You're in the right place! What you will find below is a guide to holiday gift-giving unlike any other. All of these companies have something unique to offer. By supporting them, you not only flip the bird to Walmart, department stores, and Corporate Christmas, you support small businesses with unique and innovative ideas. These items are never tested on animals (as much as I really would love to see a bunny wearing a bowtie- but you know that I mean this only where applicable) and have no animal ingredients- no wool, silk, leather, or animal fat. In addition, these companies do shocking and new things like using recycled tires or bottles and manufacturing their products in the US of A or overseas using fair labor practices!
What better way to spread holiday cheer than promoting economic competition, small businesses, ethical manufacturing processes and green designs!
For men, try one of these classy non-silk ties, or for you hipsters out there, bow-ties. Each style comes at a hefty price of $100. The upside? They are handmade using fair labor practices in New York City. You pay the price for it to not come from China and to support jobs at home. They can be found at Brave Gentleman.
For women, try nailposhes and cosmetics. Tarte's vegan eye primer and tinted moisturizer are great, especially because their main competitor (Urban Decay) has a wonderful eye primer that is NOT vegan. The tinted moisturizer is wonderful because of its SPF 20. I was wary of the SPF in makeup until one summer day on the harbor islands when I burned the back of my neck awfully but was wearing this stuff and my face was completely fine!
For nailpolish, check out Scotch Naturals. Not only are they amazing because they carry vegan nailpolish ($14.99 each) and nailpolish remover ($11.99), but also because they use cute names such as On The Rocks Topcoat ($14.99). They carry a hue for any day or season.
Gifts Under $60
Anyone loves a new cookbook! A few fun ones such as "Vegan Pie in the Sky," "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar" and "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"- and they just might! If you didn't already know, vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli recently took home the first place prize on the Food Network's series Cupcake Wars. Don't believe me? Check out the article here. Anyways, these books are sure to please. All of these, including my personal favorite cookbook, "Veganomion," can be found on Amazon, for less than $15.
For men, a pair of Simple shoes may "foot" the bill. Not only does this brand carry a line of vegan shoes, but the upper is made of hemp, and the soles are made with recycled tires. It's a really great idea, but unfortunately, since the time that I started writing this post, the company has gone on a temporary hiatus. Zappos is keeping some of their shoes for sale ($38!!) but get them fast because there's no guarantee that they will be coming back.
Alternatively, you could get your man something to keep him warm this winter- and what I'm sure what he would really appreciate is a warm knit hat from Vaute Couture. It's made out of bamboo and hand knit to order in New York City for $54.
For the ladies, Vaute Couture carries faux fur earmuffs ($60). Sure to keep you warm!
Also, check out Matt and Nat, a vegan leather company. They make beautiful handbags, wallets, and belts. The linings of their products are made with recycled water bottles- on average 21 bottles per bag. Additionally, they are based out of Montreal and help out the community by donating their bags to women's shelters and feeding vegetarian meals to the homeless. Supporting a small company like this should definitely help you spread some holiday cheer!
And for the big spenders:
Well, I guess that in this price range, your guy is going to be wanting things that aren't usually made with animal products- like watches, electronics, or, in my case, bike stuff. So, aside from the fact that Vaute Couture does make men's coats, I don't really have much to add here!
For ladies, once again, I have to recommend Vaute Couture. Their coats are fabulous! As afore mentioned, they are made in NYC, but the really neat thing about these coats is that instead of wool or down they are made out of Polartec fabric. They are designed to withstand the cold winters of New York, Chicago, or Boston in a way that those wool pea coats from Express could never dream to. The downside is that they are hella pricy, but you get what you pay for! They're phenomenal! Pictured below is the Alicia in emerald ($398). Also below are some of their knit pieces for women: a scood ($146) and hat ($88).
"What about shoes?"you say? Can't imagine being confined to a life of canvas sneakers forever as a vegan? Well, good news! There's some totally awesome vegan shoes to be had. Of my favorites are Cri De Coeur's Hearts of Darkness (Hearts of Darkness is the more affordable line by Cri De Coeur). They manufacture their shoes in ethical factories in China. Below are Sentiment Offset Platform Pump in forest ($120) and Rugged Flat Buckle Boot in gray ($150).
Another vegan shoe company is Neuaura. Below is their Cedar in Washed Sand ($120).
For purses? Once again Matt and Nat. Below is Ritual in yellow (currently on sale for $117).
For more great vegan shoe and purse companies, you can always go to MooShoes when in NYC or online or Sudo Shoes in Boston and soon to be online!
And finally, if you're really on a budget, no one will ever complain about receiving some homemade Rum-nog Pecan cookies and a homemade card! Just use 2 1/2 cups flour in the cookies- I think there may have been a typo in the recipe!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!!