Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts Ideas
Show a little love to the planet.
Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate our love—for friends, romantic partners, family members, and even pets. Why not show a little love to the planet in the process? In the age of on-demand shopping and fast fashion, being an eco-conscious consumer can be difficult, especially when prices are rising and wages are … not. With that in mind, here are some of the best eco-friendly gifts you can give this Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day, or any day when you’re feeling particularly gift-y).
Fair Trade flowers
Roses and bouquets are beautiful, but the flower industry is infamous for its harsh labor practices and chemical use. Some of the pesticides used to protect the blooms poisons both the planet and the workers who care for the flowers. When possible, try to spring for Fair Trade flowers or better yet, shop seasonal flowers through a local farmers market or greenhouse. Floret Flowers offers a directory that makes it easy to find local florists that specialize in seasonal offerings.
Just because Valentine’s Day is a day for indulgent treats doesn’t mean it can’t also be green.
If you’re looking for chocolates and sweet treets, you can get high-quality, Fair Trade chocolate truffles or regular bars guaranteed to be made with ethical labor. Some of the brands making ethical and sustainable chocolates include Alter Eco, Theo Chocolate, and Endangered Species Chocolate. You can also look for local chocolatiers who use ethically and sustainably sourced products.
For a Valentine’s Day meal, take the time to look up restaurants specializing in farm-to-table, table-to-farm, and/or vegan and vegetarian dining. Choosing restaurants that source local ingredients can help decrease your carbon footprint and inspire you to consider where your foot comes from.
If you want to get your significant other something that’s fashionable and sustainable, there are many brands that specialize in both. Good On You has an excellent directory of clothing, shoe, and accessory brands that engage in sustainable practices, and was a massive resource in the writing of this article. While we support buying secondhand clothing whenever possible, we also want to highlight these brands that are putting in the work.
Some of our faves for sustainable fashion include Girlfriend Collective, Rothy’s, LOUDBODIES, Printfresh, Osei-duro, and Parade. Keep reading for more eco-friendly fashion picks.
For sustainable jewelry, the priority is ethically mined and manufactured metals and gemstones. We’ve all heard horror stories about blood diamonds, and the larger gem industry functions in similar ways. Bario Neal, VERAMEAT, Catbird, and ARTICLE22 are some of the brands breaking the mold.
Unfortunately, Victoria’s Secret is infamous for its barely paid labor practices both at home and abroad. Underprotection, Anekdot, Nat’v Basics, softandwet, Colieco, and Parade are all underwear companies that are committed to fulfilling customers’ and workers’ needs.
Sustainable and ethical clothing is by no means unfashionable, though it can be more expensive. When looking for affordable sustainable clothing, consider shopping for versatile basics that can be incorporated into many different outfits. If you’re able to spend a little more, try investing in a piece that you’ll wear for a long time instead of something trendy. Bastet noir, Christy Dawn, Tuesday of California, HERTH, Swedish Stockings, and Pact are all excellent brands that prove sustainable fashion can also be fashionable.
Some people claim that sustainability and fashion are “unmanly” (because obviously, people will laugh at them if they put their beer can in the blue bin /s). Thankfully, CARPASUS, Neem London, ISTO., Toad&Co, Citizen Wolf, and MUD Jeans (among others) are demonstrating that masculinity, fashion, and sustainability are not mutually exclusive.
Some of the brands in this article also offer gender neutral clothing options, such as MUD Jeans and Pact. There are many other brands that place an emphasis on gender neutral and sustainable clothing, as well, including Etiko, unspun, Plant Faced, and WILDFANG.
Finding good shoes is a challenge for many people, and finding good shoes that don’t use unethical labor is even more challenging. It doesn’t help that vegan leather has a bad reputation. But Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather, Womsh, NAE, and Will’s Vegan Store pride themselves on creating high-quality vegan leather that will last you for years. For shoes made with recycled materials, I suggest taking a look at Flamingos’ Life and 1People.
Much like shoes, finding good quality vegan and eco-friendly accessories can be a challenge. But Hyer Goods, O My Bag, Pala Eyewear, and Wires Glasses have all risen to the challenge and pride themselves on their vegan leather goods and recycled materials.
(featured image: Theo Chocolate / VERAMEAT / Hyer Goods / Getty Images / The Mary Sue)
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