76 unique gift ideas from startups that are worth having on your radar

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Insider Picks

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Startups are often seen as incubators or think tanks making better, smarter, or cooler products faster than traditional companies can. And thanks to the lean businesses models made possible by the internet, those products don’t have to cost more than the status quo they’re replacing.

Their uniqueness, cool origin stories, and – on average – more sustainable and ethical business practices also make them particularly good gifts. Below are 76 up-and-coming startups we love to shop at, plus a cheat sheet for what to buy from each of them.

Below, you’ll find 76 of the best gifts you can buy from startups this year.


Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.


Allbirds

Allbirds

What to buy:Women’s Wool Loungers, $US95Men’s Wool Loungers, $US95

This is the footwear company responsible for the merino wool sneakers and loungers often called the “most comfortable shoes in the world” – a statement we agreed with after trying them. They’re great for everyday use or for travelling, and you’ll find them in high concentrations in hubs like Silicon Valley and New York City.

Allbirds are also a great gift for environmentally-conscious shoppers. The company is well-known for practicing “better business” and engineering its shoes from sustainable wool,eucalyptus leaves, or foam made from sugar cane.


Brooklinen

Brooklinen

What to buy:Brooklinen Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle, from $US213

Brooklinen is one of our favourite companies, point blank. We think they make the best high-end sheets at the best price on the market, and most of the Insider Picks team uses Brooklinen on their own beds.

The Luxe Hardcore Sheet Bundle comes in 15 colours and patterns, and you can mix and match them to suit your taste. As part of the Bundle, you’ll receive a core sheet set (fitted, flat, two pillowcases), duvet cover, and two extra pillowcases in soft, smooth 480-thread-count weave. Grab a gift card (delivered digitally or in a gift box) if you want them to have more freedom.


Atlas Coffee Club

Atlas Coffee

What to buy:Three-Month Subscription, $US55

Atlas Coffee Club is a monthly coffee subscription that curates freshly-roasted, micro-lot coffees from around the world and sends them to your door. Since the coffees span the globe, each shipment is meant to connect recipients with the culture that produced it. Shipments include a corresponding postcard (plus flavour notes and brewing tips), and the coffee bag designs are inspired by local landscapes and textiles.


AUrate

AUrate

What to buy:Tribar Ear Jacket, $US180

Instead of making concessions on quality, pricing, and ethical practices, AUrate makes beautiful jewellery that combines all three. They use durable luxury materials, original designs, transparent pricing, and sustainable production that women can feel good about supporting. In partnership with Mastery Charter, the startup has also given thousands of books to NYC students and schools.


Bombas

Bombas

What to buy:Holiday Sock Gift Box, 4-Pair, $US65

Bombas makes the best socks on the market. They benefit from upgrades like a supportive honeycomb stitch, blister tabs built into ankle-height styles, and a Y-stitched heel and “invisitoe” that minimizes annoying bumps.

It was also founded to address that socks are the number one most requested item in homeless shelters. Every time customers buy a pair, they give a thoughtfully designed pair to someone in need. The company has donated more than 8.6 million pairs of socks to homeless shelters since 2013.


Away

Away

What to buy:Away Carry-On, $US225

Away makes stylish, functional suitcases that solve the old and new problems associated with travelling – including 360° spinner wheels and built-in USB chargers for charging any dead devices on the go. Don’t worry, the battery packs eject so you can take them through security and on the aeroplane. They’re also only seven pounds. Find our full review here.


Leesa

Leesa

What to buy:The Leesa Pillow, $US75

Leesa is a direct-to-consumer mattress brand, and their pillows are an easy gift that is extremely comfortable. After years of development and hundreds of prototypes, the Leesa pillow is cool, supportive, and responsive. Leesa is also a B-Corp which voluntarily adheres to strict social and environmental standards – and has donated more than 30,000 mattresses to charity.


Everlane

Everlane

What to buy:Cashmere Waffle Square Turtleneck, $US155

You can’t talk about digital startups without mentioning the cult-favourite company Everlane. It has earned its loyal following thanks to transparent pricing, ethical practices, well-made basics, and frequent product drops. The Insider Picks team even rounded up 13 essentials from the company we wear almost every day.

