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Low Waste Wrapping

Last week we covered low waste gifting and its many options.  A fitting and proper sequel presented itself this week in the form of low waste wrapping.  If you’ve been by the shop recently, you may have had the chance to see our wrapping station.  We’ve genuinely had a great time helping y’all put together your gifts and sharing with you all the things to wrap them that we collected, thrifted, found, repurposed, and already had lying around.  We wanna share with you a little bit of how it came together for us, in hopes that it inspires you to get creative.

All the same basics apply-- avoid plastic wherever possible, buy second hand if you have to use something plastic-y, and cast aside preconceived notions about things looking or being perfect!

Big pro tip: many area thrift stores have *plenty* of adorable gift boxes, brand new and gently used gift bags, tags, spools of ribbon, and more ornaments than you could dream of.  It is so worth it to check thrift stores for wrapping material, because there is often so much of it, and you will pay a fraction of what you would to buy it new.  This is especially important because most traditional wrapping papers, gift bags, tissue paper, etc are not recyclable. Purchasing them from a thrift store (and hopefully intending for it to be reused again) means you’re rescuing something from the garbage.  Or, at the very least, prolonged its life.  Yay!

The rest of us often tease Alex about her love of baskets, but we’d be lying if she wasn’t evangelizing us just a little bit. O, the basket! It holds stuff! It comes in all shapes and sizes! It is more often than not made from wicker or wood, and not plastic.  The basket is a gift bag for all seasons and reasons.  Thrifting, sifting through, searching for, and curating a collection of these babies is a forever piece of Kindred, and we’ll forever help you set up your gifts in baskets.  We love them so much, and you should too. 

If your gift can get wrapped in paper, opt for some that you know is recyclable.  Brown paper is timeless, can be dressed up to be beautiful, and isn’t loaded with stuff that is bad for the planet.  You can certainly recycle it, and in some cases even compost it.  Jute, flax twine, and baker’s twine are all better string options than ribbon. Cloth, scarves, towels, or thrifted textiles of nearly any kind can be the wrapping and part of the gift.  We’ve been adding dehydrated orange slices to many parcels, and they look damn cute. You could also use cinnamon sticks, pinecones, sprigs of evergreen (cedar is especially lovely), and dried flowers too! All those things end up looking really pretty, don’t cost much (or anything at all), and don’t create more garbage.

With any, many, and all of our low waste suggestions, we want more than anything to get the wheels turning, so to speak.  Planting the idea that will encourage someone to try something new to them, or to think creatively, or to do something they’ve always done but differently than they’ve done before is what we hope to inspire.  That inspiration is at the heart of most things “low waste;” it's the willingness to change, to learn something new, to do something different.  

It is also letting go of “perfection,” appearances, or the need for something to be new and shiny for it to be good. What a better example of that point than wrapping presents!  


The holiday season is already an emotional pressure cooker, why put the pressure on yourself for the wrapping to be as perfect as the gift itself?  Look, you’re giving a present. You put some time and thought into bringing someone else a little moment of joy.  Wrap all your gifts in crumpley brown paper, old newsprint, or silk scarves.  Let your kids color paper that wraps your gifts. Put all your gifts in a basket.  Ultimately, these things don’t matter as much as the moments you’re collecting with the people the gifts are for.  Happy wrapping, or let us do it for you.  

PS-  In this, the week that is leading up to the day: Be nicer to people.  Be more patient with people.  We’re all trying to have a merry season, and we all know the state of affairs out there in the world.  Please move through your world with the consideration of others, tip as much as you can, and just don’t be jerks. We’re all trying to get home to the same cozy feeling.  Cheers!

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Alicia Howell - December 20, 2023

Your message for the holiday season is a refreshing change from the commercialism that has taken over this joyous time. I really appreciate all that you do! You have inspired me to incorporate some natural elements into my gift giving/wrapping. Thank you and joy unto you and yours!


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