With the holiday bells ringing and the festive lights a-twinkling, now’s the best time to go on a shopping spree in search of those perfect presents for friends and family. Rather than settling for mass-produced items from big-box stores, why not spread the spirit of Christmas by bringing some cheer (and needed support) to local establishments that offer products right here in Singapore? Our home-grown brands boast a wide range of unique offerings across categories, including fashion, beauty and wellness, home and food. Their one-of-a-kind pieces showcase local inspiration and creativity and contribute to the island’s dynamic shopping scene, making great gifts that will have your friends squealing with delight.
Do keep a lookout for brands that carry the “Made With Passion” logo, an initiative that recognises and celebrates local brands that showcase the rich tapestry of our little red dot. This is a national brand jointly developed by the Singapore Brand Office (SGBO) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the support of the Enterprise Singapore (ESG). To allow Singaporeans to easily identify these brands, businesses carrying the Made With Passion brand mark on their product packaging—both in-store and online—signify their unwavering passion and strong connection to Singapore.
Sustainable gifts that make a difference
Singaporean businesses take great pride in producing and stocking up on quality goods but some are also mindful of their environmental footprint. So take this chance to do your part by shopping sustainably and supporting eco-conscious local businesses.
Many of these products are made without harming or destroying the environment during their entire life cycle—from the harvesting of raw materials until their final disposal. Additionally, some sustainable businesses help grow other enterprises, whether economically or socially. They also practise fair trade and ensure the well-being of employees.
Buy local, go global
With the convenience of online shopping and e-commerce, you don’t even have to live in Singapore to enjoy the best of what our brands have to offer. It’s as easy as Christmas mince pie to order gifts for your pals overseas. There’s something for everyone (including yourself, because why not?).
Here are some quality gifts that are not only proudly Singaporean but ethically and sustainably sourced as well.
Help your favourite people glow up with this skin-enhancing set from Kew Organics, Singapore’s leading organic skincare brand whose products are water-based, minimalist and high-performing.
The Ultra-Glow Set comes with the Mandarin Acai Cleansing Lotion (50ml) with Vitamin C to restore radiance; the Sugar Cane Royal Flush Exfoliant (30ml), which gently exfoliates to reveal youthful-looking skin; and the Megaboost Hyaluronic+ Concentrate Serum (30ml), for intense hydration and a dewy, plumped complexion. A Bespoke Organic Treatment voucher worth $68 is also included.
Founder Lily Kew knows all about caring for the skin naturally. Her experience with chronic acne led her to research organic beauty products and in 2014, she opened the Kew Organics Facial Bar.
After two years of research, Kew launched skincare brand Kew Organics in 2016 to help men and women achieve clear, healthy complexions. After a year of development, the world’s first organic peel bar concept, Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, was born.
The brand has five salons and an online store today. As part of its commitment to sustainability, it supports fair trade and uses 100 percent recyclable Miron Violet Glass bottles to protect products from the sun’s rays and prolong shelf life.
To improve the lives of women in need and to support local communities, Kew Organics also sources its organic tote bags from Freeset Global, a non-profit that helps women in India who are victims of sex trafficking. Proceeds from the sale of the tote bags go towards Focus on the Family Singapore, a charity that supports families and vulnerable groups, including at-risk youth.
With this confidence-inspiring, tough, diver-series watch, your man can live life to the fullest while looking his best. The highly legible dial comes with luminescent hands and indexes, as well as a ceramic unidirectional bezel in scarlet and a sapphire crystal lens. The svelte 40mm case also allows it to fit on wrists of different sizes.
In 2016, BOLDR Supply Co. was founded in Singapore to serve adventurers around the globe and it strives to embody the bold spirit of adventure in all its products. A testament to the brand’s engineering passion and prowess, BOLDR’s high-quality watches feature advanced horological technologies coupled with eye-catching utilitarian designs. Whether you’re trying to scale a mental, emotional or physical mountain, its stylish and functional watches are just what you need to accompany you on your next expedition.
“Our materials are hand-picked for their durability and resilience, because we’re tired of capitalistic consumer goods that value quantity over quality,” says the team.
In addition to quality, the brand also takes pride in giving back to communities in need. As part of its efforts to protect the earth, BOLDR is also actively moving towards using 80 percent sustainable and environmentally friendly materials in its products and packaging.
Give the gift of joy and share a bit of exotic culture with this striking artisanal capsule necklace that will add a mark of individuality to an outfit. The exquisite vertical pendant inspired by the intricate floral patterns of the Peranakan kebaya is made with the finest delicate beads in gold, opalescent and turquoise blue tones.
