Amid traces of the pandemic, war-torn Russia and talks of recession, stress may be higher this holiday season — and budgets may be lower. Gifting sustainably is more and more the standard this giving season, and there’s a broad range of gift ideas with environmental and social considerations.
WWD scouted the newest sustainable stocking swaps, trialed New York City’s coolest (or most community-inspired) wellness and fitness studios, impactful (but low impact) home additions and coziest loungewear additions to step up self care.
Sampler sets — be it fragrance, lotions or shampoos are a popular gifting choice.
However, layers of plastic and throwaway boxes and bows are a no-go for conscious consumers. And items often relegated to the “Dad gifts” corner, (like mugs and electronics) are all but bland. Here, WWD reveals sustainable stocking swaps from start-ups with style.
Eauso Vert Clean Fragrances: Eauso Vert launched in September 2022 by two former Esteé Lauder in-house marketers, Tanya Gonzalez and Faye Harris. Their goal was to fill the gap in sustainable luxury fragrances, injecting a modern approach that prioritizes transparency.
Using green chemistry to make each fragrance formulation between 95 percent and 99 percent compostable, Eauso Vert leans into energy efficiency, renewable raw ingredients (as well as upcycled ingredients — like rose and turmeric — in three of its scents) and the avoidance of hazardous materials.
Lastly, the brand’s packaging features a fully compostable cap and 100 percent recyclable bottle (opting for cork and a push-pump free design). Billed as both “sustainable and sensuous,” the five-product fragrance line spans scents like “Sintra,” a musky sandalwood and “Joga,” a citrusy floral with jasmine and upcycled turmeric notes. Eauso Vert fragrances retail for between $165 and $185 and are shoppable via Eauso.com. The discovery set retails for $60 (though the website has a 20 percent off promotion during Black Friday) and includes a free coffee table book.
Solios Solar-Powered Watches: Making a sustainable solar watch that is all things stylish, functional and environmentally conscious was the goal of Solios founders Samuel Leroux and Alexandre Desabrais when starting the label three years ago.
The design works by charging its surface in sunlight and artificial light, storing up to six months of reserve power in only two hours of light exposure. It does not need a battery replacement. It is also water resistant and employs recycled stainless steel. New limited edition designs, like the Rainforest Mini in rose gold mesh, retail for $280 on Solioswatches.com.
As the first watch company to be a certified B Corp, Solios passes the test for leading on social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. On the social good side of the equation, the company also invests in initiatives like a watch recycling program in North America and has donated more than $100,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Rainforest Trust.
Dip Hair Care Bars: Though only one year old, Dip is charging into the shampoo and conditioner bar space with flair and grit. The company was founded by Kate Assaraf to provide an eco-friendly shampoo bar with salon brand performance.
Dip’s premium hair care products are meant for all hair types — with the company leaning on the expertise of its chemist (whose name remains undisclosed) who has been formulating salon grade hair care for more than 36 years. (In some circles, the bars have been compared to Olaplex for its color-safe care and ability to liven up dull hair.)
The bars — packaged in punchy cardboard sleeves — include formulas like its “Color Safe Shampoo Bar for Every Day” in wild sage and vetiver, the “After Swim Detangler” in tangerine and honeydew, among others.
Bars go for $24 for shampoo and $32 for conditioners on Dipalready.com. Importantly, the brand espouses its “10 Commandments,” swearing off paid influencers and big-box retailers “that require plastic wrapped palletized goods,” per its website. This week, the brand will announce its new shower rack and wall mount adapter for loyal bar users (available for preorder for $18).
For the Home
Sijo Bedding Collection: Sijo is a partly woman-founded company that carries a range of sleep-centric, modern and sustainably minded products including sheets, sleepwear and more.
Its popular bedding range boasts breathability and moisture-wicking properties (courtesy of Tencel Lyocell), as well as hypoallergenic certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). Receiving a sweep of awards from Architectural Digest and Good Housekeeping, to name a few, the bedding has earned its quality keep. The AiryWeight cooling eucalyptus bedding bundle (includes duvet cover, fitted sheet and two pillow cases) is just $160 during Black Friday sales.
Juju Home Puzzles: The brainchild of a former P&G supply chain wizard (and one of many startups by the founder) Chu Chimezie, Juju puzzles meet the need for play with original, ethically sourced art.
Made of recycled wooden pieces, each puzzle is made with original paintings from leading African artists including Morocco-based artist Mohamed Hamidi’s “Powerful Together”and Mozambique-based Jafeth Moiane’s “Batik Mozambique,” among others, which are purchased by the company.
