Thursday, 29 October 2015

[GIFT GUIDE]: 12 Cruelty Free Gifts That Give Back for Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is less than 2 months away? Just let that sink in for a moment AND DON'T FREAK OUT!

I personally know that buying Christmas gifts for your loved ones year after year gets trickier as the years go by. Now thanks to the internet, giving a gift can be potentially awkward because after just a few clicks, one can see where you purchased the gift and how much you paid for it. But if you are truly giving from the heart it's all about the thought right?


I decided to put together not only a cruelty free gift guide this year, but also gifts that give back to society and charities. I think as a society we are really grasping the idea of giving back, of being ethical and about being conscious of the  environmental and social imprint we leave behind. Giving gifts that "give back" means that not only are you giving to your loved one, but you are also giving back to society and the earth. Plus, giving a gift that gives back allows you to tell a story when gifting the present, giving you a point of discussion and good karma for both involved - goodbye price checking!

Note: I know I have written alot in this post so if you're looking for the reason you should buy the gift, I have summarised each gift under "Why should I gift this?"

[BAGS]

Matt and Nat Bag

Matt and Nat has got to be one of my favourite vegan bag brands. Not only are their bags always on trend but they have so many options to choose from!

My favourite has got to be the Hope bag which is only $100 AUD ($70 USD) which was designed specifically to give back. Matt and Nat has chosen a selection of environmental, humanitarian, and animal welfare organizations to donate 100% of the purchase price to. To date the Hope bag has donated over $39,000 USD to their 5 chosen charities. Unfortunately the Hope bag isn't available to Australians, but it is available in Europe and the UK and will be back in stock soon in North America.

Purchase it here: https://mattandnat.com/shop/hope-bag

Although the Hope Bag is sold out, gifting any Matt and Nat bag to your loved one is a good idea as the company is committed to providing sustainable and eco-friendly products. They create their own materials from recycled nylons, cardboards, rubber and cork and their linings are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Why should I gift this?: Matt and Nats efforts to create sustainable eco-friendly products are truly commendable in an industry which could be potentially destroying Earth.

Purchase Matt and Nat bags here: http://mattandnat.com/

Price Range: $100 - $400 AUD


Freedom Of Animals Necklace
You might have seen me wearing the Freedom of Animals black and white cross body bag on some of my other posts. Freedom of Animals makes cruelty-free luxury bags. They are partnered with Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya that rehabilitates orphaned elephants and rhinos whose mothers have been killed by poachers. They actually name their bags after the rescued animals which I think is super cute!

Although I put this under bags which is what they mainly do, as a Christmas gift I cannot go past their Freedom Elephant necklace. The necklace is made from recycled oxidised brass on a silver chain.

Why should I gift this?: 10% of each sale goes towards elephant conservation efforts in Africa.

Purchase it here: http://freedomofanimals.com/collections/bag/products/freedomelephant

Price: $113 AUD ($80 USD)

PETA X Freedom of Animals Bag


PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has teamed up with Freedom of Animals (see above) to come up with the Virkin - a vegan friendly take on the Hermes Birkin. Their website describes their motive behind this bag as "Every year, tens of thousands of crocodiles and alligators are cruelly killed in the exotic-leather industry for companies like Herm├Ęs, but this luxury faux-crocodile handbag proves that carrying your heart on your sleeve is much more beautiful than wearing an animal’s skin."

Why should I gift this?: 20% of sales goes towards PETA.

Purchase it here:  http://www.petacatalog.com/clothingaccessories/peta_x_freedom_of_animals_virkin/

Price: $564 AUD ($400 USD)

[MAKE UP]

Benefit Make Up Set
Who doesn't love make up? I recently saw videos of the poor animals that get tested on for make up brands like MAC! This made me question everything! If I am so adamant about buying cruelty free fashion, why wouldn't I do the same in terms of beauty products? I went on the hunt for GOOD make up replacements and researched one of my favs - Benefit. To my surprise they are no only vegan, but they have been against animal testing since 1989 (the best year, because I was born - DUH!)

My pick for gifting this year would be the Pucker Up and Party set. It comes with 2 x hydrating lipbalms and 2 x cheek stains - perfect for any skin colour and best of all - cruelty free!

