Eco-Friendly & Independent Creations: Holiday Gifts that Feel Good to Give.

Via on Dec 10, 2010

The consumer buzz around the Holidays always leaves me feeling half-titillated, half-nauseated.

I want to give my friends and family something special to show them how blessed I feel to have them in my life, but I can’t quite bear the thought of contributing to mass-produced junk companies, and I definitely can’t get within 100 feet of a mall in December.

So what’s the solution? Support one of the many eco-minded, local and independent artisans who are making lovely (and affordable) gifts this holiday season.

Ok, Ok. Disclaimer: I am one of those indie artists, and while this may just be a big ole marketing plug, it is also a call for us to help change the way we buy…starting with this, the biggest gift-giving season of the year.

We know you are all out there spending ungodly amounts of money on eggnog lattes and plastic doo-hicky stocking stuffers, so why not spread a little of that dinero amongst those who are hand making precious and beautiful gifts and keep your money circulating in local communities?  (It really does make ALL the difference to us…and we will love you for it!)

I promise the gift recipients will be psyched when they open their unique handmade delights, and your uber-cool-and-cultured street cred’ will skyrocket. But where do you start? Try Etsy, check your local newspaper for holiday craft bazaars, or be sure to support locally owned boutiques who feature independent artists and designers.

This year, I am making lots of fun new holiday eco-gifts for my Etsy site! My one-of handmade earrings, headbands, belts and scarves ($15-$40), are all made from fabric scraps from my fashion projects and are perfect for those fashionable ladies in your life. I am also offering small organic abstract paintings ($90-250), prints on recycled paper ($20) and holiday greeting cards!

Here are a few more  cool indie shopping ideas that I LOVE from some of my favorite artists:

••• For the glamorous and eco-conscious woman on your list, look to Zansus Purses ($58), handmade from discarded fabric remnants and inspired by images from nature! I seriously want one!






••• Gorgeous little bird paintings by the ever-inspiring painter Erin Donnelly are a wonderfully sweet gift for any bird-loving home, and now you can find them all on her Etsy site! ($50-300)





••• Every urban fashionista needs a stylish Nicacelly hoodie or reversible quilted jacket ($50-87) this winter…especially knowing that each one is sustainably produced and independently designed and on sale online at The Giant Peach.






••• Amazing little “Awesomeblage” sculptures ($50-300) by Rosemarie Hughes-Croucher are made from discarded objects, and they are as delightful as they are curious. This original art is sure to impress the lover of oddities (like me!) in your life.

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About Rachel Znerold

Growing up in the Colorado countryside, Rachel Znerold knew early on that she was different…she saw dazzling beauty in decomposing logs and expressed her individuality with wild drawings on her sneakers. Now, as a prolific painter, eco-fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel makes a life out of making art. With a degree in Fine Art and Advertising from The University of Colorado in Boulder, Rachel began to pursue her art career full time. Aiming to share her awe of the world and the art of the everyday, she has taught painting, fashion design, and performance at a variety of schools, museums, and non-profits. Rachel has been commissioned to paint murals in Colorado, New Zealand and Mexico, and eventually landed in San Francisco, becoming a part of the Mission District’s vibrant art scene. Rachel believes art is instrumental in building strong community and a culture of social activism.


7 Responses to “Eco-Friendly & Independent Creations: Holiday Gifts that Feel Good to Give.”

  1. naz says:

    thanks Rachel for incldsing Zansus. Loved your cityscape painting. Hope to see more of you.

  2. Ellen Agger says:

    Great suggestions! For those who love handwoven textiles, drop by TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles’ site for gorgeous organic silkscarves colored with natural dyes. Created by women’s weaviG groups in rural Thailand and Laos. Fairly traded too.

  3. Thanks Ellen! The textiles sound beautiful:-) I love companies that support indigenous women artisans! Very cool.

  4. Joe Mohr says:

    Great post, Rachel. As an artist attempting to sell organic bike-awareness t-shirts–with 3 VERY cool :) designs –i hope people follow ur suggestions above.
    btw, I LOVE your works of art!

  5. So awesome, Joe! Thanks for sharing! Everyone- PLEASE feel free to share your fave indie products here! I always love finding out about great new options…

  6. soulrole says:

    I agree with you 100%!With four kids each year I feel more and more pressure to buy and consume and it drives me crazy!!and since you said it is ok to share I will shamelessly promote my sustainable handcrafted business _Soul Role-

  7. […] tell them “It’s not that some members of your family are cheap, they’re just ‘really green’ and believe in recycling their own very personal […]

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