The Ethical Gift Guide: how not to be a shitty gifter this season

After six years of working with store owners and independent designers, we're pretty much experts on the cool things being built and made outside massive chain stores. We decided to pull together 23 things that are funky, fabulous, and downright delightful for gifting. Each of these gifts comes from an independent artist or brand with a brick-and-mortar presence who engages in ethical and sustainable business and manufacturing practices. Give guilt-free knowing you're supporting slow fashion, safe working conditions, small and family-owned businesses. Shop small from your desktop, shop local from your phone. Supporting small business this season was never so easy.

Hold On To Your Wallets (Gifts Under $20)
If you are on a budget, we suggest opting for a clever gift, and putting some effort into packaging (ideas on that here). When it's the thought that counts, make the experience of opening the gift special, and you will win points even if the gift itself costs as much as "One Free Hug". Not feeling clever? We got you! See below.

1. Burger Pin - Friend Mart, $13

A little sass and an inside joke goes a long way.

2. Nope Mug - Grumpy Bert, $18

Beverage lover/morning fighter? This is for them.

3. Ginger Grapefruit Soap - Bar Soap Brooklyn, $12

Show them how to treat theyselves right.

4. Olive Oyl Action Figure - Gift Man Gifts, $10

Nostalgia always makes for excellent gifting. You're never too old for vintage cartoon paraphernalia.

5.  F*k Da System Sticker - I Am Nattee, $5

Just 'cause they're rebellious doesn't mean they don't like the holidays.

6. Honeysuckle Jasmine Candle - Devour Candles, $20

Leave Febreze to minors; grown ups do aroma therapy right.

Budget Shmudget! (Gifts Over $100)
If cost is no object, and you're looking for a luxury gift someone special wouldn't have thought of for themselves, we've got you covered. These items push the creative envelope for the fashionable, forward-thinking people on your list. The person who has everything doesn't have this.

7. Granny Palma Bag - Brother Vellies, $685

If she's too cool for life, she might be cool enough for Brother Vellies.

8. Void Watch - Goose Barnacle, $490

Watches are classic, this one is also fiercely cool.

9. Santa Fe Backpack - Jordyn Jacobs, $200

Epic coolness for your local gypsy.

10. Italian Leather Dog Leash - Leisure Life, $195

This is the missing detail for the dog-obsessed.

11. Graffiti Bikini - Anna NYC, $138

Nothing says "I think you're sexy" like something skimpy.

12. Granite Sweatshirt - Alexis Mera, $108

Badass + cozy is always a winning combo.

13. Uncharted Territory Terrarium - Twig Terrariums, $180

Give them a wonderland they can hold in their hand.

Not-So-Basic Basics
Tried and true items for your dad, your pending nephew, your wife, your brother, your bestie, and everyone in between. We've gathered high quality sure-to-please items that won't break the bank. These gifts have just the right amount of cool and will win you points for thoughtfulness.

14. Hand Knit Alpaca Mittens - Study NY, $69

Not just mittens; The Best mittens.

15. Haute Step Socks - Able Made, $24

They'll never admit it, but what they really want are killer statement socks.

16. Omega Ring - Bhoomki, $45

It's trendy and understated and symbolic; hand, meet perfection.

17. Steel Card Holder - Curated Basics, $40

For every entrepreneur, musician, or artist investing themselves in taking apart the status quo.

18. Lauren Wimmer Post Earrings - Trunk Brooklyn, $85

Punk rock in miniature that they can wear to even a very serious job.

19. PF Flyers - The Brooklyn Circus, $60

Up their sneaker game with some educated authenticity.

20. Crayon Bandolier - Jordandene, $25

The kid whose vegan parents dress her only in neutrals still deserves a cool gift.

21. Growth Chart - My Brooklyn Baby, $46

Parents are by nature sentimental creatures. Satisfy the crave for memorabilia.

22. Chocolate Bar Assortment - The Chocolate Room, $40

At a complete loss? Give chocolate. Really, really good chocolate.

23. Orchard Gift Box - Terhune Orchards, $25

Sometimes, nothing but a gift basket will do. This one is homemade on a family farm in NJ, for the hostest with the mostest or your buttoned up boss.

Happy gifting!

-Magdalena Santos

Owner, Magdalena Concepts