Why should I gift this?: Benefit are committed to the elimination of animal testing and are playing a leading role in developing alternative methods through their support of the “Fund for Alternatives to Animal Testing” in the United States. According to their website "We also actively participate in validation studies of new alternative tests in the framework of the European cosmetics association, Cosmetics Europe. We are one of only a few companies to have invested in creating our own internal department to test raw materials and ingredients to further ensure the quality of our products and the satisfaction of our customers, which is our top priority."

(Australian Readers) Purchase it here: http://www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/beauty/benefit-makeup-and-skincare/benefit--beauty-kits/benefit-benefit-balm-set-pucker-up-and-party
(Other Readers) Purchase it here:  https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/product/view/pucker-up-and-party

Price: $50 AUD ($26 USD)



[HOME]

Harley Quinn and Co Calendar
This gift has got to be my favourite because it is 100% selfless. The beautiful Erin from HQ&Co is making her 2016 calendars available for download FREE with an optional (but I say non-negotiable) $2 donation to The World Animal Protection. Not only are both designs to die for but she is not making any profits from the downloads which in my mind is truly what giving is all about. Download one (or both) of the files, make the donation (you have to, because Christmas!) and then take the file to the nearest printing store and for a couple of dollars you have THE most perfect Christmas gift. While you're on her site, check out her other amazing prints.

Why should I gift this?: Erin is donating all the money to The World Animal Protection which is why it is so important to make the donation.

Purchase it here:  http://harleyquinnandco.com.au/products

Price: $2 AUD


  Lemon Canary Soy Candles
Soy candles (ok any candles) are my favourite gifts to receive! I never appreciated candles until I moved out into my home and you will never walk into my house without smelling a delicious candle burning.

Jasmin, the founder of Lemon Canary describes the benefits of soy candles over regular candles perfectly on her website. "Soy's wax is completely renewable. While the global reserves of oil shrink and paraffin prices increase, the only limit to the soy supply is how much we choose to grow. Paraffin Candles release chemical pollutants such as acrolein, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, toluene, benzene, acetone in to the air when burning, and that’s just to name a few, these may lead to health risks such as allergies, asthma and even cancer. Soy is a pure clean and sustainable wax, in addition to sustainability, a well-made soy candle will burn cleanly and slowly. While the performance and beauty of soy candles speak for themselves, soy wax is truly an eco-friendly, biodegradable and sustainable product."

My pick for gifting are any of the candles in the Luxe Collection.

Why should I gift this?: Jasmin, through her Canary Project will donate money raised from sales to a cause close to her heart. Each time she reaches a $3000 target in sales she will choose a new charity.

Purchase any of her candles or other items here:  http://www.lemoncanary.com.au/shop

Price Range: $3 - $80 AUD


West Elm Terraniums
West Elm are known for their huge eclectic range of homewares. If anyone knows me, whenever I can, I LOVE adding a personal touch to a gift. My pick for giving from the West Elm range would be their range of terraniums. They come empty of course which means you can pull your green thumb out and put some effort into this special gift! 

Why should I gift this?: West Elm are committed as a company to make an impact both socially and environmentally. In 2015 West Elm has committed to paying $35 million directly to artisans both within the US and internationally - an opportunity that many of these artisans would never have. They are also working to increase their range of "green" products such as organic, recycled, rapidly renewable, non toxic, reclaimed or items responsibly produced from materials like wood or paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Purchase the terraniums from here:  http://www.westelm.com.au/green-thumb-gifts-we-au

Price Range: $24 - $180 AUD


Dignify Kantha Quilts and Throws
Dignify sell premium quality, ethically made, fair trade kantha quilts, throws and other items. The items are hand stitched in Bangladesh using six layers of vintage sari cloth and are made by women in vulnerable, high risk situations - often they are recovering from sexual abuse, oppression or were previously living on the streets. Each blanket, quilt or throw is unique to just one or two designs so each piece is truly special. You can learn more about the women's situations on their website. These throws add a special and unique touch to your home - couch, bed or frame it as a focal point for a room.
 
