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7 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Minimalist

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Buying gifts can be a fun or frustrating experience, depending on whom you’re buying for. If you know what the recipient needs or likes, their style and tastes, then it’s effortless to go to the store or browse the web to pick up something you know they’ll use.

But what about recipients who are difficult to shop for? What if they have everything they need or are a minimalist and don’t want to hang on to many things?

One solution is to choose a perishable or non-physical gift, such as food or digital music, to give. However, what if you do want your recipient to have something that they’ll use and appreciate for a long time, something to remember you by?

Another solution is to find sustainable gifts that can serve a real purpose in their life. Gifts that they actually need, but maybe just don’t realize it. Sustainable gifts are gifts people can continue using, usually for many years. Although minimalists they don’t want to hold on to many things, still need things. The key is to determine what those things are and if they’re missing from your recipient’s life. Below I will list seven sustainable gifts that a minimalist (and anyone really) will appreciate.

1. Handbags and Small Leathers

Handbags are an everyday essential for many people. There’s really no foregoing them if you’re spending the day traveling around town or running errands. Handbags keep all your precious essentials in one place, close to you. Even minimalists appreciate a solid handbag.

Small leathers, which in essence are wallets and pouches, are the same as handbags. Designed to hold money and cards, this accessory is a must and by the chance that a minimalist doesn’t carry a handbag, they most certainly will carry a wallet.

Though it’s highly likely that your recipient will have some form of a handbag or small leather, getting them a high quality one can free them from one that may be falling apart (or won’t last long). Observe what they tend to carry a lot and see if a higher quality one is in need.

My Suggestion:

The Mini from Samara Bags is a quality choice. This company focuses on making minimalist bags, accessories, and shoes that are vegan, another plus! Their designs are clean, sleek, and fit any style and occasion.

The Mini is an envelope-constructed wallet that makes it easy to slip in your essential cards and cash. The metal push-through button in front secures your valuables until their ready to be used.

Whether you want to gift a bag, wallet, or shoe, with their timeless color selection, universal design, and materials, you won’t have to worry about your recipient stashing this away or in the case of a minimalist, giving it away.


2. Shoes

Everyone wears shoes and though this can be a tricky item to give as a gift since you have to really know one’s style and fit, it can be very useful. Focus on shoes that are more functional than fashionable, such as rain boots, winter boots, water shoes, hiking shoes and such.

Determine what your recipient has and see where there is a gap in their collection. Maybe they have winter boots that are on their last leg. Maybe they’ve wanted to get some snazzy rain boots for a while but don’t have the funds to purchase it. Whatever the case, get them a high-quality pair of shoes that they can use for the long haul. Consider their lifestyle to select something that will serve them the best.

My Suggestion:

Read More From Holidappy

The Sperry brand. This is a company that specializes in outdoor shoes, from boat shoes to winter boots. Their quality is undeniable and I’ve had my pair of rain boots for close to 10 years, still good as new. For a minimalist, this is a dream since the goal is to not constantly replace and buy things.


3. A Watch

Whoever thought watches were a thing of the past couldn’t be more mistaken. Watches hold a lot of value in today’s world. Though the cell phone can give you the time, as it does many other things, there are situations where a watch is more convenient.

If your recipient is an outdoor person, even a traveler, they’ll appreciate a watch. Instead of having to pull out a cell phone every second, which is a pain in some cases, they’ll have something on their wrist where they can get the time with a glance. Plus, depending on the type of watch you buy, it can offer other conveniences such as fitness measurements, timer, alarm, and more.

My Suggestion:

The Timex brand. I recommend the Ironman series. Mine lasted for over 10 years so they have powerful batteries. These watches are modern and have enough styles to fit any tastes, from simple to decorated. Whether digital or analog, they’re easy to operate and are water resistant to 100 meters. They also have an Indiglo blue light for night use.


4. A Cell Phone

I know almost everyone in the industrial world has a cell phone at this point in time, but cell phones are constantly being upgraded. If you find that your recipient has an older version, even if they’re not in need of an upgrade because their current one works well, maybe you can treat them to it. They’ll definitely keep using their phone so this is one gift that’s guaranteed not to go to waste.

Along with a new phone, you can also add a couple cell phone cases with it, if not one. For a minimalist, they may not care for the cases, but they’ll at least want one for protection. So, see what they’re already using, including the style of case and surprise them with something they probably wouldn’t get unless they felt they had to.

My Suggestions:

Regarding cell phone brands, I like Apple and Samsung brands. I’ve used both brands in the past and love their features as well as durability.

