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Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping With Fabric

gift wrapping Dec 18, 2020

My first gift wrapping attempt with fabric. It was so quick and EASY!


Over the past few years, my family and I have been transitioning to more sustainable gift wrapping materials as we also still use up our pre-existing set of conventional wrapping supplies (sigh). The winter holidays always involve many hours of wrapping, which leads me to become curious about the wrapping materials. My informed common sense was concerned that:

  • The sheen from wrapping paper might contain PFCs, a family of chemicals that are often used in nonstick pots and pans and that consist of some highly toxic and persistent chemicals
  • The colors used in wrapping materials are probably at risk of having toxic chemicals and heavy metals
  • A significant portion of these wrapping materials probably can't be recycled
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A post shared by Ruan Living (@ruanliving)

Aware of how wasteful gift wrapping is, only recently did I research it. I learned from a Stanford University webpage(1) that:

  • From Thanksgiving to New Year's, Americans discard 25% more trash than any other time of the year. This amounts to 25 million tons of extra waste or about 1 million extra tons of garbage per week
  • If each family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon, this would save about 38,000 miles of ribbon, which could tie a bow around the entire planet.
  • If each American family re-used materials to wrap just 3 presents, this would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Gift Wrap with Fabric

Bestow Gift Wrap (@bestowgiftwrap) is a social venture that promotes zero-waste gift wrap made from recycled fashion fabric. 

Bestow Gift Wrap gives "a second life to some of the 92 million tons of waste generated by [the fashion] industry...Our fabric wraps are your zero waste alternative for making every gift look better, do better, and feel better."

Wanting to support its mission and learn how I can wrap with fabric, I invited its co-founder Saga Blane (@sagablane) (Meg Laz @megmakeslesswaste is the other co-founder) to join me on Instagram Live to show us simple ways to gift wrap with fabric. You can watch/listen to Saga, in the recording below!

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A post shared by Ruan Living (@ruanliving)

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

As you can see in the video above, gift wrapping with fabric can be beautiful and saves time! In addition, eco-friendly gift wrapping can:

  • Reduce contributions to landfills
  • Reduce demand for toxic chemicals and heavy metals as well as manufacturing processes that pollute the environment
  • Decrease your toxic exposures
  • Practice creativity and resourcefulness

I hope you'll join me in transitioning to eco-friendly gift wrapping. It'll help detox our planet, homes, and bodies.

Other Tips for Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Don't have nice fabric at home? Below are more ways you can pursue eco-friendly gift wrapping. Remember: Reusing materials for just 3 presents can save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Let's do it!


  • Reuse gift bags and tissue paper
  • Repurpose paper grocery bags, fabric, newspaper, and magazine pages
  • Use natural kraft paper


  • Reuse ribbons
  • Choose paper tape
  • Use natural twine, hemp, cotton, yarn as ribbon

Decorative Details

  • Dried rosemary, pine, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, etc.
  • A plant leaf
  • Paper cutouts
  • Paper leaves or flowers
  • Stamps
  • Create or repurpose art
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A post shared by Ruan Living (@ruanliving)


(1) Stanford | Land, Buildings & Real Estate. https://lbre.stanford.edu/pssistanford-recycling/frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-holiday-waste-prevention

(2) Bestow Gift Wrap @bestowgiftwrap on Instagram and https://bestowgiftwrap.com/  Keep in mind that 100% of proceeds go to charity.

Deconstruct to reconstruct.

In 2020, we're deconstructing our home, habits, and things to reconstruct a practical nontoxic and healing lifestyle. We're bringing consciousness to unconscious choices.


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