Sustainable gifts keep on giving – 6 tips for choosing a gift made to last

Winter celebrations often include presenting loved ones with gifts. A non-material gift, such as a promise to start a new hobby together or cooking a good meal with a side of bad jokes, is just as pleasant a surprise for most as items – but if you feel like wrapping up something under the tree, choose something evergreen.

An image featuring two people sitting at a table. The decor and mood are laid-back but have a holiday-feel.
The best gifts are chosen with durability and versatility in mind. Have a look at Finnish Design Shop's inspirational holiday gift ideas and find that special gift that will keep on giving.

1. No nonsense

Disposable goods and closet fillers are a burden on both the environment and the storage space of the recipient, and they hardly bring joy beyond the holidays. Choose high-quality utility products that elevate everyday life, such as Forgo's innovative hand wash starter kit or Hetkinen's organic laundry vinegar

The gift of garment care is also a thoughtful option: wrap up a stylish clothes brush or a clever fabric shaver and let your loved ones enjoy their favorite garments for years to come.

Gifts for loved ones >

An image featuring Artek's Aalto chair 69 in a petrol shade and an Ultima Thule bowl on a table.
Did you know that Artek's Aalto chairs are made in Turku, Finland? Or that the Ultima Thule series – drawing inspiration from Lapland and its unique nature – is created by skilled glassblowers in Hämeenlinna, Finland?

2. Timeless treasures

It is always worth investing in quality, as we obviously hope that our gift will be one to remember. However, choosing high-quality products does not necessarily mean you have to go breaking into the emergency piggy bank – a smaller budget also allows you to choose more responsibly. 

Fill your basket with handmade items and natural materials: with good care, the products can last a lifetime. At Finnish Design Shop you'll find a carefully curated collection of authentic high-quality designs.

Gifts from Finland >

A person holding a large gift wrapped in Marimekko's Unikko fabric.
Instead of buying wrapping paper that'll most likely end up in the bin, make the wrap a part of the gift! This year, try replacing paper with fabric: a large napkin or a thin linen kitchen towel can be put to use as stunning gift wraps for small items.

3. It's a wrap for wrapping paper

Wrapping papers are indeed beautiful to look at, but their life cycle is quite short. However, more sustainable gift wraps are easy to create without compromising on style: for example, you can wrap the gift in reusable fabric, furoshiki style. Take a look at our fun tips for making the wrapping a part of the gift.

Gifts for the color lover >

An image featuring Paavo Tynell's 5321 table lamp also known as the Shell and Marimekko's Pieni Koppa serving dish in blue, as part of the living room decor.
At Franckly you can find gems from currents to classics to down-right vintage treasures.

4. Choose a pre-loved item

Let the good times roll: high-quality and characterful pre-owned items are the perfect feel-good gifts! Franckly, the marketplace for second-hand design, is your go-to address when looking for pre-loved gift items – at Franckly you’ll find both modern classics from Marimekko and vintage gems such as Paavo Tynell's coveted luminaires. You can also sell your own design treasures if you no longer have use for them.

Gifts at Franckly >

An image featuring two people sitting on a green sofa, one holding an orange Aalto stool and the other a Type 75 Mini Desk lamp from Anglepoise.
Classics are classics for a reason: they will maintain their timeless appeal from one generation to the next. Artek's Aalto stool was originally designed in 1933 and the Type 75 Mini Desk lamp by Anglepoise in the 70s.

5. Evergreen design never goes out of style

Even if trending colors and hit items make your glasses fog up, the same trends might not be everyone's proverbial cup of tea. Timeless design and a harmonious color palette won't lose their appeal even as decades and fads come and go.

Toned-down and easy-to-combine products are perfect for a more minimalist design enthusiast – for a maximalist, you might want to go all in and choose something long-lasting but lavish.

Gifts for the minimalist >

An image featuring someone holding a blue envelope with "Finnish Design Shop" written on it in white.
You can create a wishlist of your most wanted items at Finnish Design Shop and manifest it to the universe – or simply share it with all your secret Santas!

6. Freedom to choose

You can also always just go ahead and ask – maybe even we adults should start writing wishlists and letters before the holidays? Your loved ones might have a curated tableware collection, for example, to which thoughtful additions are guaranteed to bring joy, or maybe a certain object of desire that they themselves haven't been able to purchase yet.

An electronic gift card is also an excellent choice when you want to make sure that you guess correctly – a gift card gives the recipient the possibility to choose something they’ll love for a long time.

Finnish Design Shop's eGift Card >
Create a wishlist at Finnish Design Shop >

Pre-loved gift ideas at Franckly 

Aalto stool E60
Taika mug
Aalto serving tray
Dyyni rug
Pienet Kivet blanket
Birds by Toikka decoration set
Fructus plate
Tsaikka mug
Kay Bojesen
Wooden elephant
Christmas plate 1978–1989
90 Mini Mini desk lamp
Magazine rack

See also:

More gift ideas >
All items at Finnish Design Shop >
Read more about Finnish Design Shop's work on sustainability >

Text: Mira Ahola Images: Juho Huttunen

The article was updated on 15 February, 2024.

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