For cases, I like the Speck brand. They’re creative with their designs and effects, and they’re more than just fashionable. They’re designed to protect your phone from falls, even with tough surfaces such as concrete. I find that they’re easy to put on and take off, which is a big deal.


5. Laptop/Computer

This can be viewed similarly to cell phones. Just like most people have cell phones, so do they have computers, whether in the form of a desktop, laptop, or tablet. You can also see where there are gaps in use. Maybe your recipient is starting to travel a lot and is constantly carrying their bulky laptop from place to place. Maybe gifting them a lightweight laptop or tablet will make things easier for them. Or maybe they find that they do a lot of work on their laptop and are running out of space. Maybe a desktop is really needed.

Also, computers, like most electronics, are constantly being upgraded and just when you have the latest design, soon you don’t. Even though it’s not necessarily important to have the latest computer, as a gift, it will definitely go to use and be appreciated. Especially if your recipient relies on their computer for work, having a new computer with the latest technology can make things easier. You can even add software they need, such as Microsoft or Adobe programs. They can transfer all their files into the new computer and give their old one away if they’re a minimalist.

My Suggestion:

I recommend Apple and Dell brands. They tend to have a long shelf life and are compatible with a lot of software and programs. I find that they’re easy to use and adjust to as a first time user and can do a lot of other things well, such as supporting video and gaming.


6. Toolkit

At some point in life, everyone will benefit from a good toolkit. One that has all the basic screws and drivers. It’s likely that your recipient will have a toolkit of their own, but if they don’t, this is a must gift item that they’ll definitely hold on to. If they do have a toolkit, determine the quality of the kit they have.

Is it a small kit that has a few items but is lacking many essentials? Is it a cheap kit where the drivers are already falling apart? Whatever the case, eliminate the void by providing them with a solid kit.

A solid kit will have tools that serve all the common bolts used in furniture, appliances, and construction. There are even tiny drivers that tightened up screws in eyeglasses. Think outside of the box and create a custom kit if you find that those essential tools are missing. Think about your recipient and what they have. If they’re an eyeglass-wearer, they’ll probably benefit from a tiny screwdriver.

My Suggestion:

I recommend the Stanley brand. Their tools are solid and made to last. The ones I’ve used haven’t let me down and they have comprehensive kits that include measuring tape, hammers, knives and more.


7. Luggage

Everyone needs luggage, even if they’re not an avid traveler. Whether it’s a duffle for an overnight stay on the coast, or an entire set for jet setting across the world, the more durable the luggage, the safer the contents will be.

If you know your recipient wants to travel soon, gifting them with solid luggage now can not only encourage them to go ahead and get going, but it can also remove the hassle of finding the right luggage when the time comes. If they talk about wanting to go on short weekend getaways or excursions, get them a sturdy duffle bag, backpack, or even carryon. If they’re a minimalist and want to take as little as possible wherever they go, those items work too.

Luggage, like handbags, clothing, and shoes, come in all sorts of materials, designs, and sizes. Determining what is best for your recipient will depend on what you already know about them. If they like to travel by plane to faraway lands, a hard shell sturdy luggage will likely be best. If they like short excursions within the country, maybe a softer set or duffle is enough.

My Suggestion:

The Samsonite brand. They have a huge selection of hard and soft luggage that comes in solid and print designs. They’re easy to maneuver and wear, and being of high quality, they last a long time, even after tons of rough handling.


Additional suggestions for sustainable gifts can be replenishing everyday essentials, such as towels and socks. Some of these items can be mixed with perishable gifts, such as toiletries and food in custom-made baskets or boxes. The possibilities are endless with this idea.

Also think about your recipient’s unique hobbies and interests. What might not be a universal sustainable gift can work for one individual. For example, if your recipient is a photographer, you could gift them with new lenses or upgrade their camera. Maybe you can get them studio lights if you notice that’s something they don’t have.

It all comes down to knowing your recipient, the pain points in their life, and what they could use that would make their life easier. Sometimes they may be lacking an item entirely and sometimes they may need a replacement or upgrade.

When you figure this out, gifting won’t be such a pain, even if your recipient is a minimalist. You’ll get them something that they will be impossible to toss or store away. They’ll appreciate that you were able to give them something they didn’t even realize they really needed or wanted.

The Most Ideal Gift For You


Crystal (author) from United States on November 25, 2018:

Thank you very much!

abdullahi yusuf on November 22, 2018:


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