The 2019 Gift Guide is finally here and we are so happy to share it with you. This year I wanted to create an honest selection of items that I genuinely love and brands I want to support. These days there are so many 'sponsored posts' and 'ads' flying around, it can be hard to decide whose word to take. I have spent that last year focusing on purchasing from brands whose story and ethics I support, whether it be natural ingredients, eco friendly packaging, ethical sourcing or just straight up, no bulls*t Britishness.
So, I went about sending messages to my favourite brands, telling them about the idea, and gradually it grew into this lovely collaboration of like minded people. I was very kindly sent products from the brands that they felt best sums them up. I gathered up some of my creative friends, packed up a car, and we drove from Milan to the Swiss Alps, where we spent a weekend creating this guide.
A special thank you to everyone who got involved and for shaking things up a bit, proving that us creatives are making major changes to the way we use and buy products, for the better of others, ourselves and our planet.
Now, because chocolate is a diet staple of Christmas, I couldn't help but include not one, but two of my absolute favourites. Not only are they so gorgeous to look at and scrummy to eat, but they both pride themselves on sourcing their beans while supporting developing economies in Congo, Peru and Colombia.
GOODIO | Helsinki, Finland
Goodio was created on the principles of sustainability, well-being and transparency. It's a vision to bring Nordic-inspired flavors to a chocolate brand for the global consumer. They use organic, wild and primarily raw ingredients and source as many products as possible locally from Finland. To sweeten the bars, Goodio use Indonesian and Sri Lankan coconut palm sugar which has a low Glycemic Index and their raw cacao originates from organic, non-GMO farms in Peru, Ecuador, and Congo. Once the bars are removed from molds, they are packaged individually in a biodegradable wrapper.
COCO | Edinburgh, Scotland
Discount Code: BRH20 for a fabulous 20% discount
COCO is an artisan chocolatier based in Edinburgh, Scotland. They craft contemporary chocolate with the world’s finest cocoa, before enveloping them in original designs by independent artists.
COCO products are inspired by art and a desire to innovate with boundary-pushing flavours and contemporary design. Their chocolate is palm oil free, vegan and vegetarian, origin made, and every flavour is a canvas for artists and artisans alike: those who dare to innovate, inspire and challenge. Not only are these products totally scrumptious, made with the highest quality ingredients, but their packaging gives opportunity to up and coming artists.
It wouldn't be Christmas without a little sparkle and glitter here and there, or, if you're me, everywhere. Not only is sparkle a huge part of my interior decor this time of year, but its a total wardrobe staple. Whether it be in the form of a classic sparkly shoe, or some disco ball earrings, you'll never see me without some. My latest obsession are sparkly socks...combined with a killer pair of velvet heels, you can't go wrong.
ARTURO | Rome, Italy
Discount Code: GIFTGUIDE15
I discovered Arturo recently, since moving to Italy, and boy do they satisfy my need for glitter socks this time of year. Arturo was founded by two powerhouse female fashion designers with the moto “Never underestimate the power of a colorful ankle” in mind. I couldn't agree more ladies. Arturo’s socks are entirely made in Italy with the highest quality yarns and come in such a gorgeous array of colours, stripes and patterns. Oh and P.S they do amazing mens socks for those gentlemen in you life who like to spice up their suits with jazzy socks.
Booze for me, really is an occasional treat, but when I do enjoy a tipple, I love trying small batch, high quality products. Christmas is a great opportunity to get a little creative and experiment with seasonal cocktails. Gin is such a popular all year round spirit throughout Europe and so I had to include one of my absolute favourites, having discovered them last year.
Portofino Dry Gin | Italy
Discount Code: BRHPORTOFINOGIN for a 15% discount
This gorgeous small batch company was founded in homage to Klaus Pudel, a man who contributed to writing the history of Portofino, notably by saving the village from destruction during the war. Every single batch of their homemade, original recipe gin is made with 21 carefully and locally sourced ingredients, given life by the bright sun and fresh sea breeze of the Mediterranean coast. Juniper, lemon, lavender, rosemary, iris, marjoram, sage, among other typical products of the Italian Riviera are handpicked from their garden on the hills of Portofino.
