It’s not unknown for me to compile a little wish list of items to give to friends and family so they can guarantee a winning birthday gift. This sounds very self indulgent, I know, but it can be hard for a non-vegan to buy a vegan a gift, and with work responsibilities and families and our generally crazy lives, a little list with items ranging in value from low to a little higher saves everyone time and energy hunting for the perfect gift. Maybe you’re searching for some inpso for your own birthday wish list, or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for a special vegan in your life. Well, if you or your loved ones are anything like me, my little selection here should all be solid contestants for the ideal vegan gift!
Torro Loco Superior by Aldi – £4.99
I don’t drink often but I do like to keep a few bottles of nice vegan wine on hand ready for when the mood takes me.
If you’re not vegan I know what you’re thinking – wine is made of grapes, what’s not vegan about that? Well, because the natural proteins, tartrates, tannins and phenolics in wine make it hazy, manufacturers use animal products to clarify it. Good quality wines will self stabilise without any aid, but often, fining agents are used to help the cloudy bits coagulate which makes them easier to remove. Common fining agents are:
- Casein – a milk protein
- Albumin – egg whites
- Gelatine – animal protein
- Isinglass – fish bladder protein
These aids are processed out of the wine but some may be absorbed. Vegan friendly alternatives including benetine and charcoal are used in vegan wines if the wine is not allowed to settle itself.
Torro Loco Superior is the wine that will impress any red loving vegan. This own brand Aldi wine has won silver in the International Wine and Spirit Competition, where as part of a blind taste test held its own against bottles priced magnitudes more. You can simply buy a single bottle for £4.99 or splash out on a case of 6 for £29.94. If you’re not in the UK or don’t live near an Aldi, don’t worry, all supermarkets have vegan wines these days, so just check the label to make sure it says it’s vegan friendly before you buy.
Donation to an Animal Sanctuary – from £10.00
My heart would melt if someone donated to an animal sanctuary for my birthday. My mum often does this for me at Christmas – she has in the past adopted Tessa the Turkey and Billy Griffin the pig, and most recently cows Clover and Bramble who were saved from the dairy industry by Hillside Animal Sanctuary. You can adopt any of their lovely rescue animals from a minimum of £10.00 per year. There are lots of other worthy animal rescue charities and maybe you could find one local to you to donate to on behalf of your vegan birthday boy or girl.
Chocolates by Hotel Chocolate – £10 for 3 packs
I love a Vego as much as the next vegan but for a special occasion it’s lovely to receive something a little more luxurious, wouldn’t you agree? Hotel Chocolate has always been my go-to for Christmas chocolate shopping and when I go shopping at the Trafford Centre I often nip in Hotel Chocolate and treat myself to a small pack of indulgent choccies. My favourites are the Gianduja Bomb Selector and the Rose and Violet Creams Selector which are like the cheap Aldi violet creams that vegans get obsessed with at Christmas when they are in store, only a much more luxurious and delicious version. At only £3.95 for a pack of 6 chocolates or £10 for three packs, this is great value. It’s nice to know that Hotel Chocolate take efforts to ensure their cocoa is ethical which involves practical efforts to change their farmers lives for the better.
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ by Sarah Raven – £12.99
Fresh flowers are always a winner for gifting in my opinion. I’ve been lusting after this beauty since last year and the local garden centres just don’t seem to stock any dahlias in colours other than bright yellow and fuchsia pink. I just adore these creamy blush fluffy petals arranged so perfectly in their stunning mathematical pattern. Might be a sign of my age, this selection, because since turning thirty five, a Sunday morning stroll around the garden centre is the loveliest, followed by an afternoon of gentle and relaxing gardening. A set of six tubers is only £12.99 and perfect for any green fingered vegan friends. Sarah Raven has a gorgeous selection of plants and I’d be very happy to unwrap any one of them on my birthday, but your local independent garden centre probably also has some gorgeous offerings.
T-shirt from Victoria Vegan – £19
As soon as I turned vegan I figured that if my clothes are going to be advertisements for anything, then I’d prefer it to be for a good cause. Enter: the vegan slogan top. Wearing a vegan slogan tee is a simple and easy, non-confrontational way to expose people to veganism. Personally, as an environmentalist, it’s important to me that the clothes I buy are made in a way that’s considerate of the environment and the workers who make them, as well as being stylish, well made and comfortable. That’s why I came up with my own collection of vegan, cruelty free, sustainable and ethical line of premium cotton t-shirts and sweaters. They’re made of the most insanely soft organic cotton grown using rain water, and the entire supply chain’s powered using renewable energy. They’re printed on demand, which reduces waste, and one of the best things about my collection is that every piece is designed to be part of a circular economy – they can be free-posted back to my manufacturer when they’re eventually worn out to be recycled into something new! Some of the designs are really classic and simple, and some are a bit more quirky and bright, and I have ladies and mens fits, so there’s really something for everyone! T-shirts are £19.00 each, crew neck sweaters are £35.00 each, and my hoodies are £40.00 so are great prices for gifts. You can grab one now from my shop.