The beautiful pieces created by local jewellery brand EDEN + ELIE use handweaving techniques to create a contemporary aesthetic. Each is expertly woven from scratch by artisans in Singapore.
“We design our own jewellery, and train and partner with artisans to produce it,” explains founder Stephanie Choo, who started the brand in 2015 and named it after her two children, Eden and Eliot. “All our jewellery is made in Singapore.”
EDEN + ELIE believes that being socially responsible in business is the norm, not the exception, and it only sources material from reputable and ethical suppliers. Its delicate seed beads, for example, come from one of Japan’s oldest seed bead manufacturers, and their quality far exceeds that of cheaper varieties from other countries. Artisans dextrously create modern pieces inspired by heritage while honouring centuries-old traditions of handcraft.
As the brand uses hand-intensive techniques and only the simplest tools, it can also train and work with low-income artisans, who would not otherwise have the capital to enter the premium market of high-design goods.
EDEN + ELIE consistently goes above and beyond to equip and empower people in need to live independently and support themselves. “To us, handmade is also a way to provide fair and sustainable work to such individuals and communities,” says Choo.
This is a one-of-a-kind, limited-edition gem from the 20-piece RISIS Maiden Jade collection, which features natural ferns in 24K Swiss gold and lustrous Type A Burmese Jadeite. The fern symbolises new beginnings and strength. As part of the Maiden Jade collection, artisanal jeweller RISIS, which has been around since 1976, encapsulates real orchids in gold, creating a stunning series of jewellery, sculptures and lifestyle items inspired by Asian heritage and nature.
From picking the freshest orchids to preserving them with a copper coating to applying 24K gold plating, RISIS does almost everything in-house. With classic engineering and talented hands, each piece is handmade by highly skilled craftsmen (all are nickel-free, by the way).
Using advanced environmental technology, RISIS ensures minimal impact on the environment, including treating harmful gases and pollutants to reduce air pollution. Water from production activities, including raw water, is also effectively treated by wastewater treatment systems, ensuring that public water supplies are not contaminated. To cut down on wastage and maximise recycling, it engages a circular process that uses a cyanide-free gold bath to recycle gold from rejected pieces.
A gorgeous hat can change up an outfit instantly. This reversible and duo-printed Safari bucket hat from FERN is one great example. Crafted from hand-painted leftover cotton fabric by seamstresses in Malaysia, the Malaysian-grown lifestyle resort wear label specialises in batik, using only the finest all-natural materials.
ZERRIN, a Singapore-based multi-label platform founded by Susannah Jaffer, makes sustainable fashion accessible to the masses by partnering with brands such as FERN, whose products represent its values. The one-stop shop supports eco-conscious and socially responsible fair-traded jewellery and handmade clothing lines from some of Asia’s best emerging ethical brands. “We curate content across four key pillars—fashion, beauty, life and ethics—so you can easily discover eco-friendly collections that care about the environment while connecting with like-minded people,” says Jaffer.
ZERRIN’s #BetterBrand mark can be found on brands that are committed to sustainability and demonstrate their beliefs on the ground through a conscious business model.
Functional fashion can be stylish and comfortable, as evidenced by Esse’s Aude Linen Overalls. Featuring a fitted top and straight-leg bottoms, this versatile number allows you to create different looks: Roll up the cuffs to show off your snazzy footwear, or fold down the top to convert it into a pair of trousers. Linen, of course, is one of the world’s most biodegradable fabrics and uses far less water than cotton in its production. It is also highly absorbent, highly breathable and naturally moth-proof.
The founder of conscious fashion brand Esse is designer Alicia Tsi. While researching the fashion supply chain, she was horrified to learn that the industry ignored the high environmental and social costs of production. Esse was founded in 2017 to reinvent the way fashion is perceived while improving the environment.
“A beautiful garment does not have to compromise the environment or our humanity,” says Tsi. “We create garments that do less harm and contribute more goodness by drawing inspiration from the belief that beauty comes from within.”
To achieve slow and sustainable fashion, Esse provides quality classics made from sustainable materials, such as Tencel, linen and 100 percent organic cotton. All have longer wear periods than fast fashion. The brand also has strict criteria for selection, including considerations for water use, land usage, environmental impact, human health impact and greenhouse gas emissions.
Esse has a Repair Programme aimed at achieving a circular economy by extending the life of materials. Likewise, deadstock fabrics, which are repurposed excess fabrics, are used to prevent them from ending up in a landfill.
