23 Gifts For Minimalists: When Less Is So Much More
Just what are the best minimalist gifts for your minimalism-embracing loved one?
Practical and purposeful minimalist gifts, of course!
Read: not the stuff that collects dust.
Many of us are now turning toward minimalism or conscious consumerism (an integral part of sustainable living) as the answer to our stuff-saturated culture.
This isn’t a bad thing—it’s just tricky from a gift-giving perspective.
Fortunately, the possibilities of gifts for minimalists are not only abundant, but are far less wasteful and impactful than traditional gifts.
They require a little more thought and a little less last-minute dash to the mall.
So, in the spirit of giving intentional gifts, we’ve got a simple list of minimalist gift ideas and experiences that could bring maximum joy for a mindful giftee.
If you’re looking specifically for something for a special man in your life, also try our guide on minimalist gifts for him.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a brand link below. Learn more here.
The Best Gifts For Minimalists
1. Good Old Fashioned T-Shirts
Who doesn’t need a t-shirt?
These basic, versatile pieces of clothing are practically the Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of the garment world—making a classic eco friendly t-shirt just the thing for that minimalist in your life.
Ocean-loving Outerknown has a men’s and women’s Sojourn Tee that is made with 100% GOTS-certified organic and super soft Peruvian Pima cotton.
Long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and tank options are available—all of which support 390 Peruvian farmers and workers with Fair Labor standards.
If someone would absolutely love bright splashes of color over boho-beachy hues, Colorful Standard might be more up their alley.
Their Organic Unisex T-Shirts come in 50 environmentally friendly, garment dyed, OEKO-TEX certified colors, are ethically made in Portugal, and support all-purpose activity centers in the Democtratic Republic of Congo.
Cover your holiday bases by covering your (minimalist) loved one’s bottom.
The best gifts for minimalists, after all, are those that are necessary. Save for the nudists, undies are pretty darn essential.
Bonus points when you show you’ve got their back (and butt) by buying from ethical underwear brands that are also out to keep landfill waste to a minimum.
You can help someone clear out their top drawer of gifts of Christmas past with Knickey, one of the best places to recycle old underwear.
Their women’s Starter Set can be filled with low- and high-rise thongs, bikinis, briefs, and hipsters, all made with 95% Fairtrade, GOTS-certified organic cotton (5% elastane) and free of toxins and irritants.
We may have fallen first for their sustainable sneakers, but Climate Neutral Certified Allbirds is a hoot of a place to turn to for minimalist undies, too.
Ticking all the boxes, their men’s boxers and briefs and women’s briefs, boyshorts, and thongs are made with Trino®, a breathable and moisture-wicking blend of TENCEL lyocell, merino wool, and some spandex for stretch.
3. Minimalist Bag
While many great eco-friendly handbags and purses exist, they’re often loud rather than low-key.
But some brands are ready to hand(bag) us something more sustainably simplistic.
Certified B Corp Parker Clay, for example, combines built-to-last Ethiopian full-grain leather (sourced as a byproduct) with high-quality brass in their Napa Handbag.
Buying this for your favorite family member contributes 5 hours of employment to PC’s Ethiopian team, which supports at-risk women with above-living wages, paid time off, health care, and more.
For men, they’ve got the Abera Billfold Wallet—a great minimalist gift for a guy who just needs somewhere to stash cash and credit cards.
Don’t be a gift giver who’s ignorant of the recipient’s values. If animal-based leather is a no-go, Carry Courage is a braver option.
For a vegan, minimalist gift we’d recommend the NOMAD Messenger Bag, which is made (by hand) with 100% animal-free cork fabric and organic cotton.
4. Stylishly Minimalist Sunglasses
Everyone needs a good pair of sunnies. It’s not just good style sense, but good for your eyes, too.
So, if you know your giftee could use some sunglasses (we all have a friend who has a habit of breaking or losing them), there are a few brands out there not only making sustainable sunglasses, but sleek, minimalist ones as well.
In need of a perfect gift for a man always on the go?
Wrap up a pair of water/sweat-resistant Federal Wood sunglasses from Proof. They’re phthalate-free and made from sustainably sourced wood.
