CONSCIOUS CONSUMER HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE | Ethical, Sustainable, Slow And Minimalist Ideas For Everyone

– Hey folks, welcome to the
Aamodt/Plumb YouTube channel where we give you tips and
advice for creating a Slow Home that is Good, Clean and Fair. If you are a conscience
consumer, minimalist, or practice slow living, then the holidays can be a
particularly challenging time. A lot of the consumption
and waste can get in the way of what we’re really celebrating. But we have got a special
holiday gift guide for you with 18 ethical, sustainable,
slow and minimalist ideas for everyone on your list. As well as some of my
tips for slowing down this holiday season. I am Mette Aamodt, Co-Founder
of Aamodt/Plumb Architecture Interiors and Construction,
and we design Slow Homes for our clients every day. Since my diagnosis with MS in 2002, I have been a proponent of slow living. I love the holiday season for the hygge, more on that in my next video, but I also tend to get
stressed out with all of the extra things to do like shopping. So this holiday gift guide
is going to focus on fewer, more meaningful gifts, as well as some more enjoyable
ways to shop for them. Before I get started, I wanna remind you, if you’re new to this channel, please hit the subscribe button as well as the notification bell
so you’re always up to date on the videos we’re putting out. Okay, let’s get going. The first category is ethical gifts. I found this bowl set at
a Haitian crafts fair, it was actually sponsored
by the Vassar Haiti Project. And it’s a beautiful set of
bowls and it really reminds me of mid century modern stuff. Handmade, carved out of mahogany. So I found this site
called Gift of Hope Haiti, which is a non-profit
organization that works with local artisans in Haiti to produce these beautiful home goods. This one I’m featuring
is a hand carved set of mahogany plates in a hex shape that I think are just gorgeous. Gift of Hope Haiti also had
this amazing macrame handbag with a mahogany handle. And macrame is super popular right now so I just thought this was adorable. By the way, I’m gonna give you
links to all of these things that you can purchase online
in the description below. When looking for the Haitian bowls, I also came across,
which is a non-profit that partners with Haitian
artisans as well as artisans from all across the world. This is a gorgeous alpaca
striped throw from Peru. Item four is this set of
fair trade nesting baskets, woven from natural materials in Uganda. This set is only $72 and I had
mentioned in a previous video that finding ethically-made
baskets for storing stuff at home is really expensive, so I was really excited to find these. Kazi was founded to
create beautiful products to alleviate poverty
all across rural Africa and I got super giddy
when I saw their website and this cover page because I love how it ties
together a global aesthetic with a kind of minimalist,
Scandinavian vibe. All of their goods are
fair trade, ethically made and made with local, natural materials, local to the artisans in Africa that is. The next category is sustainable gifts. Although, I have to mention
that all of these products are actually almost all of
them are ethical, sustainable, minimalist and slow all at once, and they’ll be a lot of overlap. So I put them into categories
just to organize the video, but once you dig into
the details you’ll find that they check a lot of the boxes. These are at the top of Sam
Roller’s list from our office. They are bee’s wax coated,
organic cotton cloths that you can use instead of
plastic wrap to store your food, wrap up sandwiches, apple slices, things like that for your lunch. This is great because plastic
wrap is one of those things that is really, really hard
to do without if you’re trying to reduce the amount of
plastic in your life. Now, I did have a set of these at home and I have to admit that I
didn’t properly prepare everyone in the household for how
these should be cared for and so they got thrown
in the washing machine, which removed all of the wax coating and rendered them fairly useless. So it does take a little
bit of care and a little bit of learning to figure out how to use them, but I think that once you do you’ll find that they are super super cool. For number six, Sarah Lueck
suggested reusable cloth napkins to reduce the amount of
waste with paper towels and paper napkins. These from August Sage are made of linen, which is one of the most
hard-wearing natural materials. They are ethically made in
a fair trade environment by artisan women in India. I personally don’t like
to iron my linen napkins, I like the crumply, casual
look and these napkins just get softer and
softer over time with use. Number seven is my suggestion
of Hammam-style towels. These are thin cotton
towels that are quick drying either on the line or in your dryer. Much, much faster than terry cloth towels and they look a lot cuter
hanging in your bathroom. I have been switching
my towels over to these and I’ve been really
really happy with them. These particular ones
are from The Citizenry and are handmade in Morocco