The right piece of jewellery can instantly elevate your appearance. With an accessory like this elegant Colette necklace, which has a stacked design, you can easily take your look from boardroom to ballroom. The necklace is adorned with delicate baguette, round and oval gems, giving the illusion of having three layers when it is, in fact, one piece. Everyone will be fooled!
The By Invite Only brand is a Singapore-based jewellery company that believes that wearing beautiful jewellery can boost self-confidence and help you be the best version of yourself, no matter what the occasion may be. The exquisite pieces designed in-house not only make you look great, but are also safe for your skin as they do not contain nickel, lead or cadmium, which are toxic materials that can irritate the skin.
Founder Trixie Khong grew up with sensitive, eczema-prone skin, so she understands the challenges of finding quality, affordable accessories that do not irritate the skin. Her main priority when launching By Invite Only in 2009 was to create high-quality pieces without breaking the bank.
As part of a commitment to sustainability, By Invite Only solely uses recyclable packaging materials. For each purchase, the brand works with non-profit organisations on carbon-offset programmes. Its sustainable logistics workflow counteracts the environmental impact of shipping by neutralising shipping emissions that contribute to climate change. It also works exclusively with ethical factories that are members of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).
With this stylish yet cosy robe from loungewear brand Nost, you can move around in comfort and ease whether you’re at home or at the beach. Made of 100 per cent organic cotton, it features softly draping shoulders, a contrasting lapel and a playful spiral print inspired by the staircases found in Southeast Asia’s historic shophouses. The kimono-inspired robe comes in Sky or Blush and has two pockets to hold your essentials.
Nost’s comfortable loungewear pieces are designed in Singapore and made in Asia, giving you yet another reason to enjoy being at home. The brand name itself comes from the word “nostalgia”, which means a longing for home.
It was founded in 2018 by Felicia Toh and Tessa Weiher. Its textiles are entirely original, with artwork inspired by architecture. “Our architectural training has given us a certain appreciation for scale, geometry, forms and textures,” says Toh.
Additionally, the brand works with traditional artisans in India and Indonesia to produce beautiful, sustainable products while preserving centuries-old indigenous crafts and heritage textile methods, such as block-printing, batik printing and weaving, that are in danger of disappearing.
Nost hopes to impact communities on the ground and change lives by rethinking the fashion ecosystem—from who it works with to how things are made. Its purpose is to provide artisan families with a source of income, so it partners with them consciously.
Meanwhile, Toh and Weiher have launched an initiative called Sewing for Impact to help identify seamstresses with whom they can collaborate on projects. “We value the skills of generational artisan families in Asia and aim to be a link between makers and markets,” explains Toh.
This Taman Sari longline vest offers a sophisticated silhouette appropriate for both the office and a dinner party with its sleek, clean lines and traditional batik print. The chic design by Studio Gypsied showcases the beauty of classic batik in warm, earthy tones. Made of 100 percent cotton, it is hand-screened by a family of artisans from Solo in Indonesia, the undisputed birthplace of batik.
Studio Gypsied was founded by Aqilah Zailan, a Singaporean with Javanese, Malay and Siamese ancestors. She was inspired by her grandmother who wore batik and kebaya every day in Singapore to explore how she could create a contemporary adaptation of batik textiles, transforming its old-world charm into something new.
Even though there is a long process involved in making batik textiles, Studio Gypsied’s commitment to sustainable fashion means that the brand is intentional in every aspect of the business. This is accomplished by championing the pre-order model, encouraging thoughtful purchases and preventing fashion waste.
Having worked with Southeast Asian communities since 2013, Studio Gypsied respects them as “the guardians of our collective heritage who ensure that textiles continue to be an integral part of our daily lives,” says Zailan. She adds that her work with craft-making communities goes beyond simply maintaining cultural continuity to also empowering members of the community. “This means practising ethical and fair trade values such as accountability and transparency when dealing with our artisans and partners,” she says.
Take your Christmas gathering to another level and serve your guests with edible forks and spoons. Yes, edible! Crunch Cutlery’s edible invention replaces disposable plastic cutlery, saving the environment from tonnes of plastic waste each year. The forks and spoons are packed with organic chia seeds, golden flaxseeds and desiccated coconut to boost your immunity, so they’re a win all around—both for your health and the environment! This All Flavours! Zero Waste Gift Box comes in a set pack of 8 in four yummy flavours: Strawberry, Banana Goji, Caramel Oats and Brown Sugar Oats.
In August 2020, Anna Lam, the company’s co-founder, decided to do something about all the single-use plastic waste she had accumulated during the Covid-19 circuit breaker. To make sustainability more available and fun for others, she enlisted the help of two like-minded friends, Sean Neo and Ezra Chan. Together, they turned the idea into something tangible.
