Vegan Gift Ideas To Spread Some Plant-Based Cheer
Knowing what to buy a vegan as a gift can be tricky at the best of times.
Once the pressure is on for a birthday or over the holiday season, it can get downright stressful.
On the receiving end, nothing is more disheartening as a vegan than getting an inappropriate present that basically says that person didn’t do their research, or more awkward than trying to find the words of appreciation to a well meaning family member.
So in the interest of everyone involved, I’ve put together this page as a continuously updated resource to make gift-giving easy and fun, the way it should be.
It also means a bonus for the environment and one less animal hurt unnecessarily for a gift that needn’t have been bought. So, truly a win-win-win.
Every company or product below I’ve either had first hand experience with or know someone directly who has.
Things change fast though so drop a note in the comments if there’s any feedback on anything listed or recommendations as to what we should all look into (or stay away from!).
Top 10 Vegan Holiday Gift Ideas
If you’re pushed for time, here is a quick list of the best vegan gift ideas that make the selection below.
What Makes a Gift Vegan?
Veganism is a lifestyle choice based on respect for animal life and resistance to their exploitation.
Only tricky thing is that it’s not always clear, as animal derivatives can be found in a wide range of products, from clothing to cosmetics and self-care.
Here are just a few examples:
Made from boiling animal ligaments, tendons and bones, this ingredient is found in a wide range of cosmetics, in particular shampoos and creams. Isinglass is a variation used to filter many white wines.
To warrant the specific name, 30% of the product must be made of compressed animal bone ash (as opposed to fine china, made from naturally occurring kaolin found in the soil)
Fibrous proteins extracted from the hides and connective tissues of animals, mostly cattle, and used to ‘plump up’ lips and ‘firm up’ sagging faces.
Used mostly in nail and hair strengthening products, keratin is extracted from ground animal hair, hooves and horns.
You get the idea.
The good news is that if you are looking for great vegan gifts, there’s never been a better time to discover vegan and cruelty-free alternatives to animal-based products.
So if I was to ask: “Would you ever consider reusing a cotton swab up to 1000 times?” I could probably guess your answer.
But it’s easier to throw away something we feel is icky than it is to face the fact that single-use plastics are born of our cultural acceptance of wasteful and environmentally damaging habits.
Last Object was founded in 2018 to create an alternative to single-use cosmetics products, with Last Swab being their best known.
Their products are stylish, durable and comes in a PLA case made from fermented solid corn. It’s a brilliant idea beautifully and practically executed.
OK, so a plant-based laundry and dishwashing detergent subscription might not sound overly cool or sexy, but try not to laugh as the CEO sells you on it while in the bath.
Pretty interesting, right?
Not only are these products dye-free, phthalate-free, phosphate-free, vegan and cruelty free (full ingredients here), and not only are shipments 100% carbon-neutral and the box compostable, but it is also a fraction of the price for any off the shelf detergent.
They also have a ‘sensitive skin’ and unscented version, which was important for us given the little one. We’ve been using these for years now and those sacs last foreeeeever.
The vegan founders of Corkor grew up surrounded by cork oak, so they knew a lot about what cork could do other than hold wine in a bottle. Things like being resistant to abrasion, waterproof, lightweight and very, very smooth when crafted. A lot like leather.
So much so, that’s what they set out to replace with Corkor.
Corkor have been accredited by PETA as being 100% animal free and they use only certified sustainable cork, meaning the wood has been farmed by removing the bark without cutting the actual tree.
There are some very cool vegan products here from wallets to crossbodies and baseball caps. The stylish single cardholder feels like it’s literally going to float away it’s so light, yet has that snug ‘you didn’t forget me’ feel in your pocket.
Gunas is a 100% vegan independent high fashion label for vegan leather handbags and accessories. And oh my we are talking style.
Their trademarked vegan leather material is sourced directly from mulberry pulp rather than the silkworm that feeds on it, and their ethos for resisting domination and exploitation runs through all they do, including supporting small manufacturers and artisans as part of the ‘Not Made In China’ movement.
Their selection for men’s is certainly noteworthy, but it’s the women’s handbags that are to die for – in particular the top handles given the Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex trend.
Clean is primarily well known for its 21-Day Clean Program created by cardiologist and author Dr. Alejandro Junger, though it also offers a range of health and wellness shakes and supplements.
The program itself is pricey and I haven’t personally tried it, though it gets rave reviews from those who have. However it’s the matcha that rocks my world.
If like me you missed the matcha-craze a while back, where it was used in everything from face masks to body rubs, matcha is made from the young tea leaves which are typically thrown away after steeping in water to make green tea.
As an aside, I’ve never understood how that originally came about. Basically you are throwing away the very thing that’s good for you and drinking the water left over. It’s like throwing away kale or spinach and then drinking the water you boiled it in.
Anyway, those tea leaves are packed, packed, with powerful stuff. Specifically anti-oxidants and catechins – which help fight cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes among other things – but also L-theanine…. which for me is where the magic happens.
