If your family still exchages gifts (mine has thankfully moved on from this tradition) or you just feel like treating yourself to something nice, here are a few ethically produced gift ideas, some of which help you give back with each purchase. Luckily most of these items can be ordered online, so you don’t have to set foot in a store or wait hours in line!
Viva Vegan! – Terry Hope Romero
This book features awesome recipes for all sorts of Latin American dishes. As a Latina, I was very excited when it came out in April and I’ve been dying to add a copy to my bookshelf (hint, hint), but I’ll have to settle for borrowing it from my local library for now. Don’t let your friends down, get them a copy of their own.
Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life – Melisser Elliot
This book covers everything from how to be a healthy vegan, to how to look good doing it. It contains valuable information on vegan beauty products, clothing, nutrition, and more, as well as, recipes and crafts. (Check back tomorrow for an in depth review!)
Vegan Cookie Connosieur – Kelly Peloza
Miss Peloza is only 19 (!!!) and she’s compiled a book filled with beautiful pictures, tasty recipes and valuable info on baking for your friends with dietary restrictions. I’m looking forward to trying out the dog biscuits for my buddy, Ian, and the Polish Kolaches (kolacky) for myself (check back for more on this book, as well).
Chicago Diner Cookbook – Jo A. Kaucher
Try your hand at making some of your favorite Chicago Diner entrees. The Chicago Diner will be donating $1 to Mercy for Animals for each copy sold. They will also donating $1 from each sale of their new Teese Mozzarella Sticks, which are only available for a limited time, so if you’re in Chicago make sure you check them out.
Endangered Species Chocolate
While not all Endangered Species chocolates are vegan, they do have quite a few that are. Check out the Vegan Collection for $19.99 or order it by the bar/pouch ($2-$4 per bar/pouch), simply type “vegan” into the search bar to check out your options. Get 25% of your entire chocolate order when you order between Nov 26 – Nov 30 (use code: GRNGIFT25 at checkout)!
Rescue chocolates are fair trade, vegan and 100% of the profit from these tasty treats goes to animal rescue organizations around the country. Individual bars are $5/bar or you can get gift boxes starting at $25. I’m planning on getting some of the Peanut Butter Pit Bulls in honor of our rescued guys, Ian & Harley (RIP Harley 11-10-10).
Ste Martaen Artisan Cheeses
Ste Martaen has created some wonderfully delicious soy free artisan cheeses. My favorites are the Pepperjack and the Smoked Gouda. They also offer Colby, Muenster, Olive. These cheeses are as good on their own as they are in grilled cheese and stuffed crust pizza!
Vaute Couture has made finding warm, fashionable, vegan winter coats incredibly easy. They’ve expanded their line this winter to include men’s coats and several new women’s coats. I own last year’s Blue Luxe Peacoat and so far it’s holding up well against Chicago’s winter weather. I like it so much that I may just have to buy The Belden for dressier occasions. Vaute Couture’s coats are going to cost you anywhere from 3 to 5 times what you’d pay on a non-vegan coat, however, they are made by hand on fair wages in the United States from durable, weather resistant vegan fibers. All proceeds from the Vaute Coat go to Farm Sanctuary and you can currently get 25% off of your purchase of select coats if you know which page of VegNews contains Vaute Couture’s Company of the Year Award.
Vegetarian shoes carries everything from wallets to pleather jackets. I own several of their shoes and a couple of their belts. They make quality products that last and that are ethically made (vegan and sweatshop free!). For Vegetarian Shoe reviews from Nick, go here. You can order them directly from the UK or through one of their US distributors.
Ethically Engineered is a local company which produces soaps, shaving kits, moisturizer muscle balm and lip balm. All of their products are vegan and made in an environmentally responsible fashion. Look for them at Whole Foods or one of the other retailers listed on their website.
Metropolis Soap Co.
Metropolis Soap Co. also offers vegan & environmentally friendly soaps, body butters, lip balms, facial care, foot care and more. Metropolis is based in Brooklyn, NY and their products can be ordered directly through their website. The Call me “Coco” soap smells so good I want to eat it!