Search icon


03rd Dec 2019

Gift guide: sustainable stocking filler ideas

Sarah Finnan

Buying gifts can be a bit of a mare. It’s a multi-step process that takes up much more time than we have to spare (unintentional rhyming).

Between figuring out what to get your neighbour’s best friend’s brother, deciding on a budget that is relatively affordable and trying not to forget anyone – there’s enough on your plate to keep ten of you busy.

One thing that more and more people are factoring into their present buying this year is sustainability. Luckily the market is full of gorgeous gift ideas and I’ve compiled a few of my top sustainable stocking fillers, ethical buys and Irish-made goodies below.


I don’t know about you, but growing up, a toothbrush was always a staple in my Christmas stocking haul. Bambooth is an eco-friendly alternative to the usual plastic household necessity. Selling biodegradable toothbrushes, the idea is that by making small changes together we can have a big positive impact.

If nothing else, upgrading to a wooden-handled toothbrush adds some luxury to an otherwise mundane task.


Continuing the bamboo theme, Crann should be your next port of call for present ideas. The Irish word for ‘tree’, the whole business model centres on honouring Irish culture and tradition while also prioritising the use of materials that would eventually go to landfill or end up in Irish waters.

Serving up stylish watches and sunglasses, a percentage of every sale also goes to rebuilding damaged ecosystems. That should count as two gifts in one really.

(*Sunny day at the beach not included.)


An ethical clothing company, Grown’s ethos is fuelled by sustainability practices. Encouraging people to buy only garments that they need, on their website you’ll find high-quality low impact clothing.

Super soft, made with heavyweight organic cotton, items are finished with free-hand embroidery and Portuguese cork labelling so they’re 100 per cent biodegradable. Other items up for grabs include stainless steel reusable water bottles, tote bags and their ‘gift a tree’ cards.

Buy one and the company will plant a native Irish tree on your behalf. A tree that as it grows, will supply enough oxygen for four people per day. Again, that should count as multiple gifts in one.


Born from a passion for sustainable living, Reuzi wants people to understand why we should all swap the ‘dirty disposables’ for eco-friendly options. Have a browse on their website and you’ll find a huge variety of different products to choose from. I’d recommend one of the minimal waste lifestyle sets though or their specially made Christmas hampers.

The ‘Lunch Al Desko’ (clever wordplay, I appreciate that) comprises a collapsible cup, a stainless-steel round lunchbox and a bamboo spork in a cork case. Meal prepping never looked so good.

These are also a fab idea.

SunDrift backpacks

Ok, this one technically wouldn’t fit in a stocking (unless that stocking belongs to Hagrid), but it’s worth mentioning all the same. Made from recycled plastic, the SunDrift backpacks are designed to fit female curves – perfect for any gals you know planning a big trip. Complete with a breathable back, built-in rain-cover and whistle and padded shoulder pads.

Using as many recycled materials as possible, in both the product itself and the packaging, each backpack lived a previous life as a soda bottle, water bottle or food jar. Shipping is 100 per cent carbon-neutral too.


An online men’s lifestyle website, Manlystuff operates on a zero-waste basis, aiming to be as sustainable as possible with packaging in the form of paper or cardboard. Their vintage shaving sets are a good alternative to the traditional pair of socks or belt you usually gift your dad.

Each one includes a double-edged safety razor which means they include no plastic and produce very little waste. They make all their own shaving soaps, oils and balms too and the wooden sets are handmade in Roscommon.


Foodie friends listen up. The brainchild of sisters Eliza and Evie, NutShed serve up plant-based goodies that are just calling to be included as sustainable stocking fillers.

Saying that they believe “food is basically great” (couldn’t agree more gals), the duo has everything from peanut butter (schmooooth and crunchy), to an array of rawballs (flavours include coconut & cacao, orange & sesame, lemon & turmeric, peanut butter balls and hemp & goji) to handmade and hand-cut squares (choose from raw caramel, peanut caramel, beetroot brownie or peanut & raspberry).

Tony’s Chocolonely

Special mention to Tony’s Chocolonely, who is taking on a mission of monumental importance and aiming to make the cocoa industry 100 per cent slave free. Christmas and chocolate go hand in hand and sure wouldn’t it be great to be able to say that your cuppa and chocolate bar combo actually doubles as your good deed for the day too.

Available to buy in BT, Eason, Mace, Spar and Fresh, the colourful wrappers are very Willy Wonka-esque and the chocolate is bloody delicious (my favourite is the salted caramel, though you can’t beat the classic milk chocolate either).

And there’s one for everyone in the audience!

Just kidding I’m afraid…but hopefully, there’s enough gift-spiration and sustainable stocking fillers there to keep you all happy and make sure your Christmas is as sustainable a one as possible.

READ NEXT: Sinead O’Connor announces three major Irish gigs for next year