“Singaporeans throw away 500 million disposable cutlery items every year,” says Lam. “Let’s reduce that number together! Each Crunch Cutlery you use is one less plastic cutlery polluting our environment.”
As part of continued efforts to become more sustainable, the brand also uses PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) packaging, a water-soluble synthetic polymer that is non-toxic and biodegradable. PVA bags dissolved in water will not choke marine animals or pollute the water or soil. The microorganisms naturally present in soil and water can break down PVA, which ultimately decomposes into reusable nutrients over time.
A functional wardrobe isn’t complete without a V-neck t-shirt (or even two!) and Eco Staples’s ESSENTIAL Bamboo ones are just the thing for eco-warriors who want to beat the heat. With their lightweight, moisture-wicking design, these tees not only offer a stylish fit and a super-soft feel, but are also antibacterial, hypoallergenic and odour-resistant. Consisting of a blend of 95 percent bamboo lyocell and 5 percent spandex, they will keep you dry and comfortable even during the hottest days.
The brand was launched in September 2019 after the founders went on a quest to find the perfect eco-friendly t-shirt for Singapore’s hot and humid weather. Unable to find one, they designed their own and Eco Staples was born.
The brand chose to work with bamboo, a sustainable raw material that doesn’t require irrigation, pesticides or herbicides to grow. Furthermore, it uses the Lyocell production method, which turns wood into textile fibres. A closed-loop method breaks down bamboo pulp with a non-toxic solvent called amine oxide. By doing so, 99 percent of the solvent and water used in the manufacturing process can be recovered and reused in the next batch, resulting in significant reductions in water consumption.
Additionally, the team actively campaigns for the switch to sustainable alternatives to ensure they leave a minimal footprint. To minimise raw material usage in production and shipping, they also design their own recycled packaging materials.
Embrace your curves with this bright and bold dress from OliveAnkara. It features an original print called ASA HANA (meaning “cultural blossom”). The skirt is cut just above the knee to show off your legs—perfect for a romantic date night. The lightweight dress is made of Tencel lyocell, a vibrant, durable, biodegradable and colour-fast fabric made of cellulose. Using environmentally friendly processes that convert wood pulp into cellulosic fibres, the solvent-spinning process recycles the water and solvent so nothing goes to waste.
OliveAnkara, a slow fashion brand dedicated to turning the tide on climate change, ensures that its clothes do not adversely affect the environment. It was founded in 2016 by Ifeoma (known as Ify), a Nigerian born and raised in Italy, after she couldn’t find any African fabric for her wedding gown. She began making dresses with textiles she sourced directly from Africa. When she wore them around town, people noticed. So she made more.
The brand offers small collections and limited editions made from African fabrics and Italian designs. Because quality comes first, often only one piece of each size is available per print, so you know you’re wearing a truly unique outfit.
OliveAnkara strives to achieve a waste-free product by raising the recycling rate of fabric cut-offs and textile scraps, optimising production processes, and reducing waste. A team of seamstresses hand-sews leftover patches together to create a medley of prints and accessories, including bangles, earrings, scrunchies and facial pads.
This festive season, why not do your part for the environment as you spread the holiday cheer? Crafted from recycled newspapers and sealed with a natural sealant that’s eco-friendly and chemical-free, these six rustic coasters also come with a lightweight but sturdy holder. Perfect as gifts for your loved ones who want to be kinder to our planet.
The Green Collective SG is an ecosystem of sustainable brands, conscious consumers, and businesses. The initiative was started by Danielle Champagne, Mayur Singh and Agatha Lee “Agy”, who wanted to bring together young entrepreneurs and change-makers with similar goals and challenges while running small sustainable businesses.
As a “sharing economy” within a responsible green kampong, the team compares The Green Collective SG to how a temple is run. In their words: “Being involved in managing the various tasks every day is a true indicator of community action that leads to a true sharing economy. We nurture, manage and expand The Green Collective SG in a collaborative and transparent way, to ensure a positive impact on the environment.”
From zero waste to sustainable fashion, it offers a range of products curated according to UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). A second-hand clothing collection is also available for those who have used clothing to donate; proceeds from those sales will benefit the community. Additionally, it works with textile recycling company Greensquare to reuse collected apparel, linen, shoes, belts and bags (which must be mould-free and in good condition). Free pick-ups are available for a minimum weight of 15kg, or three large full bags.
If you’re looking to support local businesses that bear the “Made With Passion” brand mark, you’ll be able to find them on KrisShop here.