As for minimalist gifts for her, there’s the Ada Acetate, which is made from cotton-based acetate and sustainable wood. Like all other Proof pairs, this form of UVA/UVB protection plants 5 trees in Africa.
Think the last thing your minimalist friend wants is trash? Think again.
Sunski’s Baia sunglasses for gals and guys are made with recycled plastic sourced from US landfills.
They come with a forever warranty, too!
5. Minimalist Office Supplies
Eco-friendly schools supplies aren’t just en vogue during the back-to-school rush.
Whether your gift recipient is 15 or 51, there’s a good chance stationary supplies could be a top contender for the most useful minimalist gift on this list, think: eco-friendly journals.
Doubling as affordable gifts for minimalists too, PLM Studios has Seed Notebooks that are made with recycled paper and have a cover that can be planted to grow pollinator-friendly wildflowers.
Also found on Etsy, Making Shavingz owner Adam fells and processes his own northern Wisconsin trees to transform them into Handmade Wood Fountain Pens.
If you’re in need of minimalist birthday gifts for someone who can never remember birthdays, Worthwhile Paper’s Recycled Paper Planner may be the minimalist gift that keeps on giving (especially because the paper mill operates on 100% hydropower).
Ah, the gift of whole libraries in a palm-sized package – what could be better than that?
eBooks are some of the most perfect gifts for minimalists because they provide hours of entertainment and insight, at absolutely no cost to living space!
Unlike physical books, there’s also very little risk they’ll end up in a landfill (though it is important we consider how to dispose of electronics at the end of their life).
You can find ebooks on a variety of sites and apps such as Amazon Kindle and Apple Books.
Since most minimalists tend to be advocates of a more sustainable world, check out our article showcasing the best books on sustainability and books on zero waste for some ideas to get you started.
What’s a more useful travel gift for minimalists than a backpack?
The Solgaard Lifepack takes the concept of sustainable backpacks to another level with its heavily padded laptop sleeve, integrated lock, and removable bluetooth boombox that doubles as a solar charger to play your tunes AND charge your devices while you walk.
It doesn’t hurt that its Shore-Tex™ fabric is made entirely from upcycled ocean-bound plastic, as is some of their other eco-friendly luggage.
The Hanover Deluxe 2 is Lo & Sons’ answer for a minimalistic backpack.
The Asian-family-owned company is expanding their range of bags made with recycled materials—and currently the Hanover is one made with recycled polyester (i.e. plastic bottles).
Perfect for weekend getaways, road trips, and the daily grind, it’s got a 15” laptop sleeve and plenty of pockets.
Give the gift of time! Okay, well…not quite. If only!
Giving a gift that tells time might not be as cool, but a time-piece can be a highly appreciated gift for any minimalist—especially if it’s also an eco-friendly watch.
Solios shines bright here, as the solar-powered quartz movements mean that the wearer will never need to buy another watch battery again (well, at least not for another 50 years or so).
It doesn’t even need frequent sunlight either, as artificial light works too.
Combined with high quality, recycled components, and an understated aesthetic this gift will stand the test of time.
Nordgreen is another brand winding back the clock for our planet.
The Native is their most minimalistic option for men and women—so minimalist, in fact, that its minute marks only appear when exposed to direct light.
All watches from this Certified B Corp are made with non-toxic and conflict-free materials. Every watch sold supports Nordgreen’s Giving Back Program, which supports their rotation of three partner NGOs.
9. Beauty And Personal Care Products
Zero waste beauty brands can provide a simple and sustainable “spa day” for your friend or family member.
As one of the most smooch-worthy minimalist gift ideas, Axiology’s Super Fan 3 in 1 Balmies Pack serves as vegan, cruelty-free color for eyes, lips, and cheeks. Need we say more?
If their idea of a spa treatment goes beyond a one-stick-wonder, consider Conscious Skincare instead.
Their Pampering Spa Gift Set is fully equipped with body wash, butter, oil, face mask, and lotion, as well as an organic cotton face cloth and fair trade bag.
Each product is vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free and packed with recognizable ingredients like essential oils and organic fair trade Shea butter.
