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Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Eco-anxious

Whether your Valentine this year is a parent, a child, a friend or a partner, choosing the right gift is always difficult. Especially as the years go by, it feels like we’ve exhausted all the classic gift options - chocolates, flowers or a bottle of wine - none of which lasted for more than 24 hours. Isn’t it ironic that to express permanent love, it’s ironic that most gifts are either edible or perishable?

Gifts taking up space in cupboards we’ll never reopen may do more than annoy Marie Kondo. A landmark survey done by the University of Bath showed that 68% of young people in India are very worried about climate change. This growing pressure to fix the environment is not foreign to us and gifts that end up in landfills don’t help with our eco-anxiety. Roses have a hidden environmental impact too. Flowers’ transportation for Valentine’s Day accounts for increased carbon emissions (especially those that are shipped across seas)

No, we aren’t cancelling Valentine’s Day. It started as a sweet way to annually express love but it’s meaning has perished over time, much like roses. We think it’s time for a rebranding of this annual tradition. Rather than haphazardly ordering a gift a couple hours before Valentine’s Day, why not take the time to make a thoughtful eco-friendly purchase for your Valentine? It’ll definitely put faith back into individual impact and help a Valentine who’s dealing with their own eco-anxiety. Psychologists say that developing an environmental identity by making green choices helps those around you with eco-anxiety too. Talk about meaningful gifting!

To us, love is about being strong (or sturdy), healthy (or sustainable) and yet a thing of beauty - each and every relationship is personal and uniquely it's own. They’re handmade if you will. In honour of symbolising universal love (it’s our firm belief that Valentine’s Day is not for couples alone), it made sense for us to step in with six special gift options that will last as long as your love.

Mindfully sourced and responsibly crafted, we’ve curated a list of exciting Gifts for all ages.But like everyone else we have our favorites too- so here’s our Valentine’s Day gifts round-up; six handcrafted gifts for any Valentine, universal yet absolutely unique!

1. ChashMama Eyewear cases

ChashMama

In Greek mythology, being endowed with the gift of sight is more than being able to see the beauty around us. The gift of sight is synonymous with the gift of foresight; the ability to see into the future. The metaphor we have in mind for our ChashMama eyewear cases is to take Valentine’s Day to reflect on the past, present and future of your relationship with your Valentine. Whether it be the scrapes that your parents tended to as a child or the mischief your sibling helped you conduct, this gift is all about treasuring what the two of you have seen together and what you both will continue to do.

The eyewear cases come in five quirky colours and a novel design. They are made from premium cork sourced from Portugal (adding even more universality to your universal love) and lined with vegan suede to protect the eyewear on the inside. We’ve called it ChashMama because of the cases’ similarity to mother figures. Fiercely protective on the outside and soft on the inside, does this remind you of your Valentine?

2. Syahi Travel Journal

Syahi Travel Journal

The Syahi Travel Journal is a way for your Valentine to always have you close to them. Available in 3 beautiful colours and made from premium cork and khesh, the journal inside will stand the test of time (much like your love). Completely self-reliant, the travel journal has pen loops and card slots. Our favourite feature is the inserts on both sides, they double as bookmarks, so no creased pages on our watch! This gift is perfect for the Valentine that loves to jot down their thoughts and scribble down their memories.

3. Eva Crossbody

Eva Crossbody

Ever heard of the phrase, ‘Good things come in small packages’? Our 21st-century brains think immediately of our phones as the perfect example. Truth be told, a lot of relationships happen because of them. Especially in the time of video calling, the geographical bounds of love have been stretched beyond measure. Let’s not forget the hundreds of photos we keep stored on our phones either!

The fact of the matter is that we step out of our homes with our phones and only our phones. Rather than stashing this precious commodity into our jeans’ back pocket, why not carry it around in a small package of its own? That’s where our Eva Crossbody steps in - lightweight and handcrafted with cork, can you believe that it even has space for eight card slots and two currency slots? It’s a wallet, bag and phone rolled into one, perfect for the Valentine that loves to travel far and wide.

4. Ita frames

Ita Frames

While our chosen method of photo storage has become our phones, there are photos that are, well, picture-perfect. These are the ones we want to display proudly like trophies of the best moments of our lives. Photo frames and books are not new to the Valentine’s Day gift scene but they tend to gather dust and not protect the photograph from staining. Fraying, yellowing photos may have their own charm but in our eyes, a gift for a Valentine should represent the everlasting nature of love.

Hence, the handcrafted Ita frames. Made from cork and backed with a cotton lining, these frames have the trifecta of the perfect picture frame - light weight, easy to clean and stain proof. They also have a secret compartment, the magnetic stand opens up into a storage pouch - an ode to how love implies keeping each other’s secrets!

5. Handcrafted Jewelry

Handcrafted

Jewellery has been the go-to gift for aeons, resulting in a variety of phrases like “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” We’d like to argue that the perfect jewellery gift has evolved into being the environment’s best friend too. Many of us have boxes of earrings and tangled necklaces that have begun to rust and tarnish. Because jewellery is being sold virtually everywhere, finding unique jewellery pieces has become a challenge. Our Brick Ring swaps diamonds for freckled embroidery and our Drop Earrings puts a creative twist on glittering shades of blue. Looking for a necklace? Our Arch Choker combines raw brass with gold foil for a metallic showstopper.

As a way of ‘Wearing our (green) heart on our sleeves’, we have these examples and more as part of our special Valentine’s Day jewellery launch. Made from Pinãtex (patented vegan leather alternative from pineapple leaf fibre) and cork, these jewellery pieces spread love beyond just your Valentine. Each piece is handcrafted by a single artisan whose care and precision result in delicate glass-bead hand embroidery. This process makes each piece completely unique.

Speaking of spreading the love, for each Beej purchase we plant two trees. Thoughtful and beautiful, this is the perfect gift for a jewellery-loving Valentine.

6. Bow Ties

Bow Ties

We use the phrase “Tom, Dick and Harry” when referring to the mundane. Alvin, George and Darcy are anything but commonplace. These are the names for our super chic bow ties. Alvin and George are made from premium cork and Darcy is made from a blend of Pinãtex and hemp. For a super unique surprise, replace the ribbon tied bow packaging with a usable bow tie! Because of the materials being lightweight and sturdy, your Valentine will have a crease free way of looking dapper. We’ve added a hook strap mechanism for fuss free wearing, too!

The bowties are available in a multitude of colours. We have a tie for our favourite bow ties (pun intended) - Alvin in wine, George in sandstone and Darcy in canella brown. We’ll let you settle the tie!

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