and adventures.
SomerSide makes beach accessories made from recycled plastic bottles. The brand was created to keep plastic out of our oceans and forests while giving people more versatile products. Its process is ethical and transparent, with bold designs and gift bundles for an easy present choice this year.
Little Earth Nest
Little Earth Nest is an original eco-family store for the little ones in your life and families with an awareness of the environment. Owner Pip and her team have their roots in providing a huge range of handmade products from eco-friendly brands and small, local producers. Products are natural, durable and organic with non-toxic paint.
They cover everything from eco-friendly baby care, to educational projects, wooden toys, reusables and household cleaning. You can shop by age, with stocking stuffers and gift bundles too.
The family-favourite inflatable pool has finally had a sustainable facelift. DIPP is Australia’s first eco-friendly inflatable pool. DIPP Pools are entirely biodegradable, non-toxic and sustainably produced to limit the amount of waste going to landfill. Great for kids, adults or relaxing with your puppy.
Homegrown in Bryon Bay, DIPP has re-imaged the old family-favourite with your home and our earth in mind. Each pool fits around three adults and is beautifully toned in your choice of earthy green, white or dusty peach. For lovers of fun, sun and the environment.
Ready for a green festive season this year? These eco-friendly Christmas gifts will support sustainable businesses and the planet, while giving a gift that’s meaningful and conscious.