Christmas Gift Guide With Feel-Good Factor: 10 Gifts From Independent Designers

The generous way to spread support for local Australian talent, without being preachy about it

Let’s be real, one of our favourite things about Christmas is that it’s the best yearly excuse for retail therapy. If you need any additional justification: what could be a better use of your hard-earned cash than spreading joy to family and friends?

Answer: Spreading joy to family and friends WHILE supporting local independent designers.

With Christmas around the corner, it’s the easiest way to make your gifts more meaningful, without making a big deal out of it. Here is a small selection of interesting items from local Australian designers that you need to add to your shopping list:

1. For the friend who likes a hint of Byron Bay without screaming “boho beach gypsy” (Tote Bag by Liar the Label, $60)

A tote that’s eco-friendly without being a beige canvas sack.

This chic striped tote is great for the beach, work or your local trip to the supermarket. Made from sustainably sourced cotton canvas, with leather straps.

Feel-good factor: 
- local Byron Bay eco-label
- made in Australia
- Liar the Label donates to the Kosgoda Marine Turtle conservation in Sri Lanka

2. For the fashionable mathematics nerd in your life (Point A earrings by Ara + Lyra Jewellery, $70)

We thought about inserting a joke about the degree of the angles, or about getting from Point A to Point X, Y or Z…but all you really need to know is that these earrings will make a statement, whether or not it’s a mathematical one.

Feel-good factor:
- made in Australia (in fact, it’s ethically hand made by the designer herself)
- local Melbourne label

3. Mums like scarves, don’t they? (Imagination oversized scarf by Dog & Boy, $159)

When we heard the story of how this scarf was named, we had to hold back tears of sweetness overload. Sonya, the designer, and her 6-year-old son Nicky (the “boy” in Dog & Boy) were walking in the park, talking about design ideas for mummy’s new business. Nicky’s head was full of ideas about robots, pirates and spaceships. Then he went quiet for a moment, before looking up and saying, “You know Mummy, imagination comes from the heart.”

Feel-good factor:
- did you read that story?! That’s all the feel-good we can handle!
- 2m x 1.3m of luxurious cotton silk blend, so it also literally feels really really good
- a percentage of sales from every scarf sold goes to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. Sonya’s reason for this is “so that someone else’s mum, grandma, wife, loved one, may continue on their journey and enjoy the beauty, and love, of everyday.”

4. For the feline-obsessed friend who loves to make a statement (Leopard Print Pouch by Day Five Studios, $69)

We love that this is literally leopard print. This slim fit carry-all comes in a size that will fit all your daily essentials — paw paw ointment, phone, credit cards, Opal/Myki/your city’s travel card, keys and headphones, or even a small tablet.

Feel-good factor:
-
Sydney-based Anna Jones created the label in collaboration with print artists from all over the world. This print artist is Dunya Atay from Turkey.
- Vegan faux leather

5. The sexy gift that is far from inappropriate — yes, we believe in gifting underwear to friends (Poppy One Piece by La Luna Intimates, $79.99)

If you have a friend who has been living for summer all year, this one piece will be her spirit animal. We love the deep-diving keyhole front, scooped back and a super cheeky bottom.

Perfect for lounging at home or paired with jeans to wear out on the town.

Feel-good factor:
- the very act of wearing this piece makes us feel ridiculously good (read: comfy and sexy)
- organic cotton
- hand-dyed in Byron Bay with botanical dyes

6. For the fitness freak friend that manages to slay while being covered in sweat (Cross Over crop by Jasmine Alexa, $119.99)

We love the designer’s minimalistic aesthetic and stunning signature stripe elastic, crossing over in both the front and back.

A functional gift for your friend’s workouts, but can also easily be incorporated into her daily wear.

Feel-good factor:
- firm fit for support and comfort
- designed and made in Australia

7. You are likely to have several fitness-obsessed friends. One of them might have been a dancer in her past life. This one’s for her. (Ballet Tights by GOLDI, $90)

These workout tights are 100% attitude. We love the cut-outs, reminiscent of the criss-cross ballet pointe shoe ribbons that would have burned a nostalgic image into her memory.

But really, you don’t have to have been a dancer to appreciate a pair of gym tights with a difference.

Feel-good factor:
- we have many pairs of black tights. These ones make us feel like Wonder Woman while we work out
- GOLDI donates 10% of all profits to the education of underprivileged children

8. Guys need gifts too. Here’s a safe bet (Classic Bamboo Tee by Naked Store, $45)

Short story: you can never go wrong with this capsule wardrobe staple. A white tee.

Longer (and more important) story is also the feel-good factor…

Feel-good factor:
-
bamboo is a sustainably sourced product. Its rapid and low maintenance regrowth means a full and eco-friendly lifecycle
- bamboo cotton is inherently antibacterial, anti-static and loves sensitive skin
- bamboo cotton is softer than regular cotton

9. For the man who can rock artwork on his butt cheeks (Horses boxer brief by Stonemen, $44.99)

Sing it with us now — 
“ Wild horses couldn’t drag me away”…

Run free, stallion. The design is super comfy with a snug pouch and wash-friendly stretch waistband.

More importantly, it’s time to introduce more fun into the underwear drawer, that isn’t in the form a novelty elephant crotch sock.

Feel-good factor:
-
superior soft premium cotton boxer briefs are ridiculously comfy
- artwork by Rob Yearling
- this Byron Bay label has been proudly creating beautiful, digital print underwear for 10 years
- the designer believes that if it’s something you see every day, it should be special. We couldn’t agree more
- we decided to use a product photo that includes the model’s abs *ahem* torso. You’re welcome

10. We weren’t going to miss minimal jewellery in this list. Here’s a piece for the friend who loves to stack her rings (Faith Ring in rose gold by Sit & Wonder, $129)

Emily, the designer, named this the Faith ring as it was created with a gap that represents a ‘leap of faith’ — a reflection of her departure from the corporate world to pursue her creative passions. We love everything she creates, and this 9ct rose gold ring is no exception.

Feel-good factor:
-
you can otherwise easily spend $100+ for jewellery that is not solid gold, but instead only gold-plated, that will not last as long, or will tarnish and leave your fingers green. This Sydney-based designer is on a mission to make fine jewellery (ie. made from genuine gold, rose gold and silver) available at more accessible price points
- lead and nickel free

Have you started on your Christmas shopping list? Make sure to include one (or several) of these pieces to show your support to local Australian independent designers. We’ve never been so happy to do our part for the local economy.

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