Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve run out of good ideas for Christmas gifts? That you’re stuck buying people the same gifts year after year after year. It really puts a strain on the excitement of gift shopping.
(Related: 14 Tipid but Awesome Gifts Under 250 Pesos!)
As I was scrolling through my feed a few weeks ago, a tweet from @justineltchua gave me the idea to try something that was a little different. Instead of going for the usual mass-produced items and products you see on the storefront, why not consider some gifts from local and homegrown brands?
This gift giving season, we should aim to buy Christmas gifts for our friends & family from FB & IG shops run by students or moms part-time cuz these people need the money most this hectic season. And aint it cooler to have something uniquely handmade than commonly mass produced?
— Justine LT Chua (@justineltchua) November 9, 2018
As she says, these local brands are those who need the profit the most. It’s a great opportunity for them to increase their capital, and for us to lessen the (harmful) consumerism of Christmas. They’re also the exact shops that are more likely to have new and creative items to gift your loved ones!
Check out 10 of our Christmas picks below:
10. Alba Manila’s Swimsuits
I know what you’re thinking: a swimsuit? In December? Hey, let’s not forget that in a tropical country, swimsuits are good to go any time of the year. And women are perpetually on the look for that perfect suit — which Alba offers.
According to them, it’s the swimsuit brand for everybody. All pieces are designed to be adjustable so that no matter what body type you have, you can find a way to wear these pieces comfortably.
Price Range: Php 850 – 2000
Where to get this: albamanila.com / Instagram: @alba.mnl
9. Factory’s Denim Jackets
Clothes are probably still the most popular item to gift people. The problem is in finding a piece that strays from being generic and is more unique. But if you end up shopping at the same fast fashion brands as everyone else, then you’re going to end up with the same gift as everyone else.
Which is why you should shop at places like Factory, a local and independent clothing label.
The brand focuses on limited and handmade designs which are described as “a reimagining
of vintage pieces for the modern muse.”
Price Range: Php 990 and up
Where to get this: https://factoryforhire.net / Instagram: @factoryforhire
8. Art Commissions from Local Artists
Nothing quite says ‘thoughtful’ like having a piece of art made special just for you. You can customize the end product however you like and can add personalized details to make it unique. A portrait of the person, a snapshot of a certain memory, or even prints of a favorite pet would be loved by anyone.
For a clean and minimalist approach,@issabarte.art’s digital work is the route to go. Her art goes beyond simple images and begins to convey stories and feelings. @spitfire.blue’s style has more of a pop to it and excels at detail. He captures characteristics and personality perfectly.
Price Range: @issabarte.art – Php 4000 and up / @spitfire.blue – Php 300 and up
Where to get this: contact them through their Instagrams! @issabarte.art / @spitfire.blue
7. Bleeves (Blanket with sleeves!)
The best gifts are always a little bit weird. It means the idea is original, and no one else is likely to get them the same thing. Bleeves are exactly that unique item to get people on your gift list.
It’s a blanket (with sleeves!) that is socially acceptable to bring around — who wouldn’t want that? It’s the perfect cuddly companion that you can take with you to the office, to class, to do your work in, or to binge watch Netflix on.
Price Range: Php 450 – 650
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/bleevesph/ check their page for bazaar pop-ups!
6. Mana PH’s Jewelry
The line “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is a cliche known by almost everyone because jewelry speaks a universal language. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford diamonds. And diamond’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, either.
So why not go for a jewelry line which has incomparable designs, and is also more socially conscious? Mana PH highlights iconic aspects of our Filipino culture through the Filigree Tamborine Jewelry Tradition. Partnered with the last filigree master craftsman, the brand aims to keep the tradition alive and bring it back into contemporary Filipino culture.
Price Range: Inquire at their Facebook page for a price list
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/MN4PH / Instagram: @mana.philippines
5. Clarisse the Label’s Woven Bags
Another way to get in touch with your Philippine heritage this Christmas season is by patronizing Clarisse the Label. This lifestyle brand celebrates the act of “dressing up and dressing down” to whatever feels right. It does this through designs which use local materials and incorporate the aesthetic of nature.
This brand offers handcrafted bags made from natural materials inspired by the endangered species and biodiversity of the Philippines as well as clothing pieces made from locally sourced materials and retaso.
Price Range: Php 1000 – 3600
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/ClarisseTheLabel/ / Instagram: @clarissethelabel
4. Customized Calligraphy Pieces
You have to admit, decorative items and knick-knacks are nearly everyone’s guilty pleasure. The little things which aren’t strictly necessary but do a herculean effort of brightening up any space. A statement piece, a decorated quote, or even a dolled up card does wonders at prettying up a place.
This is why customized calligraphy is a great personalized piece to gift anyone. It’s simple but meaningful and a work from @mjvillola exerts such effortless grace. You can get her to work with traditional pen and paper, or even have her calligraphy stamped on any item you wish!
Price Range: Inquire on Instagram for a price list
Where to get this: Instagram: @mjvillola
3. Hue Love Prints’ Stationery Items
This is for those Type A’s in your life who love to label and customize all their items. Not only does it help sort everything out perfectly, but it also does it with style. From note cards to pouches and even stickers, Hue Love Prints can basically customize your life for you.
But for this Christmas season, items available for your holiday shopping list are weekly list pads, ready-made Christmas tags, and mantra posters.
Price Range: Php 150 – 350
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/HueLovePrints/ / Instagram: @HueLovePrints
2. Roam’s Footwear
Finding the perfect pair of shoes to gift is like hitting the jackpot. People are often so meticulous about their shoes, particular in every detail. It’s probably because shoes are the most worn articles of clothing. They’re repeated so often that the design has to be flexible, and the material durable.
Luckily, @roamlabel is able to hit all those on the mark. With simple yet classic designs, their shoes are ones that will never go out of style.
You can pair them with anything and wear them dressed-down or dressed-up.
They only use genuine leather too, so you know that it will be as comfortable as it is well made.
Price Range: Php 1300 – 1500
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/roamthelabel / Instagram: @roamlabel
1. Cookie Territory’s Treats
When in doubt, food is always the safest bet for any occasion and any type of gift. If you don’t know enough of their style, or what books they like, or what size they are — then food should be your go-to present. And if we’re talking about food, then you can’t go wrong with getting a sweet treat for a holiday gift.
Cookie Territory has got you covered for all the tokens you’re looking for. Specializing in cookie dough, they offer the comforting flavors of a cookie but with enough of a twist to make a memorable twist. Their Cookie Dough Oreos comes in 2 flavors: Hershey’s Chips and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. The Edible Cookie Dough Cans comes with chocolate mix-in’s ( where you can choose from Classic, Reese’s, Cadbury, Twix, and Maltesers). They also have sugarfree Frozen Cheesecake pints!
Price Range: Php 160 – 400
Where to get this: https://www.facebook.com/cookieterritory/ / Instagram: @cookieterritory
Have any gift ideas from local brands you’d like to recommend? Share them with us in the comments!