For gifts, you can’t go wrong with Everlane cashmere, starting at $US100 (or, more recently, their $US95 alpaca sweaters).The quality is great, and the price is fair.


Dagne Dover

Dagne Dover

What to buy:Large Allyn Tote, $US345

Dagne Dover has only been around since 2012, but their clever, stylish bags are already a go-to favourite for working women who swear by the timeless styles, ample storage space, and relatively ingenious designs.

If you’re looking for a work bag, the Allyn Tote is a great option. It comes in three sizes, with prices starting at $US305. For something casual and uniquely cool, check out the $US175 Dakota Backpack. For frequent gym-goers or a weekender bag, take a look at the $US155 Landon Carryall. We’ve personally tried them all, and they’re among the best bags we’ve found.


Filippo Loreti

Filippo Loreti

What to buy:Venice Moonphase Rose Gold Watch, $US169

Filippo Loreti is the most crowdfunded watch company ever (setting a world record and then breaking it again), and they’re making $US1,000+ luxury watches affordable. The Filippo Loreti watches combine premium craftsmanship with elegant designs, and can be found for as low as $US219 to as high as $US459. We’ve reviewed both the men’s and women’s options ourselves, though the site is pretty much unisex.


BioLite

BioLite

What to buy:Wood & Charcoal Burning FirePit, $US199.95

BioLite is an NYC-based outdoor energy startup known for innovation, and their $US200 FirePit was one of the top tech Kickstarter campaigns of all time. It has 51 airjets that add oxygen to key locations for uniform heat, foldable legs for portability, and Bluetooth-capability that lets users control flame intensity via app. Thanks to patented airflow technology, you can enjoy the a traditional wood-burning campfire without any of the smoke. You can read more about it here.

BioLite is also mission-based, and it helps off-grid families around the globe access clean, affordable energy safely.


Scotch Porter

Scotch Porter

What to buy:Essential Hair & Face Collection, $US59.99 (originally $US69)

Scotch Porter is a men’s grooming startup with all-natural ingredients and a full line of products for hair, beards, shaving, and skin. It’s now our men’s style reporter’s favourite brand for all-over grooming, with a special emphasis on the essential hair care.


Baabuk

Baabuk

What to buy:Smart Wooler, $US112

Baabuk is another startup option for wool sneakers, this time with elastic laces. The Swiss company raised nearly $US40,000 on Kickstarter to launch its woolen slipper, but Insider Picks reporter Lulu Chang makes the case for their colour-blocked Smart Wooler.

It’s also a certified B-Corp, like Allbirds and some of our other favourite companies to shop from.


Boie

Boie

What to buy:Toothbrush, $US10

Boie makes toothbrushes from antimicrobial, BPA-free, 100% recyclable rubber that is softer and more effective than traditional toothbrushes. The materials should also last up to two times longer, and are designed with snap-off brush heads to reduce plastic waste when users need a replacement.

I was sceptical, but Boie toothbrushes are so effective and easy to use that they have replaced more expensive electric toothbrushes for me. They also look pretty cool.

If you’re looking for an electric brush, check out Quip – it’s another startup with a cult following.


Naadam

Naadam

What to buy:Essential Sweater, available in v-neck or crew, $US75

Naadam is a cashmere startup that manages to blend low prices, luxury-level quality, and ethical practices well. The company’s $US75 Essential Cashmere Sweater is the real standout – and it was one of the best surprises of 2018 for me. The cashmere is thick, heavenly soft, and worth much more than its $US75 price tag.

Naadam is also a good gift for those who want to support “better business.” They use 100% clean energy to power production facilities, don’t use toxic chemicals, invest in more sustainable grazing practices, and fund better vaccination programs for healthier goats.

If they’re sold out, another good (though slightly more expensive) equivalent is Everlane, known for its transparent business and $US100 cashmere sweaters.


Cairn

Cairn

What to buy:Two-Month Subscription, $US59.90

Cairn is an outdoors-specific subscription box. Each month, the recipient will receive up to 6 full-sized, trail-ready outdoor products thoughtfully curated by enthusiasts – spanning categories like gear, apparel, food, skincare, and more. It’s a good way to discover new outdoor brands, cult-favourite products, and give yourself an ongoing excuse to get outdoors. In my experience, Cairn did a good job of including things I actually wanted to use in real life.


