Lifestyle

9 gifts for anyone who wants to support Hong Kong brands


No “supply chain issues” if you’re buying gifts from stores right here in Hong Kong.

There are beautiful things to buy at all hours of the day; a luxury afforded to us with the invention of the World Wide Web. Thank you, Tim Berners-Lee! The global supply chain crisis, however, has dampened this luxury somewhat — uh, creamed cheese shortages, anyone? NUTELLA shortages, anyone?! — and if you, too, dear reader, are still waiting on your Black Friday shipments to arrive, well, same. Stay strong.

This year, it’s not about shopping for Christmas gifts early. It’s about shopping smart. Meaning, shopping local. Think farm-to-table, but for things. There are so many incredible local small businesses here in Hong Kong — why not finish off your To-Buy list with gifts from closer to home?

Gifts For People Who Really, Really Love Hong Kong:

If you’re someone who shys away from a classic Hong Kong “Yau Lok!” bellow on minibus adventures, well, Ride the Minibus might be a difficult game for you to muster through (there’s a card on that very subject!). But 15 sips in — or however many you’ve had to sup in the duration of said card game — you’ll be bellowing no problem. Promise.

A collaboration project between 852prints and GetHigh HK, Ride the Minibus drinks to the weird and the wonderful (and there’s so much!) about living in Hong Kong with a total of 150 cards, 8 categories and hours and hours of good, not-quite-wholesome fun.

Add a couple of 852prints’ funny greeting cards to cart, too!

Unless you’re of the camp Perpetually Cold (Looking at you, Marta Colombo), the cameo appearance of a beautiful knit is something akin to blue moons; to lightning strikes. So, make these rare, cold-enough days especially warm with this rugby knit — a special collaborative effort between Hong Kong-based creators Love From Blue and CARLO CARLO.

Warping a checkerboard grid for a very of-the-moment pattern, this piece is as ’90s-inspired (a favourite design cue for CARLO CARLO) as it is grounded in 2021. And as with all Love From Blue designs, this sweater is hand-knitted from deadstock wool, so no guilt necessary about this purchase.

Oh, it’s unisex, too!

Speaking as someone who always, always nods “Yes please!” to “辣唔辣?” (“Spicy?”) queries re: siu mai orders at the 7-11 counter, chilli oil is a great gift. A thoughtful gift. A gift I’ll cherish on scrambled eggs for breakfast; on noodles, on siu mai, on whatever else for lunch; on fresh-out-the-oven pizza for dinner. It’s versatile!

My mouth met Explicit Spices’s Handmade Sakura Shrimp Chilli Oil (specifically the “Normal Hot” variation; they also have “Mild Hot” for babies and “Extra Hot” for the thrill-seekers) on a Sunday wander through the Calioo Christmas Food Market at AIA Vitality Park and knew, just as the oil hit my tastebuds, that this was a gift I’d love to receive — for Christmas and every holiday in between.

They have an incredible bottled mulled wine — Mood Wine — on-site at AIA Vitality Park through 2 January, too. Get in!

Cool-kid multi-brand store kapok turns 15 this Christmas! Happy birthday, kapok! In celebration, the retailer is launching 15 special collaborations with brands ranging from Gitman Vintage to Ditto Ditto.

If your intended is, say, a herbal enthusiast, kapok x MALIN+GOETZ’s three-part gift set (which includes a candle, a hand and body wash and a perfume oil all in their signature “Cannabis” scent) is only illicit in name. So, no THC. Instead, the scent starts spice-forward with bergamot and black pepper and falls on cedarwood and sandalwood before landing hard on patchouli — doing much of the heavy lifting. A perfectly legal loophole!

Like a pair of humdrum tube socks, this is the kind of gift you’d dread receiving as a child; the kind that pays heed only to the most practical. But now, the most practical — you know; the knick-knacks and thingamabobs you’d have to buy anyways — are the best kinds of gift to receive. We’re old! How did that happen.

A godsend for any period-having person (or anyone who might suffer from the occasional leakage), these period-proof panties from Hong Kong brand kiri™ come in a two-pack of both blue and black colourways and feel so silky smooth on the skin. Each holds the volume of 5.5 regular tampons! Make unsustainable periods a thing of the past this holiday season.

There may not be a shopping experience as disheartening as the journey toward brand-new denim. Your waist size, for some odd, extraordinary reason, changes with every different brand. And if you’re a real-32, vanity-31 narcissist like Jerry Seinfeld? Well, all the more difficult for you.

Jeans, then, aren’t the kind of thing you should buy for someone other than yourself, let alone gift for Christmas. Until unspun.

Headquartered in both San Francisco and Hong Kong (with a holiday pop-up in LANDMARK’s Belowground through 3 January!), unspun is a next-gen brand that offers on-demand, custom-fit denim that doesn’t just cater to your particular wants in fit, colour and washes — however indigo-blue they may be. Also headlining as a robotics company, unspun’s body scan ensures the pair of jeans you receive is tailor-made exactly to your body. Get your friend (or yourself!) the best-fitting pair of jeans this Christmas with a gift card (minimum value HK$350, but HK$1,560 covers the entire experience).

Address

unspun Pop-Up, Shop B, B/F, Belowground, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong

Price (for Gift Card)

Starts at HK$350

Unfortunately, we’re still going to be wearing masks into the foreseeable future. Into 2022, at least. And only just, hopefully! But until then, make the most of your now-normal everyday get-up, however uncomfortable, with FLO JEWELLERY’s FLO Diffuser™️ Gift Set, which includes two of the brand’s signature stone-magnet diffusers and a 5ml bottle of blended essential oil. So the vicinity surrounding your mask can smell like jasmine, or mint — depending on which essential oil you end up choosing.

If you want to make this wear-everyday gift extra special, personalised engraving is available for an extra HK$80.

Christmas is, generally, a time to be altruistic. A time to be thoughtful. A time to be kind. Now, if you’re looking for a gift that gives back, A Freaking Dumpling’s adorable ceramic chopstick holders offer a beautiful sentiment. For every holder purchased, six real, edible dumplings will be donated to Feeding Hong Kong.

Regular sets range from two (HK$268), six (HK$768) and twelve (HK$1,410) chopstick holders, with special limited-edition six-piece Christmas gift sets priced at HK$858 and a two-piece steamer set (with a reusable handmade bamboo steamer you can use to make real dumplings — CNY is fast approaching, folks!) a mere HK$298.

Slide into A Freaking Dumpling’s Instagram DMs to place orders for this very good cause.

(Featured image courtesy of @jdvstoreau and @afreakingdumpling)

Throw whatever stigma you’re still clinging onto about pre-loved clothing out the tinsel-rimmed window this holiday season. There’s so much to love on HULA! And so much to gift, too.

From Chanel handbags at a fraction of retail to heirloom-worthy jewellery and party dresses from the brands you love but don’t (can’t) indulge in as much as you’d like, there’s something for everyone at HULA — online and on-site in Wong Chuk Hang and Central’s Hollywood Road. Finding the perfect gift is just half the adventure.

Address

56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

(Hero and featured images courtesy of Love From Blue and CARLO CARLO)





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