Perfume by Eden – from £18.00
I don’t know if you know this, but perfume often contains some really gross animal products like:
- Civet: the anal secretions from a cat-like animal native to Asia and Africa
- Ambergris: sperm whale secretions
- Musk: animal anal secretions
- Honey: bee secretions
- Milk: animal mammary secretions composed of pus, fat, and proteins
- Castoreum: beaver anal secretions
- Artificial Vanilla: also called Castoreum (see above)
- Hyraceum: fossilized badger urine
Going vegan, some of the things I really missed were my trusty perfumes! The two perfumes I wear the most are Chanel Mademoiselle and Victor and Rolf Flower Bomb and I honestly was really disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to buy these any more. That was until I discovered Eden perfume. This company are just amazing! No matter what your favourite brand perfume you can probably find a VERY similar eau de parfum scent on this website. I regularly request No. 460 Bomb Flowers at Christmas from my parents and though I still have a real Chanel Mademoiselle that I’m working through, I’ll be trying No 083 Vegan Madam Glamour once it’s gone. I think this price point is just perfect at £18.00 for 30ml. I bought the No. 255 Aventis – which is very similar to, yes, you guessed it, Creed Aventus – for my brother at £24 for 30ml and he loved it. I also used to LOVE a Jo Malone candle and regularly bought these as birthday gifts for my friends and family, but sadly they aren’t vegan and cruelty free. BUT, Eden have their very own version of the Lime, Basil and Mandarin candle and it’s a bargain at only £18.00 for a 200g candle. You can also buy selection gift boxes from as little £21.60 which is a lovely way to try a few fragrances or top up a few different scents without spending a fortune.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara from Debenhams – £22
This is the mascara that my favourite makeup tutorial You Tuber Andrea Ali uses all the time. I didn’t even think that it might be vegan until I saw it on the vegan blog Lunalovecow in a glowing review, and now I am desperate to try it! I can’t wait to get my hands on this Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and at £22 it’s a great price to buy for your girl friends too!
Gift Voucher for a Vegan Beauty Treatment – £30.00
Last year one of my best friends bought me a voucher from my local vegan beauty salon Buddah Beauty. I’m lucky that I live in a city with a specialist vegan beauty salon and realise that you might not have this option where you are. It’s worth checking with local spas or beauty salons to see if they have any vegan treatments on offer. I opted for a half body massage which is £25.00 for 25 minutes, and topped it up to use the full £30.00 voucher with a 10 minute face massage for £5.00. It was incredible and my lovely masseuse, Sarah, with her magic hands, left me feeling kind of high and completely relaxed after the treatment was finished. This is a 10/10 birthday gift in my opinion and actually I would treat myself to this regularly as I can really see the benefits to my mental health of having this sort of treatment! If you can’t find anywhere offering vegan beauty treatments in your area, you could bring the salon home as Buddah Beauty also do their own lovely range of vegan skin care and home fragrances, available in their online shop. This Renew Bath Set for £23.00 including bath salts, a candle and a face mask would make for a super relaxing evening at home.
Earrings by Nouare Jewellery – £40.00
These beautiful earrings look like little golden drops of water and are made with recycled gold vermeil. For only £40.00 for something so unique and made form real gold, these make for a beautiful gift that I would wear on a daily basis.
Kesa Crossbody Bag by The Lovely Things – £47.08
I just love all The Lovely Things‘ beautiful pieces. They are mainly handmade, and all ethically made with modern vegan materials like cork and one of my favourites – Piñatex, which is made from pineapple plants! Whether you’re looking for card holders, wallets, purses, handbags, clutches, cross-bodys or backpacks, you’ll find something perfect here. I love this Kesa Crossbody in black Piñatex, the perfect all rounder that will go with any outfit!
Lily Earrings by Anna Luisa – £75.00
I’m missing a statement pair of earrings for nights out or evening drinks, and I LOVE this pair from Anna Luisa. This gorgeous jewellery brand creates jewellery from recycled gold. Can you tell I’m into the molten gold look jewellery? At £75.00 they are a bit more pricey than I expect anyone to spend on my birthday and perhaps a gift I would buy myself! But, if you’re buying for an extra special someone, these would be a lovely selection and for the style, size and quality I think they are in fact a great price.
Hope my little selection of vegan goodies is useful for you. Let me know in the comments what your favourite vegan gifts have been, or what any of your go-to items for gifting occasions are, I’d love to know!
Love, Victoria x