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Second hand Santa - Thryft GC

Gold Coast Christmas gift ideas doing good for the planet

Natalie O’Driscoll | November 2020

After such a hectic year, taking care of ourselves, each other and the planet need to be top priorities these holidays.

So when you show your loved ones you care with a gift this Christmas, why not also show the planet, community and your fellow humans too, by choosing to purchase from a local business that best represents the community spirit of the season? We’ve put together a list of ways Gold Coasters can give sustainable, planet-friendly and socially-minded gifts this season.

Contribute to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary currently has three options on offer for those feeling charitable this festive season:

1. Purchase a Paver

A Walkways for Wildlife paver is the perfect gift or personal memento. Have a special message or business name and logo engraved and laid at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for you to come back and see every time you visit.

2. Buy a $10 tree

One of the major threats to our vulnerable local koala population is the loss of their unique habitat, primarily due to land clearing for housing and agricultural development. You can help the Wildlife hospital continue the treatment and care of these beautiful Aussie icons by donating to the Tree to Me Program today. For as little as $10, you can help them continue to plant eucalypt trees in our Plantations.

This is the perfect gift for lovers of all wildlife, and a gift of giving back. Adopt an endangered native Australian animal and receive an animal plush, printed symbolic certificate, printed fact sheet as well as quarterly e-newsletters about your chosen animal.

All gift options are available on the Sanctuary website..

Shop Second Hand

Why not help reduce the burden on your local landfill by shopping second hand this year? You could even start a ‘Second Hand Secret Santa’ with friends and family – a new Christmas tradition! With so many awesome second hand stores on the Gold Coast, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift. Here are some of our faves:

Thryft GC | Burleigh

Located in the creative hub of Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Thryft GC sells vintage and pre-loved clothing and fashion with nothing over $5.

Salvos | West Burleigh

The West Burleigh Salvos who have an enormous range of pre-loved threads with something that will please the fussiest of gift recipients.

The Living Rivers Op Shop | Coomera

Weird and wonderful trinkets, fabulous fashion and a range of home goodies makes this Coomera gem a must-do.

The Village Markets Rack Sale | Burleigh

Burleigh Heads State School is the place to be on the first and third Sunday of each month, if you’re a style maven looking for local designer gear, and gorgeous pre-loved outfits.

Hunt and Gather Vintage | Currumbin Valley

Vintage lovers ahoy! These clever clogs at Hunt and Gather Vintage have set up an online shop on Facebook with new stuff uploaded every Tuesday and Thursday night. You can purchase online and pick up in person. Easy peasy!

Her Wardrobe Market | Broadbeach

The last weekend of each months sees Her Wardrobe set up shop in Broadbeach with a range of sellers bringing along their wardrobes.

Found | Tugun

You won’t find bargain basement prices at Found, but if you’re looking for a quality antique piece to add to your home or gift to that perfect someone, this is place to be.

AWLQ | Burleigh

Shop awesome vintage threads at this Burleigh treasure trove, and support the Animal Welfare League while you’re at it. Win-win.

Gold Coast North Anglican Op Shop | Labrador

The Gold Coast North Anglican Op Shops has an impressive collection of clothes, accessories and homewares for you to peruse, at jaw-dropping prices.

Give memories – not things

Gold Coast’s Lindy Charm School is offering 1950/60’s vintage pin-up Christmas Photoshoots, suitable for everyone from friends to family, and the perfect gift for your loved ones that can be treasured for generations.

Have you ever wanted to have a Vintage/PinUp makeover and photoshoot? Got a rockabilly obsessed bestie? Want to send the fam back to the 50s for a day? Just in time for Christmas, team at

Lindy Charm School are getting together to offer another one of these super fun and affordable experiences for you.

Choose Christmas these, 50s-60s summer, 40s pinup, girl gang, couples summer lovin’, sibling summer days or choose your own theme!