Matcha has a good deal of caffeine, but L-theanine removes the crash you might otherwise have with coffee, and instead gives you an alert but calm, serene, and focused feeling.
If you are buying for a vegan like me that takes coffee breaks between their coffee breaks and could do with some weaning off the bean, it’s a game changer.
Clean’s Matcha varietal is from Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan, ceremonial grade, 100% first harvest, and kept three weeks in the shade prior to harvesting to increase its chlorophyll. So, you know, boom.
Shein is an international online marketplace for on-trend, affordable fashion, skewed mainly toward teens and younger women.
“Everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion” says the Shein tag line.
Now, normally as a vegan you would expect not to included in the ‘everyone’ bucket when you hear something like this, and companies that claim to bring fashion to the masses tend not to be all that fashionable.
However, they do have a vegan selection buried in there, and it’s actually pretty good. We’re talking fur-trim slip ons, block heals and everything.
But you don’t need to get all trendy. There are two simple, standout items for gifts any vegan girl will love.
Check out the the vegan slip-on flats – which are inexpensive and super comfortable, as flats should be (but vegan!) – and the vegan zip up boots, if only because finding good looking, brown leather zip up boots is mystifyingly near impossible.
The founders of Leafy Souls describe themselves as on a mission to bring morality to humanity by making it easy to buy cruelty free and ethically sourced products.
There’s a lot to love here.
Bespoke creations from independent designers include linen boho pants, buckle-less vegan leather belts and faaaar out tapestries. As you’d expect from the name, the style skews toward the more bohemian, colorful end of things.
My favorite item and their best-seller is the simple canvas messenger bag, if just for the sentimental reason it’s been with me halfway around the world and only improves with age.
Super simple, but you just can’t really improve on it.
If you want to gift something special with a dose of style however (as well as 5 dimensional internal space and a super clever latch), the Malina Vintage Crossbody ticks all the boxes.
Zatik makes wonderful skincare products that are vegan, non-GMO, certified organic, non-soy based and cruelty-free, all produced from a CO2 extraction process with no alcohol.
These guys are scientists: even the dyes on their biodegradable packaging are not derived from animals.
All products are made from limited batches so that the fruit skins and botanicals have a higher freshness when processing, which is wonderful with some of the more classic scents like orange blossom, rosehip and lavender.
Sidenote: in terms of something unique, their black seed oil is the most inexpensive I’ve come across and packaged in a bottle that blocks UV (something I haven’t seen anywhere else).
If you haven’t heard of the potent benefits of Nigella Satvia, it’s one of those super seeds that have been used for thousands of years, and was even found in King Tut’s tomb.
Purity Cosmetics hold a number of patents – one of the benefits of having a chemist as founder and CEO – involving the application of plant and fruit-pigments in their products as an alternative to iron oxides and acrylics.
This makes for some pretty wild stuff.
They are always scooping up awards, so you want to check out the best sellers and award winners on their website – which, unsurprisingly, has a weird abundance of fruit literally exploding from every pixel.
If you want to hone in on a couple of options you can never go wrong with though, their Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream is a classic and their Strawberry Lip & Cheek Tint is fabulous (plus, I mean, it’s a lip and cheek stick).
True Botanicals are at the pinnacle of the industry when it comes to skincare beauty botanicals.
Founded by a thyroid cancer survivor, all products are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as certified non-GMO and safe from 5,000+ chemicals known to be toxic to humans and the planet.
They spend a ton when it comes to independent research in order to prove their products not only work, but work better than anything else out there. So basically you’re looking at pretty spectacular, creme-de-la-creme products on their best seller list.
If you had to single one out it would be their bestselling Clear Pure Radiance Oil. This is what people know the company for, and it’s always appearing in the ‘If I had only one skincare product etc etc’ beauty questionnaires with celebrities.
The surprise standout gift for a vegan though, and at a reasonable cost compared to the rest of the product lines, is their vegan vitamin C serum.
It comes as a powder – as the best vitamin C serums should – and is the most under-rated vitamin for vegans when it comes to self-care.
“Unbox happiness” is the tag line for this self-care, joy-inducing subscription box.
The concept is based on neuroplasticity (that’s easier to write than to say out loud, by the way). This refers to the brain’s ability to reshape itself over time, creating new neural connections through repeated, consistent, positive thought and sensory exercises.
These are thoughtful activities curated by therapists, backed by science, and intended to make you more productive, self-aware, and mindful.
At times it can be funny – who in the world would you invite to a 5 minute dance party? – and at times thoughtful – what sidekick would you want beside you this morning knowing what you are going to encounter today?
And then other times it stops you in your tracks:
The products – such as sandlewood incense, face masks and flying wish paper – all contribute to the fun. balanced intimacy of the process.
Plus, you get that fluttering thing in your tummy when your latest box arrives…
Vegan Cuts make wonderful subscription boxes, but a lot of whether it’s a hit as a gift comes down to the personal preferences of the recipient.
So there’s no better way of taking out the guesswork of a Vegan Cuts subscription box than going with their one-time ‘best of’ boxes put together from subscriber favorites.
