12.22.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans - ALL OF IT!

Below you'll find links to the 5 days of vegan holiday gift guides -- offered up because I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid.  Hopefully the overview was helpful for non-vegans and vegans, alike (aka "everyone").

Since I was providing a crib sheet for people who want to buy presents for others, I didn't delve into some of the topics I did in last year's in-theory "gift guide" --  buying useful things you know people need or want, buying comestibles and donating in people's names.

I also didn't address vintage or re-use in this year's gift guides but if your recipient is likely an environmentalist or vintage-lover, that's another great way to look at options for presents.

I did try to highlight where items featured in the gift guides were made with fair labor standards or if they had a specific reduced environmental impact.

All of the "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

Today I received a gift from a colleague - a donation to Farm Sanctuary in my name.  The card it came with has a pig running in the snow and frankly, I got a little teary thinking about my time spent with the Farm Sanctuary NY pigs and how thoughtful and touching it was that my coworker made this gift because she knows my feelings about them and the other animals there, like Meg.  (Why am I telling you this?  To convince folks who might think donations in someone's name are weird gifts that it's not weird at all.  If your person is passionate about something - it just might be the best gift they receive.)

On that sappy note, happy holidays if you're still celebrating and happy new year if I don't get a chance to wish you happy 2013 later on!

2012_11-30_FSNY_Blitzen_cow_153_CREDIT_Farm_Sanctuary_homepage-carousel

12.21.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 5 - Jewelry

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work. 

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted! 

Questions? Suggestions? Comment away.


Jewelry is, thankfully, pretty easy as far as veganity goes.  You're avoiding:  mother-of-pearl, bones, real animal shell, embedded leather, feathers and certainly ivory and fur trim.  Also leather cords for necklaces and bracelets.  (Most tortoiseshell is synthetic these days but if you're shopping vintage, that might still be an issue.)  If there are fibers in the jewelry you're looking at (see the first example below), you'll want to ensure they're not wool blend, silk or leather.

Even though this area is pretty easy (as long as you know someone's style - which is much harder), here are some examples.

wood necklace
boho wood necklace @ nadene
handmade, vegan line
(some of her found objects are bone
though so I'd avoid those)



with care pocket knives
with care pocket knife necklace
I've written about With Care before as
it's one of my favorites
(not an exclusively vegan line
but many options!)






LittleWolf_silver80__72427_std

^ Little Woolf by Wendy Brandes ^
I've had this little guy on my "wants" list
for a while - by gorgeous blogger Wendy Brandes
(I also love that WendyB refers to all other
bloggers as "gorgeous blogger so-and-so"...
so I couldn't resist using her own prefix, 
although of course it's completely true)


il_570xN.395186730_3yda
wrap-around fox ring, handmade in Denver
out of US copper and sterling silver




il_570xN.174433146

il_570xN.162101735

both the bunny cuff & owl mother & child necklace
made by mamaslittlebabies in No. California

{a lot of vegans don't like animal exploitation
motifs so fighting animals or animals for entertainment
aka circus or zoo are likely off limits, like this one}



Speaking of:  Proclamations of Veganism! When you start poking around some of the vegan-specific sites, you'll see there's a lot of vegan message wear, proclaiming the wearer/user to be vegan. Your mileage may vary with these items, depending on your vegan. I know it seems like all us vegans do is talk about being vegan. BUT I don't usually like to wear this stuff and if I do, I'm super picky about it - but other vegans are different people. All I'm saying is just know that not every vegan likes this stuff, even though it's made specifically for us!

However, if you know your vegan likes vegan message wear, here are some lovely options.


il_570xN.402399655_71t0
by enbal on etsy


il_570xN.314192911

Christy Robinson is one of the first jewelry sellers
I've seen focus on animals rights issues and
veganism and I think she does a nice job
on a lot of her pieces - addressing many
issues affecting animals and providing
accessible, cute jewelry.

Phew!  That brings us to the end of Day 5 and the week of Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans.  If you have suggestions, questions or comments, please pop over to the comment box below and thanks for reading along.  If you're still shopping for a holiday present, good luck!

Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 4 - Small Accessories: Wallets & Make-up Bags

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work. 

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted! 

Questions? Suggestions? Comment away.