Citizen’s Mark

Citizen’s Mark

What to buy:GVA Luxe Fit, $US475

Citizen’s Mark is not a cheap gift, but it is a unique and valuable one. The startup was founded by a former activist and UN public policy professional, and each is manufactured ethically (down to the buttons) in textiles and factories that, prior to Citizen Mark, strictly produced men’s workwear. They’re so good that shoppers trusted the young startup with nearly $US500 over legacy brands like Hugo Boss because the quality was so distinguishable.

The company uses sustainable fabrics, solar energy in factories, pays living wages, and its models are all career women, including local NYC project managers and international arbitration attorneys.


ClassPass

ClassPass

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US50

Boutique fitness classes are on the rise, but they’re pretty expensive. ClassPass is a monthly subscription service that lets you join diverse classes at different specialised studios for $US15 or less per class (about half their traditional cost). It’s a great long-term option or a short-term trick to discovering which workouts and studios you like best in your area.


Coloured Organics

Coloured Organics

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US25

Coloured Organics makes ethical, organic clothes for kids and gives back to children in need with every purchase. The organic cotton it uses is softer, more eco-friendly, and free of potentially dangerous chemicals that can harm the wearer, the farmer, and the environment.


Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US25

Daily Harvest is a healthy eating startup designed to solve pretty much all of your roadblocks to eating well. They create delicious, pre-portioned meals that are designed by a chef and a nutritionist, cost under $US10, and are frozen in a way that preserves all their helpful nutrients at peak freshness. Nothing will take them more than 30 seconds to prepare.


Embark

EmbarkVet

What to buy:Dog DNA Test Kit, $US199 [Save $US40 with the code “HOLIDNA” now through December 31]

Embark is a dog DNA test, and reportedly the most accurate breed identification on the market with consideration of over 200K genetic markers. Its founders partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (the leading veterinary school in the country) and a pioneer in consumer genetics – Spencer Wells – to bring cutting-edge science to pet care.

It’s a great tool for curious owners or for health concerns. Users receive a family tree that goes back to their pup’s great-grandparents, and a health report that screens for over 165 genetic conditions.


MM. LaFleur

MM. LaFleur

What to buy:Etsuko Dress, $US195

MM.LaFleur is the massively popular women’s workwear startup that makes elegant workwear for women whose professional lives follow more of a 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. schedule. Head designer Miyako Nakamura (of former Zac Posen fame) makes ingeniously flattering clothes from machine-washable, travel-friendly materials that the New York City Ballet could move uninhabited in. She also builds in tricks like adjustable hems.

The Etsuko is the company’s elegant weekday warrior. It’s been sold out and restocked over 20 times, and it has earned the company over $US3 million alone in just three years ($US1 million of which came just from the dress in black). We’re fans, too.


Framebridge

Framebridge

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US25

Framebridge is a startup that makes custom framing for not-custom-framing prices. You can print something on your own and have it sent to your door, or you can take advantage of the team of designers. They will send you free frame style recommendations or consult with you on constructing a gallery wall in your home (the consultation is $US99, but $US39 of that becomes a framing credit afterward).


Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty

What to buy:Gift Box, from $US36

Function of Beauty is an up-and-coming haircare startup that just sold their one-millionth bottle. The founding team – world-class MIT engineers and data scientists – spent years building an algorithm to design your unique, ideal shampoo and conditioner combinations from hundreds of ingredients. Shoppers tell the team what they want and need for their hair, and the team individually develops a formula. Products are cruelty-, paraben-, and sulfate-free and vegan. They’re also made in the U.S.

This Gift Box will come with a gift card and accessories like hair ties, silicone travel bottles, and a toiletry bag.


Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective

What to buy:LITE leggings, $US78

Girlfriend Collective is an affordable, unique fitness startup that makes stylish workout gear from eco-friendly materials like recycled fishing nets and plastic water bottles in ethical factories. It’s also some of the very best workout gear I’ve tried for Insider Picks.


