The Wicked Leeks Ethical Christmas Gift Guide 2021

With a focus on crafts, beauty and other original low-impact gifts from small ethical businesses – share the joy of a sustainable Christmas with our 2021 gift guide.

In a year when we have been confronted by the negative consequences of consumerism and its environmental impact, this year’s Wicked Leeks Christmas Gift Guide centres on using our spending power positively.

With most people’s finances hit hard recently, try joining together with friends or family to buy one larger present or experience, such as a day workshop learning new skills, which will be useful for many years to come.

Christmas presents

Whatever you want to give, there are many more eco-friendly options available now, so every pound you spend can support ethical businesses and sustainably-made products. Everything we consume – whether it is fashion, food or beauty – leaves a footprint of how it was made, so tread lightly this festive season and enjoy a green Christmas.

For winter hibernators

Nightwear, slippers, yoga clothes, wellbeing kits and more from ethical retailer Sanchos are so welcome in midwinter. Everything is sustainably and ethically sourced and sent out in green packaging, plus a great go-to Christmas gift section makes shopping easy.

Natural beeswax candles have a warm glow and subtle honeyed scent that is so cosy and calming. Quarters Home stocks hand dipped candles traditionally made in Cumbria, alongside a carefully curated selection of other artisan homewares to treasure.

Tarot is a gentle way to quietly connect with yourself during quieter months. The Wild Unknown tarot is a beautifully drawn contemporary deck that explores the mysteries of the natural world and the animal kingdom.

Love a wall calendar that looks good and does good? Survival International’s “We, The People calendar has stunning photos and raises money to support vital campaigns for indigenous land rights. The Landworkers’ Alliance calendar showcases bold and beautiful prints showing food and farming done in harmony with nature and for the benefit of people.

LWA calendar

For crafty folks

Connect with the land and make something beautiful on one of Native Hands craft courses. Held in ancient woodland in East Sussex, they teach everything from wild pottery to basketry.

Quilting

Quilting is enjoying a renaissance and is the ultimate low-impact, super relaxing way to re-use fabric. House of Quinn make stylish abstract quilts and offer online courses, plus workshops and retreats, suitable for beginners to experienced makers.

Rag rugs are another way to make new from old. Ragged Life’s introductory kit will get you going with this surprisingly addictive craft – they also do a Kid’s Kit suitable for 7-12 year olds.

Rag Rug kit

Creating accessories from upcycled leather or vegan material offcuts reduces waste and produces something that will last for years. Handmade footwear company Green Shoes’ Walnut Bag Kit is a satisfying make that’s great to give.   

For green beauty fans

Green beauty

UpCircle make vegan skincare from ingredients including coffee grounds, chai spices and date seeds. Innovative and luxurious, their products are made from food by-products that would otherwise go to waste. 

For friends on a zero plastic mission, award-winning bamboo toothbrush company Truthbrush has a sleek zero plastic starter set including a travel case. Set up by two working mums based in Devon, they can also send handwritten notes with any Christmas gifts and use carefully selected materials like FSC-certified bamboo and castor oil bristles. 

Looking for men’s eco grooming products that go beyond beard oil? Mint Green has an extensive selection of everything for a greener shaving, body care or wellness regime.

For organic makeup, check out Glow Organic – we love brand of the moment Axiology’s versatile Lip To Lid Balmies; available as a set of three nourishing, planet-friendly, plastic free colour sticks.

For a lovely, inexpensive stocking filler, try Pipers Farm tallow soap, made with tallow and comfrey-infused British rapeseed oil and waste ingredients such as ale, milk, and cider. All the ingredients are either foraged or collected from small cottage industries that are willing to give them their waste.

Pipers farm

For food lovers 

Restorative loose-leaf teas are a simple way to enjoy high quality brews with less packaging. The Singing Leaf has starter sets with all you need; alternatively, buy a vintage teapot plus tea strainer, loose teas and add in some homemade biscuits for a unique hamper.

Teapot

Vegan salted caramel brownies delivered to your door? This seasonal treat is a real winner, very nice but not so naughty as you may think – Nummy’s version are chock-full of healthy ingredients and free from refined sugar, flour or palm oil.

Field and Found handmake Irish linen clothes and aprons in their off-grid Herefordshire studio. Their Whistler apron is a handsome ink blue, in a classic barista cut with extra wide coverage at the waist.

Apron

The Urban Forager is a wonderful guidebook to making tasty and surprising dishes from wild food you can find in the city, such has cherry blossom shortbread and nettle ravioli. See our best cookbooks for Christmas gifts feature for more great reads.

Bristol Food Union have launched a ‘Buy One, Give One’ Christmas hamper campaign. Offering handpicked hampers from Bristol’s best independent food producers, you can order one and add a donation to supply holiday provisions to a family in need.

Bristol Food Union

Give the gift of great bread and send your loved one on a bread-making course with guest chef Andy Tyrrell in the gorgeous surroundings of the Riverford Field Kitchen.

For outdoor enthusiasts

Send a beautiful Trees For Life Plant a Tree gift card and support rewilding the Scottish Highlands. For each one purchased, a native Caledonian Forest tree will be planted. Or to combine amazing veg with a positive impact, refer a friend to organic veg box company Riverford and they will plant a nut tree on organic farmland in Devon.

Perfect as a stocking filler or for Secret Santa, the Happy Christmas Set from non-profit wildflower specialist Seedball contains three boxes of ready-to-scatter seed balls that grow into bee-friendly flowers.

Seedball

Outdoor gear and Fairtrade pioneers Patagonia make everything from sustainably-sourced fabrics in ways that benefit both workers and the planet. Their tough Ultralight Black Hole mini hip pack is perfect for carrying the essentials on winter walks.

Finisterre are a B-Corp brand creating practical sustainable clothing that also offer ‘Lived and Loved’ repair and trade-in service. Big present? Give a fleece or smock jacket. Smaller spend? Brilliant merino wool beanies will beat the cold.

For the joy of easy outdoor cooking or cuppas, a Kelly Kettle can’t be beaten. They can boil water in 3-5 mins using just a handful of fuel such as sticks, pinecones, bark or dry grass, whatever the weather.

For young ones  

The I’m With Greta! 100 per cent recycled tote bag by Ellie Good spreads the #FridaysforFuture message and for each bag sold 5p is donated to environmental charities. Pop a great read inside, such as We Have A Dream, a powerful and positive book by young environmentalist Mya-Rose Craig.

A natural earth paints kit of planet-friendly pigments is great for young artists create with, alongside a recycled coverall to encourage some lively painting while keeping clothes clean.

Small children love the tactility and robustness of wooden toys – Kidly has a wide range to suit all interests, from railways to ride on wooden tractors and everything in between.

Little Green Radicals make snug snowsuits, jackets and more printed with winter woodland creatures for babies and toddlers. Fairtrade and made to last, they use 100 per cent organic cotton and even have a preloved clothing return service.  

Prefer a handmade Christmas? Try out some of our low cost easy edible makes here.

Finished shopping? Read our guide to ethical gift wrap for the full package.

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