Small Accessories - Wallets, Make-up Bags and Whatnot: 

Like winter accessories, these are usually pretty utilitarian and versatile gifts (make-up bags can be good small travel bags for chargers, office supplies, craft supplies and other flotsam).  And wallets, well, they're wallets and everyone needs one (mostly).

Materials to avoid while shopping: 
- leather, suede, real croc in full product or trim
-  if fabric/tweed/felt, confirm there is no wool, ramie-wool blend, merino (wool), angora or other animal hair and no fur or feather trim

You can often find this information on the materials tag located inside the product or stamped somewhere in the interior. Additionally, some products have a sticker that indicates where leather or synthetics are used (the leather symbol being shaped like a laid out cow hide and the synthetics symbol being a diamond). "All man made" is good news and appropriate to buy for vegans!

I know it's past the point where any of these can ship, but I'm providing some ethical company examples to feature.

Wallets

Viva Zapata - all vegan brand; made in Buenos Aires by people the designer has a direct relationship with; materials is scraps of Buenos Aires bus interior upholstery (most of the line is being sold currently at the NYC Union Square holiday market and a more limited number of Viva Zapata products are sold at the Brooklyn Museum Gift Shop)

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Shiraleah - all vegan brand (link is via Herbivore, a great online vegan superstore), some of Shiraleah's stuff is also at Mooshoes in NYC if you're local (local to me, anyway)

image


XS Project - (XS Project wallets are also sold via Herbivore, where I learned of them)
This line is made out of mostly plastic packaging or vinyl ad materials (they are not noted as exclusively vegan); work with trashpickers in Indonesia to pay higher wages than others who would purchase this raw material and work with Indonesian residents to sort/clean and construct the products (supporting an Indonesian education charity is part of their mission)

image

Out and about:  

There are a lot of fairly sturdy vinyl/PU wallets out there (although the issues of how green they are and labor conditions are often more tricky) that make a great vegan gift.  If you're lucky and your vegan is into eco stuff, there are also a lot of recycled materials (bike tubes, truck inner tubes, Freitag-style recycled ads) wallets that aren't specifically advertised as vegan but often are.

Make-up Bags 

LeSportSac - not exclusively vegan but have a lot of fabric-only options and are often carried locally in department or boutique stores

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Pansy Maiden - exclusively vegan company, made in the US and as green as they can be...I've written about Pansy Maiden before (yes, they're expensive but if you read their mission, you'll kind of get why)


image



Also of note is Buy Her Bag (NHB) - not exclusively vegan but a majority of the bags I've seen are made from recycled plastics or packaging and they label materials.  Buy Her Bag (Not Her Body) is the retail leg of the Nomi Network which seeks to reduce the poverty level of women in Cambodia and India to reduce the chances they will end up as victims of sex trafficking.  Right now a lot of what's on their site is recycled materials - rice bag totes and candy-wrapper type small bags but they do have some other less "recycled" lines.  (Currently at the NYC Union Square holiday market)

image



Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

12.19.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 3 - Bath & Body...and Makeup, too

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work. 

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted! 

Questions? Suggestions? Comment away.

Bath & Body Stuff (and Makeup, too!)

You have two things to look for in this category - vegan ingredients and whether the company is free of animal testing. Since there are a billion non-vegan ingredients that often appear in this stuff, I'm just going to outline some easy vegan options below!

Lip Balms
It's surprisingly hard to get a beeswax-free lip balm but here are a few options! If you are looking on your own, note that beeswax is not vegan and avoid lanolin as well.


this Etsy seller lists vegan items only 
Buttercream and Chocolate Orange are smell-azing! 




the name is awful, the balm is delightful
(Peacekeeper is not exclusively vegan)
 eco peacekeeper


exclusively vegan brand
American Apparel  usually carries these at the register! 