Greats

Greats

What to buy:The Royale, $US179

Greats is a Brooklyn-based shoe startup that makes luxury sneakers that the average person can afford. Since most of today’s popular sneakers come from big-name sportswear companies, you’ll often pay a premium for something unique. Greats is a good exception: accessible but luxury-grade quality.


Hatch

HATCH

What to buy:The Stella Dress, $US258

Hatch is the name to know in stylish maternity clothes. They’re designed to be worn before, during, and after pregnancy, and a quarter of its shoppers aren’t even pregnant – just fans of the label. That is not something that can be said for the maternity-wear of the past: sack dresses and denim with stretch waistbands. Read more about the label here, or gift their wildly popular Stella Dress for $US260.


ISM

ISM

What to buy:Classic Backpack, $US235

ISM is a San Francisco startup that specialises in clever features for commuters. Its Classic Backpack is a unisex bag that’s durable enough for the demands of every day, but luxurious enough for professional or formal environments. Helpful tricks include an external zippered laptop compartment and charger port. You can find a full review here.


Janji

Janji

What to buy:Women’s Strata Tech Long Sleeve, $US64Men’s Strata Tech Long Sleeve, $US64

Janji is a running gear startup with a cool, unique aesthetic and a charitable mission. The company donates 5% of each sale to fund clean water projects. Each collection is designed to celebrate a country in which Janji is supporting ongoing clean water efforts, making each one effectively limited edition. I personally reviewed the company’s Uganda-inspired line, and the designs were done in collaboration with local artists.


Leatherology

Leatherology

What to buy:Small Shave Bag, $US85 ($US10+ for monogram)

This company is making minimalist, chic leather goods for men and women without the markup imposed by legacy names or department stores, so you can get the same beautiful, high-quality leather for 5x less than you’re used to paying. Their $US120 Double-Zip Toiletry Bag is one essential I never travel without.


Leon and George

Leon and George

What to buy:Silver Evergreen, complete with ceramic pot and stand, $US109

Leon and George delivers houseplants to your door in pleasing, mid-century style pots. The Silver Evergreen (above) is reportedly named as one of NASA’s top ten air purifying houseplants and is – according to legend – considered to bring good luck.


Linjer

Linjer

What to buy:Linjer Men’s Chronograph Watch, $US211Linjer Women’s Petite Watch, $US211

Linjer is a Kickstarter-alum and luxury leather goods company that has grown up to make really nice watches under $US300. They spent two years perfecting their first two timepiece designs (think: high-end minimalism) and raised nearly $US1 million on Kickstarter to fund the project. We’ve personally reviewed their $US249 analogue watches.


M. Gemi

M. Gemi

What to buy:The Corsa, $US348

M. Gemi is a startup that makes handcrafted leather shoes in small, family-owned Italian workshops and sells them directly to customers online. They were first catapulted into internet fame thanks to their women’s driver shoes ($US228 – $US298).

The Corsa is another mainstay, and it’s one of our all-time favourite ankle boots. If you can swing it, it’s worth the $US348.


Made In

Made In

What to buy:The Starter Kit, $US234 (originally $US260)

Made In is a Texas-based startup that leverages a 100-year family history in kitchen supplies to make premium cookware more affordable. The company is so confident in the quality of its cookware that it even offers a 100-day trial and lifetime warranty on its products. We love its 10-inch nonstick fry pan ($US79, currently sold out) that’s non-stick without relying on chemicals, and its luxe saucier ($US99, currently sold out) and you can gift a starter kit of a stainless steel frying pan, saucepan, and stock pot for under $US250.


Mahabis

Mahabis

What to buy:Mahabis Classic 2, $US95

Mahabis slippers became their own online sensation thanks to their comfort and sleek design. The Mahabis slippers are slim, have a 100% wool lining, and cushion-fold foam heels – meaning you can wear them as a slip-on or sneaker interchangeably. The London startup first issued slippers with detachable outdoor soles, but their latest kinds have a permanent sneaker sole. You can still buy both versions, but the Classic 2 are less expensive and more popular. Find a full review here.