Fill your heart and not the land

Ethical retail store Heartfill is the passion project of local teacher-turned-sustainable living queen Corinne Russel, who believes in filling your heart, not filling the land. And this is the ethos she’s embodied through Heartfill, a one-stop-shop for flowers, clothing, art, craft, homewares, and vintage pieces, all in one unique, personalised and mindful approach to retail.

Most of the products sold at Heartfill are hand-made, made to order, or completely one off, so there’s no generic and mass-produced products in sight. Everything in store is sourced from local creatives, so by making a purchase you are not only treating yourself to something fabulous, but also supporting local talent.

Choose eco-friendly cleaning and body products

Why not introduce your eco-minded loved ones to locally-made cleaning products that are both affordable and kind to our environment?

Consciously Clean is a relatively new local store that sells cleaning supplies including everything from laundry liquid to multi-purpose cleaners, disinfectant, and surface spray. The team there encourages you bring along your own containers and fill them up with whatever you need.

In addition, products such as moisturiser, deodorant, face creams and serums, razors, soaps and pet products are also available, alongside water bottles, containers and some kitchen gear, all with the same eco-friendly ethos in play.

Give or get a gourmet experience

Whether you’re learning to cook an amazing meal for a loved one, or getting a gift for a loved one who loves to cook, all can learn the art of entertaining with Gold Coast Michelin-star chef Bruno Loubet’s workshops, using organically grown produce hand-picked straight from his farm.

Willow Vale Cooking School plans their calendar around the garden and tailors their classes based on what vegetables are in season, reinforcing their beliefs around living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Bruno will cook and decipher the recipes giving lots of advices, details and “tricks of the trade” making it as clear and enjoyable as possible.

You will have the opportunity to get involved in helping Bruno or stand back, watch and enjoy if you prefer during the 2 and ½ hours workshop.

This will be followed by a 3 courses lunch.

Learn about french pastry, fresh pasta, impressive brunches, Bruno’s mother’s favourites, Moroccan delights, flexitarian, one pot wonder and more.

Workshops run from 9.30am until 3pm.

Give a bag that keeps on giving

Why not ditch the gift that comes in the bag, and just make the bag itself a gift? Connecting and empowering local communities to tackle plastic pollution at its source, Boomerang Bags is a local concern that takes plastic bags which would otherwise end up in landfill and turns them into a range of colourful totes, cutlery pouches, face masks, sew on patches and more. While also educating and bringing communities together.

What’s not to love?

Baby Give Back- support local families

Here’s a thought. Maybe your loved ones don’t NEED any gifts this Christmas. Perhaps instead, you could make a family donation to Baby Give Back, a local charity which supports vulnerable children and their families, particularly those fleeing family violence.

With the weekly demand on the Baby Give Back service increasing to unprecedented levels and many families preparing to cancel Christmas, the team has orders for 240 children that need to be filled as quickly as possible. Hence the Baby Give Back Christmas Appeal 2020 has been launched, with a goal of $30,000.

If you are in a position to help, please visit the Baby Give Back website to donate. Even the smallest amount counts.

Dine at Gold Coast’s sustainable cafes

Gold Coast’s food scene has no shortage of fabulous eateries for your Christmas catch ups, but why not do your bit for the environment by choosing venues that are not only a delight to dine at, but have also chosen to implement a range of sustainability measures, too?

Never one to miss a trick, many Gold Coast cafes are quickly reading the market when it comes to conscious consumers, implementing a range of sustainability measures from going plastic-free to re-purposing everything they can get their hands on.

Check out four of our top picks for the Gold Coast’s greenest cafes.

Meeanjin Online

Meeanjin Online is a unique event showcasing First Nations’ culture, creativity and diversity, providing audiences an opportunity to listen and learn from the oldest living culture in the world.

From native food products and jewellery, to t-shirts with political statements and spears, Meeanjin Online on 27 November will be featuring 19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses from South-East-Queensland, including Gold Coast’s own Libby Harward. The online event will also feature a performance by Gold Coast’s ELEEA.

Watch and shop online on 27 November.

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