17 Affordable Ethical Gifts for Birthdays and Other Special Occasions

image from  Wrappr

image from Wrappr

Are you looking for a sustainable gift for a friend or someone in your family, but don’t know where to start? This guide is for you! Most of these gifts are very practical, and all are ethically-made. I love getting gifts for birthdays and ‘just because’ to show people I’m thinking of them, but I also want it to be something they will use and benefit from. We all receive gifts we probably could have done without, and this guide is (hopefully) the opposite of this! I did include a few fashion/beauty items I couldn’t resist, though ;)

Also, almost everything listed here is under $50!


Reusable food wraps

I think any kitchen could benefit from having a few of these on hand, and if you have any friends or family members who are interested in lessening their waste, this is an easy start.

Z Wraps reusable wraps are made from cotton and has a layer of beeswax that helps cling to food and bowls. You just need the heat of your hand to activate the stickiness, and there you go!

They are super easy to wash, and come in all different fun prints to add some color and fun to your kitchen.


Nordgreen Watch

Travis and I both have a watch from this brand, and since they start at under $200, I thought it would make a great addition to this gift guide.

Their Chief Designer is inspired by nature and a desire to get a little simplicity back into our lives. Their interchangeable straps come in natural stainless steel mesh or leather. Nordgreen’s entire production is carbon offset and they partner with Danish factories that ensure ethical labor practices. Plus, every purchase gives back to one of three causes.


Compostable Phone Case

Incipio’s Organicore collection is too cool!

These eco-friendly cases made from plants are 100% compostable with a 6-foot drop protection and wireless charging-compatibility.

They are incredibly lightweight and are very smooth to the touch.

You can find them in 4 different colors - Black, Oatmeal Beige, Stone Gray, and Deep Pine. The Samsung cases have two additional colors - Mystic Blue & Dusty Pink.


Customizable Necklace

One of my favorite brands, ABLE, has the sweetest little necklace to gift to someone special. You can customize this necklace up to 5 characters.

ABLE was one of the first fashion brands to actually publish their lowest wages as part of the Lowest Wage Challenge. Their goal is to empower women around the globe—primarily in the US (Nashville) and Ethiopia for now—by investing in their skills and providing them with employment.

*use code SustainablyChic25 for 25% off


Free to Love Pouch

I just had to put something for the cat lovers in here!

I have a few of these pouches from The Tote Project, and they work great for travel, makeup and whatever else you need organizing. They actually hold quite a bit!

The Tote Project was started by Fay Grant & Michelle Chavez to empower survivors and those at-risk of human trafficking. With every purchase, they donate 10% of gross profits to Two Wings to support survivors of human trafficking in the US.


Mini Porcelain Vases

This brand makes so many beautiful vases, you will have trouble picking out your favorites. Lots of different colors, styles and patterns! I could see this as a sweet gift with some dried florals or a piece of greenery off your plants you already own.

“Middle Kingdom creates imperial caliber Chinese porcelain bowls, cups, plates, pots, and vases inspired by a long and distinguished history of design and craftsmanship. Each piece is thoughtfully handmade made by artisans in the ancient kiln city of Jingdezhen.” - madetrade.com


Organic Cotton Waffle Towels

While Pact is mostly known for their clothing, they actually have an awesome collection of home goods. I love this brand, and had to include something of theirs in this post - and a towel set would make such a great gift!

Everything is made out of certified GOTS organic cotton in Fair Trade USA certified factories, dyed with non-toxic chemicals, & packaged in recycled and compostable materials. Plus, they have carbon offset shipping and a donation program to help circulate your used clothes.


Organic Bed Sheets

These are probably some of the most affordable organic bed sheets on the market. I’m sure several people you know aren’t sleeping on organic sheets (it’s something I didn’t think of for years after buying organic clothing) so it would be a wonderful gift!

Under the Canopy adheres to 6 kinds of certifications {FAIR TRADE, GOTS, OEKO-TEX, C2C, RCS & FSC}, and sustainability is at the forefront of their business model. All products are made ethically with eco-minded materials.


Pottery Glazed Donut Match Striker

I thought this was just too cute! It’s a pottery piece in the shape of a donut (with a glaze, of course). BUT it is so practical, and it’s something I would love to have so why not include it?!

“Farmhouse Pottery is a modern American pottery company making all their ceramic pieces, housewares &hardwood furniture by hand in America’s largest studio pottery workshop in Woodstock, Vermont. Each ceramic piece they make is wheel-thrown & crafted by hand with all-natural American mined glazes and clay.” - madetrade.com


Reed Diffusers

I’ve been a big fan of Prosperity Candles the past year - particularly their mountain happiness (smells like the holidays to me), and now they have just released their new diffusers.

What’s even better than their scents is their mission! Each candle is ethically-made by women artisans and refugees here in the U.S. They never add any dyes or enhancers, and each is poured with all-natural soy & coconut waxes, pure cotton and wood wicks, and premium fragrances made with essential oils.


Roll-On® Friendship Bracelets

An upgrade from the twisted yarn friendship bracelets we made as kids.

Aid Through Trade is the creator of the Original Roll-On Bracelet. Each piece of jewelry is handmade with love by artisans in Nepal. All 200+ artisan women are provided a fair wage and benefits in a safe and healthy work environment.

There are so many different colors and patterns to choose from, and they even have them for little girls!


Socks that Save Dogs

& for the dog lovers.. but of course, Conscious Step has so many different causes for you to choose from!

With each Conscious Step purchase, a portion of proceeds are donated to the charity associated with that pair of socks. From building homes to treating HIV, there is a cause everyone can attach themselves to. You can buy socks individually or find them in gift boxes like the one pictured.

*use code Natalie20 for 20% off


Stoneware Hanging Planter

Katie Mudd makes some of my favorite ceramics, and this little planter is too sweet! I think giving plants is always a great gift idea, and to put it in something like this would be the perfect fit for a plant loving home.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Katie Mudd handmakes all of her creations, and all of the materials are sourced from local small businesses in the Pacific Northwest to ensure high quality and reduce her company’s carbon footprint. 


Tea Strainer Mug

This is perfect for the tea lovers - and zero-wasters since you use loose-leaf tea rather than tea bags.

You will definitely help lessen waste by using a mug like this. & how convenient, right?

This mug is handcrafted by artisans working with Sana Hastakala, a Nepalese fair trade organization meaning “small handicraft,” working with independent producers, mainly women in rural areas throughout the country.


Bodycare Essentials Gift Set

This is one of my favorite skincare lines, and they have a couple of sets priced lower than buying everything separately. They also come in smaller sizes, so it’s a great way to introduce the product to people. OSEA also has a little kit for the men, too! (my mom got it for my dad for father’s day this year)


Zero-Waste Starter Gift Box

Have a friend who is just getting started with zero-waste? This is the perfect gift set for them!! This box contains 2 Produce Bags, Stasher Sandwich Bag, Bamboo Utensil Set, Stainless Steel Straw and cleaning brush, and a Bamboo Toothbrush. & it’s under $50!

*use code Natalie10 for 10% off


Zero-Waste Dishwashing Kit

A practical gift for anyone!

This kit comes with a highly concentrated 12oz block of castile soap that's handmade in the USA, a bamboo and recycled plastic dish brush, a copper scouring pads and two Swedish dish cloths to up your cleaning game!

*use code Natalie10 for 10% off

& make sure to reuse old gift bags, or newspaper OR these amazing fabric wraps by Wrappr (made from 100% organic cotton)!

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image from  Wrappr

image from Wrappr