Available at Jujupuzzles.com or via Instagram at @Jujupuzzle, each puzzle is between 100 to 1,000 pieces and priced between $25 to $45. For Black Friday, the company is running a buy one, get one promotion until Dec. 31 (while supplies last) for puzzles of equal or lesser value.
ChefWave Milkmade: Though cows may be side-eyeing the ChefWave “Milkmade” nut-milk maker, vegans and plant-based enthusiasts are sure to be impressed by the machine.
With six preset milk-making programs (including almond, soy, cashew, oat, macadamia and coconut) and digital touch and auto-clean functions, the Milkmade is meant for ease in making dairy alternatives part of one’s daily routine. It retails for $250 and can be found at Macy’s, Home Depot, Amazon and Kohl’s.
For the record, some studies show a single glass of dairy milk results in almost three times as much greenhouse gas emissions and nine times more land use than the equivalent glass of plant-based milk, per a 2018 study from the University of Oxford.
Next In Loungewear
Luxury loungewear isn’t over and done with — and certainly not with the amount of remote workers redefining workplace attire. Here, a roundup of the latest entrants in the category.
Toit Volant: Toit Volant is committed to responsible practices, hoping to sustain a circular model that centers people and the planet. All Toit Volant garments are made by a small team of highly skilled sewing technicians at owner and designer, Alnea Farahbella’s factory in Los Angeles, dubbed “Nana Atelier.” The brand uses Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton, pays fair wages and uses recycled content in its mailers. While some obvious choices for remote workers include the label’s “WFH Pants” ($115), the “Totty Dress” ($185) offers a flattering cinched, elevated dress alternative.
Hybernate: Sydney-based luxury loungewear and sleepwear brand Hybernate makes use of buttery soft pima cotton in its line of lounge pants, joggers, crewnecks, shorts, tops and tanks. Its pima cotton is grown in Peru and is harvested by hand by farmers who employ natural fertilizers, among other methods. A percentage of sales go to nonprofits like The Ocean Impact Organization and 1 Million Women. Hybernate.com.au is running a Black Friday promotion for 20 percent off PJ sets (like the button down PJ set for $198).
Really, any of these brands: Among the 58 companies nonprofit Remake scored in its latest fashion accountability report add link — the story didn’t publish yet — (ranking brands up to 150 points across areas like wage and worker well-being), essentials brands like Known Supply, For Days and Mate the Label all made the cut for small businesses leading the way in terms of sustainability.
To note, shoppers can score a range of loungewear (many in outstanding or new-with-tags condition) on resale platforms like ThredUp, eBay, Poshmark, The RealReal, Mercari, Thrilling and Helpsy.
People have long studied the mental and physical health benefits of regular exercise, including everything from yoga and meditation to whatever your cardio fix. Virtual memberships are a great gift for those who’ve spent much of the last three years on Zoom. These are the studios amplifying community benefits.
Three Jewels: For East Village-based yoga and meditation studio Three Jewels, ascension or enlightenment symptoms will come splashed in an Instagram-friendly palette, lots of tea, memes and checkered pillows if you visit the studio.
The lowest membership tier starts at $21 a month for virtual yoga and meditation class access to livestreamed sessions where teachings are steeped in traditional Buddhist practice but with a modern spin (think easy-to-swallow themes like “love,” “breathe” or “self care”). Moreover, the membership is a 100 percent tax deductible donation because all virtual classes are free in order to support student accessibility as Three Jewels is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Regular memberships are $172 a month for unlimited in-studio access, but the studio has its upcoming “Giving Tuesday” offering all classes free of charge (with donation suggested) on Nov. 29.
Overthrow: For just $10 a month, aspiring boxers can access Overthrow New York’s homeschool boxing subscription for sessions, which are updated from daily live session recordings. Regular in-class memberships start at $125 a month for five classes and up to $425 a month for unlimited classes.
The gym recently offered a virtual “What Are You Fighting For?” donation-based class in partnership with Adidas New York City, benefiting Planned Parenthood and it regularly supports community needs. Some examples include Overthrow’s plant-based community fridge (the first in New York City), which provides plant-based meals outside the Bleecker Street gym, movements like “Running to Protest” (organized by Overthrow trainer Power Malu, where runners gather and meet for a set run of a few miles to build community and raise awareness for issues like racial injustice) and the weekly donation-based boxing class for trans-identifying individuals.
Happy Not Perfect: Apps like Happy Not Perfect also offer an affordable way (just $10 a month) to access guided, pre-recorded meditation daily.
Combining 40 years of positive mindfulness and research with expertise, Happy Not Perfect has been built with the collective aim to make people feel calmer and more balanced. The app tracks the user’s “mindful minutes,” offers journaling space and breathing techniques searchable by teacher, topic or mood.
Oh, and it usually rewards users with an inspirational quote after they’ve finished logging activity.