Feel-good gifts for under $30

Presents don’t have to cost the Earth. We’ve found some of Melbourne’s best high-quality, affordable Christmas gifts that are good for the planet, and people too.

Good 2 Go

Ever got a coffee or bite from the Good 2 Go cafe? Then you’ve helped this social enterprise train young people in customer service and hospitality, giving them real work experience and skills. Have you noticed the pre-loved gems at the back? From books to clothes, you can buy recycled gifts that will help their project as well as the planet. Get a coffee while you shop, and consider paying one forward too.

A blackboard hanging on a street art covered wall with the words Pay it forward written on it

Pay it forward at Good2Go

Mörk Chocolate Brew House

Raising hot chocolate to the best barista coffee standards, Mörk Chocolate Brew House isn’t just about on-the-spot satisfaction. They also have cocoa canisters that are $23 gifts of pure indulgence, with a feel-good bonus of being ethically and sustainably sourced. Check out their first collaboration with Melbourne City Rooftop Honey, a $28 pairing of Venezuelan cocoa and floral, buttery Alphington honey.

Top 3 By Design

Focusing on quality, innovation and style, Top 3 By Design offers the three best brands in all sorts of categories. Like the ultimate in reusable coffee cups, including the mostly sub-$30 options by Melbourne’s own KeepCup. Their attractive, clever designs help save the environment, one coffee at a time.

Beechworth Honey

Pure Australian honey harvested by ethical beekeepers makes a seriously sweet Christmas gift. Beechworth Honey has been producing the good stuff and helping sustain Australia’s bee population since 1880. Choose from 30-plus varieties of raw honey at their Block Arcade store, or make a beeline for the $29.95 10-sampler gift pack.

Various jars of honey on a wooden bench

Beechworth Honey

Hunter Gatherer

It takes 2700 litres of water to make a cotton T-shirt. Six tonnes of clothes goes into Australian landfill every 10 minutes. Stats like these are good reasons to avoid fast fashion and check out Hunter Gatherer’s gorgeous, distinctive recycled options. This high-end op shop offers hand-picked treasures from Brotherhood of St Lawrence donations, as well as upcycled hats and purses.

The Australian Natural Soap Company

Get that special someone some very special soap, loaded with heavenly essential oils and free of nasties like paraben and sulfates. They will love the fact that The Australian Natural Soap Company’s pampering products are vegan, cruelty free and all local. Palm-oil free too, which is good news for orangutans, who also get a boost from the Ultimate Donation Pack. Six soaps for $19.95, $5 of which goes to The Orangutan Project, and $3 to another animal welfare charity.

Oxfam Shop

Tick everyone off your Christmas list with a visit to the Oxfam Shop in Carlton or the CBD. From Fair Trade coffee and chocolate to handmade ceramics, their ethical products are created by farmers and artisans and are good on every level.

Someone on your list who already has everything? Why not give them a chicken? Indirectly, that is, with a $10 Oxfam Unwrapped gift card. It will fill you both with the spirit of the season, because that chook is going to a family that really needs it.

A row of chocolate bars in different coloured packaging

Chocolate at the Oxfam shop