Brands with an eco friendly focus, are growing in popularity as we all become so much more aware of where our things come from and their impact on our planet. More and more brands are doing their part by producing products with either minimal impact on the planet or replace things that do harm our lovely home. Plus they're totally gorgeous, so theres really no excuse!
BEEutiful Wraps | Hampshire, England
The Beeswax Wraps are made from high quality 100% cotton, beeswax, tree resin and jojoba oil and are a cling film alternative. The beeswax comes from the South coast of England from bees that have mainly fed on gorgeous forest wildflower and gorse blossom with an amazing colour and scent. They are all natural products that will return to the earth when you have finished with them. In fact, you can put them on the compost or use as firelighters for log burners or BBQs. Their packaging is also totally recyclable too.
ARC Lore | Hampshire, England
Started by 4 friends based in the UK, with links to Turkey, ARC Lore creates responsibly made organic cotton towels. They are made from organic cotton and dyes as certified by Global Organic Textile Standard ("GOTS"), the highest internationally recognised standard on the production of cotton. GOTS has strict criteria to assess the environmental and social impacts of cotton farming and production. They have a gorgeous selection of sizes and patterns in their towels as well as some beautifully luxurious blankets.
We all love a little luxury and Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to buy something special for the people who might not think to buy it for themselves. Theres nothing better than starting the new year off with a gorgeous body care set to treat yourself with, bringing the smell and feel of the spa to the comfort of your home. Finding something a little different, with a romantic story, is always a great way to make a spin on a classic Christmas favourite.
Les Bains Guerbois | Paris, France
Discount Code: 50% off body care
In 1978 the establishment, renamed Les Bains Douches, became one of the most famous nightclubs in the world. In 2015, it was transformed into a 5-star boutique hotel and revived its club and Spa along the way. 2016 saw Jean-Pierre Marois, the heir of the place, reinvented Les Bains Guerbois by launching a first signature Cologne and a perfumed candle. Each fragrance is an olfactive journey to a specific year and story of its rich past of more than 130 years. Not only are their products the epitome of luxurious, they're paraben-free, enriched with essential oils and blended with unique ingredients such as brown algae, vitamin c, spirulina, omega 6 and french salts.
The Winter weather often plays havoc with our skin. With all the hustle and bustle of wrapping up work and getting stuck into Christmas activities, it's so easy to forget to take special care of our skin. Not only does the cold weather seriously disagree with it, but our diet is different, we're indulging in ways we wouldn't normally, and so with all this change, combined with very little vitamin D from our long lost friend 'the sun', some gorgeous skincare products are always the way to go.
Beauty Kitchen | England
Christmas Offer: Beauty Kitchen are kindly giving a £20 gift when you spend £40 or over
Beauty Kitchen was founded by sustainability expert, chemist and herbal botanist, Jo. Her in-depth knowledge and years of experience puts them at the forefront of building the most sustainable beauty products in the world. They are on an important mission to create the most effective, natural and products anywhere. The Abyssinian Oil collection is supercharged with sustainably-sourced plant seed oils for ageless, beautiful skin. It provides instant relief to make skin feel plump, hydrated and balanced for a smooth, healthy complexion. Beauty Kitchen is personally a special brand to me, as it was the first I used when I threw away all my skincare items last year to start again with only natural clean products.
This is an interesting one, and I think a very important one that we often forget to do. Christmas sees us often scrabbling to find those final presents and sometimes we end up buying things for the sake of giving a gift. Living in the entrepreneurial and creative world we do, we all know a friend or loved one who has a small company or brand of their own. Buying from them is not only a great way to find a gift but is also such a lovely way to show someone you support their venture.
Lina Konopassevich | Moscow Russia
Discount Code: BRH15 for a 15% discount
Lina has been a cherished friend, ever since we met on an Italian language course in Milan. She's always had such an effortless sense of style and her 'wearable art' is just so perfectly Lina. She has an education in Fashion and a natural eye for quirky and creative expression. She creates these stunning modern twists on Picasso inspired shapes that are so enchanting and beautiful. She created a limited edition collection for this gift guide inspired by the Swiss Alps and can put together bespoke designs based off of a brief.
That wraps up our 2019 Gift Guide.
Lots of love and Merry Christmas xo