A bouquet of red roses, jewelry from Tiffany & Co., a bottle of Chanel No. 5, enough chocolate to make Willy Wonka himself blush and racy underwear that probably won’t see the light of day aside from birthdays and anniversaries … these are the staples of Valentine's Day gift giving. While all of these items are timeless classics and sure to be appreciated by its recipient, why not stray from the predicable, chocolate- and flower-strewn path? This year, catch your lady crush off guard while still managing to send her heart aflutter by considering a few unique, eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gifts for her.
Hearts for Haiti ($5/each) @ West Elm
Does your special lady have a sexy altruistic streak? If so, she’ll surely appreciate a box of recycled papier-mâché heart ornaments handmade in Port au Prince, Haiti, by the craftswomen of Caribbean Craft. Ten percent of proceeds from the sale of these heart-shaped charmers support the HAND/EYE Fund.
Ab Imo Pectore Ring ($58) @ Supermarket
Take a break from chintzy, run-of-the-mill baubles this Valentine’s Day and bestow your jewelry-loving crush with a ring that’s sure to be the talk-of-the-water-cooler. Handmade by Montreal-based designer Melanie Favreau, this anatomical heart-shaped sterling silver ring reads “Ab Imo Pectore” in Latin (AKA the language of love). The translation? “From the bottom of my heart.”
Sweet Heart Chocolates Floursack Tea Towel ($12) @ Girls Can Tell
Is your Valentine a discerning foodie who would probably not be all that impressed by an (read: wouldn’t eat) oversized heart-shaped box of chocolates courtesy Russell Stover? If this is the case, give her a charming floursack tea towel featuring a detailed diagram of a box of chocolates. Made from 100 percent undyed cotton, this hand-printed, non-caloric gift will get a ton of use (no more paper towels!) in any active kitchen.
Customizable Couple Series Pillows ($134 - $160/base price) @ K Studio
Sure, putting a lovey-dovey photo in a fancy frame is a perfectly acceptable way to celebrate a romantic relationship but here’s a better idea: a personalized handmade “couple” pillow from Grand Rapids, Michigan-based K Studio. Choose from a variety of pillow sizes/shapes and fabrics (choose from organic cotton, hemp or an organic cotton/hemp blend) before settling on two hand-stitched characters that you think best resembles you and the object of your affection.
Personalized Stump Necklace by Aaron Ruff ($180) @ Uncommon Goods
Have you and your gal already carved your initials into every tree in town? Put away that pocketknife and take your love of amorous tagging a step further with Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Ruff’s sterling silver Stump Necklace. Influenced by Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” this handmade treasure is sure to make her swoon and is a heck of a lot more practical than a visit to the tattoo parlor.
Soft Pink 7 Day Brief Set ($195) @ Stella McCartney
Sure, on Valentine’s Day your wife or lady friend may have come to expect a box filled with frilly underthings courtesy of her secretive friend Victoria. But which she probably isn’t expecting is a set of seven knickers, one for each day of the week, from white hot eco-designer, philanthropist and Beatle offspring, Stella McCartney. Each pair of undies features a unique floral print embroidered on the front and will undoubtedly get a lot more use than last V Day’s peek-a-boo bustier.
Alexander Girard Love Heart PlyPrint ($95) @ Design Public
With Columbia Forest Product’s PlyPrint panel featuring an iconic, lovey-dovey graphic from beloved textile designer Alexander Girard, Valentine’s with a taste for interior décor can inject a bit of amour into an otherwise humdrum room (or office cubicle). Each 14” x 14” panel is made from responsibly harvested, formaldehyde-free maple plywood board and screen-printed with water-based inks. Mounting hardware included.
Got more ideas for Valentine's Day gifts for her? Leave us a note in the comments below.