Wood is a an excellent material. If sourced responsibly, it is renewable, and it is easier to dispose of than the plastic. Hence it is not surprising that many people do like the idea of giving gifts that are made out of wood. Especially for your eco-conscious friends and family.
There are literally endless lists of things made from wood. I selected the ones I feel are the most interesting and, of course, made in Europe.
Let's discover it together.
Wood is a renewable resource which warms
People like things made from wood for a number of reasons. But here are the three key reasons that I see mentioned again and again:
Firstly, it is eco-friendly – in many ways, in fact. Responsibly sourced wood is renewable. Making wooden products does not pollute the environment. And, when you want to throw it away, it does not break down to micro plastic that poisons us.
Secondly, it brings out better in people. They appreciate the feel of the wood, its grain and the touch of warmth it ads to our environment.
And lastly, it is a piece of craftsmanship. Each wooden item in our lives requires handling by the person. A piece of wood becomes a story and a piece of art when a true artisan is done with it. And that is truly priceless.
This toothbrush uses literally 0% of plastic. "So what about the bristles?" you might correctly ask. And that is the interesting part. Bristles in this eco toothbrush are made from the castor plant. They produce oil from this plant and then turn it into soft, medium or hard bristles. I added a picture of the plant for your amusement.
The handle is made from sustainable beech forest that is approved by FSC®. Forest Stewardship Council, an international association that promotes the sustainable management of the world's forests.
It has no air miles impact during the production either – the castor plant for bristles and beech are grown locally, in Germany.
You can buy one at eco-living for €3.5.
There are a few wooden watchmakers, but I find Plant Wear the most innovative. There is something special in their design and use of the materials. Made in Poland, a country famous for its sustainable forestry you can choose one of six wood types and variety of watch designs.
Fox series are more masculine, in my opinion. But I really like that the strap is made out of the same wood. It does look quite special. Price €199.
Aurora Maple for her, is a smaller watch that looks for gentle and more feminine, especially on a narrower wrist. Lighter maple case nicely supplements slim pink leather strap. Yet, the watch also has all essential features like scratch-resistant sapphire glass and 30-meter water resistance. Price €129.
It is great as a gift due to three reasons: it comes in a nice box, with a great eco story attached and can be personalised by engraving the back.
Paul Cortese is a bit of a rebel brand, and I like what they make with their clothing lines. In this case, it partnered up with Italian artisans to create unique looking wood bracelets.
It is unique for several reasons. The design is very different from most bracelets out there and shows great innovation in contemporary artisanship when working with wood.
And talking of wood, how unique is that look. I have never come across wood jewellery in those natural colours, sourced from all over the world.
The Chic range showcases Swarovski elements, and I feel this would ideal for a woman, while the Bad Chic range has black Swarovski elements fit that 'bad boy'. But, of course, it can go either way.
€39, made in Italy.
Another great story of a young brand created out of a vision for a better world. Hence out of all wooden sunglasses brands, I tend to like Joplins at the moment.
Its main eco-credentials come from the fact that by using wood, we reduce our plastic waste and reduction of emissions needed to produce your sunglasses.
When there are sales, these sunglasses cost less than €100. And that is a bargain for handmade glasses that come with a two-year guarantee, cork case and free shipping in Europe.
I feel that the lenses should be mentioned too. I am actually impressed that it is made with two scratch resistant layers, maximum possible UV protection of 400 and an additional layer for polarisation.
Made in Portugal.
This is a unique way to personalise a mac. This is not a plasticky gimmick or a sticker that you will find in most of the places. This is made from real, natural wood.
WoodWe is a team of young entrepreneurs who decided to tap into the most abundant resource – wood; in their home country – Lithuania. It is made from the natural and renewable forest and is focused explicitly on mac machines. You can choose to cover just a top or top and bottom. Sizes are matching all available mac laptops, and it is done to an exceptional standard.
It is magical to feel the grain of the wood when carrying such a laptop around. So many people got this as a gift from me, and I am not going to stop any time soon.
From €70, made in Lithuania (a country of exceptionally beautiful forests).
Made by Kent Brushes, a company famous for its brushes that are hand made in Kent, England. They use time-tested methods in crafting each brush that passes multiple experts before it is complete. In total, according to the company, it takes over 500 working hours to produce such hairbrush.
Natural bristles are wire inlaid by hand using a unique methodology to ensure quality and longevity of this wooden brush. Specifically selected softer natural bristles are ideal for finer and thinning hair.
Kent Brushes use beechwood as a base and rich satinwood for the back – leaving a nicely light but luxury feel.
I love the fact that it comes in a lovely gift box lined up in white silk – perfect way to present this exceptional brush. Such craftsmanship comes at a price tag of €215 though.
Cork is the ultimate renewable wood. Differently from responsibly harvesting trees for wood products, with cork, you do not need to kill the tree. Cork is naturally shed by the cork trees and trees themselves continue to grow and thrive. See a picture of such a tree on the left.
Cork is not just good for wine bottles, but it has ideal anti-slip properties when wet – which make it perfect for doing yoga. Interestingly, it is also a bad environment for bacteria – it just does not absorb moisture.
There are a few companies that make them, but I, for example, like Alba Yoga, who was created by three young Portuguese entrepreneurs in 2012. They wanted to benefit local communities and the environment.
From €99, sourced and made in Portugal.
Wooden wall map of the world is an ideal gift for those who are excited about travelling. It is a unique way to decorate a living room and use it as an opportunity to brag about your trips and adventures.
Made by a young team in Ukraine who are taking the world by storm. This is a trendy gift at the moment, and they are growing faster than they ever expected. These maps are made from natural renewable wood.
It is great to see the grain and how slightly uniquely different colour patterns are on these maps. That is something that comes with wood products and what gives it a truly nice personality. See World Travel Maps on amazon.com.
From $40, made in Ukraine.
Since the wood is such a magical material, it is not surprising that so many different things are still made from it. Interestingly though there are very few craftsmen who still make wooden pens.
Irish Pens is a young company started by a retired couple who wanted to follow their passion. And what a great way to preserve the skills and craftsmanship that brings wood in our daily corporate lives.
Irish Bog Oak is an extremely unique and rare material. It is coming from trees which were laying in Irish bogs for over 5000 years. This lovely dark colour came naturally while being preserved in the bog (swamp).
€105, handmade in Ireland.
It was designed and built in the French woods by a young team from Fab Furniture. They seem to get the kick out of designing hip wooden furniture and heartwarming interior pieces. This is their latest creation, perfected during the winter, and Corona lay down.
For me, it is a piece of art, something that a hip home would have. It comes as a hammock, but I think one gets so much more out of it when you get it with the stand.
Before you ask, it is surprisingly comfortable. And I especially liked to see how more stable it is, making it so much easier to get in and out.
From €349, handmade in France. Learn more and buy here.
Yep, surfboards too. These hand made natural wood surfboards look just out of this world. The grain and the wood pattern mixed with the colour create this unique look that is impossible to replicate.
WUUX surfboards are handmade from available wood. Hence it comes in a wide variety of colours. As a bit of a surfer myself, I cannot look at them without drooling. There is nothing like it out there.
Amazingly that the team lead by its founder Wilhelm is based in Austria – European country with no access to the ocean. So, they practise and test their boards in fast-flowing fresh water rivers in the mountains.
From €700, handmade in Austria.
Did you think of any other great wooden gift discoveries you would like to share with the others? Comment below.
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