Undeniably, the general public have over the past couple of years become more attuned to the ecological problems of the world.
People are now paying more attention to articles telling about deforestation, videos that show animals suffering as a result of pollution, and posts that advocate eco-friendly lifestyle choices.
Even when you look around you can see the effects of this push becoming more apparent; eateries are getting rid of plastic straws, supermarkets now encourage you to bring your own shopping bags, and more businesses now promote themselves as using materials or ingredients that are friendly to the environment.
Truly, our lifestyles are being shaped more and more to become more green and sustainable, whether or not we realise it.
So in line with that sentiment, we decided that it would be timely for us to run down a list of eco-friendly gift options, and highlight some local businesses that have made this a key part of their ethos.
NUDE is a zero-waste store located in Petaling Jaya that sells a range of household supplies ranging from snacks and cosmetics to household cleaners and pet food.
They actively try to encourage everyone who walks into their store to be more aware of the environment, and aim to do away with the use of plastics bags and plastic packaging completely. This means that customers will always need to bring along their own carry bags, containers, or boxes.
However, the cool thing is that they’ll also have some containers on hand—just pay a small price now, and get a refund when you return the containers on your next visit.
In terms of gifts, you’ll be able to find unique things such as bug repellent, all-natural skincare products, and essential oils, with all of them sourced locally as much as possible.
What you can find here: Food, household supplies, beauty and skincare items, pet food.
Visit their Facebook page here.
2. Kinder Soaps
Kinder Soaps was created by a mom who wanted to help her daughter deal with her eczema problems. Finding that there were no reliable solutions on the market, she did so by creating her own brand of soaps using a method known as “cold process”.
Her soaps are made in-house and are free from synthetic ingredients so as to be friendly to irritable skin types, and her brand also actively focuses on making their products and packaging eco-friendly and sustainable by using materials that have been recycled or are biodegradable.
What you can find here: Skincare, aromatherapy items.
3. LAVE Republic
Another soap and skincare brand on the list, LAVE Republic was founded by a cosmetic chemist and her friends with a mission to create sustainable and environmentally-friendly beauty and skincare products, with their products all made with ingredients that are mostly all-natural and eco-friendly.
LAVE Republic sells their products online, and you can find all manner of soaps, shampoos, and scrubs to suit different skin types, as well as accessories including soap dishes, hair brushes, and combs.
What you can find here: Soaps and shampoos, limited hair accessories.
4. The Hive
The Hive claim to be Malaysia’s first zero-waste store and they sell natural food items as well as products that are sustainable and made from recycled materials. You can shop for their stuff either at their two brick and mortar stores in Bangsar and Ampang, or by simply shopping online.
Their selection includes products made by women entrepreneurs, social enterprises, and the underprivileged, and they’ve even been awarded by the United Nations for their role in sustainable development.
They have a range of gift-friendly options including straws made from stainless steel or bamboo, bamboo flasks, home-made almond butter, and cutlery sets among other things.
What you can find here: Household items, office supplies, stationery, food, bags, kitchenware.
5. Green Planet Concept
Green Planet Concept has been around since 2008, and is another online e-commerce platform that basically sells gift items made from recycled waste, with a special focus on non-woven products, including but not limited to tote bags, jute bags, and canvas bags. Aside from those, you can also find things like water bottles, mugs, and stationery holders made from recycled waste.
They also specialise in providing corporate gifts and souvenirs, so those seeking out options for giveaway items at their next corporate event can look here.
What you can find here: Bags, kitchenware, stationery.
6. Palmy / Nature Renascent
Recycling trash into something new isn’t exactly the most ground-breaking thing, but Palmy (also known as Nature Renascent) approaches things differently by turning agricultural waste into good looking functional items.
Originally started out as the founder’s final year university project, Palmy turned into a business aimed at reducing open waste burning, preserving trees, and helping local farmers generate income.
What you can find here: Notebooks, key chains, magnets, and picture frames all made from the by-products of pineapple, bamboo, and banana tree waste.
7. Frangipani Bulk
Frangipani Bulk is yet another sustainable enterprise with both an online and offline presence, with their products available in a few other zero-waste stores around the country. Their products are also completely free of plastic materials, and are all mostly meant to be reusable alternatives to everyday things that are usually thrown away after a few uses.
What you can find here: Razors, loofahs, travel pouches, and toothbrushes among other eco-friendly options, and they promise that all of their hand-made products are completely natural and biodegradable.
Feature Image Credit: The Hive, Kinder Soaps, NUDE