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Everything You Need for the Perfect Valentine’s—or Galentine’s—Day

I’ve never seen Valentine’s Day as a strictly romantic-love holiday. Since my grandma always got me special gifts and chocolate on February 14th, which made me feel loved, and since I did the same for my girl friends growing up, I’ve always understood it as a day that you express love to those you care about. That could be your romantic partner, parents, kids, friends, and/or your pets!

For some couples, Valentine’s Day is fraught with tension, and so having a great gift really matters—so we have a few really beautiful ideas for you in that category (all of which are fair trade, handmade and ethical, of course!). Other couples are all about experiences—consider what makes you special as a couple—is it a love for Thai food? Take a cooking class to perfect your spring rolls. Into live music? Search out tickets for a band you’ve not yet seen. Don’t feel boxed i by traditional Valentine’s gifts. And of course, you need something fabulous to wear—we’ve got you covered there, too.

W H A T   T O   W E A R

The Seek Collective’s beautiful pieces begin with drop-dead gorgeous textiles, like the handwoven wool/cotton/silk blend that’s featured in the Jaipur pant, above. As you can see from the close-up image of the fabric below, it’s both lightweight and also much more complex in both texture and colors due to natural dyes and the handmade nature of the fabric. This makes them look—and feel—special.

I have a pair of these pants and they feel incredible on, with a simple drawstring waist and cool dropped crotch look that make them both comfortable and interesting. Paired with a drapey blouse like the Stephanie top, which is a blockprinted silk blouse, is a perfect cozy-cool Valentine’s ensemble.

You could also simply wear these divine Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes with pretty much any outfit and feel totally prepared for a blast of a Valentine’s Day!

W H A T   T O   G I V E 

UncommonGreen’s got some of the most fabulous barware I’ve seen gathered in one place. I adore their “Smart Barware” line, which includes glasses printed with molocules, fonts, famous legal documents, and my personal fave, excerpts from novels. One of my all-time favorite books is Jane Eyre—I have read it a dozen times, at least—and so it was a real treat to concoct a winter cocktail in a beautiful heavy glass that was an homage to Charlotte Bronte’s novel. As with all UncommonGreen products, these glasses are designed and Made in the USA.

Chosen by both President Obama’s designer and featured on Gweynth Paltrow’s site Goop, the Wooden Palate features all kinds of beautiful stuff, handcrafted from wood in Los Angeles. The Kana Pedestal bowl, above, is a gorgeous gift for almost anyone you want to show your love for.

If you’re looking for chocolates, but aren’t sure where to turn, one of my long-time, favorite brands is Lake Champlain. I think I’ve tried everything they make at this point, and have never been disappointed. You just can’t go wrong with their dark chocolate sea salt caramels. Chocolates are a wonderful way to show anyone you care (and you should)—from your best friend, the hardworking family lawyer, to your busier-than-your are grandma, to your brother who you haven’t gotten to see in awhile.

Now go out and share your love! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.