Sigh. So here’s the thing: I’m never going to turn down a Lush gift card. I could indeed be pretty comfortable with spending $50 on bath bombs in one go. But sometimes, when you’re taking your third jasmine-scented, deep-green tinted bath that week right after you finished scrubbing golden glitter off of your tub, you start to wonder if there’s more to life than bath bombs, y’know man?
Look, Christmas if coming. It’s in four days. And I am man enough to admit that there are still people I need to buy for. Now, depending on where you are, braving the line-up and the overly perky Lush employees and standing for 40 minutes in a small retail space that smells like a mix of patchouli, fresh cut grass and artificial bubble gum smell may be your best option. But just in case you feel like switching it up this year, I’ve found a collection of great little vegan things that can go a bit further than a bath bomb. By the way, none of these are sponsored – just showing my love for all the companies out there making the world a bit more animal-friendly!
For your gal pal: Sudsatorium Lip Tint
You wouldn’t be wrong to think that this company’s labels look an awful lot like Lush. But as a matter of fact, Sundatorium is a bit different from Lush. For one thing, it’s 100% vegan, every last bit of product (while Lush still uses animal products including lanolin, beeswax and even milk and eggs in a good chunk of its line). Even better, Sudatorium products come at a way fairer price (250 ml of soap costs $22.95 Canadian to Lush’s $27.99, but you can also get an even better deal on a 500 ml bottle for $33.95). Despite the lower price, Sudsatorium still manages to donate 5% of the proceeds to grassroots charities. I personally find buying someone else soap a bit impractical since most people own soap, but the lip tint is not only a great stocking stuffer for a stocking stuffer price ($7.95!), the highly pigmented shades (made from the powder of crushed fruit!) are in those cool, adventurous shades people are less likely to buy themselves (like the glam Barbie-pink Berry Me in Kisses, or the uber-modern purplish-blue Pie in the Sky).
For your work gift exchange: Buck Naked Bath Soaks
It’s winter, people like to take baths, blah blah blah. Look, technically it’s easy to find epsom salts at the Bulk Store for a couple of bucks for a huge bag. But that doesn’t stop people from going out and spending $10 on a rainbow-coloured bath bombs, so you might as well go out and introduce them to a new brand that is really gentle to the skin, is a completely vegan company and is made at a completely small-scale operation. Buck Naked is sure to be a winner. It has a few different blends and scents for its bath soaks, but all of them can make you feel like a fancy shmancy lifestyle blogger. For Torontonians/GTA-ers, you can also feel great about supporting an Ontario company (they’re based out of Cambridge!) and for wannabe minimalists who just lose their shit over sleek, neutral packaging (like yours truly), well, even the labels are chic. And yeah, just in case you wanted to give in: they make bath bombs too (sorry, none rainbow-coloured).
For your techy best friend: Weird Old Snail iPad Sleeves
Weird Old Snail specializes in vegan gifts (just so you don’t get confused in thinking that I’m recommending non-vegan felt). While I like these sleeves because I love my iPad and I love vegan stuff, what I like most about it is how sleek and modern it is — I freaking love neutrals, if you didn’t know. While cork leather bags and sleeves are a great way to say, “I really love you,” these creations are a far more flexible price and have so many different formats in so many colours you’ll probably end up buying a few things for yourself too. Not an iOS person? Number one, how dare you? Number two, Weird Old Snail does make Galaxy phone cases as well!
For new parents: Tiny Feminist baby and children’s clothes
Okay, so I do want to send a disclaimer that most new parents have about a million onesies and sleepers and you probably don’t need to add to their collection. However, I’d say pretty much everyone appreciates something really special and personal, which is why Tiny Feminist’s designs that include phrases like “My Doula Loves Me” “I [heart] my Moms” (or Dads!), “Tiny Vegan” and the adorable-and-heartwarming-no-matter-who-wears-it “I am Enough” will probably bring a tear to someone’s eyes. This business also uses second-hand onesies, sleepers and shirts (all super-duper clean, of course) which is ideal in a world overrun by textile waste (new pieces are all organic and sweatshop-free). There are custom orders available, and orders are processed/shipped in 1-3 days – so hurry!
For your level-five vegan friend: Veganism For Everybody T-shirt or sweater
Just in time for the holidays, Doomie’s parent company Ecorazzi has opened up a retail shop specializing in vegan apparel, accessories and personal care products. There are some amazing high-end items like faux-leather vegan headphones and fancy footwear, but you can also give someone some great message wear without breaking the bank. While you can’t find the Veganism For Everybody T-shirt (or sweater) online, it’s a good opportunity to walk into the store (located in the heart of Parkdale) and walk out with a ton of impulse purchases. The best thing about this shirt – besides how cute and comfy it is – is that the message is one of positivity and inclusion. Veganism is for everybody! (I wore this to my holiday luncheon at work and everyone loved it, so it worked, I think)!
For a reader/homebody: Vancouver Candle Co. premium soy candles
Made in Canada (duh) and created in a small-batch environment? Hey, sounds good to me. There are so many great soy wax candles out there that there’s no reason to buy a beeswax candle anymore. I like pretty much any soy wax candle you could get me, but there’s something special about Vancouver Candle Co. — probably their hyper-local collections for Toronto and Vancouver. We love to burn the Distillery District candle for cozy nights at home (we live nowhere near the Distillery District, but now we don’t even have to go out, muahahahaw)!
For anyone: A DIY gift like my homemade Christmas Spice body scrub
What? A girl’s allowed to self-promote. Plus, the best thing about DIY is you get to make stuff for yourself some on the side, and you can customize scents to be perfect for whoever you’re hoping to impress!