Holidays are just around the corner and ‘tis the season to show some love and give some gifts. I know gift giving can be stressful, so we here at 5X have decided to come to the rescue. 

Here are 10 incredible companies that are desi-owned and bound to be a hit at your next holiday party.

1. Live Tinted

Live Tinted is a global makeup and skincare brand founded by Deepica Mutyala. They’ve got incredible products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and perfectly catered to Brown skin. My personal favourites have to be their Huegard, a sunscreen that has zero whitecast, and of course, their first and most popular product, Huesticks, which are multipurpose and can be used anywhere on the face. Their holiday shop is currently stocked with some great gift sets and deals.

2. Matt & Nat

Matt and Nat is a Canadian, vegan leather brand founded by Inder Bedi. This brand is one I swear by and all of my favourite purses, backpacks and holiday presents have been Matt & Nat finds. Their minimalistic style is something that suits any age. If you’ve got a friend who loves a good purse, I’d suggest the HOPE charity bag. It’s an ever classic and simplistic black purse and 100% of the purchase price of the bag is donated to various charitable organizations worldwide.

3. Banglez

If you’re on the hunt for the fashionista in your family, let me suggest Banglez. They’re a jewelry company based out of the Greater Toronto Area with some beautifully unique designs that combine modern elegance with a classic flair. Their Holiday Sets have the perfect combo of sparkling bangles that everyone needs.

4. Brown Girl Buzzed

Brown Girl Buzzed is the hilarious drinking game you didn’t know you needed. It was created by Think along the lines of ‘Do or Drink’, but based off of cheeky moments that are all too common for the South Asian diaspora. Can you name 3 movies where Shah Rukh Khan is named Rahul? Then this might be the one you get as a christmas gift to yourself to play at the next hang out. This is definitely the present that keeps on giving!

5. A Select Few

A Select Few is a community-driven streetwear brand started by Moneey Singh. The goal of the clothing is to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary South Asian designs, catering to the diaspora across the world. Do you have that one friend that just loves Diljit? If so, why not get them the Tumeric ‘Kismet’ Set that he was seen wearing during the filming of Honsla Rakh?

6. Love Closely

Love Closely is another incredible streetwear brand rooted in tradition and culture. They created designs inspired by art and poetry from the Middle East and South Asian. Their garments are ethically sourced and aim to minimize waste. My current favourite design is the Knitwear Crewneck, which features a poem from Faiz Ahmad Faiz in print all over in Urdu. This brand has been worn by the likes of Maluma,, Riz Ahmed, Jessie Reyez, Gary Trent Jr. and many more. 

7. Fable and Mane

Fable and Mane is a hair care company run by husband and wife duo, Akash and Nikita Mehta. The brand makes vegan and cruelty-free hair products such as oils, masks, shampoos and even a comb. Their holiday bundles are a great way to try out multiple products so you can find what you like most! Their products take it back to the roots both figuratively and literally!

8. Mango and Marigold Press

Mango and Marigold press carries numerous South Asian authored books for children and young adults. I’d suggest Untold: defining moments of the uprooted for the young girl who loves to read (and not just because I helped write this!). The children’s books are incredible additions to the shelf of your niece or nephew. And I’m sure their parents will be happy you didn’t get them another stuffed animal.

9. A Gift Card to your favourite local business

Finally, if you’re in a last minute bind or the person you got assigned for Secret Santa just isn’t really a gift person, grabbing a giftcard from your local shop is always a win. Be sure to check out Just Cakes Bakeshop or My Tea Bar Cafe!

Have a happy holiday season ahead! 


The 5X Team

About the author

Jessie Brar

Jessie Brar (she/her) is a writer, public speaker, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion professional and Mental Health Activist. She graduated from Queen's University with a degree in Psychology and has worked with several notable organisations worldwide to help raise awareness around important social justice topics and advocate for change. She is deeply passionate about her intersectional identities and is committed to being a life-long learner through her work. Check her out on Instagram - @jessieebrar.

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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.