It’s the most wonderful time of the year for e-commerce. Monday, December 2 marks the 14th year that Cyber Monday will dominate holiday spending.
This season, Americans are projected to spend over $143.7 billion on online purchases, marking a 14.1% increase from 2018. Cyber Monday revenues alone are projected to make up a record $9.4 billion of that total.
But while that spells a lucrative season for businesses, it also promises a sustainability nightmare. More packages mean more pollution-producing trucks and planes. Plus, those packages become trash — and a lot of it. Americans are expected to throw away 25 million tons of extra garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to Stanford University.
To make the holiday season a more responsible one, shop with intention and buy from companies using their business models to advance change.
Karma will continually be updating this page with companies and products our team is excited to gift this year. Make sure to bookmark this link and check back often to find the perfect sustainable gift for everyone on your list.
Allbirds takes environmental footprints literally. The B Corp certified shoe startup recently implemented a self-imposed carbon tax in order to hold itself accountable for its supply chain’s carbon output. Its signature Wool Runners, made of sustainably sourced merino sheep’s wool and laced with shoelaces entirely constructed from post-consumer recycled polyester, are consistently ranked as some of the most comfortable shoes on the market.
Cyber Monday is a prime opportunity to find deals on big ticket purchases, such as mattresses. Birch’s mattresses, pillows and mattress toppers are entirely handmade from sustainably sourced materials. The startup’s wool is sourced in compliance with best animal welfare practices from individual farms in New Zealand, and its cotton supply is all natural and organic. Birch’s latex is OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 certified to be free of harmful chemicals. Its latex is also Rainforest Alliance Certified, meaning Birch adheres to strict social, environmental and economic standards to protect its workforce and natural resources when sourcing it.
Use code BF200 at checkout for $200 off all orders through December 1.
Each year, the world produces 300 million tons of plastic, around half of which is used for single-use products common to bathroom sinks and morning routines. By Humankind exists to challenge consumers to rethink their daily products. The venture-backed startup offers a variety of personal care products created with the plastic crisis in mind. From refillable deodorants and plastic-free shampoo bars to portable mouthwash tablets and 100% biodegradable cotton swabs, By Humankind’s products make excellent sustainable stocking stuffers that actually keep giving throughout the year.
Americans are expected to send 1.6 billion pieces of snail mail this Christmas, according to the Greeting Card Association. But while greeting cards are a joyful part of the season, they’re also a massive waste of paper. Paper Culture’s customizable holiday cards are a sustainable option for spreading holiday cheer while still caring for the planet.
For every order of Paper Culture’s 100% recycled paper cards, the company plants a tree. In addition to planting trees locally, Paper Culture also works with national and global organizations to tend to forests damaged by fires, insects and disease and to implement forest gardens, which provide income, food and shelter for locals.
Through November 29, get 40% off holiday cards.
Shun fast fashion with Known Supply, an ethical clothing company “humanizing the apparel industry.” Known Supply aims to give a face to the clothing industry by employing underserved populations, and each handmade garment features the signature of the person who made it. Known Supply’s staples, such as the Unisex T-Shirt, the Esme Short Sleeve Sweatshirt or the Bishop Scarf make great gifts for anyone on your list.
100% Pure believes looking good should feel good. That’s why all of its beauty products are made with healthy, environmentally friendly ingredients and are never tested on animals. Stock up on essentials, such as 100% Pure’s Maracuja Mascara, which is made with organic maracuja oil, or its Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, full of caffeine from sustainably sourced coffee and green tea. 100% Pure also offers a line of makeup products pigmented naturally with fruit, such as its vegan Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette.
Click here to see all their latest Cyber Monday deals.
Clothing is consistently a top holiday gift, but it comes at a price. Americans throw away 13 million tons of clothing each year. This year, seek out clothing companies manufacturing their garments with sustainability in mind. Taylor Stitch’s clothing is designed to withstand manual tasks and gritty jobs, so buying a Yosemite Shirt or Long Haul Jacket is an investment in quality. Plus, Taylor Stitch’s stylish clothing is manufactured using recycled and regenerative fabrics and made in partnership with sustainable factory partners.
Taylor Stitch’s “long haul” mentality goes a step further with its Restitch program. The company collects damaged or worn out Taylor Stitch clothing from customers and defective items from its factories. It then repairs, recycles and resells reinvigorated garments as one-of-a-kind vintage pieces or worn-in secondhand staples.
Grove Collaborative believes the products you use every day should be healthy for both your home and the environment. That’s why it’s championing a new standard for household products. Grove Collaborative’s product partners are required to meet a strict set of standards, both in terms of ingredients and business practices, so every product on its site is guaranteed to be non-toxic, plant-based, cruelty-free and ethically made.
Choose from a wide range of sustainable products, including Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, trash bags from Seventh Generation or Shameless Pets’ all-natural dog treats, or subscribe to a refillable eco-friendly package of products customized to your home’s needs.
Tree Tribe’s clothing and lifestyle products are rooted in nature — literally. For every product sold, Tree Tribe and its planting partners commit to planting one tree to replenish environments and provide jobs, shelter and food to global communities. So far, the company has planted over 430,000 trees. Its wallets made of leaf-based leather, hats made of flax plants or sunglasses made of bamboo are perfect for the eco-friendly adventurer on your list.
Fighting waste can be as simple as buying quality products built to last a lifetime. Le Creuset’s colorful cookware is a staple in kitchens around the world — and for good reason. The company has built a brand on its sturdy kitchen products that last generations. Its Signature Skillet or Oval Dutch Oven make great gifts that will get decades of use. It also doesn’t hurt that cooking at home tends to be healthier, as well as prevents excess plastic waste from take out and pollution from car travel.
Give a friend (or treat yourself to) a gift that keeps giving throughout the year with an annual subscription to CAUSEBOX, a B corp certified subscription box featuring products sustainably made by artisans. Each box contains six to eight ethical lifestyle and personal care products valued at over $200. Plus, its shipping boxes, designed by a different artist each quarter, can easily be reused as storage boxes to cut down on unnecessary waste.
Socks are a tried and true holiday gift, but they don’t have to be boring or irresponsibly manufactured. With every purchase of a pair of boldSOCKS, the company provides 100 days of clean water to underserved communities so they can focus on building economies instead of attaining basic needs. boldSOCKS’ novelty socks don’t just do good, though. They’re also ethically manufactured. The company ensures that each pair of its Mister Rogers dress socks or custom Elf on the Shelf socks is responsibly made by properly treated workers in ethically managed factories and cotton fields.
Click here for their latest countdown deals.
All products featured on Karma are independently selected by our team. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.