2022 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday lifestyle sustainable living Dec 12, 2022

The holidays are right around the corner and that means it’s time to get gift shopping! 

Just because we’re buying gifts for people, doesn’t mean we have to contribute to the same wasteful shopping system we see year after year. Believe it or not, we can get gifts for the people who mean the most to us without contributing to Amazon’s bottom line, the fast fashion treadmill, and/or the overconsumption machine. 

In our 2022 Holiday Gift Guide, we have plenty of gift ideas for colleagues, friends, and family. 

Let’s check out what made this year’s list!


If you’re looking for a unique gift that will also create memories, consider gifting an experience. These are great ways to avoid traditional consumption and all the impacts associated with the textile industry. And now imagine a gift that just dissolves when it’s done; doesn’t sit in the closet accumulating dust… Sounds like a dream come true.

Our top recommendations are:

  • Concert Tickets - If you know someone’s favorite artist or band, consider buying a couple of tickets at your local venue.
  • National Parks Pass or Reservation - If you have an outdoorsy member of the family, this is a great gift and proceeds benefit the NPS! I got my boyfriend a camping reservation at Yosemite last year and that’s by far the best gift I’ve ever given him (sorry, had to toot my own horn!)
  • Museum Exhibition - All the history, art, or science lovers in your circle are sure to love this. The Smithsonian, MoMA, OMSI, Natural History Museum of L.A. County, and the American Museum of Natural History all have great special and permanent exhibits for the whole family
  • Events & Programs at The Ecology Center - For those of you based in the Orange County area, consider booking a spot for any number of events or programs at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano.


This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the last category, but donations are great if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. If your hands are full, but you still want to give a meaningful gift, consider donating!

Our top recommendations are:

  • Kiva - Heard of microfinancing? This organization is doing a lot of great work to help people in underserved areas through the power of super small loans made directly to individuals. This is a great way to teach kids about wealth inequality and show them the importance of investing in developing nations.
  • Large or Local Organizations - Make a donation in someone’s name to their favorite organization. This could be a nationally recognized organization or an organization in your own town. However you choose to donate, your money and gift will go towards something good.
  • Donate Time - This has been a hard year financially for a lot of families, so save some cash and donate your time to an organization. You and the family can do family-centered activities like tree planting, serving food to those in need, or working on a local farm open to volunteers.

Support Small

Maybe you still want to get a traditional gift for those in your circle (hey, no judgment!), but you want something really special. If malls aren’t your deal there are still plenty of places to get cool gifts that won’t break the bank and are made with ethical practices.

Our top recommendations are:

  • Etsy - With stores all over the world, Etsy is a great way to support small businesses or artisans. From jewelry, to candles, and even personalized goods, Etsy has everything you need for everyone on your list
  • Shop Local - Have a cool, independent store in your town? Stop in and see what you can find! It doesn’t need to be Small Business Saturday to support small, local store owners will appreciate you contributing to the success of their shop.
  • Depop - It can be so overwhelming going to thrift stores trying to find the perfect secondhand gift, but Depop takes all the stress out of shopping sustainably. Get that person on your list a rad vintage shirt, that funky kitchen set, or the vinyl they need to complete their collection!

Self Care/Mental Health

All of us could probably do with a little more self-care and prioritization of mental health, so consider giving a gift centered around slowing down and turning inward. These gift ideas are for those people who seem extra stressed this holiday season.

Our top recommendations are:

  • Outside Meditation Session - If you live with the person you’re shopping for and you have a backyard, consider setting up a space for them to meditate. Hang up lights, light candles, and create a space that is quiet and peaceful.
  • Gift Box - Add a personal touch to your gift by crafting a hand-picked self-care gift box. You can fill it with tea, candles, affirmations, and maybe even a bundle of Sage for smudging. 
  • Homemade Meal & Meaningful Conversation - This one isn’t really holiday specific (you can do it any time of year!), but there’s something really special and intimate about cooking someone a meal and sitting down for a face-to-face conversation. 
  • Journal - Journaling has become one of the most popular forms of self-care in recent years, so think about getting someone a personalized journal. You can also include a few journal prompts for them supplied by WonderMind, co-founded by mental health advocate, Selena Gomez.


I think we all have that one member in our family who’s addicted to the news, so instead of getting them a physical present, they may appreciate a subscription to a news outlet! There are a number of publications you could purchase, but being sustainability enthusiasts, we’re highlighting some of our favorite sustainability outlets.