10. Minimalist Tech
Even diehard minimalists can find a place in their hearts (and homes) for sustainable technology.
Keep it small-scale and earth-supporting with Oakywood’s Triple Dock Apple Charging Station.
The solid wood tech gadget frees up storage space as it provides a place to charge three Apple iPhones, watches, or airpods all at once. Every purchase plants a tree, too!
House of Marley is a household name for eco-friendly electronics enthusiasts and the brand has some of the best practical gifts for minimalists who like it LOUD (while supporting global reforestation and ocean preservation projects, of course).
When front-row concert tix aren’t a possibility, the Bob Marley-inspired brand brings superior sound (and eco-friendly recycled and natural materials) to your loved one with their Get Together 2 XL Portable Bluetooth® Speaker.
11. Something Edible
Are there more practical gifts for minimalists than those they can consciously chow down on?
For someone who doesn’t want a lot, be sure to add ethical chocolate and sustainable food brands to your shopping list.
No one can say “no” to chocolate from the Raw Chocolate Company.
Compatible with a healthier lifestyle, the Dark Bundle features bars, pouches, and buttons of Peruvian goodness—all of which is organic, vegan, and free of gluten, palm oil, and refined sugar.
If you don’t know what foods do and don’t make up their typical meal plan, a Thrive Market gift card gives them access to affordable, organic groceries broken up into 70+ diets and lifestyles—which means these also work well as minimalist housewarming gifts.
As the (organic) cherry on top, with every non-expiring gift membership purchased, one is gifted to a family in need.
12. Safety Razors
Shave off unnecessary presents with a safety razor, one of the more unique minimalist gift ideas but a good physical gift nonetheless.
Serving as a one-stop-shop for all things baby smooth and knick-free, EcoRoots’ Shaving Kit comes with a safety razor, organic shaving soap, and enough stainless steel replacement blades to make this one of the best minimalist Xmas gifts—for multiple years running.
Take advantage of Etsy’s carbon neutral shipping and avoid plastic waste with Shoreline Shaving’s Eco Shaving Kits for Women & Men.
Each comes with a safety razor, razor stand, natural shaving soap bar, 10x blades, blade disposal tin, drawstring hessian bag, and a user manual. All wrapped up in a drawstring hessian travel bag and eco-friendly gift box.
With every purchase to tackle the 5 o’clock shadow, a donation is made to Surfers Against Sewage
13. Gift Card For Online Clothing Repair Or Alteration
The minimalist in your life likely realizes that less is more, which means utmost care for their capsule wardrobe.
To help them limit unnecessary expansion of their wardrobes, consider clothes repair or alteration as some of the best Christmas gifts for minimalists.
Online clothes repair and alteration services are becoming increasingly common.
To help you find one, we’d recommend Clothes Doctor for UK minimalists and Little Cliff or Tad More Tailoring for US fashionistas.
14. Toy Library Subscription
Finding gifts for a minimalist family is not always easy. Especially kids, who are not typically minimalists out the gate.
You can make life easier for minimalist parents by providing their kids with an ever-changing rotation of toys—but considering many toys are tossed shortly after purchase, they don’t have to be toys they own.
That’s where toy libraries come in: a service where you can check out toys much as you would books from a local library. Read: the best minimalist Christmas gifts for kids.
While toy libraries are still a somewhat new and niche concept, they’re picking up in popularity (for obvious reasons) and you can now find them in the US, UK (most notably Whirli), and Australia.
A quick Google search of “toy libraries near me” should give you a good starting place.
15. Gift Card To A Sustainable Store
The best minimalist gifts (or any gifts for that matter) are those that are absolutely, positively going to be used.
This is where gift cards come in. As much as you “know” your minimalist friend, only they can be certain about what they’ll use and love. Sure it’s not super-personal but there’s no fail safe like it.
For minimalist gifts for foodies, you can consider a Food52 e-gift card, which will give them access to cookware, appliances, and anything else they might need for an elegant dinner party.
If stocked beauty bags and eco-conscious household goods are more their style, then a ZeroWasteStore gift card might be a dream come true. In addition to household cleaning, bedding, composting and laundry goods, the ethical marketplace offers eco-conscious hair care, clean beauty, and oral hygiene products.
