Looking to give more meaningful presents this Christmas?
This guide is filled with our favourite sustainable and socially responsible gift ideas from local companies! Compiled by the Yova Impact Investing team, it contains items suitable for loved ones of all ages.
Important note: Yova receives no money in exchange for recommending these companies, nor do we get a kick-back when you click on the links. These are simply businesses that we love.
The couple Annika and Raphel have made their dream come true with the online shop Einfachweniger.ch to offer good-looking, reusable products made from sustainable raw materials.
It all started with beeswax cloths in 2017 – now conscious and sustainable shoppers will find numerous gift ideas in the shop, such as a metal lunch box, a DIY set to make your own environmentally friendly detergents, or a wooden toothbrush! Einfach Weniger is also a member of Zero Waste Switzerland.
Wildbiene + Partner
As a result of urban sprawl and agricultural intensification, the habitats of bees have become increasingly scarce, leaving around half of all wild bee species in Switzerland endangered. Wildbiene + Partner tries to counteract this trend by selling handmade BeeHomes – a beautiful gift idea for anyone who cares about biodiversity.
With a BeeHome unit, you actively help Switzerland’s bee population to safeguard their all-important pollination process. BeeHome delivers a starter population in spring and takes the bees back for hibernation in autumn. You can watch the wild bees hatch, diligently collect pollen and take care of their offspring. The BeeHomes can be placed in the city or in the country: the peaceful and harmless animals feel at home everywhere!
Crowd Container‘s vision is more diversity instead of monoculture. The young Swiss company has its own direct trade channels and, as a result, creates more value for small farmers and price transparency for consumers and supports healthy soils and climate-friendly cultivation methods. On their online marketplace, you can find everything from natural wine to Amazon coffee. Or why don’t you give away a gift voucher?
Social Fabric is a community-based organisation that gives refugees meaningful work. At its atelier in Zurich, the organisation produces sustainable textile products with a positive social impact and a small ecological footprint. The variety of products includes sweaters, bags, laptop cases, and more – great gifts for anyone passionate about social progress. Our tip: the scarves for these cold winter days!
Need a gift for a vegan friend? ‘the sage’ is the place for you! In this Swiss online shop, you will find great gifts for the kitchen, bathroom and more. All products are suitable for vegans and people who follow a conscious lifestyle. The founder herself became vegan a few years ago and strives for a world free of animal suffering and waste. At the sage, you will find 100% vegan items, everyday items for the zero-waste lifestyle, as well as pick-me-ups for the soul.
myClimate is an international initiative with Swiss roots. Its offer for CO₂ offsetting is one of the best in the world. With the myClimate flight calculator, for example, you can calculate the CO₂ footprint of your flight and offset it through climate protection projects that reduce emissions. As a gift idea, you can also select projects that directly support small farmers, families and communities – for example, an efficient cookstove for women in Kenya.
GOT BAG is a small start-up with a big vision. It wants to reduce the estimated 269,000 tons of plastic currently circulating in our oceans by creating robust, waterproof bags that last. GOT BAG works with a growing network of fishermen who pull plastic from the depths of the ocean. The plastic is collected in their nets and then processed into high-quality yarn, which is used to make the fabrics for their backpacks. Undoubtedly a perfect gift for all ocean-lovers!
Nikin is a young Swiss fashion label from the canton of Aargau. The company uses sustainable and fair fashion to counteract deforestation around the world. For every product sold, a tree is planted in a place where forests have disappeared due to reasons such as agriculture, industry, fire and drought. A gift from Nikin is therefore more than just a piece of clothing – it’s a tree being planted in their name and an opportunity to return something to Mother Nature.
Smart Way to Start
Not only are the children’s books of Smart Way to Start entertaining and beautiful to look at, they also have a special aim: educating children about money, equality, and sustainability. For the author and financial expert Mara Catherine Harvey, empowering children, and girls especially, to feel confident talking about money is a way to tackle gender pay gaps at their root causes. Currently, there are books on five different topics available, from the Sustainable Development Goals to saving money.
What is Christmas without chocolate? Especially if it is connected to a good cause, like the chocolate by the Lausanne startup Cadesio. Each of their nine different bars (with extravagant flavours such as apple cinnamon!) is dedicated to a different non-profit organization. Do you want to support myClimate or an association fighting for the rights of Alzheimer’s patients? It’s your choice!
Did you know that over 50% of cut flowers in Switzerland are imported? This of course heavily affects their carbon footprint. Arui offers a more sustainable alternative: beautiful dried flower bouquets grown by organic farmers right here in Switzerland. Not only are they more climate-friendly, they also stay beautiful over the course of months! A perfect, long-lasting gift for all lovers of flowers.
The Zürich fair fashion startup Elephbo creates clothes and accessories out of a special material: recycled cement bags from Cambodia. This gift is not only unique, but you can also be sure that all employees who helped produce it worked under safe conditions and were paid fairly for their work. On top of this, all CO₂ emitted is offset by a drinking water project in Cambodia! So how about a chic pair of sneakers or a stylish backpack?
Did you know that Chimpy’s rentable pre-charged power banks are always solar powered? If you want to charge your phone with solar power, you can rent a Chimpy power bank – or get a Chimpy “Solarstromkarte”. This special card doesn’t just allow you to rent 12 Chimpy power banks for free, it also lets you charge you phone with solar electricity 365 times at home! A perfect gift for anyone who wants to use their phone more sustainably.
Do you know someone who loves discovering new restaurants, shops and food trucks or who pursues a vegetarian lifestyle? Then this guide is just the right gift! With the VegiPass you receive a one-time discount of 50 percent for two vegetarian or vegan meals at over 110 participating eateries. The VegiPass is valid throughout Switzerland, but particularly focussed on the cities of Zürich, Bern, Basel, Lucerne, Fribourg, Lausanne and Geneva.
Tree a day
Every minute, 27 football fields of forests are lost. Yet, trees are more important than ever to reverse the effects of climate change. Tree a day is a newly founded Swiss startup that offers a bamboo toothbrush subscription service. Not only does this reduce plastic waste, the company also plants one tree every single day per subscription! Every morning when you brush your teeth, you know that one more tree is being planted in the world because of you. Subscriptions can be bought for a single person or even families – the perfect gift for kids or adults!