A Vegan Gift Guide for the Considerate Omnivore

I know that from the outside looking in, the vegan universe can look like a confusing and troublesome place to be. Knowing what is vegan, and what is not, is a kind of skill that you develop with research and experience, so if you’re an omnivore – yes, it may be confusing at first. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to treat your vegan loved ones, though! With Christmas on the horizon, what do you give to a vegan? Being vegan, it’s easy to feel like an outsider and so receiving a thoughtful, vegan gift can really mean a lot. Here’s a one stop vegan gift guide for the considerate omnivore with lots of gift ideas – and tips and tricks included along the way.

Lush

A very smart place to start is at Lush. Lush is a cosmetics company that doesn’t test on animals, and only uses the best smelling, nourishing ingredients. Don’t dive in head first though – some people mistakenly think that Lush is 100% vegan, however, it is not: some products contain honey, eggs, and the likes. But, fear not! The great thing about Lush is that it practices great clarity and transparency that vegans need and love. Everything vegan is clearly labelled as such – no scanning of ingredients labels required. This is of course fantastic for vegans themselves, but it’s even better for less knowledgeable omnivore looking to buy a vegan treat for themselves or for a loved one.

Every year around October until the January sales, Lush releases its seasonal range: Snow Fairy. Snow Fairy is pink, glittery and smells like bubblegum. Who the hell wouldn’t like that? Go for the Snow Fairy gift box or just get a bottle of the Snow Fairy shower gel – my absolute fave. If Snow Fairy isn’t quite right for your vegan giftee, then try the Santa’s Christmas shower gel for cinnamon, black pepper, aniseed and orange scents. Lush also has loads of different Christmas bath bombs and other products to choose from – just don’t forget to look for that vegan label! Lush staff are always more than happy to help too, so don’t be afraid to ask for help – if they haven’t already approached you.

Bags and Shoes

Obviously, vegans don’t buy leather goods. But, we still like bags and shoes! Luckily, there are a few great companies that offer vegan alternatives to leather bags and shoes.

Matt & Nat sell the loveliest ranges of backpacks, satchels and handbags, in a wide range of colours. They also sell shoes, and a variety of other things like luggage tags, sunglasses cases, and accessories for your dog! Beyond Skin sell all kinds of beautiful vegan shoes from high heels, to thigh high boots, to trainers. For more bag, shoe, and accessory choices, check out Will’s Vegan Shoes.

Vegan leather alternatives are also available from Stella McCartney, Sole Society, Melie Bianco, LaBante, MeDusa, Angela Roi, Pitti Vintage, Canopy Verde, Good Mood MoonJeane and Jax, and Doc Marten. Make sure to double check that you are not buying animal leather.

Alcohol

Lots of people like alcohol and that includes lots of vegans. Unfortunately, some alcohol is not vegan because it contains milk, or eggs, and even where it does not contain these animal products, a lot of alcohol is processed with isinglass – dried fish bladders. That is gross and weird and not vegan. So, alcohol processed with isinglass a no go. Luckily, we live in the age of information and it is not hard to find out which alcohols are in fact vegan friendly. There’s a very useful website called Barnivore that can help you to decipher whether or not an alcoholic beverage is vegan. However, it does rule out anything at risk of cross-contamination. That is, vegan alcohol made in a factory where non-vegan alcohol is made. So, take it with a pinch of salt and do your own research. For some quick ideas, here are some vegan alcohol options perfect for gifting this Christmas…

For more ideas, or to cross-reference your selections, check out this vegan alcohol list put together by Urban Tastebud. Vegans get thirsty too!

