Giving Gifts With Love, While Consuming Consciously

consuming consciously

Obviously when gift shopping for our friends and family, we want to be thoughtful, sentimental, and probably within a reasonable budget. Our choices affect the world around us, and hopefully help us become more conscious consumers. Whether that means buying organic, locally grown/handcrafted, or from business’s whose founders we support. Each consumer has a different priority.

The household I spent most of my time in growing up is very frugal and practical, while my father (still practical) is environmentally-minded. I was hyper-aware of the amount of packaging wasted on consumer items, quality, the labor behind items I was purchasing, and the environmental impact of not only the good, but the journey it took to get from its manufacturer to its distributor, to me.

With those things in mind, it has made purchasing gifts I feel good about giving (and that I’m also excited to give, and that my friends are excited to receive) a little tricky. So in the spirit of mindfulness and also the spirit of celebrating, here are some ideas of what to buy, where to shop, and why, for your friends and family this holiday… or really for any occasion.

A few places we like to shop for holiday gifts, birthday gifts… or even ourselves:
Tradesy

Tradesy is a re-selling site, they also sell some items on their own. Sellers largely carry pretty commonly found designer and department store brands. Find new or vintage items for your graduating friends. Some of our favorites gift finds on Tradesy include vintage / retro accessories, or new discounted purses. Would any of us ever notice if a new name brand watch came in the box but that the seal tape was missing? No. Do real friends care? Probably not. Take a look, they have great filtering features and it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for by type, brand, or keywords.

Reasons to shop: sellers are often individuals re-selling items they never or rarely wore (i.e. reuse, reduce, recycle). That means you’re supporting people like you, who are getting more for re-selling their items than they would at a Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange, and also giving these items a longer life. Tradesy is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a great return policy for any items that are knock offs. Founded by Tracey DiNunzio, backed by Richard Branson and John Doerr. Listen to Tracey on Tim Ferriss’ podcast here.

consuming consciously tradsey

Depop

Also a re-selling site, Depop’s user base is artistic and unique. The app’s interface is essentially modeled after Instagram, and in my opinion, is the shopping app for today’s internet girl. If you’re a fan of UNIF, incredibly well-curated 90’s looks, and throwback items, this is the re-selling site for your shopping desires.

Reasons to shop: Much like Tradesy, sellers are individuals, and mostly women, re-selling their items. There’s also many girls running their own brands off of Depop, selling custom swimsuits, accessories, and handcrafted goods. You’re supporting individuals and giving items a longer life. Get your grad enamel pins that suit her style, or the perfect set of 90s accessories (think oval sunglasses, mini backpack, and a choker).

Thriftbooks

If you live in a suburban or rural area, chances are it’s slim pickings when it comes to cute used bookstores in your area. Find your grad the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” a book of maps, a beautifully illustrated guide to the destination you know is on their bucket list, or a classic corny pun book. Thriftbooks offers rare and collectible books too if you’re looking for something specific or want a signed edition.

Reasons to shop: This is one area in which we’re torn. While we want to support writers directly, we also want to support the environment and discourage the over-printing of books. By purchasing used books, we are improving the value of books, because we’re showing that print is not dead. At the same time, we’re stopping these books from hitting the landfill, and reducing the rate at which more books are printed. Where we compromise? Support new authors by buying their books directly from their site, or purchasing used for your friend (still saving money) and buying the Kindle version on Amazon for 0.99 (a small price to pay.)

Local Vendors

While artisanal goods are often easier to find in more metropolitan areas, Facebook’s marketplace is making buying from local vendors quite a bit easier. Grab your cards from a local printmaker, a few bath bombs from a single parent with a side hustle, and a bouquet of flowers from your neighborhood florist.

If you’re not on NextDoor.com, this is also a great way to learn more about what people in your neighborhood are buying/selling (same goes for OfferUp). I recently found out one of my favorite coffee roasters, Bedfellows Coffee, supports a substantial amount of his business by letting the neighborhood know what he’s roasting on NextDoor! I love that we’re able to get back to supporting our community thanks to the speediness of technology.

Have any suggestions? While there are plenty of specific vendors we love that are making goods with recycled goods, we wanted to give some broader options for our Metiza community that are accessible in terms of price and availability. We’d love your input on places to shop, and to learn more about how you make your purchasing decisions. Let us know!

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