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How Sustainable Gifting Can Help You Save Money

By Lauren Mathews

How Sustainable Gifting Can Help You Save Money


Are you feeling the pinch of holiday expenses this year? You’re not alone. According to a study by Jungle Scout, 84% say inflation and economic uncertainty will affect their budget for holiday gifts. 

Shoppers looking to stretch their wallets and shop sustainably are turning to pre-loved apparel and gear. The same study found that 25% of respondents planned to gift pre-worn items to help combat the impact of inflation. 

Here are some sustainable gifting ideas to help you save money and the environment this holiday season.

What is Sustainable Gifting? 

Sustainable gifting is an approach to gift giving that prioritizes the environment, ethical labor practices, and long-term use. It’s about choosing gifts that are high-quality, useful, and long-lasting. Sustainable gifts are often made from renewable or recycled materials, and their production involves ethical labor practices. They can also be items that promote a zero-waste lifestyle, such as reusable and pre-worn items or products that replace single-use items. 

Sustainable gifting also involves mindful packaging. Traditional gift wrapping and packaging often involve single-use and non-recyclable materials that contribute to waste. 

1. Create a sustainable gifting budget

It’s easy to overspend during the holidays. While gift-giving can be rewarding, impulse purchases can lead to greater returns which just end up in landfills. A well-formed budget helps you plan and prevents overspending on presents. 

Before heading to the mall, use a budgeting tool to determine your spending limit. How much can you afford to buy?

Next, look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate non-essential expenditures during the holiday season. Make room for holiday purchases by eating out less, cutting back on morning coffee runs, or pausing subscriptions—such as your monthly beauty subscription box. 

Use cash to stay on track. You can also set limits on your credit card to ensure you remain within your holiday budget. 

2. For Sustainable Holiday Gifts Shop Branded Resale

While the recommerce industry is not new, branded resale is booming. Over the last few years, brands across categories have established their own resale channels—allowing customers to buy and sell pre-loved items directly on a brand’s website. Companies like Allbirds, Arc’Teryx, and Patagonia all operate branded resale channels. 

There are many benefits to purchasing pre-loved apparel and gear directly from a brand. Let’s take a look at a few. 

Makes your holiday season more eco-friendly

With pre-loved clothing and gear, you can reduce waste during the holidays. According to, Americans will spend almost $8.3 billion on unwanted gifts. Approximately 8% of those items will be thrown away.  

When you shop pre-loved, you can be more intentional about the type of gifts you buy and help products last longer.

Shopping luxury resale expands your holiday budget

Pre-loved gifts also allow you to stretch your budget, especially when purchasing luxury eco-friendly gifts. According to a report by CouponFollow, shoppers who buy pre-loved goods save approximately $1,760 a year. 

By shopping pre-worn items, you may be able to purchase brands that were previously outside your budget. 

Reduces the risk of counterfeit or defective products

Branded resale also reduces the risk of buying counterfeit goods. In 2020, Incopro found that 26% of shoppers had accidentally purchased a fake item within the previous year. 

You will know the items are authentic when you purchase them from a brand’s resale channel. Retailers often offer guarantees and warranties for additional piece of mind. 

Find out-of-stock items 

Shopping for pre-loved gifts offers a unique advantage: the opportunity to find items that are no longer in stock in their new versions. This could be because they’re no longer in production or because they’re in high demand and quickly sell out. When a product becomes popular and highly sought after, businesses can struggle to keep up with the pace, leading to stock depletion. Whether it’s a vintage piece of jewelry, a discontinued line of designer handbags, or a limited-edition book, the secondhand market often houses these treasures long after they’ve disappeared from regular retail shelves. This not only allows gift-givers to find unique and meaningful presents but also enables them to gift items that the recipient might have missed out on when they were first released.

3. Use eco-friendly wrapping

Gift wrapping is another opportunity to save money and reduce waste. A study by Avocado Green Mattress found that people produce approximately 43% more waste during the holiday season. The majority of the excess waste comes from wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper.

To wrap your gifts, you can use leftover fabrics, scraps, ribbons, reusable bags, newspapers, and twine. Using recycled materials is not only more sustainable, but it also makes your wrapping stand out.

4. Give sustainable DIY gifts

Homemade gifts are a sustainable, cost-effective, and—most importantly—thoughtful approach to gift-giving. 

Some ideas for homemade gifts include:

  • Baked goods
  • Body scrubs
  • Soaps
  • Candles
  • An apron with children’s handprints or pawprints from pets
  • Scrapbooks or memory boards of a special event
  • A coupon book such as an evening of babysitting, a weekend of petsitting, or help with home improvement projects (e.g., gardening or painting)

5. Start shopping early

Finally, get started as early as possible. Shopping early enables you to research and compare prices and take advantage of holiday promotions. 

Consider setting up a separate email address and subscribing to email updates from your favorite brands. Then, you can set up filters to forward relevant promotions to your primary email account. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also avoid impulse purchases. 

Additional time also helps you save on shipping costs. You won’t need to select expedited or priority shipping to rush your gifts. Or you can avoid shipping fees altogether by taking advantage of in-store pick-up options. 

Sustainable Brands Partner with Trove

Trove is an all-in-one platform for branded resale. Trove partners with the world’s most renowned brands—including REI, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, and Lululemon—to expand the lifecycle of apparel and gear without growing emissions. 

Read our blog to learn more about how Trove is transforming the resale industry and enabling resale as a channel.