Make this gift-giving season mean something more by supporting local, independent brands
We’re easing into a different kind of Christmas celebration this year. And it’s time to think about the changes our gifting routines will also have to undergo. Mall shopping is still an option, of course. But do we really want to take our chances with large crowds during the pandemic? The answer is no.
The great news is online shopping is coming to the rescue, as almost all social media platforms now double as virtual selling spaces. Last week, we looked at Instagram, in particular, and spotted some great stores we’re bookmarking in preparation for the holidays. This time around, we’re spotlighting another worthwhile alternative when gift-shopping online: patronizing local products to support Filipino businesses.
It goes without saying that there’s something here for everyone in the family. Ahead, just some of our picks from celebrated homegrown brands for mom, dad and the siblings.
Limited-edition fine jewelry or personalized keepsakes
For brands like AMAMI, celebrating the Filipino heritage is in its DNA as it “hopes to revive a dying craft, and empower and sustain livelihood for local artisans” with its jewelry. AMAMI’s necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings are easy, transitional pieces perfect for everyday wear and special occasions. See the full catalogue here and send the brand a DM on Instagram for more details.
Istorya Creations is another jewelry gift option. What’s special about this brand is that it allows you to commemorate special dates, events and moments, and even immortalize short messages through jewelry. Necklaces and bracelets (available in 18K gold plated and white gold plated), luggage tags and keychains are just some of the items you’re free to personalize.
Sneakers or dress shoes, or an office desk organizer
One good use of this downtime during quarantine is upgrading some of those wardrobe staples. This is something you can consider when gift shopping, too. Clothing might be a toss-up, but classic shoes are foolproof. With that, you can check out local footwear brands like Sapatero, one that’s “on a mission to bring back Philippine shoemaking, one pair at a time.” Here, you can pick from ready-to-wear options like leather lace-up shoes, leather boots, lounge slippers and sneakers, as well as spring for made-to-order footwear.
Speaking of upgrades, should your dad be in the process of reworking the home office, here’s another gift idea that allows you to support local. Behind the scenes at homecrafts brand BalaiKamay PH, designers partner with communities of “displaced but highly skilled carpenters and craftsmen, bringing new life to sustainably sourced scrap wood and engineered bamboo.”
Find handcrafted organizers for desktops, home offices and more at this online store. Keepsake boxes for things like wristwatch and cuff links, catch-all trays and even furniture like bedside tables are also available. Our pick from BalaiKamay PH? This laptop riser made from engineered Philippine bamboo.
Activewear or a Pinterest-perfect home scent
For the ladies in the family who want to get fit and go green in one go, keep Groove on your radars. This activewear brand with a conscience offers pieces made of recycled plastic bottles, making sure, too, that each one is ethically produced. Launched just last October, this advocate of slow fashion has started things off with a collection featuring key basics: a basic tank bra and a pair of basic high-waist compressive tights in the three primary colors.
Finn the Label is an excellent brand to shop for alternative gift ideas—where sizes don’t have to be noted. The Manila-based brand is where you can find “everyday essentials made with locally grown ingredients.” These include clean beauty products like vegan highlighter palettes and natural lip oils, natural beauty solutions such as all-natural body soaps and hair oils and, finally, home scents like incense cones and beeswax candles. More on the latter: Finn the Label candles are packaged in ceramic pots created by Filipino artists, too.
Cozy sheets or a new smartphone case
As a treat for the holidays, why not make forced staycations memorable and spring for doze days sheets? Beddings by this local brand are soft, safe and sustainable, featuring responsibly sourced and ethically manufactured products made of Bamboo Lyocell & TENCEL™ Lyocell.
Protective accessories for gadgets will always be on the table as gifting options. And with Coast PH, you not only get to shop phone, iPad & AirPod cases and card holders, you get to support a good cause. As the country’s first 100% biodegradable tech cases and accessories brand, Coast makes use of plant-based materials and biodegradable polymers to offer eco-friendly products, ultimately leaving no toxic residues and keeping the planet safe.
For the Kids
Books for bedtime
This is one way we can start ‘em young if we’re talking about supporting local. For the kids this Christmas season, you can turn to Tahanan Books, the independent book company that’s dedicated to making quality books for Filipino families. From children’s books, collections and anthologies, to non-fiction and Pinoy pop culture titles, discover proudly Filipino books here. And hey, perhaps it’s high time new traditions were made, too, like bringing back the lost art of bedtime storytelling.
Now that we have the ball rolling on gift ideas, how’s your Christmas day menu looking? Up next: a list of Filipino Christmas dishes to spark that holiday spirit.