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It’s that wonderful time of the year where we get super consumerist and participate in tons of gift giving and materialism! Yay! I’m sort of kidding—I do actually really love giving gifts to people, so here are some awesome, rather generic gifts that most people would enjoy :) I hope you like this vegan holiday gift guide! I know it’s super long and could probably use more pictures but maybe I’ll add some more later on.
Vegan Gifts Everyone Will Love
As a huge advocate for the environment, I am VERY adamant about avoiding the use of bottled water at all costs. The sheer volume of plastic that ends up in landfills, transportation, destructive effects of the bottling process, and the communities and indigenous people that bottled water companies have destroyed or displaced—it’s all awful. BUT, giving people the gift of a beautiful and super functional reusable water bottle means that people are less likely to purchase bottled water and bring their own filtered water from home!
Everyone needs to hydrate, so encourage people to boycott bottled water by providing them a swanky insulated reusable one :)
Everyone also needs to eat, so with the new year coming soon and so many people learning more about eating whole foods, giving people delicious vegan recipe ideas is a great gift that anyone could appreciate!
Some of my favourites include:
- Oh She Glows
- Oh She Glows Everyday
- Happy Healthy Vegan
- Vegan Bowl Attack
- Chloe’s Vegan Desserts
- The Lusty Vegan
- Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.
- Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking
From wallets to handbags, a good vegan handbag can be hard to come by. I’m a big fan of aesthetically pleasing yet functional items in my life. I need a good amount of pockets, sturdy bags, and versatility when it comes to matching everything I wear because ain’t nobody got time to switch bags for every outfit. Here are some brands that are either vegan or have vegan bags:
A locally based company (out of Toronto), Pixie Mood has a really wide variety of colours, shapes, and products that fit people who have more of a vibrant flare or prefer a more subdued look. I personally like more basic, functional and versatile bags, so I have two from Pixie Mood: the smaller cross body Mini Steph handbag I have in the photo, and the larger tote (with a strap attachment if I want it as a cross body) that I use for longer days of travel or for work. The bigger bag is really great for holding my giant wallet, camera, water bottle, a few snacks, and a small pouch of makeup.
I like to shop for bags in person so I can inspect them and get a feel for how they fit me, so I bought both my Pixie Mood bags from Outer Layer on Queen Street in Toronto. I also find that they get the older product lines so they’re a little bit cheaper; my larger bag was $75 from Outer Layer but it’s $90 online. But you’ll have the newer products from the website, so it’s up to you! They also have nice wallets, clutches, and other weekender/gym sized bags if you are shopping for people who want bags for a variety of different reasons ;)
This company is actually a really popular vegan brand that people know of, and to be honest they are a little expensive too. But in this case, you really get what you pay for. Matt & Nat bags are super well made, very sturdy, ethically crafted and are also a Canadian (Montreal-based) company. You can buy from their online store but local Chapters/Indigo bookstores have a rather large selection of them from their store locations and their online stores as well.
The wallet from my video is from Matt and Nat (called the Sublime), and I bought a smaller, black wallet for Eddie for his birthday earlier this year. It’s really well made, sturdy and will last quite long, not like those sort of cheaper, plastic wallets from a department store.
This brand is a luxury vegan, ethical brand of handbags. Unlike Pixie Mood or Matt & Nat, Angela Roi bags are more of the calibre of Michael Kors (or any of those other luxury brands that I don’t know about because I know pretty much nothing about fashion). Rhian from WifeLife did a What’s In My Bag video featuring an Angela Roi bag if you want to see how well made they are and how much stuff her wee bag can fit!
Ethical Brands with Vegan Bags:
- Sole Society: Not all of their bags are vegan, and they do have one bag that has vegan leather and cow suede (so avoid that one) but their other bags are lovely! I’ve ordered one that I’ll pick up from my aunt in the US in the next year, but when I get it I’ll update you folks here on how it is.
- Free the People: Another brand with ethical working conditions but with some animal-based products. They do have some vegan bags which are really well made, so definitely worth checking out!
Vegan Subscription Boxes:
This is a video of the snack box that I got from Vegan Cuts a while ago—they’ve introduced a lot of amazing vegan snacks and getting a box full of new snacks every month is pretty great. I also really enjoy the beauty box, which I’ve had a couple times and it’s pretty fun discovering new products to try without committing to the full sized products.
As I mentioned in my holiday gift guide video, Vegan Cuts has a ton of options to choose from:
I thought the following boxes were available, but they were only available for a limited time and are thus sold out. Womp womp.
