The holidays sometimes get out of hand – and gift giving gets overdone. I wanted to put together a list of some wonderfully sustainable, ethical and mindfully-pleasant items that would be great for anyone who is embracing the season. Each of these items were personally reviewed by my friends and I to cherry-pick the best and hopefully introduce you to some gorgeous brands you haven’t heard of – yet!
The Cooper Bag from Krochet Kids
As soon as I found Krochet Kids I was in love. This is a perfect company for a sustainable, fair-trade mind who wants to support good companies on Christmas. They are fully transparent in their making of apparel and accessories, empowering people worldwide for their quality craftsmanship. In fact, each bag is marked with the name of the maker, so you can get to know them if you wish and feel peace of mind that your piece was made carefully and ethically.
I’m crazy about both their clothes and their accessories, specifically the Cooper Bag. I love a big, roomy bag that can fit my laptop and extras for a on a weekend away. There’s vegan leather straps for handling as well as a large shoulder strap for convenience. The woven detailing is beautiful on the exterior. It’s my new go-to, even when picking up some groceries from the farmer’s market. -Eileen
Retail: $84 (WIN a Cooper bag over on the Pure Wander Holiday giveaway page!)
Plant Therapy’s Relax Set
Settling down after a day of airports, taxis and travel is always tough for me. Especially when I’m in a unfamiliar new city and unfamiliar place to sleep. Lately I’ve been bringing some essential oils with me to diffuse, or simply rub into my temples, to promote unwinding when in a strange environment. Plant Therapy has various sets of essential oils to choose from, but the Relaxation Synergy Set is my favorite. And of the three, the Tranquil blend smells the best – Bergamot, Patchouli, Orange Blood, Ylang Ylang, and Grapefruit Pink. Use these oils with a portable diffuser in so many situations, such as during meditation, some yoga in the hotel room or right before bedtime. -Eileen
American Tourister Nickelodeon 90’s Mash Up 21″ Spinner
It’s time to have a little more fun with the art of traveling. You know what’s good for your mental health? A little dose of nostalgia and a little bit of silly! I am a 90s kid through and through – growing up on Nickelodeon cartoons that shaped my childhood. When I saw this carry-on spinner by American Tourister I literally squealed! All your favorite characters can come with you on your next trip – Rugrats, Angry Beavers, Hey Arnold and so many more. It’s one of the most interesting cases I’ve ever seen and perfect for me to add a splash to travel. Not to mention, the spinner itself is beautifully designed with packing straps inside sporting the iconic Nickelodeon orange color. It’s lightweight, scratch resistant and great for a weekend getaway.
Knowing where you come from can be good for your heart and your head. Being connected to the past can also help shape your future. I love the idea of finding out my roots – especially since my folks recently told m they weren’t sure where our family’s heritage lies! The AncestryDNA® kit can be a really fun and interesting gift for the whole family to find out more about your origins. It’s a simple swab sent off in the mail, which returns with oodles of information like exactly where your DNA is from regionally in the world. This information is in a big database, so if other family members do the same, you can all put together your digital family tree. I can’t wait for my results! -Eileen
Retail: $59.99 special for the holidays
The Sill’s Pet-Friendly Plant Subscription
Wellness has not extended to my new puppy, Ziggy! He’s been a wonderful rescue so far and luckily has lots to chew, but he still gets into things occasionally. I feel better knowing our houseplants are non-toxic and OK if he takes a nibble. The Sill has a fun subscription service where they send one grown plant in a pretty ceramic pot every month. Choose the color of the pot and a different type of flora will be sent monthly. You can use it to decorate and keep your pets safe at the same time.