Material

Material

What to buy:The Fundamentals, $US175

Material is a kitchen startup that makes thoughtfully designed essentials – best exhibited in the seven-piece set called The Fundamentals. The set consists of two types of knives, tongs, two types of spoons, and a spatula, all contained in a modern, space-saving wooden base.

All Material products are also made in a region of southern China known for its expertise in knife-making and kitchenware manufacturing, so it should last for years to come. The company offers a 60-day free trial as well as a lifetime guarantee on the set.


Mejuri

Mejuri

What to buy:Starburst Necklace, $US65

Mejuri is a Canadian startup created in 2015 to make fine jewellery affordable to buy – and it has successes like product wait lists totaling 40,000 people and a $US5 million Series A financing to show for it. It’s one of our favourites in the space.

If you want to give a special gift (and turn her onto a brand she might even buy from for herself in the future), it’s one of the best options for contemporary, fine jewellery. They even have surprisingly affordable 14K gold pieces.


MeUndies

MeUndies

What to buy:MeUndies Women’s Lounge Pant, $US68MeUndies Men’s The Lounge Pant, $US68

MeUndies is especially well-known for its popular social media presence and unbelievably comfortable underwear, but their lounge pants are one of the best (and most comfortable) things we’ve ever tried here at Insider Picks.


Panacea

Panacea

What to buy:
Essentials Kit, $US74

Panacea is a skincare startup that bucks the “more is more” trend with only three excruciatingly well-made products – a gender-neutral cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen (the Essentials Kit includes all three). It was born out of the founder’s own battle with cystic acne, and it’s pretty great in person. The line is also cruelty-, paraben-, and sulfate-free.


Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply

What to buy:Men’s Apollo 3 Dress Shirt, $US125Women’s Easier Than Silk Shirt, $US85

Ministry of Supply is a performance workwear company founded at MIT. In essence, they re-invent sharp, classic styles in materials that work better with the human body – like suits that reroute body heat to de-wrinkle in real time.

Their major hero product is this Apollo 3 dress shirt, created after five years of research and development with MIT and NASA. It’s made from a “never-iron” fabric that is supposedly 19 times more breathable than cotton. Find a full review here.

For women, their Easier Than Silk shirt can’t disappoint. It’s meant to be the antithesis of everything women dislike about button-ups. It’s breathable, sleek, and travel-friendly without ever wrinkling. I’ve even called it the best one I’ve tried.


Modsy

Modsy

What to buy:Plus Gift Card, $US59

Modsy is like the grown-up, home interior-inspired computer game of your dreams. Send in pictures of a room you’re having trouble decorating, and an interior designer will make a 3D model of your exact room and fill it with furniture from popular home stores that you can actually buy, and which they have selected based on your budget and taste. It’s a great gift for anyone moving, re-decorating, or looking to add a gallery wall but who doesn’t have the time or interest to muddle through it on their own.

I used the service and had a great experience, and I’ve recommended it to anyone who asks.


Mott & Bow

Mott & Bow

What to buy:Men’s Dynamic Stretch Skinny, $US118Women’s Mid Rise Skinny, $US108

Mott & Bow is a premium denim startup known for its under-$US150 jeans. The company has made both a pair of super slimming skinny jeans the internet loves, as well as a pair of men’s jeans that Business Insider’s Vice President of Commerce found as comfortable as sweatpants for a 6-hour flight. Mott & Bow also gives you the option to order an additional size to try on at home for free.


Potluck

Potluck

What to buy:Essential Bundle, $US270

Potluck is a startup that makes home- and professional cook-approved sets of cookware, knives, and utensils for about half the price of traditional retail. If you’re going to grab anything from the startup, we suggest the Essential Bundle. It equips cooks with the 22 pieces they will need for everything from ramen to a Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s a great gift for new homeowners.


MVMT

MVMT

What to buy:MVMT Gift Card, from $US35

MVMT makes affordable, stylish sunglasses and watches that mix quality and approachability very well – making them a new mainstay for first-time watch wearers. The company was one of the biggest campaigns in Indiegogo history and has grown rapidly in name recognition and sales since – generating over $US30 million in sales in 2015 alone. In our testing, we were able to get three styles for less than what most companies charge for one watch.


