Online shopping

Let’s get ethical: Buy your upcycled Christmas gifts from these online shops

Let’s get ethical: Buy your upcycled Christmas gifts from these online shops
From leather-like belts made of old rubber tires, to vintage roller skate table lamps, these gift ideas are as conscientious as they are cool!

If you’re the type who gets squeamish at the thought of buying a ton of random, wasteful doodads for Christmas, you’re in luck. More and more local enterprises have focused on making products upcycled from all kinds of trash and old materials, from plastic bottles to rubber tires.

Here are several shops on Instagram that offer more ethically conscientious products perfect for your loved ones!

Plastics by Manila Automat

This plastic-fantastic startup studio takes used plastic containers and transforms them into accessories and homeware with very cool marble-like swirls and flecks. Clip on their geometric hair barrettes, serve soups and salads in their generous bowls, or even keep time with their fun, minimalist clocks.

Vitrum Bottles

For the kooky, Tim Burton-esque people in your life, Vitrum Bottles’ unusual lamps make for great presents. Clearly one-of-a-kind, each piece is a Frankenstein’s Monster of repurposed junk, melding things like vintage cameras, steel pipes, cassette tapes, and even classic roller skates into a working lamp for your bedside table or study desk.

Junk Not Concept Store

An offshoot of Junk Not, an enterprise that itself upcycles plastic waste into furniture, this concept store promotes products from fellow upcyclers from around the country, making for a wide variety of fascinating products to choose from. Get a belt fashioned from an old rubber tire for your dad, then grab a necklace made of old Nespresso pods for your mom, then maybe treat yourself to an adorable bean bag made of fabric waste!

Lumago Designs

For your fasyon titas and other divas in your life, these accessories made of very tightly wound recycled paper are a fabulous choice. Brightly colored and uber chunky, these pieces definitely make a statement. (They even have upcycled rosaries for the environmentally conscious Catholic tita sub-category.)


Denim lovers will totally go for Ucycle’s creations made from deadstock fabric – surplus or overstock fabric just wasting away in textile factories. You can have them custom-make something for you too using clothes you no longer wear! Have a chic patchwork apron made if you’re often in the kitchen, or get a button-down polo for work that is well-tailored and looks brand-new!

And Again

Katsa flour sacks have become the “it” eco-conscious fabric in recent years, but not all shops make pieces that look well-made and fashion-forward. And Again is one of the better stores for getting your flour power on, with polos and kimonos that fit the body well. They even have kid’s sizes!

Any of these one-of-a-kind pieces catch your eye? –