2017 Compassionate Christmas Gift Guide – Part 1!

Click here for Part 2!

Christmas is almost upon us and one of the best parts of Christmas is seeing the delight on our loved ones’ faces when they receive our carefully curated gifts from us. At the same time, one of the most stressful parts of Christmas is attempting to get the right gift. Right now you might be wondering, how do you get from current status “giftless” to the preferred status, “gifted”?

The struggle is real. We really want to get things that our recipients will love, but we would prefer to spend our dollars on products that are cruelty-free, preferably eco-friendly, and to reduce waste. Perhaps you are not vegan, but are looking for the perfect gift for your vegan friend or family member. Or maybe you are simply thinking of making more conscious choices in your purchases.

Fret not, AASG brings you a two-part series with better gift ideas that are vegan, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and suitable for various budgets. We have also attempted to list options that are easily obtainable in Singapore, and, as far as possible, non-gender specific.

This first instalment will focus on inedible products, while the second instalment will be all about food food food. These gift ideas are not just limited to Christmas, but we think that they are also suitable for any occasion, because the season for giving should last all year round!

Soy Candles

If your intended recipient is one who enjoys the finer things in life, there is a low possibility that he/she will not appreciate a scented candle. Here are some Singapore-based brands that offer vegan friendly candles:

Artisan of Sense

Artisan of Sense creates handcrafted soy wax candles and pure essential oils. Artisan of Sense has confirmed with us that all their products are all plant-based, free of additives, harmful chemicals and that they do not do any animal testing, so you can shop with a peace of mind. Having personally purchased an Artisan of Sense candle as a gift, the author can confirm that the packaging is LOVELY and the candle itself also makes a great decorative piece.

Artisan of Sense’s website: https://www.artisanofsense.com

Indi Nyah

Indi Nyah is another brand that confirmed that their candles are 100% soy wax with pure essential oils. A bonus point is that they state on their website that they do not use any palm oil in their products.

Price range: S$60 for a Luxury Candle

Indi Nyah’s website: http://indinyah.com

Aromatherapy Products

If you are thinking of getting something more therapeutic for your loved ones, consider aromatherapy products!

Lemongrass House

Lemongrass House offers a wide range of natural products that are essential oil based such as essential oils, bath products, home fragrances, natural insect repellants, pet care, etc. Interestingly, among their wide range of natural reed diffusers, they even have a Eucalyptus Reed Diffuser that they say is “best for haze”. Just what the Singaporean needs in the hazy months!

We have seen from our correspondence with Lemongrass House that they are a passionately cruelty-free brand. Lemongrass House has also confirmed that all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free, except for the dog-paw balm, which contains beeswax.

The author especially loves their all natural insect repellent, which really works to keep the militant mozzies at bay.

Lemongrass House products are available online and in their physical stores.

Lemongrass House’s Singapore website: https://www.lemongrasshouse.com.sg/product/eucalyptus-reed-diffuser/

Make Up

If your intended recipient is a make up addict, you would know (from their looks, of course). And no make up addict ever said no to more make up. The following are some vegan-friendly make up brands that you can easily find in Singapore:

Kat Von D

There are many vegan options from Kat Von D –  Kat Von D herself is an active vegan! Check out their website to confirm whether the product you are buying is vegan: https://www.katvondbeauty.com/vegan-alert.html

By the way, the author loves Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. Kat Von D’s line is available at Sephora Singapore (both online and in stores): https://www.sephora.sg

Tarte

Tarte is another mainstream brand that offers vegan make up products, albeit on the pricier side. But who can resist that pretty packaging? Tarte is also available at Sephora Singapore (both online and in stores): https://www.sephora.sg

100% Pure

If you are looking for a healthier make up, 100% Pure is your pick. 100% Pure promises that it used 100% non-toxic, vegan and natural ingredients in its products. Fruit-dyed make up, natural fragrances, free of synthetic ingredients, how good does that sound? 100% Pure is also on Peta’s cruelty-free list, so you can shop with an ease of mind. However, please note that the author has seen 100% Pure shampoos that contain honey, so if you avoid honey, please take note of this.

You can find 100% Pure products at Bud Organics (online and in stores): https://www.budcosmetics.com

Eco-Friendly Food Containers

You could do your part and try to help your friends save disposables by giving them eco-friendly food containers. They are also better for health. There are several eco-friendly, biodegradable food containers out on the market, which are readily available at department stores:

Super Zozial

Photographed at Robinson’s at the Heeren.

