There are many sustainable and eco-friendly brands offering products for conscious customers. Here are some of the best vegan gifts for men in 2021.
The stereotype goes that women can be hard to shop for. But men can be equally difficult too, especially if they’re plant-based.
But we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we take you through some of the best vegan gifts for men. The products we recommend here aren’t just quality-focused. We thought about what we’d look at in a brand before buying a product. For us, as for many vegans, there are many considerations when it comes to spending our money on a product.
Of course, it has to be vegan. With food, what that entails is quite straightforward. But it extends to lifestyle and fashion, where the leather has to be vegan and the perfume cruelty-free. It doesn’t stop there, though.
We also think about the brand. Sustainability is at our core, and it’s what we look for in a company. How eco-friendly is it? Does it test its products on animals? Are the workers treated and paid fairly? Can the products be traced back to their origin sources?
It’s important to us, and all our recommendations here tick most of these boxes. If you’re looking to buy something for a family member, friend or significant other, here are some of the best vegan gift ideas for him in 2021.
Coffee isn’t necessarily vegan. Look at kopi luwak, for example. It employs the use of the Indonesian palm civet, who eat the coffee beans and excrete them out, before they are cleaned and processed. Coffees like that are produced via animals, who are generally treated terribly and kept in cages, are a big no-no but will be expensive and might give the impression they will make the best gift. Don’t be fooled.
For the coffee fanatic, there are a few great sustainable coffee brands that focus equally on ethics, environment and quality.
Apostle Coffee is a carbon-neutral coffee company, which plants a tree for every coffee subscription and provides fully compostable, plant-based packaging. It’s among the UK’s most sustainable coffee brands and always keeps the environment at the forefront of its activities. Purchasing coffee from Apostle means zero-waste, more trees and a delicious cup.
Read our interview with Apostle Coffee co-founder Jon Stanford.
Easy Jose Coffee
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Easy Jose is another brilliant coffee roaster that places ethics top on its list of priorities. It supports indigenous communities in Peru and also has carbon-neutral delivery services. The brand ships its coffee directly from Peru to its roastery, eliminating the need for a middleman. The farmers are well-paid and their stipends are increased when the coffee quality is too. And oh, it was also voted by the Independent as 2020’s best coffee.
Read our chat with Easy Jose co-founder James Higgs.
There are many other coffee companies in the UK that are eco-conscious. Be sure to check the websites and backstory of each coffee before you buy it.
Perfumes, fragrances, colognes — distinguish them however you like, they’re an essential for everyone and a thoughtful gift. The biggest issue with scents, when it comes to veganism, is animal testing, which is a widescale practice in the industry. Any company that sells in China is on the avoid list, since animal testing is mandatory there.
But there are loads of wonderful brands making vegan fragrances for men, and they make for great gifts.
Another completely vegan and cruelty-free brand, Dolma Perfumes is a small UK business whose products contain no parabens, palm oil or phthalates. All its products are certified under the Leaping Bunny programme, and it has no association with any brand organisation that conducts animal testing.
It has some incredible vegan aftershaves for men, which are offered in 9ml or 50ml bottles. They also come as part of a gift box in both sizes.
Eden Perfumes is a 100% vegan brand with an intriguing concept. It uses plant-based ingredients to recreate popular non-vegan fragrances and make them cheaper. Owned by a vegan family, the Brighton-based company’s products are cruelty-free and ethically sourced, and between 80% and 90% of its ingredients are organic.
Eden claims you’ll struggle to distinguish its scents from the original and having invested in a few, we can personally tell you that is accurate.
Wallets make for a great gift for men. The problem with the vast majority of high-end wallets and cardholders is, of course, that they’re made from leather. While faux leather is used in a lot of places, it’s not necessarily sustainable or eco-friendly.
But vegan leather was one of 2020’s biggest plant-based trends. Desserto is pioneering cactus leather, which is increasingly being used by fashion brands around the world. Apple leather was also made recognisable and covetable by Miomojo. Here are some companies offering cruelty-free wallets and cardholders for men.
Hukua is a joint-venture addressing the need for alternatives to animal leather. Working with sustainable fashion factory Veshin and using Desserto’s cactus leather, it offers a classic cardholder in two colours: black and green. It’s capable of holding five cards with additional space for cash. The cardholders are also PETA-Approved Vegan.
NB: Hukua is owned by The Vegan Review founder Damoy Robertson and brand consultant Jaimie van Duin.
Established in 2017 by product designer Matt Oliver, Oliver Co. is a London-based sustainable company with transparency and ethics at its core. By selling exclusively online, it bypasses middlemen and wholesalers. It’s also working to use circular materials to upcycle or compost used materials.
Its compact wallet uses Italian apple leather and is suited to hold between 8 and 12 cards. It’s durable and you can add stamped initials for a personal touch, which makes for a unique gift. It also has two cardholders; a slim variant and one for travel.
Unsustainable cotton, animal leather, non-biodegradable plastic. These are just a few of the materials that make shoes unsustainable or non-vegan. But a host of companies have begun offering vegan shoes, made from plant-based and environmentally friendly ingredients.
A British fashion staple, Doc Martens unveiled its vegan range a decade ago. Today, the brand offers a range of boots and shoes that are vegan-friendly. These include the Chelsea boots, classic 8-holes, platform styles and brogues.
