Etsy is a veritable playground for crunchy mamas and papas, jam-packed with homemade eco products that are not only good for you and your family, but super-cute and original too.
Here’s my guide to some of the best buys on Etsy for crunchy parents.
For the bubba:
There are literally thousands of awesome gifts for new parents and their little ones. Here are just a few of my favourites.
I’m ashamed to say, we used disposable nappies (that’s diapers for anyone reading from the US) with our little guy and felt like the biggest wasters! Our non-organic waste went from one small shopping bag a week to at least one a day. And research suggests that in the first year alone you’ll spend at least $600 on disposable nappies and send 2,500 nappies to landfill. Yuck! So for our next bubba, we’re definitely converting to cloth nappies and Etsy is the perfect place to find them.
I love this range of one-size, all-in-two nappies from SnuggyBaby. They have an effective double plastic snap system and come in super-cute prints like owls, dinosaurs, monsters and the gorgeous “fantasy forest” print pictured above. Plus, the seller has a five star rating and over 3,200 reviews. But you can find something for every taste from these 100% organic cotton, bamboo and hemp nappies from Ozark Mountain Mama, this six piece set of hemp nappies homemade in Lithuania by Responsible Mother or these adorable upcycled nappies made from repurposed T-shirts from Mama Bear Baby Wear. There is even a diaper of the month club, with a three, six or twelve month subscription from Mommys Sew Clever. Or if you want to jump straight into cloth diapering you can buy a complete set, including 24 cloth diapers, 24 wipes, one pail liner and one large wetbag from Lovely Cloth. It would make an adorable, thoughtful gift from the proud grand parents, aunts and uncles upon baby’s arrival!
There’s nothing better than baby wearing – keeping bubba close while enabling you to go about your daily business. I am a big fan of both the common wrap (see my no-sew instructions here) and Mei-Tai style wrap (if you prefer slightly more structure). These styles are both extremely versatile, offer holds for babies of all ages, distribute weight evenly across the wearer’s back and support proper ergonomics for your baby or toddler. My picks are this organic cotton wrap from loveyduds or this gorgeous 100% cotton, grey dandelion-print(!) Mei Tai from Gracie and Sam. Or if you prefer to DIY, you can find awesome Mei Tai patterns from Sew Liberated Patterns. What a cool present for a new mama or papa!
Nursing necklaces are rad. Not only do they keep bubba’s entertained while breastfeeding or babywearing but they’re good for teething, developing motor skills and avoiding the otherwise inevitable hair (or earring) pulling that goes along with breastfeeding. I love this one from the Design ML in Ukraine (pictured above) – it’s made from unfinished wood beads and 100% cotton crochet and because it’s neutral colours (grey and wood) would go with almost anything. The range includes other natural colours such as white and beige.
Wooden toys of all varieties
Crunchy mamas and papas love their `wooden toys (so much nicer than plastic!) and luckily there’s an awesome range to choose from on Etsy. My picks for little ones are this natural wooden teether from Keepsake Toys (in fact I love their entire range) or these cheerfully-coloured maracas from Wooden OK Shop. While for toddlers you can’t go past these simple wooden blocks in maple, cherry and walnut from Bannor Toys (pictured right). My almost two-year old is also crazy about wooden toy cameras like this one (pictured above) with a spring-loaded shutter button from Blossom Farm Studio. All great gifts for a baby shower or first/second birthday.
To create your very own apothecary:
What crunchy parent doesn’t want their very own apothecary to deal things like minor wounds, colds and flu, headache, fever or a baby who just won’t sleep…not to mention feeling like a witch or wizard while they’re at it! Here are a few of the essentials you can find on Etsy to create your very own herbal first aid kit. You can start with this awesome homemade apothecary cabinet (pictured right) from Peg and Awl.
Etsy has an amazing range of dried herbs to make your very own medicinal teas, tinctures and salves
with (like the lavender pictured here from Atelier Emma Rose). Some great herbs to have on hand include arnica flowers (for bruises or muscle pain), calendula (for cuts and scrapes), chamomile (relaxing), dandelion root and nettles (both packed with essential vitamins and minerals), echinacea (for coughs and colds), lavender (calming, soothing and anti-microbial), peppermint (good for tummy upsets) and rosemary (great for hair and repelling insects). Here I’ve included links from around the world but depending where you live, you may like to check the site for local providers.
Every apothecary needs essential oils to make healing salves, natural deodorants and homemade beauty products or use (diluted of course) in baths, massage oils or diffusers. Start-off with a beginners kit like this one from Fair Organic (pictured right), with ten great starter oils.
Etsy is also a great place to find all the raw essentials you need to make your own salves (like my DIY sleep salve), oils and natural beauty products. Some good things to start off with include raw beeswax (for making salves and natural beauty products), unrefined shea butter (for natural deodorants and skincare), argan oil (for moisturising, haircare and homemade beard balm) and coconut oil (for everything!). You’ll also need an assortment of tins, deodorant containers and glass dropper bottles (like these from WTOTL pictured right).
Health and beauty
Not all crunchy parents want to make everything themselves, which is why natural beauty products make a thoughtful gift. I love this range of natural, organic healing salves, deodorants, toothpaste, sunscreen and repellents from Naturally Taylored (gift set pictured to the right). My other pick is the amazing Honest Amish Bear Balm for crunchy papas.
For the home
Etsy is full of eco products for the home. My favourites include this glass teapot from Unihom in London for making medicinal teas (see how here), these bamboo kitchen utensils from Storybrooke and this set of organic cleaning products from Essential 8 in New York. I have also have a soft spot for these hand-crocheted scrubbies for scrubbing pots and veggies by From the Heart By Sue.
For the garden
For parents who want to start right at the roots by growing their own organic fruit, veggies and herbs, Etsy has an amazing range of organic seeds. Alternatively, these seed bombs make an awesome gift for an engagement, wedding, baby shower or house-warming. They are covered in red clay and worm castings ready to nourish the surrounding soil wherever they land soo you can simply “throw and grow”. They come in a personalised muslin pouch (pictured right) and your choice of four seed varieties – edible flowers, herbs, wildflowers or wildlife habitat.
As you can see Etsy is full of one of a kind, eco gift ideas. So if you’re looking for a present for a crunchy friend’s birthday, house-warming, engagement, wedding or baby shower or just for something cute for yourself, Etsy is a great place to start.