Mother’s Day Gifts: 5 Sustainable Picks For The Eco-Conscious Mom

Words by Jody Hume | 4.17.20

Mother’s Day gifts are a chance to show love and appreciation for the moms who make our world go around, especially this year when so many of us won’t be able to spend the day together. And if we can show our respect for the world itself by choosing gifts that are more environmentally friendly — gifts that celebrate mothers and Mother Earth — all the better. It’s the thought that counts, after all, and thinking about the sustainability factor of your gift will give her even more to feel good about. With the help of Fine Jewelry & Watches Editorial Manager Steffi Lee and Women’s Editorial Lead Noelle Sciacca, we rounded up some of the top sustainable picks on the site that will delight and go light on the planet.

Heirloom-Worthy Jewelry, But Make It Sustainable

Heirloom-worthy jewelry, but make it sustainable. A special necklace, ring or pair of earrings is a classic and thoughtful Mother’s Day gift, but even more thoughtful? Considering the environmental impact and scouting out something secondhand she’ll love just as much. Buying vintage jewelry, or jewelry made with recycled materials, means investing in something that doesn’t require new materials from the earth, and it’s often just as coveted as the latest pieces. “Vintage jewelry has continued to climb in demand and resale value on The RealReal, and the design influences are apparent in the primary market as well,” says Lee, noting that “search for vintage jewelry is up 108% year-over-year.” Particularly popular is Victorian jewelry. “This is the ultimate one-of-a-kind gift to give your mom — Victorian pieces can date back to the 1800s. Search for Victorian jewelry is up 100% year-over-year, and its enduring desirability and the robust materials it’s made from make it a great investment.” 

Vintage Jewelry

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Chic Linen That Will Lower Her Carbon Footprint

One of the joys of spring, even a spring spent at home, is transitioning to lighter, breezier fabrics. Case in point: linen. It’s timelessly chic, and sustainable to boot. According to Emma Watson-approved fashion sustainability rating organization Good On You, “Linen requires minimal water and pesticides, and even grows in poor-quality soil. Plus, every part of the plant is used, so nothing is wasted. Linen is strong, naturally moth resistant, and, when untreated (i.e. not dyed), fully biodegradable. In addition to being good for the planet, it is also light and can withstand high temperatures, absorbing moisture without holding bacteria.” And forget the frumpy bad wrap — designers from Jacquemus to Celine prove that linen is cool, and not just literally. More fresh takes were seen on this season’s runways. “Maxi-length dresses are a spring ’20 favorite,” says Sciacca. “This one-and-done piece walked down runways like Valentino, Gabriela Hearst and Gucci.” Score mom a chic linen maxi dress on consignment, and add to the positive impact. Save 62 liters of water and 2.15 kilograms of carbon with a crisp, suiting-inspired Loewe dress. Or go full-on-floral with a Zimmermann number and save 30 liters of water and 2.38 kilograms of carbon.

Linen To Live In

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A Reusable Tote Upgrade

Any eco-conscious mom probably has a healthy collection of reusable canvas totes — but an upgrade is in order for Mother’s Day. “Oversized carryalls are a huge spring trend seen on runways like Bottega Veneta, Hermès & Fendi,” says Sciacca. “Put them to good use as an upgrade to your standard canvas shopping tote.” Luxe totes by respected heritage houses are the opposite of disposable — they’re made with craftsmanship and built to last. Daniel Lee’s covetable new oversized take on intrecciato may be new, but the house of Bottega Veneta has been creating luxury leather goods since 1966. Fendi since 1925. Hermès since 1837. And even newer or recently revived luxury houses create carefully made bags that are designed to last a lifetime. Gift mom one that is already gently reused, and infinitely reusable, and it’s a style and sustainability win-win.

Elevated Totes

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A Sustainable Self-Care Boost

We could all use a little more self-care these days, and that goes double for moms. At its best, a beauty or skincare routine is a relaxing ritual, but worrying whether your serums, moisturizers and fragrances have been sustainably produced is the opposite of chill. Ease her mind and body with uplifting picks made by brands that prioritize sustainable practices. Austin Austin, founded by a father-daughter duo in Norfolk, England, creates certified-organic products for hair, hands and body with heavenly scents from Neroli to Palmarosa & Vetiver. Bottles are made from 100% recycled materials, boxes are FSC-certified and both are in turn recyclable. Fashion designer Francisco Costa turned to his native Brazil for inspiration and sustainably sourced ingredients for his namesake beauty line, Costa Brazil. Featuring luxurious oils for the face and body, the line is founded on the idea that “beauty is inseparable from the health of the earth.” True to that sentiment, they’ve partnered with Conservation International to ensure production practices positively impact the environment. Ellis Brooklyn is the beauty brainchild of NYT Skin Deep columnist Bee Shapiro. A go-to for natural fragrances with clean ingredients, scents like Fable and West are sustainably sourced, and come in glass vessels that minimize plastic. Plus, the brand contributes to the Carbon Fund annually to offset its carbon footprint.

Sustainable Beauty

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Pristine Pieces That Save Water & Carbon

Just because your present is secondhand doesn’t mean it can’t be pristine. Give the gift of something fresh off the racks, but not at the cost of producing something new. A Dôen dress with tags still attached saves 218 liters of water and 1.03 kilograms of carbon. “It’s the perfect opportunity to take part in spring trends like floral prints, puffed sleeves and rows of ruffles — all just right for Mother’s Day brunch at home,” muses Sciacca. And speaking of trends, “this year we’re seeing an increased interest in women’s sweaters as we head into spring. Treat mom to a luxe, pastel pullover that she can wear to stay cozy indoors or wrap around her neck during chilly spring evening walks outside,” suggests Sciacca. It’s in pristine condition with tags, and bonus: it saves 65 liters of water and 2.68 kilograms of carbon.

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