Got your Christmas dinner sorted? Now it’s time to nail your presents, and we recommend showing support to our surroundings by buying local and sustainable Christmas gifts in Singapore.
Buying from homegrown businesses not only gives everyone an all-round a boost, but also puts you in the strong position of being known as ‘the best present buyer ever’.
You’ll get bonus points for local Christmas gifts featuring the new Made with Passion brand mark, a Singapore initiative which highlights a dedication to being environmentally friendly. From homeware to toys, tech accessories to fashion, here are the Singaporean designers, brands and retailers that deserve your love.
Founder of Made With Passion brand Esse, Alicia Tsi, quit her full time job when she became fed up with throwing out clothes that fell apart after a few washes. Today she creates top quality classics such as maxi dresses, paper bag pants and loungewear and focuses on longevity, quality and sustainability. Most of the fabrics Esse use are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton, Linen and Tencel, and the packaging is plastic-free. What’s more, as Alicia is based out of New Zealand, Esse partners with Trees That Count, a conservation charity in New Zealand to fund tree planting and help to restore the native forests.
Esse can be found at Perk by Kate, 134A Telok Ayer Street, 068600 and online at essethelabel.com
There’s so much more to Cat Socrates than cats (although they do feature heavily!). Amongst its feline-inspired stationery and books, there’s quirky homeware including cups, plates, cushions and tea towels; an excellent plant pot and vase selection; jewellery and scarves; men’s grooming; and art and craft items. Basically, Christmas gifts for everyone.
Cat Socrates has outlets in Tiong Bahru and Joo Chiat, as well as the online store
Nana & Bird
Set up by two fashion-loving best friends, Nana & Bird is your go-to for gorgeously feminine gifts such as jewellery, accessories, and stylish clothing. Alongside Nana & Bird, local designers such as Carrie K feature here, and a very sweet and super-cool range for kids by Tiny Cottons. Their home section hosts candles, essences and scents, and there’s also skincare products by RE:REARTH. A proper gem.
Nana & Bird, 1M Yong Siak Street, 168641
Singapore’s museums are the best places to shop for Singaporean brands. Local designers take centre stage at The Red Dot Design Museum where the museum’s store showcases everything from jewellery and scarves to homeware and toys. Cute tote bags and Singlish plates can be found at Marina Bay Sands’ Art Science Museum. For gifts with an arty edge, try Objectifs’ shop which is great for film and photography enthusiasts and stocks a cool variety of cult films and prints.
MellowOver is a darling online store bringing the serene and sweet-smelling life to Singapore. Go beyond the hustle and pick up one of their candles which originally hail from the US. P.F. Candle Co (we’re coveting the Campfire and Pumpkin Spice scents) and Brooklyn Candle Studio (Sunday Morning and Santorini get our vote) already have a cult following. New to the collection in December is the wonderfully named Boy Smells. All products from MellowOver are sustainable, non-toxic, vegan, paraben-free, phthalate-free, cruelty-free, paraffin free wax, and they each are shipped out in eco-friendly, sustainable packaging. Check out mellowover.com for Christmas promotions and give them a follow @mellowover
This mega-store on Orchard Road is going from strength to strength with over 60-homegrown designers, ranging from skincare to furniture and fashion available to buy at the 9,000 sq ft first floor. Its mix of emerging and established brands include The Animal Project, Ginlee, Art Social and Mase Lifestyle. One of our favourites is Onlewo, whose range of fabrics, furniture and homeware (see stool above) take inspiration from the iconic stories and symbols of the Lion City.
Design Orchard, 250 Orchard Road, 238905
For family members and friends who are planning to join more ANZA Sports activities in the new year, head to YOF Athletica. Another Made With Passion certified brand, they stock sportswear for the men and women in your life made from carefully constructed natural fibres that go through a manufacturing process beneficial to the environment. The breathable compression men’s pocket pants are a snip at $S39, the tanks a bargain and $49, but we’re drawn to these fancy-pants leggings (pictured) which we think will provide all the exercise motivation needed come January. yofathletica.com
The Paper Bunny
Stumped for what to buy somebody? Consider just giving them recycled wrapping paper as the offerings from The Paper Bunny are so darn pretty. What began as a homegrown brand selling imaginative stationary nine years ago, has developed into a bonafide lifestyle concept. They use FSC-certified paper for their envelopes, paper bags and notepads, and have expanded to selling everything from clothing to tech accessories (see laptop case above) and home necessities. epaperbunny.com