Nisolo

Nisolo

What to buy:Women’s Lori Tote, $US134Men’s Andres All-Weather Boot, $US230

Nisolo is one of our favourite sustainable companies to cover. The products are fantastic, affordable, and support an ethical reshaping of the fashion industry. We especially like the company’s footwear, and their Lori Tote is one of the best values I’ve found.

The “better business” list is long: Nisolo uses leather sourced from tanners that treat animals ethically, implement eco-friendly waste disposal systems, and ensure fair wages, healthy working environments, and healthcare for their employees. The average salary of a Nisolo worker is 27% higher than Fair Trade wage requirements. And thanks to financial literacy programs, 100% of its producers have banking accounts – a figure that was at only 10% two years ago. Check their Impact Report here.


No B.S.

Anthropologie

What to buy:Retinol Cream, $US47.50

No B.S. is a new plant-based, cruelty-free skincare line that we’ve included in our favourite all-time skincare brands. All No B.S. products are made from potent, plant-based ingredients, scientifically-proven heavy hitters, and no fillers like parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, or phthalates. Their cult-favourite is the Retinol Cream, though their basics are good, too.


Oars + Alps

Oars + Alps

What to buy:Oars + Alps: Face Essentials, $US61

Oars + Alps was founded to change the way guys think about skin care. Products are high-end, made without toxins, and are comprised solely of natural, science-backed ingredients.


Parachute Home

Parachute

What to buy:Linen Sheet Set, from $US169

Parachute is a new high-end home essentials brand that makes luxe sheets, towels, and more at an affordable price.

If you’re going to buy sheets, Brooklinen is generally the best value for your money – but not for luxe materials like linen. Instead of paying $US229+ for a basic linen set from Brooklinen, you can pay $US169+ at Parachute for something comparable. But, Parachute doesn’t automatically include a top sheet, so you’ll need to add one on if you want it.


Physiclo

Physiclo

What to buy:Pro Resistance Tights, $US125

Physiclo’s technology – leggings with built-in resistance bands – was first founded by medical students to make it easier for hospital patients to get the most out of their limited physical exercise, and has since gone mainstream through this startup. Physiclo claims testing has shown their resistance technology to increase muscle engagement by 23% and help marathon runners improve their finish times by almost 8 minutes (over a 10-week testing period). For the average person, they help maximise any workout.


PlateJoy

Platejoy

What to buy:Membership, 6-Months, $US69

PlateJoy is an online service that will make a custom meal plan for you for $US8 per month. It factors in details like your goals, taste preferences, allergies, and what you already have in your pantry at home to reduce food waste and expense.

If you want, you can even send the PlateJoy-generated grocery list to Instacart where it will automatically populate in your cart, so you can then place an order for everything you need to be delivered in as little as two hours.


Revere

Revere

What to buy:Pre-Workout Energy, $US40

Revere is the plant-based pre-workout that tastes good and performs well without the long list of scary chemicals found in the giant neon tub versions. Revere is vegan, and it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or GMOs. Energy spikes come from natural caffeine sources like green tea, coffee extract, and guarana so users don’t experience the jitters or crash that accompanies other products.


Revtown

Revtown

What to buy:Sharp Denim, $US75

Revtown is a denim startup founded by three former Under Armour alumni, and most of its impressive denim doesn’t exceed $US75 for a pair. Check out a full review of the jeans here, which are notable for their four-way stretch (and their hard-to-beat price).


Rothy’s

Rothy’s

What to buy:Pointed Flats, $US145

San Francisco-based startup Rothy’s is one of the most exciting startups to watch right now. The company’s flats are incredibly comfortable, and everything is made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles and other recycled materials. They’re also machine-washable, and light enough to be comparative to going barefoot. Like the rest of the company’s loyal fan-base, we loved them.


Snowe

SNOWE

What to buy:Bathrobe, $US98

Snowe makes thoughtfully designed home essentials from the highest quality materials in the world and sells them at attainable, direct-to-consumer prices. Their luxurious unisex bathrobe has been named the best and most absorbent terry robe on the market (by a landslide), and I happen to be one of its fervent believers.


