Thoughtful and sustainable gift ideas for any time of the year

Over the last couple months, I’ve really gotten into TikTok and my For You page has been so on point it’s quite scary. One thing that’s shown up on my FYP are gift guides, incredibly curated and innovative ones (s/o to Heather aka @pigmami). Specifically, I appreciate getting a thoughtful gift I can use. Some of the best items I’ve gotten haven’t been super expensive but feel like it’s aligned with what I love the most.

This year I’m committed to lowering my own consumption. In an attempt to stick to my own principles around sustainability and what I let into my space, I won’t be buying any new/secondhand clothes for the year. Anyways, while looking at that, I wanted to come up with some evergreen gifting ideas that would be thoughtful, relatively inexpensive and with sustainability in mind (i.e reuse and keep in your space). These can be used for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day or even Christmas.


per request! what other gift guides do i need to make before i retire the seasonal content? #giftguides #giftsforher #giftsforhim #holidays

♬ The Nutcracker / Overture miniature /Tchaikovsky(1120978) – perfectpanda

Flower delivery

I’m a big fan of flowers and while you don’t need to splurge on a lush bouquet every single time, it really does make for a great gift. When your flowers are near the end of their lifespan – you can repurpose them as potpourri or press them and create your own artwork. 

Attend a workshop

If you know a friend or loved one is more of a hands-on, experiences over things type of person, have a look at what workshops or classes they might enjoy. This could be an online course, a ceramics night or a gin distillery tasting where they learn all about their favourite drink etc.

Pay for shoe repairs, tailoring or dry cleaning

One of the most sustainable things you can do is take care of or repair what you already have. Basically, make due with what you own and replace it only when needed. Personally, I’d love for someone to pay for my dry cleaning or tailoring – it takes one thing off my to-do list and feels thoughtful. It’s not for everyone, but I’d appreciate it.

Curate a secondhand book or thrift bundle

This is recommended for anyone who really knows their friend’s style or taste in literature. Scour local second hand bookstores and compile a set of books for them to enjoy. Alternatively, if you know what they love to thrift – you could put together a style bundle and gift a whole new wardrobe to them. Content creator Laini Ozark did this for her best friend, and it really feels incredibly thoughtful.

Pick up some candles or home scents

If you live in SA, you already know that candles are a must. But for a more eco-friendly biodegradable option, why not choose beeswax candles? I love a little bit of candlelight, even when the lights are working as it sets the mood. But if your friend or loved on isn’t into that, gifting them some incense or home scent spray (with a crystal or two) is always a good idea.

Pay for a subscription

The options for this type of gift feels endless and can be tailored to whatever they love. You could pay for their Netflix subscription, get a design magazine they love or pay for their next month’s meal delivery service or coffee/wine subscription. It can be a once-off treat, or up to an entire year, depending on your budget!

The main thing is that people often tell you what they value as gifts, whether it’s a highly curated gift or no gift at all, quality time spent together doing an activity or making a meal for them. People speak about what they love. It’s up to you to listen.

Hope this was helpful!

x A

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