A somewhat contentious day of celebration, Valentine’s Day can be (and oftentimes is) dismissed as a holiday invented to sell things. However, it also acts as a good reminder that we should be showing people love every day of the year—not just on 14 February. In this current political climate, it’s especially critical that we remember to be thoughtful and caring. In the spirit of being accepting, inclusive and kind, our Valentine’s Day gift guide includes everything from products that support the ACLU and Lady Parts Justice, to a kimono for those in need of self-care, and dick-shaped keyring for those in need of a laugh.
Rainbow Heart Tote
While it’s useful and very cute, there’s a lot more to this rainbow-colored, heart-printed tote ($22). Funds from the sale of this bag go to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) whose work has always been important, but perhaps is now more so than ever. Show your favorite people you care about them—and about the rights of others—with this canvas tote. (Of course, we also recommend setting up a monthly donation to the ACLU if you’re in a position to do so.)
Tell somebody how you feel about them with this “RAD” necklace ($185) from WINDEN and The Rising States, which is available in solid 14k yellow gold. Cast in NYC’s Diamond District and soldered in WINDEN’s Brooklyn studio, this is a delicate piece, but with a robust message.
Beauty Heroes Gift Card
A company that has immense ingredient integrity, Beauty Heroes doesn’t skimp on quality. Ensuring their products aren’t just toxin-free, but rather actually good for you, the team selects some of the most glorious products that will leave you feeling entirely pampered. With so many to choose from, sometimes the best bet is a gift card, and these ones are available from $25 to $420 and can be used toward their subscription service or in their webstore.
Art Every Day Notebook
There isn’t much in the world more appealing than creativity. One easy and affordable way to kickstart your mind is a good old doodle or free-write. This notebook ($9) from Poketo is especially useful because it quite literally tells you to get creative—the front (and back) say “Art Every Day.”
Eroticize Equality T-Shirt
Gloria Steinem once said that we need to “eroticize equality” rather than women’s bodies. This T-shirt from Prinkshop ($35) makes the statement—plain and simple—for all to see. The best part about wearing this particular belief on your chest is that Prinkshop gives 30% of their profits to Lady Parts Justice—an organization that uses humor and transparency to educate women about how their rights are being removed, and encourage people to form alliances in order to keep each other safe.
Sexy Time Personal Intimacy Oil
Whether you’re playing with a partner, as part of a team or solo, Apothecnanna’s Sexy Time personal intimacy oil ($52) is actually applied 15 minutes beforehand. By massaging the oil into one’s neck, chest and erogenous zones, it enhances sensitivity and blood flow. Made with jasmine, coconut, argan and cannabis, it also boasts a subtle but pleasing fragrance.
Tailored Fragrance Set
Thanks to a clever survey done online, perfumer Hawthorne tailor-makes two fragrances ($100) for you—or the person you’re gifting it to. From asking about specific types of whisky you drink, to style choices, workplace atmospheres and even body temperature, many factors pertaining to taste and personality are gleaned. The final result is two perfumes—one for work and one for play—that come delivered in sleek black and white packaging.
Verameat (helmed by Vera Balyura) is probably best known for handcrafted jewelry, but the NYC brand also makes apparel, accessories and tote bags. Available for pre-order now, this limited edition 100% silk scarf ($380) is thick and soft, but its artwork is kind of brutal. Depicting an alligator chomping down on a person, the design (by Anja Slibar) actually delights. Measuring 35 by 35 inches, and with hand-rolled edges, it’s a sophisticated but aggressive accessory.
Valentine’s Day Artisanal Dog Treats
Everyone needs a little love on Valentine’s Day, including our four-legged friends. A limited edition offering ($10) from artisanal dog treat producer Lord Jameson strikes the perfect balance of tastiness and health. Each treat is crafted from 100% organic non-GMO ingredients and is wheat-, corn-, soy- and diary-free. Made from coconut and roasted peanuts, it’s sure to be a pleaser.
An artist at the forefront of gender inclusiveness, Chinese photographer Ren Hang’s work is full of nudity, but is somehow not entirely sexual. Certainly NSFW, his work is controversial in his homeland, but embraced elsewhere, and it’s completely compelling albeit at times shocking or surprising. Edited by the legendary Dian Hanson, this book ($50) is an essential for any photography or Chinese art enthusiast.
Maybe the perfect gift for the person in your life who has three of everything, J W Anderson’s penis-shaped keyring ($108). Available in black, white or red and measuring 17cm (make a joke if you will) this keyring is made from 100% leather and invites all kinds of excellent puns and jokes—which is almost always welcome.
Philodendron Plant Mobile
Made from 100% brass, this gorgeous Philodendron leaf mobile ($130) is one plant you will never kill. Since the material will develop a patina as it ages, it can be hung somewhere warm and dry to slow the process—or the opposite to hasten it. Crafted in Portland, Oregon, it ships flat and needs no tools for assembly.
Caroline Ventura’s minimal jewelry brand brvtvs might be subtle, but clearly makes a sophisticated statement. Handmade in her NYC studio, this 14k gold band ($740) is delicate and easily paired with other accessories, but the inside features a hidden detail: a gorgeous conflict-free diamond. Available in sizes 3 to 7, with a white or black diamond, the ring measures a super-fine 2mm.
Inspired by the Japanese yukata (or summer robe) Hotel Saint Cecilia’s indigo kimono ($250) makes for luxuriant loungewear. Each has been custom made from 100% cotton indigo-dyed batik fabric. These are unisex, one-size-fits-all articles, with a sash belt to tie it up.
Images courtesy of respective brands