- Men’s Box
- Coffee Box
- Chocolate Box
There’s also Petit Vour, another vegan beauty subscription box that you can get as well. I’ve never used their services before, I’ve only ever had Vegan Cuts, but I imagine they’re great as well!
Gift Card Ideas:
Some people think that gift cards are the lazy way to go or a cop-out, but as someone who loves gift cards, I can assure you that they are really great for people who are really picky. Here are some ideas:
- Book stores: for the bookworm in your life who goes through books so fast you’re not sure what book they haven’t read yet.
- 10 Thousand Villages: not a totally vegan shot but there are plenty of things to choose from! From food, to decor, just double check what it’s made out of but know that you’re supporting ethically made goods!
- Restaurants & Bakeries:
- Planta (Toronto’s new gourmet plant-based restaurant in Yorkville)
- Hogtown Vegan (a classic)
- Kupfert and Kim
- Kelly’s Bake Shoppe
- Lettuce Love Café
- Beechwood Donuts
- Rise Above (the restaurant Eddie and I always go to for special occasions)
- Through Being Cool (best donuts in Toronto IMO and amazing sandwiches/wraps)
- Apiecalypse Now (best vegan pizza in Toronto IMO!)
- Bunner’s (for the GF vegan nerd in your life <3)
- Ethical Clothing Stores – Fashion that is made by workers who are treated and paid fair wage in safe working conditions
Charities and Non-Profits:
This is the organization I volunteer with twice a month—they are a Toronto-based non-profit that aims to educate everyone about how healthy, compassionate, and great a plant-based lifestyle can be. They are directed by amazing people, it’s funded by its own association members and run by an elected board of directors. The people I’ve met through the TVA are amazing, they organize both the Vegan Bake Off (in which I’ve competed in 4 years in a row), the giant annual Veg Food Fest, and distribute thousands of Vegan Starter Kits and do continuous outreach to promote the plant-based lifestyle :) Definitely a great cause to support in the name of someone you care about!
Sponsor An Animal!
Farm sanctuaries are amazing places that rescue surrendered, escaped, or lost farm animals who are now able to live peaceful, full, and slaughterhouse-free lives. They’re amazing places where people can see how these animals actually live, and not in the factory farm, dreadful places Western civilization has created to maintain the supply and demand of animal products :( I don’t tend to get into the gory details and ethical reasons why I am vegan on here, but factory farming and how horrible it is was definitely one of the biggest factors.
Anyway, farm sanctuaries are expensive to maintain, and the people who run them are always in need of your support. So donate to sponsor a cow, pig, duck, chicken, turkey, or donkey at some of the local farm sanctuaries here like at Wishing Well Farm Sanctuary and Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary!
My friend Cadry from Cadry’s Kitchen shared this beautiful video showing the behind the scenes and some of the wonderful stories behind the animals at Iowa’s first farm sanctuary!
Your local humane society is also always in need of support. All those fur babies need medical attention, food, care, blankets, and toys, so find your favourite one, donate in the name of that special someone in your life and feel good this holiday season about paying it forward <3
This is one of my favourite online stores ever—I get tons of vegan products from here that I can’t find from Whole Foods or my normal grocery stores. They’re a Toronto-based company that manages to get Canadians some products that are usually only found in the US, plus this is where I get most of my favourite vegan candies and chocolates like Cocomels =P I actually have a discount code for V Word Market, just use the code VietVegan and you’ll get a 10% discount (◠‿◠✿)
This is basically where I buy most of my cruelty-free products that I’m either too lazy to find at Whole Foods, or aren’t available to me there. They often have sales for CF hand lotion, makeup (beauty blenders go on sale there all the time!), the Diva Cup (maybe an odd Christmas present, but who knows), bento boxes, vegan lip balm and more.
For a list of cruelty-free and vegan brands, I always refer to Logical Harmony—as Tashina and Justin (the team behind LH) update that list every week!
Vegan Stocking Stuffers:
- Hand & body lotion — OSEA, Pacifica and Acure are both great—I got them from Well.ca
- Soap (Dr. Bronner’s is a personal fave!)
- Vegan Hot Chocolate (I always get Camino – Use the code VietVegan for 10% discount at checkout)
- Fair Trade and Organic Chocolate (Camino, Alter Ego, Endangered Species, ChocoSol, and Giddy Yo Yo are the ones that have vegan-friendly bars)
- Turmeric Tea
- Lip Balm
- Radius: Eco-friendly and CF Toothbrush
That wraps up my vegan holiday gift guide fro 2016! I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you folks have a wonderful holiday <3