Christmas has become a very capitalist-driven enterprise that pressures us all into stressfully buying a bunch of crap for our loved ones to prove our love for them. We want to stress that buying gifts is not a necessity to express your love this time of year. Presence, and love, and gratitude are some of the best presents you can give.

However, sometimes, a thoughtful gift given with true love and joy, is a beautiful experience for both the giver and the receiver. If you choose to partake in this custom this Christmas, why not stay out of the malls and give your loved ones a gift that supports small businesses, or helps the environment, or supports female artists and creatives? Here the ever-growing Salty team shares their favourite gift ideas…

For your aunt, mother or grandmother…

Raquel Arana is a great Salvadoran designer. She started her own purse design business around three years ago. She works with her mother and other local Salvadoran artists. Every purse tells a story, and she delivers worldwide. Check her out here and here.

– Cristina, Chef


For your active sister… 

Maaji Swimwear

Okay, a not-so-small business, Maaji activewear was started by women and is still designed and produced in Colombia. Maaji provides activewear for the #RealMermaid, the woman that lives in the water and travels the world creating her own path, who knows that good planets are hard to find and takes care of their earth. Their #EarthWarrior initiative of planting an ocean of trees is a cause we can definitely get behind. Find their stuff here and here. Ships internationally.



For your active, environmentally conscious manfriend, girlfriend, friend (or, basically, all of us.)

All Good Products

“I used to work with this brand of natural skin care and reef friendly susncreens. Caroline, the founder is awesome and they are super focused on saving the reefs and ship worldwide. The All Good story began with Caroline, a massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast who, after working in emergency care on an ambulance, had the vision to create a product that would harness nature’s power to heal. She developed her first product back in 1997 on a northern California organic family farm where she lived and worked, initially using her product for herself when rock climbing and farming.” -Alexandra Espinoza, Salty Yoga Teacher, Ecuador Destination

Find them here and here.



For that person who already has everything…

Pela Phone Cases, Canada

Pela is a company that makes iPhone and android cell cases from recycled and biodegradable materials. They are BPA-free, eco-friendly and child-safe, the cases are 100% compostable and come in plastic-free packaging. They also give a part of their profits to environmental issues such as Save The Waves- added bonus, they look pretty good too!

Find them here and here. 


For the chocolate-lover

Avanaa chocolate, Montreal.

Chocolate should be simple. The same goes for the list of ingredients in Avanaa chocolate. They craft their single origin dark chocolate with only two (organic) ingredients: hand-sorted cacao beans and a hint of cane sugar. All produce is organic and comes from cooperative farms originated from Latin American countries (aka, where most of the Saltyz spend majority of their lives.) They  promote direct trade with cacao farmers and sustainable agriculture.

Find them here.

For that person who can’t resist a selfie, or the liability that can’t stop dropping their phone!…

Phone Loops, Montreal.

Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that are the best, and ever since Phone Loops came into the Saltyz life two years ago, we haven’t looked back! The phone loop is literally an adhesive strip that allows you to grip your phone in an ergonomic and relaxed way. Perfect for our selfies at the top of volcanoes, riding in the back of pick up trucks with the wind blowing in our hair, or when we need to snap some epic scenery… once you experience the Phone Loop your phone will feel naked without it. Trust us. They also offer free shipping- bonus!

Find them here.

Let’s not forget about BOOKS…

Books are a travellers best friend, through crazy airport layovers, on bumpy shuttle rides in foreign lands, in the downtime on the hammock… a book manages to zap the hours, switch off your digital brain and reignite your imagination. Here are our favourites…

Our favourite poet who swears like a Sailor, Janne Robinson, has finally birthed her first book baby into the world this year, and we couldn’t be more stoked. Remember the poem ‘this is for the women who don’t give a fuck’? Of course you do. Now you can have a whole stack of her soul-rumbling poems in print – Get yours here!

Other titles the Saltyz are digging.


Barbarian Days- A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield


Seductress by Betsy Prioleau

A delicious history of seductresses throughout time, and an awakening of your own inner seductress.

Breath by Tim Winton

The first surf book I ever read by Australian author Tim Winton. His skill with words, to me, is unparalleled. He has this insane ability to grab you by the throat with every sentence. I re-read this book every single year. If I can die, like, 1/1000th of the writer Tim Winton is I will be a very happy woman.


Pussy: A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer

The title says it all. Should be required reading for every woman.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

The story of two women set against war-ravaged Afghanistan from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. A heart stopping reminder of the fierce potency of female friendships. I cry every time I read it.


Still stumped for ideas…?

Sheesh! Don’t worry, we have a whole other list here and cool stuff on our online store :).

Merry Christmas from all the Saltyz!



Feature Image: Shop Planet Blue