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Reckless Ericka
Photograph: Reckless Ericka

The best Christmas gifts made in Singapore

There's never been a better time to shop local and support small businesses

By Cheryl Sekkappan and Delfina Utomo
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2020 has been particularly hard on the retail sector, not to mention our small local businesses. WIth tourism dried up, there's no time like the present to rally and support homegrown brands. But that's not even the top reason to shop local – fact is, there are many Singaporean labels with stylish and high-quality products that will make for impressive gifts this festive season. There's much to choose from, including charming stationery, hip leather goods and Singapore-inspired scarves. Go on, take your pick. 

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durian mask
Photograph: Reckless Ericka

Singapore Food Series masks (from $25)

From Reckless Ericka

Since we'll be wearing masks for a while, you can switch up from the standard surgical mask to something more stylish and bold. Shop the playful Singapore Food Series range of reusable masks by local label Reckless Ericka. There's something for your friends and family who are fans of fish head curry, chilli crab and even the glorious durian. The striking prints will make sure you make a statement – about your favourite foods – when you walk into a room. 

The Paper Bunny 2021 Planner
Photograph: @thepaperbunny/Instagram

2021 Planner ($37)

From The Paper Bunny

Do we dare start planning for 2021? Help your giftee get 2021 off to a great start with the compact planner from The Paper Bunny. Coming in two colours, the compact-sized planners are bright, organised, and ridiculously easy to stow away in your bag. They also have new activity pages, two ribbon bookmarks and new monthly and weekly views, so its easier for users to pen in goals, mantras and daily to-do lists. These are all accentuated by vivid illustrations, cute stickers and inspiring quotes to set an optimistic tone for the new year ahead. 

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Food from the Heart
Photograph: Food from the Heart

No Child Goes Hungry donation (from $55)

From Food from the Heart via Deliveroo

The festive season is also a time to give back to the community. Here's a thoughtful gift for Christmas – to encourage its customers to help those in need, Deliveroo Singapore has created a virtual pop-up restaurant on its app that enables users to donate to charity organisation Food from the Heart (FFTH). Users can search for "No Child Goes Hungry" on the app and make a donation the same way you would be ordering your favourite food. The donations will benefit 1,500 children from low-income families who are part of the of FFTH’s School Goodie Bag programme.

 

Amuse Projects
Photograph: Amuse Projects

Ultimate tea lover gift set ($115)

From A.muse Projects

Pamper the tea drinkers you know in your life with something special from local brewers A.muse Projects. The label is known for its beautiful and unique tea blends – which you can sample in this set. In the package, you can find 30g tea tin, a hook infuser, a travel tumbler, a jar of marmalade from Straits Preserves and a bundle of single origin chocolate from Vietnamese chocolate label Marou. 

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Jiakuma Design
Photograph: Jiakuma Design

Bento bag ($86)

From Jiakuma Design

The unique shape of these triangular bags by local brand Jiakuma is inspired by traditional Japanese bento bags. No two Jiakuma bags are the same and are made using fabric acquired from the founder's travels through the years. Expect batik from Indonesia and Africa, floral and bright prints from China, tapestry from Mexico and Thailand and more. 

The Kind Friend
Photograph: The Kind Friend

Bullet journal ($30)

From The Kind Friend

Mental health has been a huge talking point in 2020, especially after a year like this. Your loved ones (and yourself) could do with a, well, Kind Friend. The Kind Friend started as an account on Instagram to share and spread messages of kindness and positivity and soon developed to become a bullet journal where the user not only logs down notes and important information from their day but also take the time to reflect and enjoy the quiet moments in life. The journal is filled with uplifting quotes that serve as a reminder to also think about the things that make you feel good and appreciated. The pages are not lined so you can pretty much draw, scribble and jot down anything you want in any style you want. 

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Chokmah
Photograph: Fabian Loo

Terrazzo tray ($120)

Art

From Chokmah

Instead of getting a gift from a store, why not make the effort to actually make the gift? Sign up for a workshop with local craftspeople, Chokmah. Learn to craft a bespoke Terrazzo pill-shaped tray using the eco-friendly material Jesmonite. You're in charge of everything here, including choosing the colour of the tray and picking the 'Terrazzo' flecks for your tray.

SSEK Jewelry Workshop
Photograph: SSEK Jewelry

Jewelry Workshop ($75)

From SSEK Jewelry 

Workshops are the way to go if you want to spend some quality time with your giftee. Get crafty at SSEK Jewelry's jewellery making workshop, where you'll be taught all that goes into making a beautiful necklace or earring – basic wiring techniques, anchors, movement, form and colours. The style at SSEK Jewelry leans towards the whimsical, so expect loads of colourful semi-precious stones and glass beads. It's $75 for one person and only $125 for two. 

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candles
Photograph: Pass It On

Plantable Candle ($32)

From Pass It On

Can't travel this year? You can still go places via a Pass It On candle. Named after iconic travel destinations that though beautiful, are also endangered. The candles and scents hope to remind people to do their part in protecting the environment. Shop scents like orchid and vetiver, wood sage and sea salt, English pear and freesia, and more.

Omitir Concepts Porto Daypack
Photograph: @omitir/Instagram

Porto Daypack ($399)

From Omitir Concepts

The Porto Daypack from local fashion label Omitir Concepts oozes understated cool. This crossbody sling is made of 100% soft and pliant leather that conforms pleasingly to your body. It’s functional too – coming with two spacious main compartments for all your daily essentials, and a triple-stacked leather strap with rolled edges for ultimate comfort. We love the burnt amber colour, but the black and petroleum look just as appealing.

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Tropical Art Deco Scarf
Photograph: @binarystyle/Instagram

Tropical Art Deco Scarf ($100)

From Binary Style

Add a little glamour to your giftee's wardrobe with a scarf from homegrown label Binary Style. Here, designs take inspiration from the abundant history, architecture and nature of Singapore. The tropical art deco scarf is the latest favourite – the lyocell material is printed with art deco buildings hiding among vibrant peacock flowers and spider orchids. For a personal touch, top up $10 to add your giftee's name to the scarf in matte gold foil. 

Stay Inspired gift set
Photograph: @muyu.co/Instagram

Stay Inspired Gift Set ($55)

From Studio MU / YU

Charming and organic wooden trinkets are something of a specialty at Studio MU / YU. To mark the end of a bizarre and exhausting year, the craft shop has come out with a series of gift sets inspired by the lessons learned from 2020. Send your giftee an uplifting message with the Stay Inspired gift set, which comes in two iterations: MU includes a set of earrings, a DIY set and a surprise gift from the studio; YU throws in two additional pairs of earrings and free shipping. 

More gifts this Christmas

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