There is a lot of tat that starts to fill shop windows in January. Lots of red and pink cheaply made nick-knacks that are supposed to make your loved one feel treasured for one day of the year. Mugs, teddies, sentiments on glass and plastic wrapped chocolates. Lots of items are purchased that are destined for landfill and much of this is mass-produced with a significant carbon footprint.
I thought we weren’t doing this anymore.
I thought we were learning to buy less and buy smarter. To be more like former generations and purchase items we expect to treasure that will last us decades. But then, running an eco-friendly business in Brighton so I do live in a bit of a bubble. I’m so often surrounded by small business owners or those who like to buy from small businesses and consider sustainability when they shop. The truth is it’s not easy and it’s not automatic for most of us. Moreover, we’re often not sure what’s eco-friendly and what’s not, or what might be a vegan-friendly gift and what’s not.
The upside of living in my sustainability-focused bubble though is that I’m in the know. So, stay away from the card and gift shops and get off Amazon because I’m here to give you the low down on the top sustainable and vegan-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts for 2023. That's whether you're buying for someone else or for yourself. Because, after all, the relationship we have with ourselves deserves some love and nurture on Valentine's Day too.
Sustainable And Vegan-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts For 2023
Naturally, I’m going to remind you that Olive & Joyce skincare is not only vegan-friendly but is also all-natural, cruelty-free, palm-oil free and handmade. What’s more, the products are made with the highest-quality ingredients and the creams are formulated to feel and smell beautiful, as well as to give the skin all it needs to thrive.
Skincare is a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift because it’s a little luxury we use daily. Our skincare is all gender-neutral so it’s a suitable Valentine's Day gift for men and women. It’s also a great time to treat yourself to your new favourite face cream since our skin needs a little more love in winter.
If you’re buying a Valentine’s Day gift for someone else though, it may be better to invest in some luxury skincare suitable for all skin types, such as our Hideaway Bath Salts, The Sleepy Joyce Foot Cream, The Olive Rose Body Cream or The Clean Slate Face Mask And Scrub.
Talisman Kind is a sustainably-focused, vegan-friendly, jewellery brand based in Yorkshire. Members of the Vegan Traders Union, Talisman Kind use only sustainable packaging and plant a tree through Ecologi for every item sold. Vegan jewellery is a little perplexing because, whilst we’re more conscious of materials sourced through conflict, we don’t tend to think of jewellery as harmful to animals. However, some materials used in jewellery and to create jewellery are animal derived. So, if you or your loved one is vegan then consider this when buying jewellery for Valentine’s Day and check out the ethical collections from Talisman Kind.
Ok, so you could gift an actual vegan candle for Valentine’s Day, but these long winter evenings can drag on and having a calming craft to focus on at home can conjure some real hygge moments. As a maker myself, I know how therapeutic it can be to create your own items. Making candles is definitely a skill I’d like to learn and if I was going to try it I’d start with the Hiltingbury Holistics Vegan-Friendly Candle-Making Kit.
This vegan-friendly sustainable kit comes with soy wax, fragrance oil, reusable candle tins, tea light holders, wicks and wick holders and comes in a hessian bag. You can also choose from relaxing jasmine and patchouli or opt for the spicier sweet orange and chilli pepper.
This is a fantastic Valentine's Day gift for yourself because you can spend a lovely evening in, learning this delicate alchemical craft and go on to enjoy the scented candles you've made for many evenings after.
Did you know that our cleansers, though gentle enough to use on the face, can also be used on the whole body?
Whether you're caring for your own gorgeous skin this Valentine's Day or you're showing your partner's skin some love and affection, boost the tenderness with warming all-natural oils from Olive & Joyce. Check out our collection of oil cleansers that make for beautifully sensual Valentine's Day massage oils.
I love a great greeting card but the environment doesn't. Most people throw cards away after just a few days and although they may seem recyclable, many aren't, due to glitter or sheen or other decorative elements. So what about a Valentine's card that is not only considerate of the planet but can also help it to thrive?
Plantable greetings cards are printed onto biodegradable paper containing wildflower seeds. This means that once you've enjoyed displaying your card, you can pop it into some soil, in your garden or in the countryside, and the seeds will grow into wildflowers. The flowers will support bees and butterflies and help nature to fight back. Rewilding is one of the best things we can do to help heal the planet and this is such a simple way to be a part of it. So, look for plantable Valentine's Day cards, like this one from Loop Loop:
You didn’t think we weren’t going to offer you a chocolate gift idea for Valentine’s Day did you? Chocolate is still the top-selling gift for Valentine’s Day and for good reason too. It releases happy hormones not a world away from the ones we feel when we fall in love. There is absolutely no reason to miss out because you or your partner are vegan. In fact, the world is getting fuller and fuller of heart-meltingly good vegan chocolate.
Kakoa is a brand I can personally recommend because I’ve been fortunate enough to scoff at a few. What I love about their collection is the variety - there are milky chocolates, white chocolates, dark chocolates, truffles, liquors and - my favourite - salted caramel.
Why else do I recommend Kakoa as a vegan-friendly Valentine’s Day gift? Well, because the whole company was built on a love story. From the tale of a man who couldn’t find chocolates for his newly-vegan wife and so instead took to the kitchen to craft his own. And that’s how it all started, and why it’s the perfect vegan chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
For something exceptionally delicious but a little less traditional, why not send a box of luxury vegan doughnuts for Valentine’s Day? Doughnuts have always been good but, in the last few years, we've had a kind of doughnut revolution that has seen them taken to the next level. What’s more, most of the vegan versions are sensational. Our top pick for edible vegan-friendly Valentine’s Day doughnuts though would be Crosstown. They come in a variety of flavours, from the traditional vanilla glaze or raspberry jam to blood orange or rhubarb and jasmine. We particularly love the Working From Home box which includes 6 doughnuts and speciality coffee grounds or tea leaves. This would be a really special delivery to receive on Valentine’s Day.
Houseplants For Valentine's DayWhilst flowers are traditional, they are not the most sustainable option for a Valentine's day gift. Cut flowers are usually imported, have required a lot of water to grow and don't last. That being, they perhaps aren't such a symbol for love. What about something that will continue to grow instead, something that requires nurture to thrive? Like a houseplant. Taken care of (and admittedly with some luck) these can last years and even reproduce!
To be especially sustainable and support local businesses, try to purchase yours from an independent seller near to you. One of my top picks for a Valentine's plant gift, would be String Of Hearts (aka Ceropegia woodii). This is an indoor trailing plant with velvety tiny heart-shaped leaves. They are beautiful on bookshelves or hung from macrame plant hangers. However, Anthuriums are also a popular choice for romantics. They are relatively easy to care for, heart-shaped too and, if we're honest, there's something quite Georgia O'Keeffe about them too.
Want extra brownie points this Valentine’s Day? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Seriously though - brownies through the post - is there anything better? Especially with fabulous vegan flavours that include rocky road, raspberry brownie, chocolate orange and cookie and cream. This slim brownie box will also fit through the letterbox so you do not need to stress about whether your loved one will be at home to take delivery.
For something less traditional than chocolates, more affordable than the doughnuts, yet sweet and imaginative, this brownie box is a vegan-friendly Valentine’s Day gift sure to spark joy. I’ll keep your fingers crossed that they’ll leave you some crumbs!
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!