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The holiday season can come under fire for encouraging excess and consumerism, but it doesn’t have to represent unnecessary waste.
Often the source of the most waste, the clothing industry is slowly making amends by using more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and ethical processes to make its products. It’s not too difficult nowadays to find shoes and jackets made from plastic water bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill, or from renewable rather than non-renewable sources.
These apparel gifts are better for the planet and a more thoughtful option for your environmentally- and socially-conscious recipient. They tend to be a little more expensive than traditional clothing, but the extra bucks are a small price to pay for longer-lasting, sustainable apparel that makes smarter use of the planet’s resources.
Most of these items are available with expedited shipping, and some should arrive within a few days’ time, so don’t stress too hard about your last-minute shopping – just remember that the sooner you order, the better your chances of a timely arrival.
Be a more sustainable gifter this year with these 14 apparel gifts:
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
Comfortable work flats
Rothy’s has repurposed more than 20 million plastic water bottles to make women’s shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. They come in four simple silhouettes and a host of pretty colors and prints, but we love the sleek Point style because it’s perfect for work. If you’re not sure about their size or shoe preference, you can get a gift card instead. The Sneaker and Flat are $125, The Point $145, and The Loafer $165.
A boxy, short parka
55 plastic bottles received another life in this jacket. It has a roomy fit ideal for layering up underneath, and oversized, fleece-lined multi-entry pockets to warm up their hands. Even the Primaloft insulation is recycled, and it’s very warm, protecting wearers in sub-freezing temperatures.
A waffle weave robe
Make every day a spa day with this soft robe made from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-certified cotton. The company takes careful steps to partner with sustainable mills and ship and package its products with environmentally friendly methods, so your recipient can truly relax and enjoy this comfortable robe.
A plant-based turtleneck
ADAY’s plant-based collection, Plant Bae, blends beech tree fibers and seaweed into an innovative new fabric called SeaCell. This stretchy and moisture-wicking turtleneck comes in a beautiful deep green color that hints at its origins and has extra-long sleeves they can pull over their hands.
A down ‘shirt’
This lightweight jacket styled like a shirt is a nice change from the bulk of other winter outerwear. Featuring 700-fill-power 100% recycled down, the interior is very warm, while the 70% recycled polyester shell is soft, water-repellant, and just a little stretchy.
A cool, silky smooth pajama top
The luxurious pajama shirt is fashioned out of this startup’s flagship textile, the world’s first organic bamboo lyocell fabric. Though it looks composed and could even be styled with jeans to venture out of the house, its cool and soft construction is undeniably made for lounging. Conveniently, it’s also machine-washable.
A Mongolian cashmere sweater
That’s not a typo you’re seeing – at Naadam, you can really get an incredibly soft and well-made cashmere sweater for under $100. The company uses the longest, thinnest fibers of raw cashmere, resulting in a more durable and pill-resistant sweater. Furthermore, it powers its production facilities with clean energy, employs sustainable grazing practices, and pays local nomadic herders 50% more than traditional traders.
A soft and light puffy jacket
Puffy and pillowy, but delightfully more quiet than similar jackets, this Silent Down style is one of our winter wardrobe essentials. The zipper and snap buttons provide a little extra protection, and the pockets are lined with soft micro-brushed jersey. Like the Silent Down Shirt, the warm insulation is 700-fill-power 100% recycled down and the rugged shell is 70% recycled polyester.
A cozy fleece pullover
This is the warm sweater they’ll change into the moment they get home from work, the one they’ll stay in through lazy weekends, rainy days, and long study sessions. They might not even guess that this everyday staple is made from recycled polyester and plastic water bottles. It’s part of Everlane’s ReNew collection, which is part of the company’s commitment to eliminating new plastic in its supply chain by 2021.
Flannel pajama pants
- Boll & Branch
Can you ever own too many cozy flannel PJs? They’re so comfortable and connected to the cheer of the holidays that we think not. Matching Boll & Branch’s popular sheets, these pants are made from 100% organic cotton. This durable flannel is made by artisans in Portugal and comes a little oversized since it’ll shrink in the wash.
An alpaca infinity scarf
Whether they’re braving the cold of a wintry day or the unnecessary chill of their office, they’ll appreciate having this soft and chunky alpaca scarf wrapped around their neck. The fiber of the scarf comes all the way from the small mountain ranches of Peru, where the alpaca are raised sustainably and humanely.
Eucalyptus tree sneakers
The Tree Runners (as well as the Tree Loungers and newest Tree Toppers) get their name from the responsibly grown and sustainably harvested eucalyptus pulp used to make their uppers. Meanwhile, the insoles are merino wool and cushioned with materials made from castor bean oil, and the laces are made from recycled bottles. Take advantage of the limited-edition colors this holiday season before they sell out.
A thick, short-sleeved jacket
This jacket’s thick, scuba-like fabric feels nothing less than substantial and is made from 41 plastic bottles. The brand encourages wearers to don the short sleeve kimono-style two different ways: with the zipper in front, or in back.
A Mongolian cashmere beanie and matching scarf
A beanie and scarf are essential to braving the cold weather. Since Naadam’s cashmere is soft, breathable, and not too heavy, they won’t have to sacrifice comfort for warmth.