10 plastic-free gift ideas that are kiwi-made

Support local and love our environment with these New Zealand made, plastic-free gifts.

Last updated: 16 May 2023

Whether you’re looking for birthday gift ideas to please your eco-loving friend, or want to fill up the Christmas tree with consciously-made goodies this year – check out these plastic-free and NZ-made gifts. No matter the occasion, you’ll be supporting both the environment and the economy.

1. Outdoor furniture from Wanaka

Designed and made in Wanaka, these exceptionally crafted outdoor tables by Quirky Outdoor are built to last and can be powder-coated in a colour of your choice. Make a statement in your outdoor living space with royal blue, bright orange or yellow steel.

Our favourite aspect is the optional stainless steel box for keeping drinks cool and matching cheese board – Quirky Outdoor have their priorities in check!

2. A clock made in Aotearoa

These wall-clocks are made in Dunedin from Radiata pine wood. You’ll find clocks in bold and classic designs, from rainbow print to single-colour, vintage style, some with numerals and others without.

For a super personalised present idea – ask a question on one of the listings by Vanilla Design and order a wall-clock with a custom print of your choice!

3. An eco starter kit

Inspire your eco-conscious bestie or beloved to reduce waste, buy local and/or use eco-friendly hand-made products on the reg. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Metal straws – by now, most of us have heard the horror stories about what plastic straws can do to wildlife when they aren’t disposed of properly. The good news? You can still sip through a straw without a guilty conscience. Metal straws are the way forward, and you’ll find heaps available on site.

Handcrafted shaving soap – there’s no need for aerosols when natural shaving cream like the range from Saba does just as good-a job (with the added bonus of being softer on skin)! You can also convert ‘em to start using reusable razors with a pretty steel one.

Beeswax wrap – looking to ditch the glad wrap for good? Our friends the bees have the answer for us. Search for beeswax wrap on Trade Me for an eco-friendly wrap for your cheeses, fruits or veggies.

4. Handmade cushions

If you’re wondering how to please that eco-conscious or design-savvy friend – hand-made cushions from Hawke's Bay are your winning ticket. Made with zero waste, these soft furnishings in beautiful designs will add a touch of character to your lucky recipients’ home.

Cushions aren’t just pretty and plush – they can be highly personal too. Plus, there’s no such thing as too many cushions – making them the perfect gift for the friend who has everything.

5. A locally-made fireplace

Support homegrown talent with an outdoor fireplace from Blazen Metal. Featuring a range of stunning designs and crafted in the Manawatū, these fireplaces provide far more than a place to warm up and toast marshmallows.

With a range of nature-inspired inlays, as well as the option for custom designs, you can tailor this special present to your giftee’s tastes.

6. A pounamu or bone carving

If you’re looking for a truly special gift for a friend, family member or a partner, pounamu might be the option for you. Pounamu is a natural taonga (treasure) and is regarded as tapu (sacred) in te ao Māori (the Māori world).

Make sure you do your research to understand what the shapes and designs mean – pounamu is a super special gift.

7. New Zealand-made toys and furniture

The Valley Craftsman from Wellington designs safe, simple and beautiful children’s furniture. We particularly love the toddler table and chair, and the learning tower which is perfect for letting little ones safely watch, help and play in the kitchen. Wooden toys are always a winning idea, there are literally thousands of wooden versions of popular toys to choose from!

8. A pully laundry rack

Wooden pully laundry racks from Variant Spaces are the perfect gift for eco-conscious fashionista’s. The racks are a practical gift that’ll look beautiful in any home – or tiny home!

9. New Zealand-made wooden lampshades

These gorgeous, precision-cut wooden lampshades are hand-made in Rotorua. The shape of the individual fins in these shades give off a nice, natural vibe during the day and warm, mood lighting at night.

You’ll want to grab yourself a vintage edison or filament bulb to complete this gift, or choose an eco-friendly bulb.

10. Sheepskin slippers

Slippers from Classic New Zealand are a great gift for keeping your friend or family member cosy all year round in style.

The wool tends to pack down and the leather is likely to stretch overtime – so err on the smaller size when selecting this snuggly gift.

PS: Wanna find more local, plastic-free goodies?

PS: Wanna find more local, plastic-free goodies?

Here’s a hot tip! Place quotation marks around phrases that relate to what you’re looking for such as “handcrafted”, “NZ made” or “eco gift” – then use the categories to narrow your search. Kia kaha!

Gift conscientiously – because any gift that respects our planet is guaranteed to earn the respect of your recipient, too!

Gift conscientiously, and support local.
Find the perfect gift for your eco-conscious friend.
Learn more