Embrace ethical shopping this Christmas and choose Fairtrade, organic or sustainably-sourced gifts. Through buying less and better quality presents, your spending power can support businesses that are doing things differently and you can give presents that will be treasured for longer.
Home and garden
For those who love to cosy up in winter, woollen blankets from recycled yarn beeswax candles or a handmade ceramic bowl or mug are great – try The future kept or The Great English Outdoors for beautiful things made from natural materials. Making up a hamper of a vintage teapot and loose leaf tea is a lovely low-cost gift, and wild flower seeds, such as Beebombs, are perfect for those who need to slow down, stop mowing, start growing, and watch the bees thrive in their garden.
Eco beauty gifts like bamboo makeup brushes and reusable cleansing pads are a welcome addition to bathrooms. Peace with the wild has plastic-free gift sets for men and women, while organic plant-based skincare brand Fushi partners with Tree Aid. The charity works with communities in rural Africa protecting and growing trees, and promoting self-reliance for women, their families and future generations to come.
Friction Free Shaving is the razor delivery service designed exclusively for women to be cheaper and more eco-friendly, so that you can ditch plastic disposables forever. Their starter sets include a reusable metal handle and extra blades that can be returned as part of their blade recycling scheme.
For yoga fans, a cork yoga mat from Lucy & Yak is a sustainable lightweight alternative to conventional mats. They also stock lots of organic goodies from stocking fillers to main gifts – socks, recycled corduroy tote bags, and great dungarees, too.
Anyone who likes their presents to be useful will love a Guppyfriend bag: an ethical way to wash clothes like fleeces that shed micro-fibres during washing, they’re designed to let water flow through but trap microplastics.
For out and about metal lunch boxes, water bottles and ‘sporks’ (combined spoon and fork) that will get used for years to come, &Keep has a great range. One of the best ethical food gifts of the year has to be beeswax wraps – add a bamboo breadboard for the perfect ethical picnic set from BeeBee Wraps.
A Riverford gift voucher is a great go to gift idea for those who love good food, as it can be used for organic fruit, veg, recipe boxes and more. If someone has their own veg patch, the Riverford companion cookbooks autumn & winter veg and spring & summer veg will provide inspiring recipes where seasonal veg is the star.
Passionate about cooking? Get creative and give a ‘never-ending biscuit barrel’ that you will refill for the recipient with homemade biscuits throughout the year, or give friends the gift of lovingly homemade jams or chutneys, with a personalised label and tied with a red ribbon.
A subscription to Positive News, or the Idler magazine, (good friends of Wicked Leeks), can inspire new action and positive ways to make change happen. There are hundreds of ethical living books to choose from - we love How to Save the World for Free, by Natalie Fee, and surely there's no better stocking filler than activist of the year Greta Thunberg's pocket-sized No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference. Avoid certain tax-dodging online e-commerce giants and buy from Hive.co.uk instead to support independent bookshops.
If the thought of buying any more stuff at all this year just feels not quite right, a beautiful idea from the Woodland Trust is to dedicate a tree as a gift. Or consider sending a virtual gift through a charity like Send a Cow, which supports the lives of families in rural Africa, providing farming tools and training to help them grow their own food and become self-sufficient.
Alternatively, create your own voucher and gift your time or create an experience for someone and a new shared memory.