Sustainable Client Gift Guide
It feels like just a few months since we last watched The Holiday, and yet here we are. The holiday season (and the Holiday season) is, inexplicably, here again. And with that comes the dream of finding the perfect client gift. Every year it comes down to “do we just order more logo mugs”? Or maybe, like P&Co, you let the clock run out and just send a nice handwritten note instead. Which you rush ordered a few days before on Moo.com.
This year we’re focused on gifts with a little more sustainability that are unique, gorgeous and are things we’d actually want. If you’re facing a slightly smaller budget for client gifts this year, worry not: we’ve always found something small but well-chosen goes a long way towards solidifying client relationships and ensuring you’re front-of-mind as the new year approaches.
Gift-giving is a research-approved way to deepen those relationships that are so critical to business success. According to one study, “80% of respondents said that gifting had improved employee and/or client relationships”, primarily because the recipient felt valued. The result? A substantial increase in customer loyalty and employee retention. You might just find it’s worth the investment.
If you’re looking for unique and sustainable corporate gifting ideas, here’s our roundup of the best of the bunch, from small businesses with passionate founders.
Kankan’s canned soap
Kankan produces all-natural soap and body wash packaged in cans, meaning it’s good for you and for the planet. And before you’re bombarded with memories of your grandpa gifting you an overpowering bar of soap, Kankan is different: their products look gorgeous on your shelf. You can also get refills delivered to your gift recipient's door—so it’s literally the gift that keeps on giving (sorry, we had to). Kankan’s products have been featured in the likes of the Guardian, GQ and Harper’s Bazaar, and starter kits include a soap or body wash, beautiful glass bottle and a sustainable sponge. Once the recipient has run out of their Kankan soap, they can simply order another can (or three) and decant it into their reusable glass bottle.
Sculpd’s DIY kits
There’s nothing like getting in touch with your creative side over the holidays, and these pottery and painting kits are relaxing and fun. According to Sculpd themselves, getting creative with paint and clay actually gives us a natural high, so it’s the perfect alternative to pouring yet another glass of wine if the kids or extended family have you at the end of your tether… We also love their candle-making kits, ideal for brightening up those dark, dark nights. Is it just us, or does spring feel a really long way away?
Leafage Terrarium Kits
A gift that combines DIY and plants? Yes please. Meet Leafage, the London-based company offering corporate terrarium-assembling workshops loved by the likes of Meta, Spotify and Google. We’re particularly fond of the ‘Lil Bro’, a small desert terrarium that comes in a gorgeous eco glass vase. The kit contains everything you’ll need to build your micro-desert, from pebbles and reindeer moss (seasonal, right?), to a Succulent Terrarium Care Guide.
Studio Dine’s candle holders
Candles might be filed under the ‘typical’ client gift, but you can’t go wrong with these beautiful holders from female-founded small business Studio Dine. Mix-and-match for the more creative of your clients, and opt for a matching pair for those who are more traditional. You can never have too many candleholders, so this really is a gift that can’t go wrong.
Hackney Herbals’ blends
This is tea with a difference. Hackney Herbal is a social enterprise that originated “from a desire to create more value out of the herbs that were being grown in private, public and community gardens.” Profits from the sale of Hackney Herbal tea blends goes towards funding free events for the London borough of Hackney’s local community—particularly key around the holidays when parents are looking for ways of keeping little ones entertained. Their tea tastes great, so why not gift a Rest and De-stress blend to clients in need of a little RnR before 2023 hits us?
Kera Vegan Candles
Kera is a vegan candle company founded in 2019 by Anu, an Indian-born Londoner with a slight obsession with candles. Inspired by her childhood spent in Kerala, India, the candles are based on traditional Indian scents and ingredients and use vegan-friendly soy wax.
Washed Up Cards
Turn garbage into an ideal client gift that cleans up beaches. Well, you don’t have to, but Flora, founder of Washed Up Cards, will! She makes greetings cards using plastic she finds washed up on the River Thames. The company also offers beach cleans, workshops and custom designs.
We love Calm Cocoa, an innovative small business combining hot chocolate and mindfulness. Calm Cocoa encourages us to see the experience of drinking a mug of hot chocolate as an opportunity to be mindful during a busy day—not that we needed an extra incentive. Wrapped in compostable, recyclable packaging, Calm Cocoa’s ingredients are sourced from ethical chocolate makers, making this the perfect guilt-free treat. The Relaxing Rocky collection makes a particularly good gift: it contains a slack of vegan Rocky Road, vegan marshmallow toppings, and a ‘Little Zine of Calm’ to keep you entertained while you sip.
KANEO Reusable Holiday Crackers
Talk about sustainability. Here’s a waste-reducing gift your clients will re-use (or maybe you will!) year after year. No more shredded paper and no more fortune telling fish. Fill them with whatever gifts you like and choose a timeless pattern. They’re easy to stuff and you can order as many replacement snaps as you like so every holiday dinner goes off with a ‘bang.’
Bonus: Best for Digital Gifting
Note from Dana: I received one once from the great folks at MURAL and it was really a nice touch to be able to choose NGOs to support based on my values and concerns. The charities are vetted and they’re really specific about the direct impact of your donation (e.g. 1 preemie incubator purchased or 20 meals delivered). I know gift cards feel kind of impersonal but this was a gift I really appreciated and have now given myself so many times over.
And if you don’t have any budget…
Finally, for businesses that don’t have the budget for corporate gifting this year, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. For local clients, if you’re a whizz in the kitchen, consider whipping up a batch of cookies or a loaf of homemade bread for a personalised holiday treat. Pop them in a nice box or a paper bag, tie a festive ribbon, and you’re good to go. You can’t go wrong with a thoughtful handwritten card, either. Pen a message that’s a little more exciting than the standard “happy holidays”, and your client will remember the gesture well into the new year.