Treat Yourself or Others: A Thoughtful Gifting Guide for 2019

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Hey everyone! It’s that time of the year where the weather gets better, we get more reflective, and we take days off to spend it with those we care about. It’s truly a wonderful time, and gift-giving (whether you celebrate Christmas or an office Secret Santa) makes it quite magical.

The right gift can really make your day, and make you feel appreciated – AKA, warm and fuzzy feelings. And if it’s a conscious gift, from a small business &/or ethical & sustainable brand, what’s not to love?

Whether you need a last-minute gift that’s conscious to its makers, or want to treat yourself for surviving 2018 (totally valid), there’s no better guide than below. So read on!

If you need more incentive, remember that these are small businesses, so every single purchase is a step forward in their journey, and it does make a difference.  

For the animal-loving friend

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Go vegan with amazing bags and accessories from Arture, a cork-based lifestyle accessories brand from Chennai. They just launched a new range of colours for Christmas (their sunset colour is stunning!), and you can preorder them with a 15% discount. And the beauty of cork is that it is a long-lasting product that’s strong and water-proof, ready to accompany you on any adventure!

Fun Fact: Arture was founded by Shivani, a NIFT Graduate, in 2015, and her brand is fashionable, practical, cruelty-free, ethical, and eco-friendly, all at the same time – no mean feat. myarture.com

For the friend with a sweet tooth

Not one, but for these friends, you have two options from talented home bakers! First up, Hew & Frost, created by Mridula, has a limited edition Christmas Gift Box.

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This box contains: 

– French Macarons in Peppermint, Pumpkin Spice and Apple pie flavours

– Plumcake soaked in Rum, made using homemade treacle

– Linzer cookies with homemade Blackberry and strawberry filling

– Buttery Honey Walnut Tart

– Homemade Raspberry compote Swirl Brownies  

Anyone else drooling already? You can place an order for this basket through this link. Delivering to Chennai only. Also, Mridula of Hew & Frost creates custom cakes and desserts through the year. instagram.com/hewandfrost

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Looking for a bit more Europe in your gift box? Try some choux craquelin (an exclusive dessert!), and throw in an Italian hot chocolate mix, rich fruit cake, and macarons, and you have a Sugar Base Studio Gift Basket! Starting at Rs. 1000/-, you can book your box through Instagram DM or call them at +91 99400 12682 for customization options. Select products ship pan-India. Follow them on Instagram for some drool-worthy dessert. instagram.com/sugarbasestudio

For the classical dance lover

A weakness for every classical dancer [especially Bharatanatyam dancers] is kemp jewellery. And Jaya’s Handiworks, run by a fellow Stella Maris alumna, Amritha, and her mother, are doing a lovely job of creating modern pieces with traditional kemp that are wearable and lightweight. They have released a new Margazhi edit, perfect for your kutchery-hopping friends! Purchase/book via DM. instagram.com/jayashandiworks

For the book lover

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Show your book-loving friend some love through a gift box from An Artist’s Invite by Sowmya. Each custom-assembled box contains a book for your friend’s collection, along with personalised stationery, like bookmarks with selected quotes, and greeting cards. Any gift that encourages more reading is a great gift! Order via Instagram DM. instagram.com/anartistsinvite

For the friend who likes everyday luxuries

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Check out Inai, a fine leather goods brand, that celebrates Indian leather craftsmanship. From passport covers to makeup pouches, or even a fun little leather tassel with your BFF’s initials on it, these beautiful products are a delight! Try their cardholder + bag tassel combo, and throw in some monogramming for a gift your friend will cherish.

Fun fact: Sruti, the founder of Inai, designs these leather goods using only leftover leather materials & scraps that are usually discarded and wasted. I love a brand that upcycles! She is also offering free monogramming on select products up to Christmas so what are you waiting for? inaistory.com

For the friend who wants to #own 2019

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One of the sweetest people that I have met through Instagram, Pranita is a powerhouse of talent, hard-work, and a total girl boss. An illustrator with her own line of products, her bestselling “12 Months, 12 Goals” calendar is back for 2019, and would make a wonderful gift for any boss: girl or boy! She has a fun Christmas gift box which bundles a calendar, a set of cards, a notebook, and a wall decal for Rs. 1500. She also stocks stationery such as postcards, badges, coasters, and wall decals on her site. pranita-kocharekar.com

For the friend who cherishes art

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Afra, an aspiring doctor, has taken her art hobby to the next level. From paintings to brush lettering pieces and more, check out Celestial Hues to possibly commission a painting for your art loving friend! Afra also has gift boxes for sale, so DM her on Instagram for more information. instagram.com/celestial.hues

For the friend you want to introduce to sustainability

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Teach your friends to talk trash, literally, through Shubhashree’s illustrated handbook, titled ‘Lets Talk Trash’. You can purchase this book standalone and gift it to friends who want to have more conscious lifestyles, or you can pair it up with a kid’s activity book and gift it to your favourite parent/child duo for a fun, educational gift. It’s never too early to start being sustainable, right? You can follow Shubh’s other illustrations on Instagram. instamojo.com/TheHungryPalette (for orders)

For the friend who wants to go zero-waste

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If your friend already knows about living sustainably, but doesn’t know where to start, look no further than Everwards India. The new kid on the block, this brand is founded by the lovely Veena and Sudarshana from Two’s Company, and it aims to make environmentally friendly lifestyle products affordable, relatable, and most importantly, accessible. Upcycled pouches, reusable eco-friendly cutlery, stainless steel straws.. you name it, and they’ll probably have the right product to help you start living a plastic-free lifestyle. instagram.com/everwardsindia_zerowaste

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And that’s all from me! Hope you found this guide useful. What’s the best gift you’ve received? Tell me in the comments below! 

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