Hi everyone! I’m back with the next installment in my gift guide series – thanks for the lovely response to the under $100 guide! I decided to split my home gift guide in two – one for “staying home,” which is what this post is about, and one that is more focused on sustainable living, housewares and home décor. With so much time spent at home this year, it seemed appropriate to dedicate a bit more space to this topic!
This guide took me a little longer to put together than anticipated, because brands don’t carry a lot of inventory when it comes to sustainable and fair trade goods (to reduce waste!). So, I started this guide, and then some of the things originally on it sold out over the course of a few days while I was still writing. I’ve replaced those items with either similar, or even better (!) picks.
Without further ado, here are my 2020 picks for “staying home!”
Jiggy “Merry Paws” Puzzle ($40): I love Jiggy Puzzles (Matt and I did one of their puzzles earlier this year, boob art!). Their puzzles all highlight the work of female artists. They’re very “Instagrammable” and come in a glass jar, and even include puzzle glue if you want to frame your puzzle when it’s done. This is my favorite design currently on their site – I love foxes (my college mascot – any other Marist graduates out there?!) – but any of their puzzles would make a fun and festive gift.
Peach Grid Apron ($125): Remember that part of quarantine where we all just baked bread and got cozy at home? Well, we need to get back to that place this winter. This apron is handwoven by a family-run cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico. It is fair trade, sustainable, uses heritage techniques and is from women-owned brand MINNA. This pattern also comes in oven mitts, potholders and more if an apron isn’t your recipient’s style.
Cropped Ribbed Sweatshirt ($99): This is the perfect work-from-home top. I love that it can be worn with the v-neck in the front or back, and the ribbed fabric and cropped fit makes for a top that is both comfortable and cute. Pair it with the matching shorts or cropped pants from VETTA’s loungewear capsule for a cozy and chic ‘fit.
Slip Shoes ($145): I have these house shoes, and they are awesome. They are a combination of a slipper and a shoe, so they’re super comfortable but still feel put together. They are also made with some really cool sustainable materials – from the cork insole, to the sugarcane sole, to the recycled vegan suede and vegan apple leather.
Organic Cotton Set ($103): Organic Basics makes some of the best, well, basics. This set would make a great gift for anyone just getting into sustainable fashion. I wear this triangle bra constantly since working from home, and overall their items are just so soft and comfortable. The brand only works with certified factory partners that meet stringent environmental standards and provide a safe working space, pay a living wage and offer employee benefits and perks. They also have the Organic Basics Fund, a grant program that helps fight climate change, restore biodiversity and protect vulnerable communities by giving direct funding to people, groups and projects that address environmental and social injustices at the root cause. You can save 10% on your Organic Basics order with code WHOLEOBC2.
Aspen Embers Candle ($30): Glow is one of my favorite businesses to shop small with! This scent is only available through December, and it is so good – it smells like a wood-burning stove; think cedar, smoke and pine. It’s also similar to, but way more affordable and eco-friendly than, the popular Diptyque Feu de Bois candle. The scent is also just a bit less intense, which I appreciate. Hand poured in small batches in St. Louis, Glow candles are made with all natural, eco-friendly soy wax derived from American grown soybeans. 70-hour burn time.
Blush Wine Glass Set ($75): How beautiful are these vintage-inspired, blush wine glasses?! Estelle Colored Glass is WOC-owned, and their pieces are handblown by artisans in Poland. Estelle is inspired by founder Stephanie Hall’s grandmother, Estelle, who loved antiquing and had a special day of the week where she visited her favorite shops looking for new treasures in small neighboring South Carolina towns. If anyone I know reading this is planning on buying me a gift, PLEASE, PLEASE buy me these – haha! (I swear, sometimes my gift guides are just things I’d love to receive.).
Custom Nail Polish Trio ($32):You’re probably also doing your nails at home this winter. Tenoverten is the best nail polish I’ve personally used at home (my favorite shade is ‘Madison’). Their polishes are 8-free, which means they are free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBT), Camphor, Parabens, Triphenol Phosphate (TPHP) and Sulfates, and are cruelty-free and vegan. Their colors are also long-lasting; when I do my nails with their basecoat, color and topcoat, my manicure always lasts a full week. With their custom trio, you can select any three colors for $32.
Bella Pajamas ($115): Matching pajamas always make me feel like I really have my life together. This set is so classic, with the lapels and piping, and it is made of ridiculously soft Pima cotton and modal for the most comfortable sleep ever. And – surprise! Head on over to my Instagram, where I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Azura Bay. Azura Bay offers a gorgeous, curated collection of eco-friendly and ethical loungewear and lingerie. I’m so proud to have an ongoing partnership with them, they are the kindest humans and care so much about making it simple to find high-quality, ethical clothing.
Mug and Warmer Set ($75): This isn’t quite a “sustainable” gift, but I think there is something to be said for not letting your coffee go to waste! I always get distracted while I’m working and my coffee goes cold, so then I either need to a) dump it or b) microwave it. Gross. This mug has a warming base that keeps your beverage warm, and the base doubles as a wireless cellphone charger. Gift this to your favorite coworker to have Zooms with, your blogger friend whose phone is always dying, or really…anyone. It also comes in a bunch of colors.
Fair Trade Coffee ($46): Trades of Hope works around the world to provide women with sustainable employment, with the goal of lifting them out of poverty and preventing human trafficking. Did you know that, statistically, a woman rising out of poverty will bring four more people with her? Their artisans create beautiful jewelry, housewares and more, earning a living wage in a safe work environment. Trades of Hope’s newly-released Natalia blend fair trade coffee is ethically grown, harvested and roasted in Guatemala, and a portion of the proceeds go toward supporting local neonatal care. Disclosure: Trades of Hope is a direct-selling organization, and I’ve linked to the page of a friend of mine in the ethical fashion community who works with Trades of Hope. She’s also worth a follow! You can also choose to shop directly from their website if you prefer to not shop with a specific partner.
Blocks Throw Blanket ($150): Also by MINNA, this fair trade, heritage throw blanket is perfect for the bed, couch, or wrapping around yourself while you take your sixth Zoom call of the day. I think a blanket always makes a great gift, and one as beautiful as this is something someone is unlikely to ever buy for themselves. It would be perfect for your parents, a sister or a close friend.
Bath Towels and Sea Sponge ($55.50): Public Goods is fantastic for household necessities, and they have the fluffiest towels I have ever used in my life. They are 100% organic Turkish cotton and would make an excellent gift for anyone – who doesn’t need some new towels? If you want to make it a fun set, why not include a sponge? Their sponges are sustainably-sourced from Greece, and better for the planet than plastic-based shower puffs. In general, an annual Public Goods membership, at $59 a year, also makes a great gift for someone with a busy lifestyle.
Hope you liked today’s gift guide! Stay tuned for my next round of home picks!