Society6

Society6

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US25

If you’re looking for unique, clever, and affordable accessories for the home that not everyone will have, head to Society6. The products are made by hundreds of thousands of artists from around the globe who upload their original works to be used for everything from cool art prints to your morning coffee mug.Take a look at the full selection here, which is surprisingly affordable.


Stowaway

Stowaway

What to buy:Stowaway Cosmetics Every Day Kit, $US79

Stowaway is a company making right-sized makeup, which basically means makeup that you can feasibly finish it (rather than hoard as it expires) – and can be travelled with more easily.We tried it out and loved the cosmetics as well as their founding idea.


Suavs

SUAVS

What to buy:Zilker, $US95

Suavs are flexible, packable sneakers made from a soft, breathable 3D-printed knit. They’re unisex, lightweight, have washable insoles, and are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes we’ve ever worn.


Summersalt

Summersalt

What to buy:The Jet Lag Kit, $US155

Summersalt gained its loyal following by making designer swimwear for $US95 or less. Their new clothes are geared towards travelling, and they’re just as good of a deal. The Jet Lag Kit ($US175 value) contains the smooth and sleek Everywhere Pant, Everywhere Top, specialty Copper Cow Coffee, and Vitruvi Wake Mist, which has a crisp, woodsy scent. Add gift wrapping for $US5.


Supply

Supply

What to buy:The Single Edge Starter Set, $US129

Supply is a shaving startup that may have solved razor bumps completely. Its single-edge razor is the most popular one ever launched on Kickstarter, and the popularity is deserved. By using a single blade, the Single Edge cuts hairs at skin level, rather than cutting hairs under skin level like multi-blade razors, which causes irritation. Supply’s razor gave our reporter the best, closest, and most comfortable shave yet – without any razor bumps.


Driftaway Coffee

Driftaway

What to buy:Three-Month Subscription, from $US39

Driftaway is a gourmet coffee subscription that gets smarter the longer you use it – remembering your preferences and steering you towards increasingly accurate brews for your palette. The first shipment is a tasting kit with four coffee profiles, which users rate online or in the app for the site to use as a flavour baseline.


ThirdLove

ThirdLove

What to buy:ThirdLove Gift Card, from $US50

ThirdLove is a women-led lingerie startup that is best-known for inventing half-cup sizes to cater to women who are between standard sizes. It’s pretty affordable, now carries 70 bra sizes, and makes the number one best bra and best strapless bra we think women can buy on the internet.


Thursday Boot

Thursday Boot

What to buy:Men’s Statesman, $US180Women’s Duchess, $US160

Thursday Boot Company makes some of the best classic dress shoes and leather boots on the market for about half the price they could sell for in a department store. We’ve tried shoes from across the spectrum, and we’ve always been impressed with the quality and comfort.


Tommy John

Tommy John

What to buy:E-Gift Card, from $US25

Tommy John started as a solution to undershirts that ride up under dressing shirts, and has since expanded to make some of the best underwear, T-shirts, socks, performance gear, and loungewear we’ve yet found – for both men and women.

We ranked Tommy John as the best men’s underwear you can buy, as well as the best women’s you can buy.


ADAY

ADAY

What to buy:Turn it Up Pant, $US125

ADAY is a startup that wants to simplify wardrobes with clothes that do more with less, and with a conscious supply chain and materials, the latest example of which is a collection made from beech tree fibres and seaweed. What’s better? The clothes are soft, smart, and decidedly cool.

The company’s “Turn it Up Pant” are one of my all-time favourite pairs of work pants – flattering, flexible, unique enough to draw some compliments and questions, and comfortable enough for all-day wear.


True & Co

True & Co

What to buy:V Neck Racerback, $US58

True & Co used feedback from six million women to make the perfect wireless bra, and – let me tell you – it really paid off. It’s seamless, buttery soft, and has a bonded technology and “super lift fabric” that lifts and supports larger cup sizes – and the company’s debut collection sold out seven times. It’s perhaps the only bra I would dub “so comfortable you will forget you have it on.”