They release these over the holiday periods, and currently have a Beauty Box, Beauty and Snack Box, and their new, yummy Vegan Chocolate Box (and about time too). See them all here.
Sidenote: if you are buying for a chocoholic then the choice is clear, but in my humble opinion the best three chocolate selections from the chocolate box are also found in the snack box.
The MightyNest MightyFix gift box is an ideal gift for anyone interested in discovering healthy, simple, green products to use at home that carry zero chemicals and toxins.
It’s around $10 a month and free shipping. Yes, know it sounds suspiciously cheap, but their hope is that at some point you hit on something you hit on something you love and then start buying from them.
For us, originally that was the silicon coverings for cut fruit and miso paste (to think we once used plastic cling film on open fruit and veg).
The ‘What makes it Mighty’ bullet points explains clearly what makes this alternative genuinely easier to use and more practical than the supermarket shelf original.
Just be aware of the beeswax paper, which is the only item we’ve recently noticed on there as not strictly vegan.
Petit Vour is a vegan beauty and make-up subscription box with a focus on few, high quality selections, all presented and packaged beautifully, and all non-toxic and cruelty-free.
Where Petit Vour stands out though is how well they curate products based on the customer profile. Light skin but dark eyebrows and a penchant for metallic as opposed to sparkling eye liners? Yep, they’ll have something for that…
You don’t need to know the answers when giving the gift, of course. Once the lucky vegan gets their log on details, creating their profile is half the fun:
If you are looking for one-time gift for a beginner vegan however, their vegan make-up starter kit is my go to.
It’s a perfect answer to someone who might think that vegan make up could never replace their basics.
Pela uses 100% compostable Canadian flax shive to solve the problem of plastics and polymers that would otherwise take hundreds of years to decompose, releasing chemicals such as cadmium, lead and BPA into the soil and water table as they do so.
Their original use case was to solve the chemical waste produced by the billion phone cases produced every year.
The Pela Case can literally be thrown in your compost and, as long as there is light and oxygen, they break down in under 6 months.
Their range of cases are colorful, fun, and ultra smooth to the touch. They have cases for air pods and smart watches too.
If you want something really unique though, their range of blue light glasses are super cool.
Blue light interrupts sleep patterns, which we absorb on phone screens and computers, made worse by our blink rate simultaneously dropping the longer our gaze is fixed.
Glass developed to block out blue light is a good thing, but most glasses – and sunglasses for that matter – end up on landfill with their toxic plastic frames. However Pela’s will biodegrade, and can even be upcycled or recycled if you send them back.
Also, as a Canadian company, it makes this girl hailing for Nova Scotia proud indeed…
Jay and Chantal have been running their company since 2006, after trying to find a plastic-free alternative to plastic milk bottles on the birth of their son and realizing how pervasive plastics were in our everyday life.
I only came across them, along with most other people I imagine, through their book published on Amazon “Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-By-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic”.
They. have a range of alternatives to plastics we surround ourselves with, whether shower curtains or plastic beads and composites in nursing pads, kitchen brushes or glue.
In terms of gift-giving, start with checking out their LWP Kits and deconstruct or pick and choose from there.
Vegan Cuts Beauty Box
It’s usually a good idea to buy a one-time subscription box as a gift and letting the person you buy for go from there, but with the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box there are two great reasons for choosing the 3 month subscription.
First of all, it’s simply great value for money. Each box is less than $25 a month and comes with anywhere between 4-5 full-size quality items worth $114 (though I’m never sure how they calculate that).
Second, they track the seasons – and I love this. It’s fantastic for learning what vegan ingredients to use depending on how the weather impacts your skin.
So expect to find things such as fruit-based facial spritzers in the summer boxes, vitamin-C skin crystals as sunlight thins away in the winter months, lip balms and moisturizers to stay hydrated as the weather gets cold and windy. That kind of thing.
All in all this is a winner for anyone looking to discover seasonal, quality vegan and cruelty-free skincare.
While there are more and more of these zero-waste packages popping up on Etsy, Spruce and Pine’s customizable zero-waste kit is simply the best.
Everything is hand made in Maine USA by Christy (owner and designer-extraordinaire) using super light-weight but durable materials such as gauze, bamboo and organic muslin.
The attention to detail is lovely, and the print designs are vibrant and wonderful. Still at 5 star reviews after thousands of sales, and as you can see from the reviews I’m not the only one swooning or re-ordering.
Ivo Ans is a vegan craftsman who designed a timepiece made extensively from natural materials as part of his diploma project at the Liepaja Design and Art school in Latvia.
After graduating in 2016 he decided to do it for real, and crowdfunded enough money to launch his first line of watches, with a limited distribution around central Europe.
Now selling over Etsy, his watches are shipped to more than 22 countries, and he’s expanded his materials to include pineapple leather for straps, and other woods like maple and birch for the watch faces. Each watch comes in its own lovely wooden case (which is, as with everything else, hand made)
Nothing beats a good, vegan crowdfunding story.