Do you avoid the crowds around Christmas time and find you’ve left it to the last minute? Lucky for you, we love to shop! Even better, we happen to know where to go in town and don’t mind sharing it with you. Our busy little Refined Trav-“elvers” have rounded up a selection of fantastic eco-friendly gifts that will delight anyone in your life.
What’s Christmas without chocolate? While the words fair trade, ethically sourced and organic are thrown around at every opportunity, Bean-to-bar chocolate factory Dandelion Chocolate is the real deal. Owner Greg D’Alesandre spends more than 20 weeks a year visiting producers in 25 different countries to source the best cocoa for his business. This small San Fransisco boutique chocolatier ships internationally so you can get your fix faster than you can say, “the last one’s mine”.
Light up the night
These gorgeous beeswax candles from Candles Hong Kong are paraffin-free, made from natural renewable resources and biodegradable. It will fill a room with its uniquely fresh festive spices, Christmas magic, sugar plum or winter berries scent. If you can’t choose, go for the Christmas Votive Scented Candle Gift Set of five for HK $369. Better buy a few!
What goes around, comes around
Imagine eBay, but only designer goods at a fraction of the price, and the quality is guaranteed. HULA is a buy-sell site hoping to inspire social change with luxury consumerism. The name HULA comes from the Hula-hoop: imagine a circular fashion movement that symbolises recycling and a beautiful and timeless pieces being passed on from one to another. The online marketplace of pre-loved designer fashions donates 5 per cent of it profits to partnered charities.
Glam it up
She’ll be ready for party season with the Stella McCartney tiger print tote bag. This gorgeous tiger jacquard print bag comes with different compartments for work-to-play versatility. Fear not, however: no felines were harmed in the creation of the tiger tote. All of Stella McCartney’s products are vegan, and the company is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative. And the best news is that this bag is not just for women. Buy and like it? Keep it!
Sometimes the best gifts offer an experience rather than a thing. For busy people, a soothing all-natural treatment at Emmanuel F hair and beauty salon will go down a treat. The salon uses only certified organic products made from 100 per cent natural ingredients. Chose from organic hair treatments, relaxing spa time or a professional makeup session for that New Year’s party. If you can’t decide, sometimes the wisest choice is a gift certificate instead.
Tea For two
The perfect winter warmer: a cute set of heat-resistant teacups and bestselling Teapigs tea blends. All of Teapigs’ gorgeous ‘tea temples’ are completely biodegradable, and the company is an approved supplier of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Most of the signature English breakfast tea comes from Rwanda, and Teapigs works with the Point Foundation to support orphans and vulnerable young people in the area. That’s a feel good cuppa’, for sure.
This season add a delicate fragrance to your Christmas parties with a reed diffuser from Cochine. The Vanille and Tabac Noir evokes exotic Oriental aromas and combines classic notes of vanilla and warm hints of Patchouli balanced with the sensual tones of tobacco flower. Extracts of cardamon, nutmeg and basil make this a festive fragrance. Cochine’s products are all ethically and sustainably sourced.
Wood you look at that
When celebrity Jill Vidal founded jewellery brand VIDAL, she reached out to Anthony Lance, co-founder of PhatRice, a company that promotes and sells ethical and sustainable products. Anthony suggested that Jill travel with him to visit their workshop, and meet the girls there who had been rescued from sex work and given a new job in making jewellery. Other unique pieces include a hypoallergenic and 100 per cent natural wood watch. A beautiful statement piece.
Let your garden grow
Not many of us are blessed with a garden in space-starved Hong Kong, but you can still indulge your loved one’s green thumb! Paris Garden Urban Farming offers a wide selection of mini growing kits, from basil, wheatgrass and mint to strawberries and tomatoes and even pine trees.
Get with the program
Help your loved one be more organised in the New Year, with a sleek new agenda. All Moleskine notebooks are made with acid-free, Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. They’re vegan, too: that gorgeous ‘leather’ cover is synthetic. Shop now for a special 30 per cent of selected items.
One for one
Perfect for the lumberjack hipster on your list are these Toms Shoes faux shearling lining red plaid shoes—just in time for Christmas morning, indoors or out.
Toms pioneered the ‘one for one’ concept, where for each item purchased, one is also given to someone less fortunate. So far Toms have given over 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need. Toms isn’t just about shoes anymore: get your baby gifts, sunglasses and accessories there too. Now get a free backpack with every order over US $125. Available online or at Lane Crawford.
Run with it
Why not give a gift that just may keep on giving (in the way of fitness)? Register for an entry for The Green Race Braemar Hill on January 6th in Hong Kong. The Green Race is super committed to sustainable racing, right down to their medals, which are made from sustainable wood and can be reused as coasters!
Raw and reclaimed
This uniquely designed wine holder from TREE is made from reclaimed solid teak wood and reclaimed iron, for a striking way to display his favourite vintages. Some of the teak could have had a former life as an old Indonesian house, fishing boat or even railroad sleepers. If only your wine rack could talk as much as you when it’s loaded with wine—think of the stories it could tell!
Written By: Adriane Rysz