TRX

TRX

What to buy:All-in-One Suspension Training System, $US149.95

TRX is a suspension workout system developed by Navy Seal Randy Hetrick. For Hetrick, TRX was the perfect solution to the problem of staying in peak physical condition during deployment without access to a gym. Since then, the lightweight and inexpensive full-body workout has become a mainstay for supermodels, pro athletes, Ivy League college sports teams, and the US army. The system is compact, travel-friendly, and basically turns your body into your own gym machine. Find out more here.


Otherland

Otherland

What to buy:The Threesome Gift Set, $US89 (originally $US108)

Otherland candles are the relatively accessible luxury candles created by Abigail Cook Stone, a former art buyer for Ralph Lauren. They’re some of the most beautifully packaged and best-smelling we’ve seen in a while – and they make great gifts. The Black Box is the limited-edition gift box with special holiday artwork and contains wintry Black Velvet, Fallen Fir, and Old Fashioned candle scents. You can add a personalised note to be included.


Coravin

Amazon

What to buy:Coravin Model Two Wine Systems, $US299.95

Coravin allows you to pour a glass of wine without ever uncorking the bottle, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the wine by exposing it to air. Your wine will stay preserved over weeks, months, and even years.


Cuyana

Cuyana

What to buy:Classic Structured Leather Tote, $US195

Cuyana is an apparel and accessories brand best known for its beautiful leather goods and the mission of “fewer, better” things in a closet. Everything is made with an attention to craftsmanship and from premium materials that feel more luxurious than their price suggests.


Grafomap

Grafomap

What to buy:Custom Map Print, from $US49

Grafomap is a website that allows you to design custom maps of anywhere in the world. You can make one of your hometown, your college town, your favourite travel destination, or the place where you got engaged or married – you’re only limited by your imagination. You can find the full Insider Picks review here.


DSTLD

DSTLD

What to buy:Women’s Leather Moto Jacket, $US350Men’s Leather Moto Jacket, $US400

DSTLD makes both the best affordable jacket for women and men that you can buy – a $US350 leather moto that I call my closet’s best-kept secret. It’s a classic design done in premium leather with the help of some smart upgrades. The LA startup is best-known for their luxury-level denim under-$US100, but this is the real gem on the site.


Journy

Journy

What to buy:Gift Card, from $US50

Journy is an online concierge system that makes personalised travel itineraries for $US25 per day- complete with booking hotels and making restaurant reservations – that takes your personal suggestions, preferences, and feedback into account.

It takes an incredible amount of stress out of travel, and it allows you to enjoy the anticipation of a trip without missing out on adventures while you’re gone or letting go of control. You can read more in-depth about the service here.


Skyroam

Skyroam

What to buy:Mobile WiFi Hotspot & Power Bank, $US199.99

Skyroam is the ultimate gift for world travellers – and one which they’re not likely to already own. In a nutshell, it’s portable and dependable Wi-Fi that costs about $US8 per day – and it supports up to five devices at once. That means if you’re travelling with family or friends, the $US8 daily fee could cover everyone’s internet access – rather than whatever the cell phone company is charging.


Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi

What to buy:Allpa 35L Travel Pack, from $US220

Cotopaxi is a do-good outdoor startup that makes meaningful social impact and gives 2% of its yearly revenue to ending global poverty. It also makes the best carry-on bag I’ve ever come across. The Allpa can fit 35 litres’ worth of stuff, is comfortable to wear, and can function as a duffel or backpack.


State

State

What to buy:Women’s Lorimer, $US90Men’s Lenox, $US145

State bags are also known as #GiveBackPack(s). For every State bag purchased, State hand-delivers a backpack – packed with essential tools for success – to a local child in need.

Most State backpacks are made from a lightweight but durable nylon material. The Lorimer has a large main compartment, a padded laptop sleeve, and soft adjustable straps. The Lenox has the same, but with two large main compartments and a few more life hacks like a bottom zippered compartment that can fit shoes up to a men’s size 13. Both are bestsellers and can be personalised.


Maelove

Maelove

What to buy:The Glow Maker, $US27.95

Maelove is a “radically affordable” skin care product line founded by MIT grads with products all priced under $US30. Their best-selling Glow Maker has sold out four times already, and consumers have been quick to note that it has a similar ingredient list to the multi-award-winning C E Ferulic Serum ($US166), despite being more than $US130 cheaper.

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