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Gift Guide 2018: 8 Brands To Shop From For The Eco Warriors In Our Lives

'Tis the season of merrymaking and gift-giving!

And unfortunately, the season of a surge in paper waste, single-use plastic, unrecyclable materials, and throw-away containers, too. The time of the year that brings much joy to most people can be the bane of the existence of many staunch environmentalists, but we found just the thing to ease their advocacy-driven minds and bring them happiness come Christmastime. 


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A handful of local business owners who share the same green philosophy are here to save the day, giving environmentalists' loved ones awesome gift ideas for this Christmas. We rounded up a list of our top eco-friendly businesses and products that we're sure the eco warriors in our lives will love, and while you're at it, why not buy a thing or two for yourself? Environmentalism is something everyone needs more of this Christmas and beyond, after all! 


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What: Sustainably Made's wooden candle holders + cheese, meat, and serving boards

Who it’s perfect for: The eco warrior whose greatest passion is preserving Philippine forests

Where to purchase it: @sustainablymade

Just as their name suggests, Sustainably Made is all about being a zero-waste enterprise. With a business model centered around creating wood products mostly out of Honduras mahogany and teak grown in a timber farm in Pangasinan, Sustainably Made guarantees that they cause zero damage to depleting Philippine forests. No naturally grown trees are ever cut down for the purpose of profit. 

Even better, the Sustainably Made team makes sure that excess wood needed to make large items like furniture and flooring are used to create their smaller products—no branch, stump, trunk or root is ever wasted.  And when it comes to finishing off these products to make their unique knots, grains, colors, and marbling pop, only natural formulas like bee’s wax, tung oil, and extra virgin olive oil are used. 

Topping it all off are the employment opportunities created by Sustainably Made; tree farmers from the sustainable wood industry community are the artisans behind every one-of-a-kind product. 


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What: The Old Wood PH's wooden furniture

Who it’s perfect for: The eco warrior who gets their environmentalism fix from owning things made from repurposed materials

Where to purchase it: @theoldwoodph

Everyone uses at least one recycled, repurposed, or upcycled material in their home or at work, but how often do these items come in the form of bespoke, timeless, heirloom-potential furniture? Enter The Old Wood PH, a custom home décor and furnishing maker that uses reclaimed wood for their dining sets, tables, headboards, chairs, and other covetable creations.  

But before you get ahead of yourself and assume that their designs aren’t stylish enough to incorporate in a contemporary or modern home, be informed that they are, in fact, absolutely stunning. The fact that you won’t find an exact replica of a chosen piece is a huge plus, too; recipients of Old Wood PH’s items are sure to boast of them and put them at center stage, likely to invite curious eyes to ask about their origins. 


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What: Loud Basstard's "natural amplifiers"

Who it’s perfect for: The eco warrior who enjoys proving that a green lifestyle can be the coolest thing ever 

Where to purchase it: @loudbasstard

Price range: Loud Basstard speakers range from P175 to P1275.

You can't go wrong with Loud Basstard's award-winning "natural amplifiers." Made with the humble yet versatile and durable bamboo, these locally made alternatives to techy (and oftentimes pricey) speakers are Loud Basstard CEO Nicole Ring's crowning glory. 

She proudly shares, "It takes about one month for the bamboo to be ready for the production phase. When ready, we skin the bamboo to the smooth surface, sand down the rough texture if any, then [it's] off to machining. After which we then have the rattan applied by hand; this takes some time but it's all worth it in the end! So aside from the product being sourced from local farmers and hand-made by local crafters we reduce carbon footprint and the items are biodegradable." 

Loud Basstard products also come in an array of colors and can be personalized, ensuring that your gifts' recipient(s) will love them even more. They're portable, too, so expect to see these speakers in road trips, beach trips, and more! 

Loud Basstard partners with bamboo farmers and will extend their social responsibility efforts in support of PWDs in the coming months. 


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What: Kawayan MNL's bamboo products 

Who it's perfect for: The eco warrior who makes it a point to leave the least litter behind in as many ways possible at  home and while on the go

Where to purchase it: @kawayanMNL

We know the type who would appreciate Kawayan MNL's products the most; this environmentalist is the most practical of all, the kind who walks his talk in their daily lives and makes a real effort to change basic habits. 

Owned by Karla Jeanne Co and her boyfriend, this business offers Filipinos products that aren't just good for the planet, but are stylish, usable, and durable, too. Check out their bamboo product series featuring insulated kawayan tumblers and straws that are a lovely alternative to plastic bottles and single-use straws that greatly contribute to the country's growing problem of non-biodegradable waste, and most notably, toothbrushes that they highly recommend to replace the plastic variety we all use today. (As a Christmas treat, they're engraving their products for free for the whole month of December). 

