Okay so I almost had a breakdown while Christmas shopping for people last night. I never understood why people get stressed during the holidays – I love finding unique gifts for and spending time with loved ones- but last night, while squeezing my way through overcrowded stores selling overpriced products most likely made from sweatshops, I was beginning to understand why the Grinch Stole Christmas. Screw you, Cindy Loohoo.
Okay, too far. But when I got home empty handed and in a weird mental haze, I sipped some tea, breathed, and logged onto the computer. The introvert in me felt instantly better online, where it’s much easier to find gifts made from Fair Labor and cruelty-free materials without having to interact with anyone. I found stunning gifts for people, but I also found cozy & cruelty-free products that preserve culture and help communities get out of poverty. So whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else this holiday season, I had to share my favorite winter luxuries to keep a home cozy & cruelty-free:
1.Hand-Woven Blanket from The Little Market – Blankets are a great way to add texture, design, and comfort to a room. The Little Market is a non-profit organization founded by Lauren Conrad (Yes, LC from Laguna Beach), and Hannah Skvarla that empowers women by investing in their business and giving them a platform to sell their products for a fair price. I can’t wait to snuggle up to the White Mudcloth Throw Blanket I just ordered, which features hand-drawn designs by artisans on a woven cotton throw. According to the website, “Each purchase supports Mali Mudcloth Makers.” If you’re looking for something more heavy duty, you can browse through their other blankets here.
2. Calming Prosperity Candle – Scents are known to affect one’s mood, so in the winter, when I like to spend most of my time locked indoors with my cat rather than outside in the freezing cold, I make sure I keep the lights dim and stock up on candles with warm, soothing scents. Whether you want to feel calm and relaxed, or uplifted and energized, this company has the perfect scent for your home. As stated on their website, Prosperity Candle is “a social enterprise that supports refugees and artisans through candle-making and beautifully crafted vessels easily refilled or re-purposed for a lifetime of enjoyment.” Every candle is vegan and hand-poured by a women artisan using essential oils and waxes, with no dyes or enhancers added.
3. Craft Cocktails Bar Tools Set from Ten Thousand Villages – Whether you’re throwing a holiday party, or just spending a cold night inside, this bar tool set is great for making craft cocktails in the comfort of your own home. The set includes a muddler, double jigger, strainer, stirring spoon, and a bottle opener. This set is handmade from traditional metal and wood workers in India using Stainless Steel and hand-carved wood. If you haven’t heard of Ten Thousand Villages, I highly suggest you browse through their website: “Every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, stable income … From communities throughout the developing world, every inspired design is crafted with love using local materials (usually natural or recycled) and time-honored skills by makers we have known and worked with for years.”
4. Ceramic Mug Set from World Wildlife Fund – Nothing is better in the winter than sipping hot coffee or tea on a snowy morning. You’ll need a mug to sip your hot coffee and tea out of, and mix and matching unique mugs, instead of purchasing a plain set, is a great way to add an artistic and boho vibe while expressing your own style. I am in love with the World Wildlife Fund’s black ceramic mug set, which has a simple design of a tiger or zebra etched on the front and comes with coasters so you won’t mark up your table. If you live under a rock and don’t know who the World Wildlife Fund is, they are the leading non-profit conservation organization that works to protect the future of nature.
5. Comfy Socks from Conscious Step – I usually hate socks, but in the winter they’re a necessity for staying warm, especially if you have tile or hardwood floors. Stay comfy & cozy in Conscious Step socks made from ethical labor and organic cotton. Their manufacturers are “members of various social compliance organizations including the Business Social Compliance Initiative, Better Cotton Initiative, and Fairtrade International,” and each sock “support(s) small and marginal cotton farmers” in India. They even have various causes that specific socks support, from educating kids, planting trees, and protecting oceans, to treating HIV and supporting disaster relief efforts. Stay comfortable & stay grounded.
6. Plush Pillows from The Little Market – I love piling different -textured and colored pillows onto a bed or couch to brighten up a room and give it a more homey feel. The little market sells a large collection of pillow covers, so no matter what aesthetic you’re trying to achieve, they’ll have the right look for you. I can’t wait for my White Mudcloth Pillows to arrive to complement my throw blanket and complete a cohesive, cruelty-free bedroom =]. Sleep easy.
Give your materialistic things meaning this holiday season.
Peace & Love.