The brand’s longevity and durability have been championed by customers, and its vegan products boast the same qualities. While Doc Martens doesn’t give out too much information, it says the uppers are created with a “non-leather synthetic material”. Potentially not the best choice for eco-motivated vegans but a great option for loyal brand fans.
Find out more about vegan Doc Martens in our detailed story.
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For those looking for a more simplistic design, Spain-based Flamingos’ Life is a 100% vegan brand making minimalist, ethical sneakers. It has developed its own vegan alternative to leather, using corn waste, and it claims the material is more durable than leather. The company also uses bamboo, which is renewable, has a fast-growth rate, doesn’t need agricultural chemicals, and absorbs greenhouse gases.
It has a broad catalogue, with some retro kicks paying tribute to the 70s, 80s and 90s. Most of the shoes have white as their major colour, but its Ivory range is available in a variety of different shades.
Humans Are Vain
Humans Are Vain is a Swedish company making sustainable sneakers and boots. The brand uses unlikely materials like pineapple leaves and recycled plastic ocean trash to operate a circular economy. Its own footwear can be turned into new soles too.
All its products are PETA-Vegan Approved and manufactured in carefully selected ethical factories in Portugal and Sweden. It offers sneakers in white and black variants, and has two boots as well.
Read our interview with Humans Are Vain co-founder Chris Margetts.
Body wash, much like other bathing and cosmetic products, can contain animal-derived ingredients like beeswax or lanolin from wool. Vegan body wash uses ingredients like natural oils, moss extracts and flowers, and there are some brands truly leading the pack.
Neal’s Yard, a London staple, is a fully vegetarian brand and has many vegan-friendly products, and its Invigorating Hair & Body Wash is a brilliant two-in-one product.
It is organic and has an aroma of grapefruit, bergamot and bay essential oils to invigorate your senses. It also makes for a great alternative to using a separate shampoo.
Bulldog, an expert in male skincare, also has an environmentally-conscious shower gel with notes that include bergamot, lime and juniper.
This shower gel is non-drying and contains 100% natural fragrances. It is certified cruelty-free under the Leaping Bunny programme and comes in a post-consumer recycled plastic bottle.
If he’s a food enthusiast, cookbooks can be a great vegan gift for him. There are a plethora of fantastic reads that not only serve as a collection of recipes, but go deeper into the sustainability and seasonality of the ingredients used.
Here are a few of the best vegan cookbooks you can get as gifts for men.
Vegan Man by Michael Kitson
This book is, as the name suggests, written for men. Vegan Man starts with basic information about veganism and ingredients, before delving into recipes “men will love to cook”.
The sections include breakfast and brunch, snacks and sides, soups and salads, main courses, and desserts, sweet treats and breads. Among the recipes you’ll find are four-ingredient peanut butter hotcakes, a Bombay vegetable pie and hazelnut rice pudding.
Eat for the Planet by Nil Zacharias
This one is special and unique. Eat for the Planet features a combination of recipes by various vegan chefs like Derek Sarno and Fran Costigan, as well as restaurants such as Veggie Grill and The Stanford Inn.
The cookbook was released by its namesake organisation, founded by Nil Zacharias. The firm helps organisations do their bit to transform the global food system. There are 75 recipes in the book, and these include smoky maple tempeh burgers and teff almond pancakes.
Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley
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One of the UK’s most famous vegan personalities, Gaz Oakley from Avant Garde Vegan released Plants Only Kitchen last year. The YouTuber helped create the menu at The Vurger Co and has over a million subscribers.
His third book, this has plant-based recipes like protein blueberry pancakes and sweet potato Piri-Piri burgers. The cookbook has a mix of meal prep recipes for people who have busy weekdays as well as intricate meals that one can cook on a weekend. Get the signed copy to make this an extra special gift.
Read our pick for the best vegan cookbooks of 2020.
Vegan shaving products
When it comes to grooming products, razors are mostly always vegan since they use metal — but they’re not necessarily sustainable, since their handles are made from plastic. And it’s a different story with other products: shaving brushes are usually made with badger hair, beard oils can contain beeswax, and shaving creams sometimes have animal-derived ingredients like glycerin, stearic acid or lanolin.
However, some companies offer vegan, eco-friendly and zero-waste alternatives that can serve as a great gift for men, while taking the hassle out of grooming too.
Mutiny calls itself “the most eco-conscious shaving company on the planet”. Its products are completely vegan-friendly and zero-waste, and its packaging is 100% recyclable. It doesn’t use any chemicals or plastic.
It features multicoloured razors and shaving soaps with flavours including Seaweed & Patchouli and Rosemary & Lime. The brand also has a vegan beard balm made from shea butter and offers a variety of vegan shaving sets.
Mühle is a Sussex-based brand specialising in shaving accessories for men. Its organic range is completely vegan-friendly. It brands itself as “sustainable luxury”, using only raw herbal ingredients from organic farms or wild harvests.
The organic series includes vegan shaving cream, beard oil and shaving balm, with gentle fragrances of lime, mint and vetiver. They can also be purchased as a gift set.
For the man that shrugs and claims to not need anything, any of these vegan gift ideas will be perfect for raising a pleasantly surprised smile.