Crazy Rumors
all vegan brand
usually has cute holiday gift sets
gingerbread_large_1


Ecolips is not exclusively vegan
Bee-Free balm is sometimes found at Whole Foods
(and at MooShoes if you're in NYC)

Eco-Lips-Bee-Free-Organic-Lip-Balm


Some of the brands mentioned below also have lip stuff:  Lush, Soapwalla, 100% Pure (those links all go directly to their vegan lip stuff)



Soaps, Moisturizers and Bath Sets: 

Soapwalla - Soapwalla is one of those smaller sellers I found via Etsy who have blown up; I see good cheer about Soapwalla all o'er the internet.  And I love Rachel's stuff so much that I don't even resent it.  While I am the biggest fan of her deodorant cream, I've tried some of her other stuff in person at a holiday fair last year.  Soapwalla is an all vegan seller -- creams, soaps, lip balms, oils and gift sets!  There's a Soapwalla open house this Sunday, 12/22 from 1-4pm in Brooklyn if you're local (232 Third Street, Ste B304, Brooklyn).

soapwalla almond luxe gift package





Lush - Lush is not an exclusively vegan brand but they label all of their vegan products and have a vegan option in almost every single area. They also have bubbly customer service, who are more than happy to walk you through the store to assemble a vegan gift set for someone.  Lush stores are present in the US and a large number of other countries.


Some of my vegan Lush favorites are: 

Fresh_farmacy



 03078

smells sandalwood-ish but rules the school


02795





100% Pure is an all vegan brand that is commonly found at drugstores.  I've tried a few of their product samples in stores (lip tints, moisturizers) but haven't yet had the opportunity to try them regularly.  I'm including them here because a) they seemed of decent quality, b) they are vegan and cruelty-free and c) they are a pretty accessible brand out in local stores.  However, I have no item recommendations for you, specifically, except the tint I tried.  Thanks to Ms. Jaunty in the comments, we learned that 100% Pure is not always vegan although they label the brand as such.  So let's take this one off the table!  I wanted to leave this in here in case others didn't know that as well!


cheektint_sugarplum




Makeup, Brushes, Nail Polish:

OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) carries lip tar, loose eye shadow pigments, face makeup and nail polish.  Perhaps OCC is best known for their lip tar but they have a ridiculous number of colors of everything so I can't imagine someone not liking something out of their offerings.

OCC's Harlot lip tar
the same lip tar I'm wearing in these Fashion's Night Out photos

ltharlot


polnavnail



For Sephora-carried brands, both Urban Decay and Tarte are non-vegan brands that carry some vegan products.  (Urban Decay labels which products are vegan within their Sephora display but Tarte just provides a list online.  Of note is that Urban Decay was bought out by L'Oreal, a company that tests on animals but Urban Decay maintains that they, as a brand, will remain animal-testing free.  Some vegans are more comfortable with this than others.)


Lush's Emotional Brilliance line is mostly vegan
(labeled vegan where appropriate)



Makeup brushes (animal hair-free) are available from:
100% Pure
Urban Decay
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
{all links above direct to their brush/tools sections}

Hopefully that was helpful as you embark on your last minute shopping for the vegans on your list.

Other suggestions?  Questions?  Put them in the comments.





Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

12.18.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 2 - The Sweet Tooth

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life. I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work.

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted!

Questions?  Suggestions?  Comment away.

Treats: Chocolate, Marshmallows and More 

Who doesn't love getting chocolate? I wouldn't know because I refuse to admit these people exist. If you're buying treats for your lucky vegan pal, you want to confirm there's no dairy (milk, milk solids, butterfat, whey, etc.) or other animal products in the chocolate or treat fillings. (Yes, cocoa butter is fine.) Many dark chocolate options are vegan but not always, so don't assume without reading the label.

Okay, let's make this easy for you.  Here are some options!


Not exclusively vegan brands, but commonly found and have vegan options: 


Justin's Dark Chocolate PB Cups
they also have non-vegan milk chocolate cups and
even their dark chocolate PB bar has dairy
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +





Alter Eco Bars - Dark Chocolate & Quinoa, 
Dark Chocolate & Almond, Dark Chocolate and Mint
*Made with fair trade chocolate!
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +

I know quinoa sounds weird...
but it tastes like a rice crispy bar, I swear

alter eco quinoa





Terra Nostra Ricemilk Choco Bar
This was my favorite super-sweet bar...
until our food co-op stopped carrying it;
& I've found them at Whole Foods








Divine has a lot of dark chocolate
seasonal vegan stuff - even gelt!





Not sure you can vet the ingredients confidently? 

Don't worry - there are quite a few treat companies that blatantly label that they're vegan so you can feel confident picking from these!