Our top recommendations are:

  • The Underswell - Maybe we’re a little biased, but our membership platform is the best place for all sustainability lovers. At $9.99/ month, we provide Crew members with sustainability expert insights, news stories, reports, lifestyle tips, and so much more. This is an amazing gift for that one co-worker who can’t stop talking about sustainability!
  • EcoTextile News - If you know someone who works in the apparel, footwear, or textiles industry, a subscription to EcoTextile News is one of the best gifts you could give. With a number of different subscription options, pricing is flexible and your person will never miss the latest updates in the industries.
  • Business of Fashion - For all things fashion news, Business of Fashion is the place to be. With updates on the latest in luxury, retail, and sustainability, BoF has carved out a unique space that any fashion lover would swoon over.
  • Vogue Business -  As one of the leading voices in the fashion industry, Vogue Business has a long list of op-eds surrounding sustainability and the latest on regulations being developed around the world. Plus, new stories are added every day, so you’ll never run out of content to look through!


Okay, okay - so you didn’t see anything on the list that you like and you just want to get apparel or footwear that is less impactful than conventional options. No worries, we have a whole list for you!

Our top recommendations are:

  • Pact - Whether you’re shopping for men’s, women’s, or non-binary options, Pact has an amazing selection of basics. Check out their tops and sweaters in a range of flattering colors and patterns. Also, most of their clothing is made from preferred materials like GOTS certified organic cotton and produced in Fair Trade certified factories.
  • Nudie Jeans -  Want to get someone a really nice pair of jeans for the holidays? Look no further than Nudie Jeans. With transparency details on all of their products, you can see exactly where the product was made throughout most of the supply chain and get details on the water and emissions impacts.
  • Patagonia - It’s no surprise Patagonia made it on our list - they’re a fan favorite! When it comes to preferred materials, they know their stuff and outerwear is no exclusion. For the person on your list who loves to be outside when it’s cold, consider picking up one of their puffers, sweaters, or check out their Worn Wear site for used products. 
  • Wolven Threads - So maybe that person on your list isn’t really the “outdoorsy” type, but they are definitely a gym rat. Wolven Threads has stunning workout clothes with recycled polyester inputs and is GRS and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified! I have a few of their products and I can attest that they are truly amazing.
  • Unless Collective - Perhaps the coolest shoe on the market right now, Unless Collective’s “The Degenerate” is an entirely plant-based sneaker. Working in collaboration with Natural Fiber Welding, The Degenerate is revolutionizing the sneaker game. Plus, it looks pretty dang good.
  • Arvin Goods - Everyone loves a good beanie or pair of socks and Arvin Goods has some of the best on the market. With recycled wool options, Arvin Goods goodies make for great stocking stuffers too. Their products are sure to keep your family warm and cozy all through the winter.

Home Goods

If you don’t feel confident in buying clothes for someone, think about getting them something for their home. This comes especially in handy for new homeowners or college students, but we think everyone on your list will love these stores.

Our top recommendations are:

  • Coyuchi - For the person who loves all things simplicity, Coyuchi is a paradise. Using GOTS certified organic cotton and with secondhand options, Coyuchi offers earthy tones and distinct patterns that will bring any room to life.
  • Our Place - To any home chef, the kitchen is the most important room in the house and of course, you have the best tools to go with it. That being said, Our Place is the place to be. Their cookware uses a non-toxic non-stick coating that is free of PFOAs and PFAs and comes in beautiful, bold colors that pop. Derek recently bought a pan for his wife; they’re loving it!
  • The Little Market - This is the one-stop shop for all of your gifting needs. Offering a huge selection of gifts and decor, The Little Market supports artisans and women-owned businesses around the world. I have bought from them more than once and each product is unique, gorgeous, and supports small businesses. If you’re in a pickle and really can’t think of what to get someone, browse through their website and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect thing!

Food & Drink

Who doesn’t love a good holiday treat?! This is the perfect time of year to come together with those closest to you and share a meal together. Can’t make it to the festivities but still want to send some tasty goodies? We have some ideas…

Our top recommendations are:

  • Hand-crafted Gift Basket - Build your coworkers, friends, and family a gift basket filled with some ethically sourced treats like Numi Tea, Alter Eco chocolates, and GoodSam bundles. Instead of buying a new wicker basket, consider building the bundle in a reusable tote bag or head to your local thrift store to find a used basket!
  • Plant-based Challenge - Want to try going vegetarian with someone in your house? Check out the Akua burger for a delicious meat substitute! They offer kelp burgers that are packed with flavor and can be used in a number of different recipes.
  • Host Holiday Brunch - This is a great way to get all of your friends together before everyone heads out of town for the holidays. We love the idea of an Acai bowl bar - check out all the bases that Sambazon has to offer and allow guests to customize their bowls with different toppings!
  • Homemade Cook Book - Have a few favorite vegan or vegetarian recipes you want to share with your crew? Make those on your list a cookbook! We suggest creating a digital version that you can share via email and customize in Canva. Need recipe suggestions? Check out our blog post with our favorite holiday recipes

We hope you enjoyed this year’s holiday gift guide and make sure to share this with friends and family who may need some ideas! If you have any questions about this year’s recommendations, email us at [email protected]

Stay up to date on all things The Underswell by following us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube - we can’t wait to connect with you. 

Thanks for joining me and happy holidays!


#keeplearning #sustainability #holidays #gifts


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