Gift Guide: Made in Australia

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia

In the lead-up to the holiday season, we are cleaning the barbeques, ordering seafood and readying ourselves for the celebration of family, friends and the good life. Born and raised in Chicago and living in Melbourne for over 20 years, I now call Australia home. And over the years, although missing the cold white winters, the holiday spirit prevails. In light of this and the wish for all of us to be a bit more thoughtful in our holiday giving, I wanted to share with you some amazing finds from down under. All are made in Australia and have great, inspirational stories to tell. Perhaps you’ll find that one gift you’ve been looking for forever. (Prices are approximate, in US dollars.)

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: 321 Water

321 Water Bottle
321 Water is a re-usable drink bottle made from BPA-free plastic that filters impurities from tap water through a plunger. ‘321’ refers to the notion that it takes at least 3 liters of water to make 1 liter of bottled water. Add to that roughly 2 million tons of landfill created by disposable water bottles in the US each year and you get the picture of what our obsession with bottled water is doing to our natural resources and the environment. Beautifully designed and eco-friendly, 321 Water should be the bottle of choice, particularly when we are spending $15 billion per year for something that is virtually free and flowing from any available tap.
$41, 321 Water

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Sustainable Table Cookbook

The Sustainable Table Cookbook
For food lovers who love real food, the Sustainable Table Cookbook is a must-have. Filled with stories and recipes of all things local (Australian, that is), green and ethical, the cookbook features contributions from notable chefs, producers and farmers. A beautiful layout, printed on eco-friendly paper, all proceeds go to sustainable development projects throughout the world. Salad of Ancient Grains, anyone?
$42, Sustainable Table

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Stag Clock

Stag Clock
I saw this clock hanging at Pope Joan, maker of said ancient grains in the groovier grungier end of Melbourne. Made in Newcastle using sustainable Australian Blackwood timber veneer, I love this Stag Clock almost as much as I love Honeybee, the maker, filled with a lot of heart and soul and all things fair. For some reason, whenever I look at this clock, I think of Sarah Palin and what was (thankfully) not meant to be.
$84, Honeybee

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Otto & Spike

Otto & Spike Picnic Rug
Pop-up shops are big in Melbourne and my favorites are those who support local artisans and designs. It is here that I discovered Otto & Spike, a fantastic local producer of knitwear. A family run business for over 40 years, the brand’s range exudes a homey retro feel that captures the era of yesteryear in its timeless pieces. I love how each piece comes with a story on the hang tag, sharing a quirky quip and a bit of history. Otto & Spike products also carry the Ethical Clothing Australia trade mark. Check out the gorgeous lambswool picnic rug made from surplus wool — perfect for those winter cookouts.
$130, Otto & Spike

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Rebound Books

Journals by Rebound Books
I am a BIG supporter of keeping books alive. One producer in Melbourne, Rebound Books, has come up with a creative way to inject new life in old unwanted books and discarded paper products. Since 2005, Rebound has been making journals, sketchbooks, photo albums etc. using pre-loved hardcovers and 100% recycled paper. You may want to buy a couple of these journals for friends in hopes of getting some creative juices flowing. You never know, the next great classic may be penned from your kindness.
$31-37, Rebound Books

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Dumbo Feather

Dumbo Feather Subscription
One of my favorite journals of all time is called Dumbo Feather. It’s about extraordinary people behind extraordinary ideas‚ with each issue profiling five individuals from different walks of life. What’s special about DF is that it has few, if any, advertisements, is printed on 100% recycled paper, and beautifully and thoughtfully designed. Within the lengthy in-depth articles are interspersed ‘mini-features‚’ a segueway to other relevant topics. Perfect for someone like me who is constantly going off on tangents. The range of profiles are wide and include people from all over the world, keeping even the most well-read intrigued. A quarterly magazine with an option for a rolling subscription — it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
$47-78 for a 1-year subscription, Dumbo Feather

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Made in Australia: Better World Arts

Better World Arts Cushion Covers
In support of the indigenous communities in Australia and to showcase the skills and talent of ‘dreamtime’ artists, what better way than through Better World Arts, producers and procurers of high quality art and handicrafts that benefit the artisans and craftspeople who make them. A cross collaboration between Australian Aboriginal artists and the remote Himalayan region of Kashmir has resulted in not only beautiful offerings but also a business model that sees royalties and commissions going directly to the artists. The cushions would make a beautiful gift for anyone on your list, but there are also rugs, paintings, and a whole gallery of good worth checking out at Better World.
$35, Better World Arts

Well, that is all from the land from Down Under. May it give you some ideas for the upcoming gifting season and provide inspiration in bringing back the thought behind the gift. Happy Holidays.

About author
Growing up in 1960s Chicago set the scene for Millicent's love of gifts. It was a time when gifts were all about the thought and not the expense and giving the right gift was a widely practiced art. Her company One Gift brings back the nostalgia of a childhood where time and sentiment were part and parcel of the gift. Her love of gift giving encouraged her to extend the same care, attention and imagination of her own gift giving to help others experience the satisfaction and joy that ‘getting it right’ can create.
2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The magazine is it available in newsagents?

  2. Hi Heather,
    Yes, you can find the mag in select shops. I know that Readings bookshop St Kilda carries it. If you click on link, you can call DF and they can tell you other distributors. Hope you enjoy it.

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