Sweet & Sara 

I can't say enough nice things about Sweet & Sara.  
Sara is the only reason I can eat marshmallows again. 
Made in NYC!   









 

(addicting) 





Other delicious vegan brands:






Rescue Chocolate - many flavors
(but the best is Peanut Butter Pitbull)







GoMaxGo Candy
Sweet knock-offs of all your favorite candy
from when you were a non-vegan kid!









Sjaack's - NOT exclusively vegan but have a vegan category, 
which is heavy on the seasonal items
 + {on FEP's recommendation list} +

I've only had a few of their items but I haven't been let down yet! 

*Note: some items in their vegan section say "milk chocolate"
but it's non-dairy and listed as suitable for vegans 





And a word on a seasonal favorite - HOT CHOCOLATE!  

There's often dairy in the hot chocolate mix and gelatin (origin: you don't wanna know) in the marshmallow bits! If you want to gift a hot chocolate set, Equal Exchange makes a nice vegan cocoa (although there are many others) and Sweet & Sara makes delightful teeny tiny marshmallows.   + {Both on FEP's recommendation list} +







Questions?  Other vegan favorites to list?  Pop on down to the comments.




EDITED FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LABOR/FAIR TRADE:

Thank you to Katie, who commented to mention her post on the misnomer of some fair trade certified chocolate, which unfortunately includes horrific labor abuses for adults and children alike.  Please read Katie's post at Serenity in the Storm.  I've edited this post to contain this note:


to  indicate which products are on Food Empowerment Project's "chocolate we feel comfortable recommending" list (lined above).



Previous "Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans" posts:

12.17.2012

Holiday Shopping FOR Vegans: Day 1 - Cold Weather Accessories

I promise that this isn't a hint that I want people to buy me holiday presents -- I thought I'd offer a cheat sheet on how to approach holiday gifts for the vegans in your life.  I've certainly had several confused friends and relatives when it comes to what I do and don't use as a vegan and I've had people shopping for other vegans ask me what to avoid so I figured a little overview might be helpful for those non-vegans (aka "civilians") who are shopping for my people (aka "vegans"). Don't worry, Civilians, I've also included some recommendations so you don't have to do a ton of extra work.

This will be a 5-day series and on Friday a post with links to all will be posted!

Day 1:  Vegan Cold Weather Accessories

Hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, earmuffs...winter accessories are a common holiday gift for a reason - they're useful and you can match the sytle to your recipient.  Bonus:   you don't need to worry too much about size.


You'll want to look for things that have no animal bits - so anything wool (ramie, merino, etc), angora, alpaca and fur is to be avoided as is anything with leather, suede or feather trim.  "All man made" trim, "fabric" trim and the like are a-okay.


Cotton, acrylic, bamboo or synthetic fibers are good (basically anything not animal-hair or animal-hide). There are lot of synthetic material gloves/mittens out there with Thinsulate or other special technical yet non-animal fabrics to keep those vegan fingers extra toasty. 


Faux fur? Two things to think about - 1) there's a lot of faux fur-labeled stuff out there that's real fur so be extra careful and 2) some vegans don't like to wear faux fur, so it depends on your vegan.  (The most common reason I've heard is not wanting others to think they're wearing real fur - not everyone will know that the wearer is vegan and would only wear faux fur.  On a similar tip, some people don't like to promote the look by wearing fakes, thinking it will inspire more people to buy animal fur.)

Here are some options:


recycled cotton/acyrlic content and made in the USA


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Urban Outfitters - Acrylic with Thinsulate Convertable Gloves/Mittens
acrylic, no labor standards specified ("imported")

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a lot of really nice soft acrylic options
hand-made!

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a lot of really nice soft acrylic options
handmade by seller (see "About" page)

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Of course, Etsy sellers were easier for me to feature because they have product pictures.  (Although I did try to pick exceptional Etsy sellers!)  There are most likely many many many local options you can find - you don't need to order off Etsy if you're short on time (or there's always Etsy gift cards).

Questions?  Let me know in the comments.

Tomorrow?  We're covering sweet tooths.


* This advice also applies to sweaters, if you're the type that likes to buy clothes for people.

*  If you're looking at fancy lady scarves a la Hermes or ties for a vegan bro, note that silk is a no-no for vegans.