in a fair trade environment. Before we get into our
slow and minimalist ideas, I have a quick question for you. Which of these four
categories best describes you? Ethical, sustainable, slow or minimalist? Type that word into the comments below. I love this time of year
because I get lots of reminders of my Norwegian heritage. The darkness, cozy sweaters, candlelight’s and Christmas decorations
all bring out hygge for me. My next video is going
to be all about hygge, slowing down the Scandinavian way. So look out for that on our channel. Subscribe now so you don’t miss it. Speaking of slowing down, how
can we find ways to slow down during the rush of holiday shopping? Next up I am going to talk
about what I plan to do to reduce my stress and
improve my enjoyment of holiday shopping this season. The next section is on slow gift ideas. My first suggestion is
not exactly a gift idea, but it’s a way to shop for
holiday gifts that I think is less stressful and more enjoyable. I love that my town has
lots of little shops, but I know that they struggle. So this year I’m going to avoid
the mall and online shopping and shop local. Tip nine is to shop vintage. I talk a lot about how
shopping for preowned furniture is really eco-friendly
option in this video. So check out more information there. Gift idea number 10 comes
from Grace Mathieson who suggests buying plants
from your local nursery. Studies have shown that
taking care of plants and pets reduces your overall stress. Plants in particular, improve
your indoor air quality. Number 11 is from August Sage, who’s tagline is modern meets heritage. I just love that because
I think that that is a quintessentially slow concept. Taking old ideas and
making them new again. The first item from them is
this ceramic French press, which is a classic design
made of durable materials. No plastic to be found. And what I’ve heard is among people who really appreciate coffee, French press is the best way to make it. The second item from
August Sage is this set of hand-thrown cups and
utensil holders and bowls. Each piece is unique and I
love that you can see a band of the raw clay on the
bottom of each piece, and a faint line where the
glaze meets the ceramic. Number 13 is another
suggestion from Sarah Lueck and it’s this old-school wool blanket. It’s made in the U.S. of all natural wool from a small U.S. company
that owns it’s own sheep and processes the wool
without any harsh chemicals. Another wool product that
comes from Made Trade are these handmade, wool
booties in adult sizes. They’re handmade in Patagonia, not in a factory, they’re made by individual
artisans in their homes. I’ve been looking for a pair
of slippers that doesn’t have foam and plastic in it and
when my felt ones wear out, this is what I’m gonna get next. Next up is minimalist gift ideas. David Ascher suggests gift certificates to a local woodworking,
ceramics or glassblowing class. This is the teach a person to fish and feed them for life approach. This falls into the minimalist category because it prioritizes
experience over things. Number 16 is for the person
who really has everything, or doesn’t want anything. This I found at Gift of Hope Haiti. In Haiti a goat is a
very valuable commodity because you can breed them and
you can support your family for a long time. So for $60, you will get a
picture of this adorable goat and know that you have
helped a family in need. Number 17, this is the only
bag you’re ever gonna need and if you’re a minimalist,
I challenge you to fit all of your possessions into this bag. This is made by Nisolo, and it is ethically made in Mexico. It’s a waxed canvas bag
with leather straps. And for gift idea number 18, for those minimalists out there, even minimalists need some practical stuff like a dish scrubber for example. So if you’re going to have one, you might as well get one that sparks joy like these Japanese
handmade scrub brushes. These are from Territory Design
and are sold individually so you can pick up whichever
one suits you best. Okay, so I’ve just given
you our holiday gift guide with 18 gift ideas that
are ethical, sustainable, slow and minimalist. I’m sure you’re gonna be
able to find something that you love. I’ve also shared my number
one tip for reducing stress while holiday shopping this year and that is to avoid the mall, bundle up in a cozy sweater and scarf and take a walk down Main Street. Of course sitting down for a
coffee to warmup along the way. Please subscribe to our channel,
give the video a thumbs up if you liked it and share it with someone who you think might find it valuable. Next video will be all
about hygge and slowing down the Scandinavian way,
so I’ll see you there.


  • Minimalist

  • As you mentioned, all of these categories overlap, but if I had to choose I would say minimalist 🙂

  • Slow!

  • I'm open to receiving any of those gifts…

  • Before we ruined the bees wrap – I loved them and want to try again now that I am wiser. I also loved the smell of these things!

  • Slow! Love these ideas!

  • Both? 🙂 love those slippers!

  • I'm going with "sustainable"

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