2021 Gifting: ‘Tis the Season to Support Small Businesses

Every year you say you’re going to get ahead in your holiday shopping, and every year it sneaks up faster than you can believe.

Besides some peace of mind, we can think of another great reason to start your gift-shopping early; so you can be intentional with your purchases. That extra time might be the difference between opting for a product made from recycled materials vs a more conventional alternative. Maybe it gives you the time to understand more deeply where a product is coming from, who it’s supporting, how long it will last, and more. Here’s a little checklist we like to reference before reaching for our wallets:

  • Will they use it? Do they have something similar?

  • What is this product’s lifespan? Will it be appreciated after the initial excitement of gift-giving wears off?

  • Can I find a version of this from a small business or local shop?

  • What’s it made of? Is there a higher quality or sustainably-produced version of this?

  • Who was it made by and where? Were the workers paid fair wages?

Sometimes, less really is more. One long-lasting gift is better than a handful that will soon be forgotten or tossed. 

Browse our comprehensive gift guide and feel free to let us know what your favourite small brands are! 

For the device lover
Whether their phone is always dead and you’re trying to send them a hint, or you just want to give them a sleek and tidy upgrade to their bedside table, Courant’s selection of wireless charging stations are practical yet visually appealing.

For the conscious consumer
They might be all aboard the plastic-free train or just starting down the path toward a more eco-conscious life. Either way, Better Basics Co has a variety of bundles that will help them eliminate plastic from their daily lives. We love The Plastic-Free Kitchen Kit & The Better Grocery Kit.

For the kitchen-dweller
Our Place carries non-toxic frying pans in a variety of fun colors. And yes, before you ask, unfortunately other nonstick pans are often ridden with toxic chemicals. The Our Place Always Pan is free of materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles. And the best part? You can almost guarantee that your gift will get daily use.

For the busy bee
Always on their feet? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Casca’s Avro Leather offers triple-thick footbeds that help align the spine and encourage whole-body wellness. Crafted with mountaineer-grade rubber and waterproof leather, they’re the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

For the one that appreciates the finer things
Brightland olive oil is a beautiful gift for that special someone in your life that loves the top-tier version of everything. Traceable and authentic, Brightland olive oils are made from olives sourced from a family-run Californian farm, and free of fillers and preservatives. Whether they’re into cooking or not-- a high quality olive can be enjoyed in complex dishes or simply drizzled on a fresh baguette.

For the dissectologist
Apparently there’s a word for people who love solving puzzles. Uncommon Goods allows you to customize a jigsaw puzzle to feature your very own family members. Who’s up for some wholesome family fun?

For the cool-guy
Impress the fashion-forward guy in your life with new wardrobe staples from up & coming sportswear brand, Lady White Co. Prioritizing comfort and quality, Lady White Co garments are produced by family-owned factories within 10 miles from their design HQ in Los Angeles.

For the one with the artistic eye
We all know that one person who’s hard to buy for simply because they have such unique taste. Ami Like Miami produces one of a kind ceramic dishes in a variety of styles and colours.

For the pet-obsessed
It might seem like everyone and their uncle got a dog during the pandemic. Give the new dog-owner in your life an IG-worthy leash from Nice Digs. The best part? These pet accessories are made from the off-cuts of their pet beds.

For the world traveler
Make their travels a little more organized with a see-all vanity bag from Paravel with custom monogramming. Crafted with ecocraft canvas, recycled water bottles, and Leather-Working Gold leather finishes (same as Casca shoes!), Paravel is also a certified carbon-neutral company.

For the homebody
What screams “holiday vacation” better than a soft robe to lounge in? Snowe Home offers luxury-level goods at attainable rates by partnering with top tier manufacturers and cutting out the middlemen. The Classic Bathrobe is incredibly versatile – whether it’s for your dad, mother in law, or significant other, everyone appreciates a plush robe.

For the skincare lover
Add some luxury to their everyday routine. Mifa & Co creates vegan, non-toxic, 100% natural bodycare. Everything is designed, developed and manufactured in British Columbia (Casca’s neck of the woods) in a Health Canada approved facility. We love their Refresh Set.

For the design junkie
The rugs from Pieces by an Aesthetic Pursuit were designed to fill the void between custom/off-the-market designs and unique ready-made products. Founded by fashion and interior industry insiders, their designs feature bold prints and colours and are unlike anything else on the market. These rugs are hand dyed and tufted.

For the sleepy beauty
Give the gift of a good night’s rest with Lunya’s silk eye mask. Made of soft, washable silk, weighted for added relaxation, and equipped with sustainable glass beads so you can cool it down in the freezer.

For your secret santa
Give the gift of, well, giving back... 100% of the proceeds from Casca’s #ForTheFuture line of goods go towards This is a BPA-free Nalgene water bottle with a custom-printed graphic.