In our family we have a Christmas Eve tradition where we each get a pair of pyjamas (there's something so nice about climbing into bed wearing new pjs!) In the morning we open stockings filled with practical things like socks and undies, along with more indulgent gifts like a gift certificate to Body Blitz or a bottle of ice wine (Amy rarely drinks but she loves a little glass of ice wine on Sunday nights). Then we open presents from under the tree while sipping fresh squeezed orange juice. So how do we reconcile these traditions with our eco-conscious, non-consumerist philosophy?
First, we limit the number of people we buy for. Rather than guessing what distant relatives might want, we stick with family members we know well so that we can choose something they'll love (that won't end up in a landfill). This also means we're not breaking the bank getting presents for everyone we know. Second, we buy from companies we want to support. This has taken on a whole new meaning since becoming entrepreneurs ourselves. We know firsthand how hard it is to compete with Amazon and other giant chains, so it feels good to shop locally and help ensure small businesses survive (the added bonus is we don't have to step foot in a mall!) Lastly, we come up with a wish list - things we've been lusting after for awhile that are a little more indulgent than what we'd get for ourselves, and we share it with each other. It may take away some of the element of surprise, and it can feel a little less intimate than having someone choose something for you, but this way you ensure nothing goes to waste - everything that is received is really appreciated.
So with that said, we thought we might share our wish list with you this year in the hopes that it might inspire some health-conscious, eco-friendly gift-giving of your own.
A few years ago we discovered "This is J" bamboo pyjamas at the One of a Kind Show and now we're hooked. We both have a pair of the summer tank top style ones, and this year Amy's asked for the long sleeve winter version. They're super comfy (they have some stretch so they can be fitted without being tight, and the material is really breathable) and we like that they're handmade in Canada. You can read more here or if you're headed to the One of Kind Show you can check out their booth. Maybe we'll run into you :)
Salty Kisses Toothpaste
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of meeting the holistic nutritionist, Samantha Gladish. One of the first things we noticed was she has the most beautiful white teeth. Now we know why! Her toothpaste, Salty Kisses, is completely free of chemicals, foaming agents and fluoride, and yet it works better than any of the mainstream brands we've tried. Our teeth have never looked better! At $16 it makes a great stocking stuffer.
Gift Certificates to Independent Book Stores
One of our absolute favourite things to do is browse bookstores, so we want to make sure they stick around! That's why we always ask for a gift from BookCity. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable so they always make good recommendations. It's also the gift that keeps giving - we have similar taste in literature so we can pass it on when we're done.
Four Sigma Mushroom Shots
This is a recommendation we picked up from our friend Meghan Telpner, as well as from Meghan's husband, Josh, who Amy has studied with. Meghan's been raving about Four Sigma Foods medicinal mushroom products for a while so last month Amy gave them a try, and she was hooked. These make a great alternative to tea or coffee, or can be added to a morning smoothie. Amy's current favourite is the XOCO Red - a chocolate and chaga mushroom combo (great for immunity) - a perfect way to make your winter hot chocolate double as a flu-busting tonic. Amy's husband is also enjoying the Instant Maitake - great for balancing blood sugar and helping with weight loss. We're Four Sigma ambassadors which means you'll receive 10% with the coupon code RTS.
High-Quality Dark Chocolate
As kids our mom would always put chocolate in our stocking (Smarties for Kim, Terry's Orange for Amy). As we got more into holistic nutrition, we discovered all the benefits of good quality, dark chocolate so our picks are a little different. Now our wish list includes locally-made dark chocolate treats from Soma. If you live in Toronto, we'd highly recommend an in-person visit (you can actually see them being made), especially since the Distillery District looks extra pretty this time of year with all their festive lights. You can also shop online.
If you're not familiar with Etsy, you're in for a treat! Think of it like the One of Kind Show but with vendors from around the world. Most of Kim's favourite clothes are from Etsy designers (you can get them made-to-measure out of eco-friendly materials) and Amy has furnished her home with lots of cool "upcycled" pieces (this upcycled iPhone/iPod docking station on her wish list is made out of an old brass megaphone - no wires at all, and it works!). If there's someone who you're not quite sure what to get, a gift certificate could be a great option. They're pretty much guaranteed to find something they like and you can feel good knowing you're supporting artists. You can also create and share wish lists, and even follow your friends (search "uteruslover" to follow Amy and discover her favourite vendors).
Morroco Method Hair Products
We were both long-time fans of Aveda shampoo and conditioner, but after deciding to ditch the parabens and toxic perfumes in our body care products, we went on the hunt for something more natural. Amy has fallen in love with Morrocco Method - a line of raw, vegan and gluten-free hair products. Finding a product that would successfully defrizz her hair while allowing her curls to still have some umph was no small feat. She tried dozens of organic products. She finally settled on a regime of Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, Pearl Essence Conditioner, Curl Power, and Blood of the Dragon Hair Gel. The founder of the company, Antonio Morrocco, is referred to as a "Hair Shaman" and decades ago when he was still seeing clients, the rich and famous used to fly across the country (and sometimes the world) to have their hair done by him. His approach to hair care is very aligned with our work - they even have a lunar hair care chart! We're Morroco Method ambassadors, which means you'll receive 15% off with the coupon code: Hairsisters24.
We were introduced to Juil shoes by Meghan Telpner back in April and Amy immediately added them to her wish list. We're not shoes gals in the traditional sense (you'll rarely see the sisters in heels) but we're suckers for comfy shoes that are fun and playful. Juil shoes fit the bill, plus they've got the benefit of copper dots on the footbeds and outsoles which helps create a similar "grounding" connection to what you'd experience if you were walking barefoot. Cool, eh?
If you've been following us for awhile you've probably heard us rave about Lunapads. They make our fave brand of reusable cloth menstrual pads as well as "Lunapanties" - underwear with a pad built right in. We remember getting our first pairs a few years ago and exclaiming "I can't wait to get my period so I can wear them!" Not exactly something you normally say about period underwear ;) We're Lunapads ambassadors so if you pop in the code "AMBFIVE" and the ambassador number "515009" you'll receive 5% off your order.
Living Libations' Poetic Pits
A few weeks ago we asked our Facebook community to share their fave natural deodorant brands and we got over 50 comments! We were intrigued by lots of the suggestions, but Living Libations seemed to be the top recommendation. We've been Dr. Mist fans for awhile now but we're looking forward to giving Poetic Pits a try (they have one with orange-blossoms and Hawaiian sandalwood - doesn't that sound lovely??)
We'd love to hear what unique and eco-conscious products are on your wish list this year. Drop us a line on Facebook or send us an email to share your favourite gift-giving ideas for the holidays.
Kim & Amy
Kim & Amy Sedgwick love to discuss sex, periods, and all the other things we’re not supposed to talk about. The co-founders of Red Tent Sisters and ecosex.ca, they’ve been featured in every major Canadian news outlet and have become a trusted resource for women seeking natural (effective!) birth control, a more joyful sex life, and an empowered journey to motherhood.