This years edit of vegan goodies to gift your favourite vegan is, as always, based around what I’d personally like to receive for my birthday (hint hint to my friends and family!). I always feel like I want to pick birthday gifts that will get lots of use, or are low environmental impact, and definitely they have to vegan, of course. My last list goes over some solid birthday classics including my favourite red wine, so you might like to check that out in addition to this list. There’s a slight theme running through most of my choices this year, given how whipped up I am about climate change and the government’s assault on democracy, human rights, animals and the environment. Whether you’re a vegan looking for ideas for you own birthday wish list, or you’re shopping for a special vegan someone, hopefully some of my picks for 2021 will give you a few ideas!
Fuck The Tories Necklace and Earrings from Scousebirdshop
Not all vegans are left-leaning but the vast majority are. Lots of Conservative party policy is cruel and harmful to animals, humans, and the environment. The most obvious policy issue to spring to mind is fox hunting, which has been widely supported by the Tories and many of their voters! Also, recent proposals attempting to criminalise protest, reporting unfavourably on the government, and teaching about the political opposition in schools, are harmful to the animals, the environment, human rights and social and moral progress in general.
So, if you want to concisely and effortlessly express your opposition to crass Conservative ideology and their cruel and reckless policy, here are a few glamorous 90s inspired jewellery pieces from Scousebirdshop to assist! The necklace is £24.99, and the earrings are £22.49, both made from surgical steel and plated in either 18k gold, rose gold or a silver colour plated. 10% of the profits from each sale goes to the Trussell Trust.
Bamboo Toothbrush and Re-Usable Menstrual Pads from Peach & Bumble
Climate change should be on every vegan’s (an every human’s) mind. The latest IPCC report released only this Monday has now shown that climate change is unequivocally human caused. I’d argue that the exploitation of the natural habitat causing cruelty to animals comes well within the official definition of veganism as a cause for concern. So seeing as we are looking to a future in which most animals on earth will struggle to survive, trapped in collapsing life support systems, we all ought to be limiting our environmental impact. While this obviously should involve protesting the establishment and pressuring our governments to act as though climate change is an emergency, we can also make changes in our personal lives to adapt to a way of life that can support us on this planet, beyond cutting out animal products. Two easy ways to do this are to switch to bamboo toothbrushes and re-usable sanitary towels.
My brand, Peach & Bumble, sells these cute toothbrushes for only £7.95 for a pack of 4, which is a family pack or enough to supply 1 person for 1 year. Each brush in the pack has its own little stamp engraved onto it so you can tell your brush apart from other people in the house. You can choose from a tiny bee, a blossom, a leaf and a peach.
A manual bamboo toothbrush has 97% less plastic than a plastic manual toothbrush, 6-11 times lower impacts on climate change, 83% less land use and resulting reduction in biodiversity!
Peach & Bumble also sells these cute peachy pink re-usable menstrual pads. Switching to reusable pads is a great way to reduce single use plastics consumption, and helps prevent plastics entering our rivers, oceans, landfill and incinerators.
You can buy them individually or buy a box of 3 small pads, 3 medium pads, and a wet bag. At only £25.00 per pack this is a great price for a birthday gift for a friend. And this is a gift that keeps on giving, because the monthly spend in the UK on menstrual care products, on average, is £13, meaning that if the pack lasts only 3 years (though it is likely to last longer provided they are cared for properly) you can reduce a spend of £468 by 95%!
Books for Social Change and Justice
Books are always a nice birthday gift IMO. My selection here is reading that would benefit most people interested in social justice and advancing veganism and action on the environmental crisis. Studying social movements, direct action, and alternative systems of social and economic organisation are all essential reading for everyone who imagines a better world is possible, I’d say. For vegans and anyone else interested in how this can be done, here are some good reads – This is an Uprising (paperback at £10.75); Doughnut Economics (at £7.59 for paperback) and How to Be and Anti-Capitalist in the 21st Century (£6.99 for paperback). Give your vegan the gift of knowledge with one of these great books, and make it extra special by writing a hand written personal message inside!
Penguin have released a really lovely collection of books on the greatest green issues of our time. Each book costs £4.99 so you can buy any individually, or buy a bespoke collection for your special person. The entire collection of 20 books come in at just under £100 and displayed together they have a gorgeous rainbow colour spectrum, so look beautiful displayed on a book shelf as well as providing a wealth of wisdom and information!
Silky Cupro Vegan Bath Robe and Pyjamas by Wallace Cotton
Now as any good vegan or social activist knows, rest is essential to make sure we don’t get burnt out from thinking about all the wrongs in the world and from doing our bit to help right them. So while you relax at home with your favourite vegan vino, (or a cosy cup of coffee if you’re like me) perhaps reading your copy of Doughnut Economics, why not dress in comfort and luxury in this cupro vegan silk dressing gown from Wallace Cotton. It’s £65 and comes in the most beautiful amber colour, which I adore, as well as dark teal, if that’s more your look. If you’re buying for a super luxurious kind of vegan and you have some cash to splash, the gown can be slipped over the matching pj bottoms and shirt which are £45 each.
Kiss goodbye to sweaty polyester faux silks, which, let’s be honest, don’t look that great or drape very elegantly, not to mention their poor environmental credentials. Cupro is a much better alternative to polyester or insect silk. It’s hypoallergenic, anti-static, stretch-resistant, highly durable and like insect silk, it dries quickly. It doesn’t involve boiling anyone alive or shed microplastics in the wash.
It’s made from cotton linter which is the fluffy fibre around cotton seeds that’s normally discarded during cotton production. The linter is dissolved in a solution of copper oxide called cuprammonium, and the new mixture is spun into a fibre. This makes cupro a semi synthetic fabric, but one which is extremely strong and long lasting and is biodegradable at the end of it’s life.
I only buy things these days if I know I will get plenty of repeat wears out of them, and this definitely would get a lot of use if it was gifted to me! So if you or your vegan loves sauntering around the house in slinky, breathable, silky, clothes, then cupro loungewear is a solid choice!
Chocolate Gift Box by Hotel Chocolat
While lounging in the luxurious cupro gown, reading doughnut economics, you or your special vegan needs, of course, some gorgeous chocolates to indulge on. Well, now Hotel Chocolat are offering vegan gift boxes and even a hamper to complete the scene!
The Unbelievably Vegan H-box is only £12.99 and you can get 2 of them for £20 which is great deal to save yourself money when you inevitably fail to resist a matching box for yourself along with the box for your gift recipient. Hotel Chocolat also offer an upgrade to the Unbelievably Vegan Sleekster for £22.95, or go for the All Dark Vegan Chocolate Hamper Collection for £27.50, meaning there’s something here for every price range!
Hope you enjoyed my little list of birthday goodies. Do share your own birthday gift ideas in the comments below!
Love, V x