If your minimalist giftee is in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, an Ethical Superstore gift card provides the minimalist in your life with nearly limitless access to groceries, cleaning & household goods, clothes and accessories, home & garden essentials, beauty & wellbeing products, and much, much more.
16. Minimalist Furniture
For uniquely designed and sustainably made furniture, Etsy should be your go-to marketplace.
Filled with tons of talented shops and artisans, big(ish) and small, there’s nothing you can’t find… including minimalist home decor.
Urbansize is one such example that specializes in simple furniture for small spaces, namely floating furnishings, like their best-selling Floating Bedside Table.
It’s functional, space-saving and who doesn’t love floating furniture? Featuring soft edges and washed out color palettes to brighten up even the smallest of minimalist spaces.
Much like plastic-free coffee makers are minimalist by nature, so too are eco friendly coffee tables. They’re a place for feet, books, shared meals, and… well, coffee.
Besides, Christmas gifts for minimalists that were on Santa’s good list include multi-function pieces—especially when they’re the Sculptural Round Wood Coffee Table from What WE Make.
The Illinois-based small business sustainably repurposes old barns (and the old growth trees that they’re made with) to transform these upcycled materials into gorgeous furniture—topped with eco-friendly finishes, of course.
17. Minimalist Decor
Sustainable home decor sure can be a step up for a minimalist used to receiving gifts that are more status-quo (e.g. socks and the like).
Graypants is illuminating some excellent minimalist Christmas gifts with their Wick Brass (think: the light of a good candle, but can be recharged).
It provides ambiance, romance, and utility and can be used at home, in a home office, or packed for a weekend adventure.
Parachute is here to rescue that minimalist in your life who’s lacking eco-zy comfort.
Pair their Linen Pillow Cover with their Decorative Pillow Inserts and you’ve got a neutral color that pairs well with any color scheme.
Naptime will feel extra nice when loved ones know that the 100% European flax pillow cover was ethically made in Portugal and made it to their doorstep courtesy of carbon neutral shipping.
Washable and made in a zero-waste production process, we’d trip over Lorena Canals and their handmade sustainable rugs any day.
And we’re fairly certain that your giftee would absolutely love slow, barefoot Sundays on the brand’s Washable Sistan Rug (especially when paired with matching throw pillows).
If you’re after minimalist Christmas gifts for toddlers, there’s the Washable Botanic Fantasy Play Rug, too.
18. Home Composter
If you know and love someone with a green thumb, then we have the perfect minimalist gift ideas for you: an indoor compost bin.
The Bionicraft Living Composter is for both science nerds and sustainability enthusiasts as it’s an odorless biomorphic worm house—made from cork and recycled plastic, to boot.
In other words, it’s a fancy-looking worm hotel that can process about two pounds of food a week, providing nutrient-rich worm castings (that can be easily dumped) in the process.
Some people like technology over worm roommates so for them, we have an idea for the perfect minimalist gifts: the Vitamix® FoodCycler FC-50.
In just a few hours, this sleek piece of equipment breaks down food waste by up to 90%, transforming it into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can support healthy soil. While it probably doesn’t smell amazing, it’s definitely a more odor-free alternative to conventional composting!
19. Digital Subscription Or Service
The gig economy is booming, and with it comes a variety of intangible useful gifts for minimalists that won’t clutter the home.
These could include gift certificates for dog walking, babysitting, home repair, garden tending, and pretty much anything you can imagine.
For minimalist gifts that keep giving, you could also consider a gift certificate for one of the many online courses available.
Then for something a little less…educational, you can purchase a gift certificate for your loved one’s favorite streaming service.
Maybe they’ve got a ton of environmental films they want to see on Netflix (Minimalism or The Minimalists, perhaps?), or want to get caught up on some eco reading (er, listening) via Amazon’s Audible on their drive to work?
The possibilities here are literally virtually (pun intended) endless.
20. Fashion Rental Subscription
If there’s a minimalist in your life who has a taste for finer fashion—but realizes the industry is based on finite resources—then a subscription for clothing rentals online would make a great minimalist gift.
