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Lifestyle

So, Christmas: Here Are Unique Gift Ideas For That Eco-Conscious Friend

It's 2019 - so wake up to the idea that Christmas gift giving doesn't always have to involve buying something. We teach you how.
Wool jacket, Moschino, www.avintagetale.com
Shopping vintage is a great way to both satisfy that itch to buy and make use of already existing resources. A Vintage Tale is one of our go-to specialists when in need of real sartorial treasures from the past. At this cozy joint located in Joo Chiat, you’ll find one of the most well-curated selection of designer threads (including eveningwear for fancier occasions) dating back to the ’50s that include names like Moschino, Missoni, Valentino and Gucci. Prices range generally from $75 – $300 (for apparel). To find out more about A Vintage Tale, head here. Ceramic vase, $260, Ingrid Attenberg, www.nodenhome.com
If you’re after something more home-oriented, there are many options available in Singapore for the vintage/second-hand lover – one of my own personal favourites is Noden, which specialises in clean-cut mid-century Scandinavian pieces, such as this lovely ’60s Ingrid Atterberg vase. PS. there are plenty of more affordable options as well. New York Times gift subscription, starting from US$15 (for three months), www.newyorktimes.com
Whether you’re in the media business or not, a good, trustworthy source of information remains vital. Subscriptions to legacy names such as Washington Post and the New York Times have increased since controversial figures like Donald Trump got elected – and we take that as a positive sign that people want to keep informed. Besides which, at US$15 for a basic 3 months digital subscription, that translates to S$20 – hardly breaking the bank. A year’s digital subscription comes at US$50 (S$68).   For the fashion folks out there, perhaps a subscription to the Business of Fashion? Let’s hope our boss sees this.   Image: New York Times screenshot The Projector Fan Club Membership for 1 Year at $60
Got a cinephile friend? Then they’ll surely appreciate this gift of a membership at The Projector – $60 gets you savings on every booking and four free, redeemable tickets to boot, along other goodies. And with award season kicking off (the annual run-up to the Oscars), this makes for a great clutter-free gift.   That said, if arthouse and independent films are not your thing, you could also opt for gift cards with mainstream institutions such as Golden Village et al. Pictured above: French director Celine Sciamma’s highly-raved-about period drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which will open soon in theatres here. Metal water bottle, $120, Prada
Say you’re someone who drinks a lot of coffee – that’s a lot of disposable cups a year. Get one good bottle and – key message here – stick with it. Make that purchase count, in other words.   There are plenty of brands that make reusable coffee cups and water bottles these days, but one of the most stylish right now is Prada’s limited edition version, currently on sale at their Dreamscape pop-up store at Paragon till December 27. We’ve heard that it’s moving really fast, so you’ll want to check it out quick. Cook a meal - prices variable
While gifting something non-perishable is always nice (that is, if the person actually likes the gift), you can show that you care via other ways, such as giving your time – which might arguably be more precious.   That said, we do recognise that not everyone can or is able to whip up a meal, so alternatively, treat a loved one to environmentally-responsible restaurants such as Kausmo, the new-ish sustainability-focused joint from the Les Amis Group that emphasises on using ingredients that may not be so aesthetically pleasing for their dishes.   Less aesthetically pleasing (i.e. blemished) produce are usually deemed to be unfit for sale at supermarkets and result in huge food wastage. Food wastage is a huge problem especially in Singapore FYI – 763 million kg of food wastage was generated in Singapore last year – and how a base ingredient looks does not necessarily affect the most important component – its taste.   Illustrative photo: Courtesy of photographer and food stylist Dionna Lee (@tofurier) Donate to a good cause/charity in their name
Why not opt for something really different this Christmas instead of battling the crowds doing their gift shopping? If you’re at a loss of which cause and charity to donate to, get yourself educated first, advises United Nations Environment ambassador and celebrity activist Nadya Hutagalung, who we recently spoke to in our December 2019 issue.   “The most important thing that you can do is to educate yourself,” she says. “For example, look at the UN’s sustainable development goals and see which one resonates with you most, then find organisations that address those issues. What we can do as humans is to feel empowered that we can contribute.”   In other words, do your research first before supporting/donating a charity/cause.