With Mother’s Day this weekend, it’s worthwhile to consider getting a gift for mom from a brand that’s thinking about people and the planet. The best gift, of course, would be something handmade. But if you’re short on time, here’s a roundup of thoughtful gifts from brands that are focused on quality over quantity, and interested in business being about more than just profits — something mom is likely to appreciate.
The tagline says it all: Fewer, Better Things. Founded by two entrepreneurial women who wanted to create durable essentials for the modern wardrobe that were ethically sourced, Cuyana has grown from a niche coastal brand to one that connects with women across urban America.
Here are two bags that work well, depending on how much mom likes to carry. For the mom who hauls around all her work gear (laptop, notes, folders, and an army of products to get her through the day), the large hobo bag is roomy, functional, and yet sleek. Something she can carry for years to come.
For the mom, who wants to have a small go-to purse with just the essentials, this pebbled-leather mini tassel bag made in Turkey is stylish yet simple. It opens wide enough for easy access, has an outside pouch handy to keep a phone, and a tassel for a little flair.
Get it monogrammed and she can hold onto it for years, if not decades.
Mohinder’s shoes are entirely made in India by artisans. The Bay Area company came onto the scene with a quintessentially Indian sandal that celebrated a much-worn classic in the subcontinent. Started by an intrepid entrepreneur who wanted to work with artisans to build an ethical supply chain that was traceable to the root, Mohinder’s has evolved to include more designs over the years. Such as this elegant take on the Indian “chappal.” Made of vegetable-tanned leather (using only water, acacia tree bark, and the myrobalan nut), these shoes have no synthetic chemicals and involve a 37-step process from start to finish. The details are on the Mohinder’s site of how they work with a small community in Athani, India to manufacture these gems.
This small Los Angeles-based studio started out of one woman’s quest to see better jewelry at more affordable prices. Seeing that the market was saturated with gold-plated pieces, Jennie Yoon started a brand that promises pure gold pieces instead. This elegant heart pendant on a 14K gold necklace is ideal for mom: from a small, female-led company that makes all their pieces in the LA area, it’s an investment that gives back as well.
Made in Los Angeles, these beautiful shoes cost a small fortune. But if mom loves her crystals, this brand is marrying the two in sandals. Using vegetable tanned leather and sustainable materials, these shoes, part of the Sahara collection, come in four colors and designs, each with their own stone. A portion of each sale also goes directly to environmental grassroots non-profits. Started by a female founder who worked at Jimmy Choo, this small business wants to merge luxury shoes with wellness.
TOAD & CO.
Hemp is legal again. When the Farm Bill in 2018 changed the law on hemp, it became easier for farmers across America to grow this regenerative plant. Now, it’s in fashion as well. Santa Barbara-based apparel company, Toad & Co. have a jumpsuit that mom will love. Effortlessly chic, yet made with natural materials, making it breathable and perfect for spring/summer days, this Hemp Sleeveless Jumpsuit is a winner. Toad & Co., as a company, is something that mom will be keen to support: mission-driven, eco-conscious, and inclusive, this brand has been taken their message of sustainability across the country in a van that reads: “Save the Planet. Go Nude.” Or get a hemp jumpsuit.
This UK brand has been pushing for wider toe boxes and more people-friendly shoe production. This particular design, which falls in their Souls of Africa collection, uses wild hide leather sourced from small farmers and handmade in Ethiopia. Inspired by the oldest human footprints in Tanzania (going back 3.7 million years), they’re soft, roomy, and yet, showcase barefoot technology in a more urban design. Profits from this shoe (and the broader Soul of Africa collection at Vivobarefoot) go to a trust which funds projects for disadvantaged children in Ethiopia. Mom can feel good (literally) strutting these shoes every day.
If mom likes to garden, and is constantly tracking how moist the flower beds are, she might benefit from this little invention: a smart watering sprinkler system. Easy to install, this system will track weather patterns and adjust the sprinkler schedule accordingly; plus she can monitor it all, and customize it, on her phone using the Rachio app. (Plus rebates are available in some regions for converting over to such a smart watering device).
By Esha Chhabra|Forbes