Perfect for that minimalist friend who doesn’t fit into fashion’s unrealistic standards, Gwynnie Bee (USA) offers shirts, pants, cardigans, dresses, skirts, and outerwear for all women (read: plus-sizes included!).
A gifted membership earns 1, 2, or 3 items at a time.
Also offering sizes up to 3X (and even maternity!), Armoire (USA) is another place for women to turn to for a continuously evolving wardrobe—and brand names like: rag & bone; Diane Von Furstenberg; Yumi Kim; and Boden.
If your minimalist gift recipient is heading to an event where maximum style is needed, Australia’s Glam Corner can help them hire a designer dress for a fraction of the price.
The Certified B Corp can help with race day to wedding day looks, with garments from designers like Aje, Country Road, Kookai, and Zimmermann.
21. Organize A Clothing Swap Among Friends
You don’t need to turn to the world’s most famous fashion designers to expand what’s in a loved one’s closet.
A minimalist wardrobe can make for a fun excuse to get together with friends.
Invite your close friends over and have them all bring physical gifts—their pre-loved and rarely-worn clothes!
They can also bring any holiday celebration leftovers. Then put on some funky music, spark up the essential oil diffuser, and get ready to dig through piles to find the best gifts.
One (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure, after all.
22. A Day Out Together
If you’re looking for good minimalist gifts, there’s nothing that says win-win like a personal experience shared with someone the gift recipient personally loves—you!
Maybe it’s a day out harvesting fruit at an orchard or picking berries in the mountains. It could be a bike ride, a game of golf, or packing an eco-friendly picnic basket for the park.
Perhaps you grab take-out at their favorite restaurant before a drive-in movie. Or draw them a luxurious “spa day” bath with sustainable candles flickering nearby.
Even though minimalist jewelry can make for some great gifted bling, a doting day with your true love is hard to beat.
Not only can these be inexpensive gifts for minimalists, but they can also be totally free (and even more memorable and treasured than stuff).
23. Donation To A Charity They Care About
Not everyone is hardwired to want to receive gifts—which paves the way for something life changing:
Show your loved one you care by donating on their behalf toward their favorite charity.
Obviously there are TONS of worthy charities and causes out there you can help out for this truly thoughtful gift for minimalists, but here are a few ideas:
- Oxfam gifts: This UK charity is really well known and they do so much good in so many ways
- MyCause Australia and Global Giving: These are flexible donation platforms, meaning the needy or disadvantaged recipients get to decide for themselves how to use the money.
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What Exactly Is A Minimalist Gift?
If you’ve been asking, what do I gift a minimalist? It might be helpful to first understand minimalism.
Being a minimalist ultimately means living intentionally and freeing oneself from worry, guilt, fear, overwhelm—all of the byproducts of our consumer culture.
Instead of working 60+ hours/week to fill 3,500-square-foot homes with TVs that quickly become obsolete and closet spaces that adhere to fast fashion’s 52+ annual microseconds, it means reevaluating life so that more of it is spent… living.
As such, the best gifts for minimalists are those that are also intentional. They fill a need or satisfy a longstanding desire. They aren’t just stuff to unwrap because it’s the time of year to do so.
Take the time to think about an item or experience that your loved one will truly cherish. Something that will enhance their life in some way.
Bonus points if it’s ethically and responsibly made.
Final Thoughts On Minimalist Gifts
What does a minimalist want for Christmas?
But if the holiday gift-giving fever overcomes you, we hope this list provides you with some excellent gift ideas for the least greedy person in your life.
Our other gift guides to ethical gifts, eco friendly gifts, zero waste gift ideas or fair trade gifts are a little less minimal but just as sustainable and ethical for that special someone (especially if you use zero waste gift wrapping).
And remember, expensive and material gifts do not equate to appreciation.
Rather than feed into consumerist culture, let’s redefine giving. Let’s turn it from a meaningless obligation to an intentional way of adding value to someone’s life.
If you’re hoping for a great minimalist gift under the tree, pass this blog (hint 😉) onto your friend or family member.