Karla explains, "Our plastic toothbrush at home would take 300-500 years to decompose. Imagine a single person must replace his or her toothbrush every three months... We want to offer a sustainable solution, a kawayan toothbrush that will decompose easily when mixed [with] soil or [in a] compost pit. Aside from that, our kawayan toothbrush can be personalized too, so if your entire family [decides] to switch to a more sustainable alternative, you guys won't mix up your toothbrushes." 

Kawayan MNL supports non-profit organization Plastic Battle. 


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What: Lunhaw PH's "green roll" cutlery set 

Who it's perfect for: The eco warrior who wants to level up their environmentalism and serve as an example to others

Where to purchase it: @LunhawPH

Now that we've familiarized ourselves with reusable straws, beverage containers, and toothbrushes, it's time to turn our attention to Lunhaw PH's reusable cutlery set. It's perfect for the office (think about all those birthday parties and meriendas that see us using a ton of plastic spoons and forks), road trips and picnics (again with the disposable utensils), or as a handy dandy set to take with you while you're on the go. 

Explaining their products, co-owners Bea Gellez and Princess Enriquez say, "The cutleries are made of locally sourced bamboo. Wrapping it is our Green Roll pouch, adding color [with] the aesthetic touch of green leaves which [are] very calming to the eyes. Meanwhile, if you're the ‘simplicity is beauty’ type of person, you may also opt for the plain one."  

Not many people have factored in their use of plastic cutlery in their efforts to live a greener life, which makes Lunhaw's cutlery set an apt introduction to doing so—and an awesome way to get others asking about where you got them. 

Cagayan de Oro-based Bea and Princess continue, "Our products are unique, special and [have] their own way of making the earth a greener place. On top of [them] being affordable and fancy, these quality products give you an intangible altruistic feeling that you have contributed to the deliverance of Mama Nature from pollution and toxicity. Christmas is the time for giving. It's time we give Mama Earth some love this Christmas by sharing the eco-friendly switch to our family and friends."

LunhawPH supports the flood survivors of Typhoon Sendong and efforts to help Cagayan de Oro's out-of-school youth. 


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What: Theodore's Home Care's cleaning products  

Who it's perfect for: The eco warrior who wishes to trade in the commercial and synthetic for the organic and environmentally friendly

Where to purchase it: @theodoreshomecare

Researched on, created, and actually used by a mother who wouldn't stop until she found the best home products that wouldn't aggravate her son's asthma, products from Theodore's Home Care are what every homemaker needs—immediately. 

In the words of founder Irene Abara, "I dug through books and walked many paths leading me into more information and then eventually creating, testing, and coming up with the best formulations in my kitchen. The perfected results now form Theodore’s collection of beautiful and unique home cleaning solutions that keep your home clean, healthy and smell heavenly."

She assures that each of her creations—though made from natural ingredients and essential oils—are just as effective as commercial grade products, sans the harshness on the body and on the environment. Additionally, they're only made in small batches on a regular basis to ensure the freshness of the product you come home with.

Everything from multi-purpose cleaners, deodorizers, travel-friendly stain removal sprays, kitchen scrubs, and baby room sprays are offered by her brand.  

"We take out the 'chore' and put back the 'cheer' in cleaning. Each product we create for the home is designed to brighten everyday mundane chores into something that can bring joy, help relax and bring satisfaction into their homemaking journey especially during this Yuletide season," Irene ends. 

Theodore's Home Care supports the HARIBON foundation. 100 percent of the proceeds from the Tropical Forest room spray go to the organization.  


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What: Messy Bessy's personal care products 

Who it's perfect for: The eco warrior on a mission to hit two birds with one stone: promoting environmentalism and contributing to sustainable livelihood programs

Where to purchase it: @hellomessybessy 

As one of the first Philippine eco-friendly brands to offer biodegradable and eco-friendly home and personal care products, Messy Bessy (and its founder and CEO Krie Reyes Lopez) knows a thing or two about what it means to be a social enterprise, rather than just a for-profit business. 

Inspired by her immersion in San Francisco's Delancey Street Foundation—an organization composed of successful business run by ex-convicts, previously homeless individuals, and former rehab center patients—Krie intertwined her desire to bring Filipino households environmentally-friendly cleaning products while providing life-changing employment opportunities for society's disadvantaged. 

"She chose this because she felt like there was a need for green cleaners in the market back in 2007. And more than this, she always wanted to choose businesses with strong core values—in this case it’s environmentalism,
explains Jhoey Naddeo, Messy Bessy Junior Marketing Manager. 

Pick your favorite from their all-encompassing line of products and know that you'll be helping out in more ways than one with every purchase; our personal favorites include their insect repellant spray, muscle relief rub, and hand cream. 

Messy Bessy supports scholars from the HOUSE Foundation that educates, employs, and empowers at-risk youth. 


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Photos from @theodoreshomecare @kawayanmnl @lunhawph @hellomessybessy