12 brands to know to gift sustainably this Christmas
As 2019 draws to a close, it is time to reconsider the way we shop, what with the current situation our planet is in (the United Nations reported in March 2019 stating that we are only left with 11 years to prevent irreversible damage from climate change). And if you have no clue on how to start being a responsible shopper, we spotlight some of the coolest fashion, lifestyle and beauty brands that are doing their part in ensuring a greener (and cleaner) city.
Founded in 2017 by the founders of Clean Beauty Insider (which is reportedly UK’s biggest dedicated natural beauty blog), the brand focuses on formulating products using the safest of ingredients while ensuring effective results and packaged in stylish, IG-worthy bottles.
But besides doing good to your skin, the brand also believes in doing good to our planet Earth. Instead of using regular plastic, the products are made out of sugarcane-derived bio-plastic, which can be recycled or composted. And wherever possible, the brand tries to use glass bottles instead of plastic ones. The best part? It commits to using only 100 per cent natural, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients.
The Product:Bybi Beauty Strawberry Booster, $23
Its key ingredient, cold-pressed strawberry seed oil is packed with omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids to soothe, nourish and hydrate dry and sensitive skin types. How to use it: Add a couple of drops to your serums, moisturisers or balms and apply it to your face and neck, or use it straight up and apply it directly to the skin.
The homegrown fashion label pays homage to intricate prints, textile traditions and continuously strives for a more sustainable future in the industry. The brand works with textile artists and designers from rural states to ensure the prints are unique, different and one-of-a-kind. Besides its designs, each clothing item ensure comfort without compromising on style.
The Product: The Midi Shirt Dress, USD$279 (approx S$380)
This midi shirtdress features slit details and an optional belt for a more fitted silhouette, and can be worn on any occasion. The design has been reinterpreted in the modern craft of batik screen printing as a way to allow the craft to remain sustainable in the long run.
When it comes to exploring sustainable brands, we do not just mean fashion and beauty. Sojao is a lifestyle brand that aims to produce organic, ethically-made luxury linens that do not just promise comfort while you snooze, but also ensures you do not break the bank.
It believes that sustainably made goods are not a luxury or privilege, but should instead be a modern day necessity, especially in this day and age. Now, what’s not to love about supporting fair trade and environmentally-friendly products?
The Product: Organic Bath Towels, $48
These oversized plush bath towels are made with the same 100 per cent GOTS-certified organic cotton as the brand’s bedding. They are a lot more absorbent, fluffier and longer-lasting, elevating any bathtime ritual experience.
The beauty giant’s latest skincare range did not just undergo a formula upgrade, it now also aims to champion sustainability. Each product from the line is now made into a recyclable plastic packaging derived from sugar cane and printed with vegetable-based inks. Furthermore, the products are reportedly made with 91 to 99 per cent of natural-derived ingredients and are catered to all skin types.
The Product: All Day Hydrator, $23
Ideal for all skin types, this is formulated with natural hyaluronic acid, a superior ingredient at replenishing hydration in the skin, to reveal a smoother and plumper complexion. It also contains a cocktail of vitamin E and C to brighten, further moisturise and impart a luminous, translucent glow to the skin.
It’s not just your LBDs and casual tees that are ought to be made ethically, your swimsuits, too, can now come from sustainable brands! Besides focusing on sustainable materials to produce its collection of swimwear, the brand also practices ethical and sustainable production processes to extend the life of each garment made.
The Product: Edmonia Dress, $965.09
Instead of your usual monochromatic go-to LBD, opt for this fun-coloured lime green sheer dress for the party season. It is edgy, cool and lends a quirky approach to any look you are going for.
Sneakers are a must-have staple footwear item in any wardrobe. And if you are on a lookout for getting a new pair, it might be the time to explore new brands such as Veja. Not only do they come in simple, classic and minimalist designs, each shoe is made from organic cotton and vegetable-tanned leather.
The Product: V-10 Leather Sneakers, $220, Zalora
Launched to celebrate the brand’s 10th year anniversary, this pair of trainers comes in a classic low-top silhouette and features a navy V-shaped side panel coupled with a red heel tab and off-white soles that are made out of sustainable rubber.
As its name suggests, this homegrown lifestyle brand is known for its (no, not metal straws) all-natural bamboo straws with an aim to reduce single-use plastic waste. Besides straws, the brand also offers a host of other products such as bento boxes, utensils and thermal flasks, which all incorporate the main material, bamboo.
The Product: Bamboo Straws, $15 for a pack of five
Of course, the brand’s must have product has got to be its iconic bamboo straws. These make for great Christmas gifts and with five on hand, you would definitely be set for a couple of months. Bonus: it is great to bring along during your travels too!
If you are planning a tropical getaway or beach holiday next year, why not opt for some sustainably-made bikinis instead of your usual ones? This local brand offers a wide range of swimwear for both kids and adults, with each piece made out of fibres from waste. Additionally, the brand employs a digital printing method for all of its custom prints to reduce the amount of ink and dye used in the process.
The Product: August SocietyPalawan Scoop One Piece, $149
Said to be universally flattering on any body type, this features a modest neckline, a plunging back and is made out of nylon from recycled and regenerated plastic waste. Plus, it is also made with a top quality shape retaining four-way stretch fabric that contains Xtra Life Lycra to ensure that it protects the skin from chlorine and UV rays.
Basic t-shirts and tank tops are a must-have and if you prefer getting yours from brands that champion sustainability, it might be time for you to check out Source Collections. The local brand focuses on creating chic, minimalist and wearable basics for everyday wear. And yes, they even have briefs for both ladies and men.
The Product: Source Collections Tencel V Neck Tee, $48
This versatile V-neck t-shirt comes with a slightly oversized fit and a low neckline that drapes effortlessly. It is elegant, chic and uber sophisticated, and can be dressed up or down depending on the bottoms you pair it with.
The brand uses African fabrics and marries them with modern designs to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that come in the most vibrant of colours and designs. It believes in the concept of zero waste and produces a limited amount (at times, there may only be one piece per size) that are all handmade to perfection.
The Product: Chloe Red Diamond Headwrap, $60
Besides its quirky apparels and kimonos, the brand is also known for its headwraps. This bright red one features an intricate design and can be worn in many different ways (this uber cute bow is just one way to do it!).
A sustainable homegrown online e-tailer to note is Zerrin. Founded in 2017, it brings in a ton of different brands ranging from fashion to beauty and even jewellery, with each label promising to minimise their social and environmental impact.
Bonus: the website even has a blog with stories that aid in inspiring and educating individuals on the concept of sustainability.
The Product: Ashepa Jicho Necklace, $100
Part of the geometric collection, this features delicately hand-cut diamond shapes. The small charm features an intricate hammered detailing while the longer chain has a smooth geometric cutout that lends a contemporary and chic appeal.
Apart from fashion and beauty brands, this is one jewellery brand you ought to keep tabs on if you plan on making the switch to being a more socially responsible shopper.
The brand’s philosophy is simple: it does not merely treat sustainability as the choice and treatment of renewable materials, but also, the sustainability of livelihoods. Each product is handmade by skilled craftsmen from Cebu, using traditional skills of cottage industries that have been passed on for generations.
The Product: Large Tassel Earrings in Peach, $63
This simple yet eye-catching statement earrings comes in the prettiest shade of pink that will match any festive outfit for the coming Christmas season. Plus, it will also go well with any t-shirt and jeans ensemble for a casual day out.