Roll’Eat

Photographed at Tangs Orchard.

Eco-Ware

Photographed at Mahota Grocer.

Other eco-friendly food container brands available in Singapore that we found online:

Husk’s Ware

Biodegradable reusable food containers made from rice husk.

Husk’s Ware’s website: http://husksware.com.sg  You can also see their popup at EarthFest in January!

Green Pal Store

Find lots of eco-friendly household items at their online store: https://www.greenpalstore.com/index.php#.WiVsJBRjrww

Cruelty-Free Bath Products

If you are at your wit’s end, just remember that everyone takes a bath. The following are some brands that have vegan offerings:

Aesop

Seriously, who doesn’t love Aesop’s scents. All of Aesop’s formulas are vegan and are cruelty-free. Aesop does not have a Singapore website, but you can browse their products online at: https://www.aesop.com/au/

There are various Aesop stores in Singapore at the following locations: Suntec City, Raffles City, Capital Piazza, Ngee Ann City, Tangs, Ion and Westgate.

Lush

Lush’s products are pricey, but always pretty. Most of their products are vegan, but not all. Do remember to confirm before purchasing.

Lush’s Singapore website: https://sg.lush.com  You can also see Lush at their pop up at EarthFest in January!

The Body Shop

See this link for a catalogue of The Body Shop’s vegan products: https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/trending/vegan/c/c02010

The Body Shop’s Singapore website: https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-sg

Indi Nyah

Indi Nyah also offers bath products. Please see above in the candle section for more information on Indi Nyah.

Souley Green

Souley Green is an online store that only sells vegan products, including bath and beauty products, and of course, vegan food. They are currently providing free shipping for Christmas with the use of their discount code.

Souley Green’s website: https://souleygreen.com

Handmade Heroes

The author just had to give a special shoutout to Handmade Heroes because they happen to be the author’s favourite local brand. Handmade Heroes offers lip balms, lip tints, face masks, dry shampoo and body scrubs which are all natural, beautiful, and vegan-friendly, plus they are reasonably priced as well. Handmade Heroes is also currently offering Christmas gift sets, which are available online and in store at Isetan Scotts @ Shaw Centre (2nd floor).

The author especially loves Handmade Heroes’ lip tint, which give the lips a natural tone (like your own lips but better) and are very moisturing! Support local and support vegan!

Shop their products online or at their stockists, such as: Tangs @ Vivocity, Isetan Scotts @ Shaw Centre (2nd floor), Naiise Concept Stores, Megafash Concept Stores, etc.

Handmade Heroes’ Singapore website: https://www.handmadeheroes.com.sg

Vegan Fragrances

If you have the budget for something more fancy, you will make your recipient feel like gold if you got vegan fragrances for them. Caveat that you must know him/her really well in order for this to work.

To be honest, it is not easy to find vegan and cruelty-free higher end fragrances in Singapore and the following are the only two brands that we could find that are vegan-friendly:

Le Labo

Le Labo is a super posh french line of often unisex fragrances. They use both natural and synthetic ingredients to create their distinctive fragrances. They are also proudly plant-based and cruelty-free. Only check this out if you really are looking for something on the higher end as they are not cheap! Other than fragrances, they also offer bath products and home fragrances.

Get Le Labo products in store at Escentials Paragon Orchard, #03-02/05.

Aesop

Aesop has a line of a few non-gender specific fragrances. Please see more information on Aesop above.

Plant-Based Books

Give the gift of knowledge by giving a book. Your recipient could only benefit from knowing more about the plant-based diet and how it can help them. Some recommended books on plant-based nutrition include:

  • The China Study by Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell;
  • How Not to Die by Michael Greger; and
  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn.

Also, who wouldn’t love a good cookbook to add to their shelves. It is a good way to introduce vegan food to your friends and show them how amazing and easy vegan food can be. Even if the recipient doesn’t use it, a cookbook always makes a good decorative piece. 😛

If the recipient is vegan-curious, the best encouragement would be a book on veganism and its motivations. Animal Allies has a list of recommended reads (including recipe books, vegan guides, etc.), which you can find here: http://animalallies.sg/books/

Disclaimer: None of the above are paid listings. AASG does not purport to recommend any of the products or listings above unless expressly mentioned and any recommendations are the author’s own. AASG has tried to the best of our abilities to confirm that the above mentioned products are vegan and/or cruelty-free, but we are not able to guarantee that they are indeed vegan and/or cruelty-free and you are encouraged to confirm on your own.

Click here for Part 2!