The Vegan Kind

Veganism is a lifestyle and not just a diet, but that doesn’t mean the diet part isn’t important. We eat three times a day! Or more, if you’re like me. Vegans also like to have lots of snacks and treats. We are a simple people. For a one-stop WOW food gift, visit The Vegan Kind to find their gift boxes filled with delicious vegan treats. I have been gifted these boxes a few times and it never gets less exciting or special. There’s even the option to subscribe to The Vegan Kind boxes, meaning you or your giftee will receive a new box of vegan goodies every single month. For something more modest, shop around their supermarket section to choose some individual vegan goodies yourself. I recommend the large Vego chocolate bar – whole hazelnut chocolately goodness that basically tastes like a solid block of Nutella (which is NOT vegan friendly). The Vegan Kind is also a great place to get general Christmas goodies like mince pies, advent calendars, and selection boxes. If you’re hosting dinner for a vegan person, then check out their meat alternatives too – like the Tofurky roast.

Make Up

When it comes to make up, finding something vegan can seem even scarier than finding vegan food. Fear not, there are plenty of vegan make up products out there. It’s just about knowing what is what! A good place to start is finding out whether or not a company is cruelty free – which means they don’t test on animals. Any company that sells in China is categorically NOT cruelty free because animal testing is required in China by law. It’s quite easy to figure out whether a company does sell in China because their FAQs will say something along the lines of “We do not test on animals except where required by law.” Well, you’re not required to here in the UK. And you chose to sell in China. So you chose to test on animals and you are not cruelty free. Good day, sir! I said good day!

A fast way to find out whether a company is definitely cruelty free is to see whether or not they have the Leaping Bunny logo. Not all cruelty free companies have this logo, though, so don’t rule a company out just because it doesn’t have it. My favourite cruelty free brands are Illamasqua, Kat Von D, Too Faced, The Body Shop, Make Up Revolution, The Ordinary, and Lime Crime. Once you have figured out whether a company is cruelty free, you need to check which products are vegan. Some make up is not vegan because it contains cochineal/carmine, lanolin, gelatin, tallow, guanine, squaline, collagen, etc. Sometimes it’s just a case of scanning an ingredients list and researching anything you’re unsure of. Illamasqua has a vegan section on it’s website, though, as does The Body Shop.  All Lime Crime products are vegan, and you can get Lime Crime on Love Makeup or directly from their website. Also check out the vegan section on Cute Cosmetics.

Cook Books

You can’t go wrong with a good book and it’s good to know your gift will be useful. A vegan cook book is a very safe bet, and you could even suggest trying out some of the recipes together. I like the Thug Kitchen range: Eat Like You Give a F*ck. Pros: lots of truly delicious recipes. Controversial: lots of swear words. Cons: uses American terms for ingredients. You can get these cookbooks on Amazon. Lucy Watson of Made in Chelsea has also brought out a vegan cookbook after recently changing her lifestyle and it’s a best-seller on Amazon, as well as a best vegan cookbook winner in the Peta vegan food awards 2017. Other great vegan cookbooks include the Vegan Bible, Vegan On-the-Go, and 15 Minute Vegan. Vegan food and lifestyles come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s useful to shop around a little bit and choose a cookbook that suits your vegan person. There are tons of options on Amazon, or check out WHSmith or Waterstones.

Candles

Lots of candles aren’t vegan because they contain beeswax. Beeswax is a wax produced by bees. Shocking, I know. Vegans don’t consume stuff that contains beeswax because it is an animal product. If you’re interested in the animal cruelty side to this, well, click here. Anyways, everybody loves candles and it’s always nice to receive a candle gift.

Yankee Candle products are all vegan except for their beeswax taper candles. Most people love Yankee Candle, anyway, so it’s a lovely gift regardless. They offer so many different scents, and their Christmas collection is particularly special to receive as a gift. I think my favourite is Christmas Cookie! You can also get a Yankee Candle advent calendar. I bought one as a gift from Amazon. Alternatively, there is Pura Botanica who sell soy candles. Pura Botanica is 100% cruelty free and vegan, with clarity and transparency so it’s a great company to support.

Does anyone else have any fab vegan gift ideas? Let me know in the comments!

 

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