Doesn't it feel like January is always crammed with one or the other occasion which requires gift-giving? If you’re scrambling to look for interesting, thoughtful and beautiful presents that won't put a hole in your wallet, fret not!

We did some work so you don’t have to.

We have curated a list of products from independent online brands that can be great presents for your loved ones (or yourself!). These small-scale local brands also represent the face of ethical, conscious shopping in a pandemic-hit world. As we change our habits and strive to do better in 2021, we can also change how we consume and shop.

Out with the thoughtless and impulsive purchases, and in with the cute yet responsible presents.

2021 calendar by Noontime Stories

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A new calendar is quintessential to a new year. And no, not everyone checks their phone; some still prefer the old-school charm of a calendar on their desk or wall. This calendar set includes the brand's staple hand-drawn illustrations, each assigned to a season: lapis, sapphire, nephrite, garnet. The set also includes a holder that is made to fit any horizontal surface.

Find it here

Brass bangle set by Zaamin

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This handmade brass bangle will add a spark to anyone's everyday wear. The eye-catching piece — made with brass, camel bone, pearls, and stone — can be a treat for yourself or a friend who doesn't like the run-of-the-mill stuff.

Email pk.zaamin@gmail.com for queries

Hair oil by Zo’Nano

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Show you care with hair (products!). Zo’Nanos signature hair oil is made with natural ingredients that work best with dry and damaged hair. And we all know the toll this cold weather can take on our locks. Don't limit this gift to your female circle — men are really into their hair too!

Find it here

Hammered wire snake earrings by Takhleeq

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Jewellery is art and this bold handmade brass earring is proof of that. They'll be able to glam up even the most minimal outfit — and add a touch of gold and style to your overall look.

DM here for for details

Mori earrings by Enchante Silver

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This highly intricate and detailed piece is made on a silver leaf. An ideal gift for a very special friend or if you're looking for jewellery that isn't too out-there to wear on special occasions.

Find it here

Existential dread notebook by Mediocre by Mahrukh

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This “self-aware stationery brand” offers notebooks with the wittiest titles, and we have picked the perfect one for our companions in existential dread. It's quirky and practical — that's a winning combo right there.

More info here

Seaweed shampoo bar by Calm & Balm

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Do away with the winter frizz with Calm & Balm’s seaweed shampoo bar. The mineral-rich volumising bar will leave your hair soft and you guilt-free. The organic (without harmful chemicals) shampoo bars come in environment-friendly tin packaging (plus point: great for travelling). So perfect for those who have said goodbye to plastic bottles.

Find it here

Citrus print face mask by Pomegranate Linen

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Masks, unfortunately, are not a thing of the past just because we are in a new year. Make a single-time purchase with these cloth face masks and do your part in saving the planet. Available in three sizes (including small for children), the face masks are created with spill-proof fabric with an organic cotton layer inside.

Get them them here

Cloth face masks by Project Kamyabi

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More variety for the environment-conscious mask wearers. Project Kamyabi’s upcycled, cotton, pleated masks are the need of the hour as they are beautiful and a fair trade product.

More details here

Roxy black by Bear Necessities

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Roxy is a leather crossbody bag that’ll last more than those fast fashion buys. It's simple, sleek, compact and black — and easy to pair with all ensembles and take from office to dinner.

Find it here

Pluto eyeshadow by Poppy Colour Company

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It's shaadi season and even if you're not attending gatherings because of coronavirus, you can make an appearance on Zoom with a pop of colour. Enter Poppy Colour Company. The brand's eyeshadows are organic, toxin-free, silicone-free and cruelty-free. The shimmery blue eyeshadow is a season favourite and would make a great gift for those who don't mind grabbing attention.

Details here

Stationery pouch by Natasha Zubair

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We love the idea, the size and the minimal yet bold aesthetics. Made with upcycled fabric, this ideal-sized (10in x 5in) pouch is perfect to carry all your daily essentials.

Find it here

Ruby scrunchie by Lehr

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If you watched Sex and the City back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you know wearing a scrunchie was questionable. Well, no longer. Scrunchies are all the rage these days. And these velvet scrunchies feel great and look pretty great too.

More details here

Awaara tote by Fish Design Company

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Gifts are great but we can't stress enough how great they are when they are practical too. With this cotton tote bag, express your love and gratitude for the most 'awaara' friend among your group.

Find the tote here

Feminist enamel pin by Prisms and Paintbrushes

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Prisms and Paintbrushes’ limited-edition feminist enamel pin is running out fast and hard, as a percentage of the product's sales go to a women empowerment fund. So hurry up, this is a great gift for a friend/ally.

Get the details here

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