Why should I gift this?: Making these items provides homeless, abused and exploited women with a job they can be proud of and an income. They gain job skills and the opportunity to develop into leaders in a healthy environment.

Purchase a Kantha Blanket, Throw or Quilt here:  http://www.shopdignify.com/collections/all-kantha-throws-quilts-blankets

Price Range: $80 - $195 AUD ($58 - $138 USD)


[JEWELLERY]

Edgar's Mission Earrings


Edgar’s Mission is a not for profit Farm Sanctuary that seeks to create a humane and just world for humans and animals. They currently provide love and care for 300 rescued farm animals who otherwise would not have had a chance to live in this world. What they are doing is very close to my heart as there is nothing I hate seeing more than the pain factory farmed animals go through. I was thrilled when I found these amazing little Origami Earrings! They come in rabbit, horse and pig designs and come as pendants too if earrings are not your thing! Pigs are my absolute favourite animals apart from dogs so I will definitely be putting a pair on my wish list.

Why should I gift this?: Edgar's Mission provides shelter and direct care for homeless, abused and injured animals. They find permanent homes for mistreat animals and work so so hard to promote compassion, understanding and respect towards animals through education. 

Purchase them here: http://www.edgarsmission.org.au/shop/origami-style-earing/

Price: $39 AUD


31 Bits Jewellery
31Bits allows artisans in Uganda to connect to the international market so that they can earn an income and provide for their families. Their website describes their approach as "Our development strategy uses a holistic approach, caring for a person financially, spiritually, mentally, and physically"

My pick for a Christmas gift would be these beautiful delicate bracelets. Perfect for stacking with other wristwear - plus, there is an amazing story to be told when gifting this special piece. The jewellery is all handmade with 14 karat gold filled chains and are available in beige, burgundy and black. Also available as necklace!

Why should I gift this?: When an artisan joins the program to make jewellery she is essentially given a job, a source of income. She has an opportunity to join a community and receive an education for her future.
  
Purchase it here:  http://31bits.com/shop/bracelets/eloise-bracelet.html

Price: $60 AUD ($42 USD)


[CLOTHING]

The Elephant Pants
This gift is perfect for the friend who loves travelling. Every time I go to Thailand, Sri Lanka or somewhere tropical I always find myself wandering the markets looking for a pair of harem pants. They're so comfortable and on hot days, there is nothing better than letting some air into your clothing! The Elephant Pants make harem pants, shorts, playsuits, dresses and more and my pick for gifting would be the Black Diamond Harem Pants featured above. As they're so loose and comfortable, you could easily just guess your loved ones size - winning!

Why should I gift this?: For every item purchased, The Elephant Pants will donate $1 to $4 to helping prevent the poaching of elephants in Africa. To date they have donated over $122,500 to he African Wildlife Foundation.


Price Range: $23 - $26 AUD


Naja Lingerie
Ok so maybe gifting lingerie isn't always your number one go to gift, but I can't go past these Naja Eco Friendly bras and undies! So maybe this one could be a sneaky Christmas gift for yourself (if you are a female reader) or for a partner. My pick would be their eco-friendly line of underwear made from recycled plastic bottles! Not only are the designs cool but every purchase you make contributes directly towards the employment of a single mother in Columbia.

Why should I gift this?: According to their website "Through our Underwear for Hope program, Naja employs women in the slums of Colombia to make lingerie bags that are offered with each Naja purchase. This program allows marginalized women, who would otherwise have difficulty finding employment opportunities, to work from home and become their own “micro-entrepreneurs”. Two percent of Naja’s revenue is also donated to local charities that provide continuing education to these women. With each purchase of Naja, you can feel good knowing that you are contributing in bettering a woman’s life."

Purchase from the eco-friendly range here: http://www.naja.co/collections/eco-friendly-bras 

Price Range: $26 - $92 AUD ($18 - $65 USD)


I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and always make sure to consider animal welfare and the human and environmental impact of the products you buy this year for Christmas. 

For the love of animals, Nadhisha xx




2 comments :

  1. Your blog is amazing!! :-)
    All the best, Justine

    www.justinekeptcalmandwentvegan.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much Justine! I follow you on instagram so it's lovely to see your comment and support xx

    ReplyDelete