Stuck for Christmas gifts ideas? Want a present that doesn’t cost the earth (environmentally or financially)? From gin to jewellery, we’ve got you covered with our stylish top 10 list of sustainable, ethical and socially conscious gifts….
1. The Little Market: personalised ‘Happy Holidays’ candle ($32 USD)
Founded by Lauren Conrad (star of USA reality TV ‘The Hills’), The Little Market is a women led non-profit organisation that was created to empower women. All products are fair trade and ethically made….and of course, totally instagram-worthy (what else would you expect from Lauren??)
This ‘Happy Holidays’ candle can be printed with a message of your choosing, giving Christmas gift giving a personal touch. There are also 40 (forty!) scents to choose from, so there’s bound to be something you’ll love. Each purchase empowers female refugees at Prosperity Candle in the United States. Plus the candles are GMO-free, vegan and not tested on animals.
The Little Market is based in the USA but delivers to the UK.
2. People Tree: Sia Stud earrings (£39)
People Tree is a pioneer of ethical and sustainable fashion and boasts an impressive range of green credentials: from being 100% fair trade throughout their supply trade, to being accredited by the Soil Association in recognition of the fact their fibre is produced organically, to strict environmental standards and under good working conditions in factories.
These beautifully simple earrings have been crafted using a brass sheet and come in a little fabric pouch – the perfect ethical packaging for the perfect ethical gift.
People Tree offer free delivery and returns on all UK orders.
3. Pukka: Christmas Calendar (£7.99)
What more British way of counting down to Christmas is there, than with a warming cup of tea? This alternative advent calendar from Pukka features 24 organic herbal tea bags, including festive flavours such as Vanilla Chai, as well as immunity-boosting blends such as Echinacea to held you ward off that winter cold.
Pukka teas are a firm family-favourite of mine, and the company’s name comes from an Indian word meaning genuine, authentic and top quality. Their tea is 100% organic and they pride themselves on being a force for good: including donating 1% of their annual turnover to environmental and social causes.
4. Asquith: Yogi Bare Paws Yoga Mat Palm (£39.99)
The perfect gift for the yogi or yogini in your life, this colourful palm print yoga mat is made with non slip technology, making it practical as well as stylish. It’s also eco friendly – made from 100% recyclable natural tree rubber and water based inks – and free from latex, chlorine, silicone and toxic glues.
You can buy it online from Asquith, an online shop loved by the likes of The Times, Vogue and Women’s Health, to name just a few. Their collections are made in a family-run factor in Turkey, where employees work a regular 9-5 day and their fabrics used are eco-friendly and sustainably sourced.
5. Bee Fayre: Wild Fig Hand Cream (£11)
Bee Fayre’s products not only smell delicious but they also help spread the message of the plight of the honeybee. Bee Fayre donate 3% of their profit to bee conservation and research and aim to encourage a deeper understanding of human’s connectedness with bees.
Their (be)ethos includes protecting bees and their habitats, encouraging careful consumption, championing biodiversity and ensuring ingredients are sustainably sourced.
They sell a wide range of products from candles and room diffusers through to health products. My personal favourite is the Wild Fig hand cream, which is rich in natural oils and (of course) beeswax. Orders over £40 qualify for free UK delivery.
What could bee better?
6. One Gin: 75cl bottle of Gin (£39)
If you ever needed a good excuse to pour yourself a G&T, then this is it….buying a bottle of One Gin will help raise funds for life-changing water projects in the world’s poorest communities.
The One Foundation has a simple vision: a world in which everyone has access to clean and safe water, forever. They have been selling bottled water and soft drinks since 2005, and in doing so have raised over £15 million and changed the lives of over 3 million people.
One Gin launched in 2017 and is hand-crafted in Sussex and created using 9 core botanicals from around the world (including coriander, nutmeg and juniper). It also features a ‘special ingredient’ – fresh sage – which is foraged from the grounds around the distillery. The gin won gold in the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2017 so you can guarantee it will taste great…..plus the bottle looks gorgeous too.
The gin can now be via the One Gin website or from stockists around the UK, including Harvey Nichols (fancy).
7. The National Trust: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Buttons (£8)
If soft drinks are more your vibe, then how about this salted caramel hot chocolate from The National Trust? Just stir two teaspoons of chocolate buttons into a mug of hot milk to create the perfect winter warmer drink.
Thought The National Trust just looks after old buildings that your grandma loves to visit? Think again. The National Trust is in fact a charity that preserves cultural and nature heritage including coastline, forests, wood, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages, historic houses, gardens, mill, pubs and one of the world’s largest art collections.
After you’ve finished, you can use the tin to store your keepsakes (just like your grandma), so there’s no need for wasteful packaging. The pattern featured on the outside of the tin is from the Tower of the Winds at Shugborough, Staffordshire…. one of the many gems that the proceeds of the purchase will go to support.
8. Wiggly Wigglers: Posy of the Week (£35)
Not only do Wiggly Wigglers have the world’s greatest business name, they also have a pretty great ethos too.
A farm shop selling everything from wormeries (don’t stop reading!) to birdfood, it’s their flowers that provides the best (and most beautiful) source of sustainable gift inspiration…
Around 90% of the flowers sold in the UK are grown overseas, but Wiggly Wigglers are on a mission to help change that. Every arrangement bought contains British Flowers and/or Foliage (the amount will depend on design and season and will be stamped on the packing or box).
Socially, ethically and environmentally this Posy of the Week is a great gift – plus they’re beautiful (oh, and British Flowers will be up to a week fresher when they arrive too!)
9. Peace Oil (£12.99 per bottle)
This prize winning extra virgin olive oil is a great Christmas gift for foodies: including those who love to cook, and those who just love to eat.
An initiative of registered UK charity the Charities Advisory Trust, Peace Oil is produced in Israel by Jews, Arabs, Druze and Bedouin working together and encourages co-operation between communities.
It is grown in the foothills of the Carmel Mountains and the olives are pressed within hours of picking to produce delicious results.
10. Blue Box Coffee: coffee subscription (£17.99 / 1 month)
For the coffee snobs in your life (I hold up my hand to falling in this category….) what could be better than having some of the world’s best coffee delivered straight to your doorstep each month?
With a Blue Coffee Box subscription you can purchase a monthly delivery of 3 bags of speciality coffee, freshly roasted by the UK’s best expert roasters, and specially prepared to your preferences (whole beans or finely ground? Light, medium or dark roast?)
The experts at Blue Coffee Box will introduce you to a selection of the best speciality coffees each month, with new flavours from different coffee producing countries around the world. Depending on your budget, you can select a single one month subscription (£17.99) up to a 12 month subscription (£179.88).
Blue Coffee Box coffee is ethically sourced directly from farmers and local cooperatives. Through the Direct Trade model, these farmers are paid around 30% more than the Fairtrade price. That enables them to support their families and to invest in sustainable farming and the future.
Buying coffee beans rather than coffee pods is also a win for the environment. In the UK, it is estimated that these 1000 tons of coffee pods went into landfill last year.