Local Wishlist: Seattle Alternatives to Big Brands

Santa shops around here, too.

By Carli Ricker December 16, 2020

All we want for Christmas is a local gift (bonus if it's chocolate).

This year, the push to support local businesses feels more urgent than ever—it’s a clear way to care for the community even as in-person interactions are limited. But don’t limit that hometown pride to your own personal shopping. With the holidays quickly approaching, here are some local alternatives you might consider swapping out for big brands this year, whether you're making a wishlist or doing the shopping.

Instead of a new Fossil wallet...

Try a Hardmill Bifold. Founded by brothers Ryan and Michael Barrie in 2013, Hardmill makes leather goods in its Seattle workshop with enough durability to be passed down—the best kind of re-gifting. $75

Instead of a Patagonia jacket...

Try a Freeman raincoat. Every jacket is handmade in the brand’s Seattle factory and, like the Patagonia version, offers two layers of waterproof, breathable fabric. Freeman's coat is flannel-lined to deliver maximum warmth on Washington's chilly, rainy days. It's almost like the designers live here. $345

Instead of Lululemon leggings...

Try Athleisure from Girlfriend Collective. The Seattle-based activewear brand sports an inclusive size range (leggings are available in sizes XXS–6XL) and colorways ranging from practical black to seasonal mulberry or thyme. And each pair of leggings is made from 25 water bottles that would otherwise be slowly decomposing in a landfill. $68–$88

Instead of an Anthropologie necklace...

Try a piece from Baleen, a Ballard-based jewelry company. Almost all of Baleen’s jewelry is made in Seattle and with metals from recycled sources; Baleen’s sustainability practices even trickle into its packaging through moves like ditching bubble wrap in favor of a honeycomb shaped recycled paper that will support both a safe delivery and the earth. (But if your giftee is local, too, you don't even need honeycomb paper to sustainably deliver Baleen's cute goods.) $38–$62

Instead of stuffing a stocking with See's Candy...

Try one of Seattle Chocolate Company’s holiday truffle bars in a festive flavor like candy cane crunch or hot buttered rum. Bonus: Each bar is packaged in wrappers designed by local artist Frida Clements. Picture a brown bear sipping a mug of steaming rum or an orca whale in a sweater leaping from the sea, Free Willy style. $4.50 per bar

Instead of a Lush face mask...

Try the Unmasked Forté exfoliating mineral mask from Seattle-based Rue Santé. Founder Elizabeth Lopez officially launched the brand in 2017 aiming to help customers feel good about themselves both physically and mentally—this mask just might be the boost you or your giftees need to cross that 2020 finish line. $30

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