Making Secret Santa More Sustainable: 12 Gift Ideas That Support Eco-Friendly Businesses

woman looking for sustainable gifts in a bookstore
Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

Secret Santas, Hanukkah Harry’s, and White Elephants are such a fun way to bring family and friends together during the holiday season. There is something so exciting about not knowing who your gift came from, and making sure the gift you give to your assigned person is something they will really enjoy! This year, let’s aim to make this common tradition a bit more meaningful by giving sustainable gifts.

A gifting study showed that $16 billion is wasted on unwanted gifts every year. To make your mark on this number, be environmentally conscious when making gift choices for your friend or family member this holiday.

Presently has created an Approved Retailer List with 165+ entries of small, BIPOC-owned, female-owned, and eco-friendly businesses to shop from this holiday season. We have pulled some of our favorite sustainable items from the list, that your Secret Santa match is sure to love!

If you are looking for a way to be environmentally conscious outside of your gift swap, consider setting up a group gift for any friend or family member that deserves their dream gift. We all know a friend, family member, or colleague that went above and beyond this year. Instead of giving them 5 small gifts, surprise them with one big gift set up by all their favorite people this holiday.

You can also level up your environmental consciousness by starting a conversation around how a single meaningful gift has much more value than a bunch of small ones. In doing so you will be encouraging your entire circle to not only communicate more, but actively limiting the gifting waste created this holiday season.

Here are 12 ideas to bring joy to your gift recipient this holiday, while keeping Mother Earth in mind. 


Apparel and Accessories

pieces of clothing on a rack are perfect sustainable gifts
Photo by Kai Pilger from Pexels

1. Bohten creates some amazing eyewear for sustainable gits. Each pair is handmade and beautifully crafted, whether your giftee prefers a pair of blue light glasses for work or an awesome pair of shades for sunny Saturday afternoons. Not to mention that each of the handmade frames is produced with sustainably-sourced material in Africa, carefully designed to give you maximum comfort and fit.

2. For the giftee who can’t get enough handbags, check out Delaroq. Female founder Jennifer Lyu’s bags are all made from discarded excess materials from tanneries and factories. The high-quality handbags are unique: once the up-cycled material runs out, the same bag won’t be made again. Because each bag is one of a kind, your friend won’t be able to say that they have anything else like it! The company also sells really warm and unique beanies, one of the perfect sustainable gifts for these cold winter months.

3. Second-hand shopping is the most eco-friendly way to get a cool wardrobe piece. Check out Thrilling for a unique statement piece for your fashionista friend’s closet. Thrilling is inspired by the joy of finding one-of-a-kind, truly unique pieces at every price point and every size. These sustainable gifts also place an emphasis on supporting small, local businesses – the economic and cultural backbone of our communities and neighborhoods.


Sustainable Gifts for Self Care

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

4. BLK + GRN is an all-natural marketplace, with all products curated by Black artisans. Each brand represented on its platform is hand-picked to share high-quality, toxic-free brands that share the company’s mission of health, wellness, and community cultivation. Whether you are looking to buy the products for a spa day or a hair makeover, BLK + GRN is sure to carry the best quality and environmentally sustainable gifts to give!

5. One of the perfect sustainable gifts for the skincare guru of the group would want to check out LOLI, a zero-waste beauty brand. LOLI’s ingredients and products are earth-friendly and kind to all creatures – like their certified compostable bags or reusable glass jars. They are proudly the first beauty company to be a member of Made In A Free World, whose mission is to provide individuals, groups, and businesses with innovative solutions that can end the system of slavery.

6. For the minimalist friend, look no further than By HumanKind. BH creates high-performing personal care products that are kinder to your body and our planet. A gift from BH would include a refillable container and a first refill. Next would come convenient refills on your friend’s schedule. Subscribe & Save 15% on the specific product, or reorder as needed! In the long term, your friend will be further reducing their plastic footprint, saving our planet from single-use plastic waste!



ethically-made furnitures and home decors are perfect sustainable ideas
Photo by ATBO from Pexels

7. For some second-hand vintage decor and collectibles, check out BLK Market Vintage. BLK is inspired by bringing Black history & antiquity into everyday life. The shop sells amazing vintage items, ranging from books to posters! Any piece purchased will most definitely be an awesome conversation starter for the home, due to the rich history behind it.

8. Just like the name implies, we recommend Your Sustainable Home as the go-to for getting any beautiful and sustainable gifts for home goods pieces. Pick up a decor piece for someone in your life who has eccentric taste, or for someone who just moved into a new home. What’s even more amazing is that Your Sustainable Home has recently also launched a BIPOC collection, providing a curated collection from local black and indigenous makers.

9. Add an artisanal touch! The Little Market provides artisan, handmade, and fair trade accessories and decor pieces at every price point. From just getting a fresh candle or even curating a complete kitchen, you are sure to find sustainable gifts and incredible pieces for anyone of your loved ones here.


Food and Beverage

sustainable gifts like tote bag, wall decor and mugs
Photo by bach hanzo from Pexels

10. For your coffee-addicted best friends, the best sustainable gifts for them are coffee beans from Red Bay Coffee. Featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2020, their Motherland Holiday Gift Box allows coffee lovers to try out three limited-edition flavored coffee bean bags. It is an elegant gift with smooth and aromatic flavors that your loved one won’t be able to say “no” to.

11. Zero Grocery’s mission is quite exciting! They sell over 900 different types of zero-waste, no-plastic quality goods at discounted prices via a subscription-like reusable jar delivery system. Get your friend behind their mission of removing single-use plastics from the food system by giving them a gift card that is sure to come in handy. And if your loved one is a sweet-lover, you can’t miss out on pre-ordering them a holiday-themed pastry.

12. Are you looking for perfect sustainable gifts for the beer lover in your gifting group? Well, look no further than Saltwater Brewery. Here you can find the finest Floridian craft beer and other related products, while also giving back to ocean-based charities. There are 12 delicious styles to choose from and dozens of trendy apparel items that we are sure your beer-lover-bestie will love!


Giving Back

two people thinking of sustainable gifts for their friends
Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Whether you decide to organize a group gift or purchase an individual one with Mother Nature in mind, you can make your gift go even further by setting aside a portion of your funds to go toward a charity of your choice. There are several great organizations that are working hard to improve our planet, like the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, or the Trust for Public Land. All three organizations are firmly committed to making our planet a better place by finding long-term solutions to our biggest environmental challenges.


Presently is a group-gifting platform that gives people an easy way to contribute to a single gift, together. Presently enables communities to gift better, choosing quality over quantity. Organize a group gift here.

As an Amazon Affiliate, Presently earns from qualifying purchases.

Get more content like this 📚

Subscribe to our newsletter

[wpforms id=”5100″]

Megan Mallozzi