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 Portable Charger Battery
While it’s good to unplug sometimes for your sanity, it can be just as rage-inducing to lose power with no outlets in sight. I finally will never run out of charge again! I wish I had this Anker Powerbank when driving through Iceland and my phone died – we had no access to maps! And we all know how handy a portable battery charger can come in handy on the plane, so you can binge on those long-haul flights and watch all the entertainment you’d like. Anker’s Powerbank is strong enough to hold TEN smartphone charges and has three ports to share with your friends who’ve run out of juice. It can handle some laptops and quick charge some smartphones too. It’s essential for anyone who works remotely or those who spend hours in airports. -Eileen
Men’s Oxford Dress Shirt by Indigenous
Most trips call for something stylish my husband needs to wear out. If you’re on vacation and need to dress-up for a night out, you don’t want to think too hard about style and sustainability. Indigenous is a wonderful company that prides itself in ethically made clothing via fair trade practices and low carbon footprints for their apparel. They have great wool and outer wear for men and women, but their Oxford Dress Shirts are gorgeously made and ideal for elevated travel fashion. It sports a full-button front, classic fit and is made from organic cotton. -Eileen
Jade Yoga Travel Mat
Every yogi needs a good travel mat to practice on the go. Whether you’re carting it to your local studio or taking it halfway around the world, the sturdy Jade Yoga Travel Mat is sure to stand the test of time. The comfortable rubber mats are made from renewable rubber, a material that features an absolutely insane level of grip. Offered in beautiful jewel-toned colors like vibrant purple, deep blue and olive green, as well as the standard black option, you’ll be practicing your asanas in style, no matter where you are. But the company continues to impress, crafting eco-friendly mats that are not only great for you but great for the environment as well. On top of all that, they plant a tree for every mat sold—and there is no gift better than one that gives back to the planet. —Ashley
Retail: $64.95 and up (WIN a Jade Yoga mat over on the Pure Wander Holiday giveaway page!)
Dr. Scholl’s Rustic Slip On Sneaker
While fitness is often revered as an important way to maintain good physical health, many overlook other things that may keep travelers strong. When it comes to wellness on the road, standard fitness routines are often replaced by long days on your feet for which you may end up with joint pain and require a visit to a local clinic like QC Kinetix.
If you’re going to be walking, take care of your soles with Dr. Scholl’s Rustic Slip On Sneakers, round-toed shoes that offer maximum comfort even after the longest of days. Though a little difficult to slide on at first, even with the tab on the back, the heavily-cushioned shoes offer the support needed for hours pounding the pavement. In addition to high-recovery foam underneath the ball of the foot, enjoy toe support and foam heel cushions paired with a chic grey color that will match nearly any travel outfit. —Ashley
Bloom Wanderlust Planner
While travel journals can be beneficial to helping you plan your next vacation, the Bloom Wanderlust Planner is the ultimate wellness tool for yearlong goal setting and activity organizing. Use it exclusively to focus on your travels or embrace the versatility of this product. The soft cover is adorned in shades of pink, blue and green, showcasing scenes reminiscent of Italian architecture, canals and cafes. Running from January through December of 2019, the monthly and weekly views are accompanied by a slew of other pages, giving users the chance to consider something new they’d like to learn, a place they’d like to visit, goals for good deeds and more—and to work check them off when complete. Set your intentions and allow your dreams to come true as the Wanderlust Planner is sure to bring out the best you. —Ashley
Retail: $16.95 (WIN a Bloom Planner over on the Pure Wander Holiday giveaway page!)
YogaPaws Full Set
Practice yoga anywhere you go with YogaPaws, an innovative product that eliminates the need for a yoga mat without compromising your fitness routine. Simply slip the Paws over your feet and hands to stick to various surfaces, ensuring that you can do yoga any place, any time. The grippy material works just as well as a mat, without the added hassle, but the Paws are also cushioned for comfort. The SkinThin variation is great for those who don’t want to cart a mat around but are still looking for an authentic, barefoot feel while the Elite edition offers extra padding and support for the feet and wrists. Best of all, the combination of rubber and mesh can also be ideal for weightlifting, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, bicycling and more, while the moisture wicking material ensures you’ll stay nice and dry. —Ashley
Retail: $32 and up (WIN a pair of YogaPaws over on the Pure Wander Holiday giveaway page!)
Everlane’s Men’s and Women’s Sweaters
I can’t often find an apparel company where I like both men and women’s fashions. I feel like most excel at one or the other, or even just throw the whole thing out for unisex styles. However, as soon as I discovered Everlane, I knew this was somewhere I can enjoy shopping for myself and my husband.
The men’s Cashmere Crew is ideal for a traveler, as it’s wrinkle-free and completely packable to look nice on a night out. It’s also both breezy and warm, perfect for between-season travel. What’s great is the quality cashmere sweaters are available in classic women’s sizes too. Now I’m not suggesting you get matchy-matchy on your next vacation, but I definitely think you could each enjoy your favorite color.
Besides being chic, Everlane prides itself in complete transparency when it comes to manufacturing and ethically sourced materials. We love supporting a business that gives back too – every Black Friday their proceeds to back to the workers and factories they use to improve and enhance work conditions. Costs are kept low for each product to ‘pay back’ the consumer and pieces are made to last. It’s a win-win for everyone when choosing this apparel. -Eileen
Retail: Cashmere sweaters, $100