By Lora O’Brien
The weather is getting crisper, the shops are stocked with mulled wine and mince pies, and there are just a few weekends left before Christmas – it’s time to get buying our gifts.
After all, ’tis (almost) the season to be jolly, but Christmas can be anything but when it comes to choosing ethical gifts. What to get the woman who likes clean beauty? What about the man who loves his gadgets? And even if you know what you want to buy someone, how can you know whether it’s sustainable?
Okay, it’s time to take a deep breath and chill out. We’ve compiled our Christmas gift picks for 2017 into one handy ethical gift guide, and there’s something to suit everyone. We guarantee these gifts won’t be on the ‘return to shop’ list – instead, they’ll either be consumed with glee immediately, or treasured for years to come!
A statement-maker, this chic watch will be the perfect gift for the vegan fashionista in your life. With its rose gold-plated case, smooth black vegan-friendly leather strap and signature 3D bee motif, this is a watch that feels as comfortable as it is stylish. Totally unique in style, it will effortlessly outlive trends, being a timepiece that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Best for: that person who’s rarely on time!
From snoozing to lounging about the home, you really can’t put a price on comfort. And what better way to relax than with a pair of organic cotton PJs? Skilled artisans transform organic cotton fibres into these beautifully handmade garments. These snuggly pyjamas are a gift that many women will cherish.
Best for: the lady who enjoys stylish comfort.
Makeup is rarely a good thing to buy as a gift. Heck, it’s hard enough for us to choose the makeup shades and textures that suit our complexions ourselves, let alone have someone else buy them! But Papillon Eyelash Serum is the exception to this rule: everyone can benefit from this vegan friendly, all natural formula that helps lashes grow and stay dense. Tip: this also works on brows!
Best for: that beauty lover looking to enhance her natural assets.
Inspired by the nine Muses of Greek Mythology, this natural perfume set contains nine different scents that were inspired by each of the Muses. Made from 100% botanical ingredients, each fragrance is there to inspire the recipient in a different way. This sample sized collection is a perfect gift – there’s bound to be at least a few favourites in here!
Best for: the arty gal who loves to smell sweet.
This is the perfect gift set for the woman who really cares for her skin. This stunning gift set contains over £344.50 worth of beauty items, and comes gorgeously packaged in a stylish box with three individual drawers that are packed with all natural products from serums and cleansers to eye creams and tones, all of which work to restore skin to its natural glow.
Best for: the luxury beauty queen.
Whether the goal is to energise, relax, or heal, there’s a bath bomb for that! Based on different aromatherapy scents, these handmade spa-bomb fizzies spell relaxation in a box. Made with all organic and natural ingredients such as baking soda, Kaolin clay, Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts and Shea Butter, they provide deep cleansing, hydration and skin conditioning, all in one.
This book is a real treat for those invested in clean, natural beauty. Gone are the days of nasty toxins; the recipient will have full control over what goes onto their skin by making their own products from the comfort of home. From face masks to shaving creams, there’s a plethora of beauty recipes to keep skin safe and healthy.
Best for: anyone who is keen to explore natural beauty in more depth.
This stylish weekend bag is the perfect gift for those on the go. Matt and Nat spent a whole year creating this unisex bag with the simple aim of creating a high quality vegan weekender bag that will last for years to come.
Best for: the frequent traveller.
Super soft and perennially stylish, this sweater from ethical brand Lyme Terrace is perfect for cozying up into over the colder months. Made from organic cotton and a wee bit of recycled polyester, this crew neck is so soft, it actually feels more like cashmere!
Best for: everyone from partners to parents to in-laws.
These shirts are made using the finest khadi, a term for cotton that has been hand-woven and hand-spun, sourced from a rural village in West Bengal. From growing the cotton to turning it into khadi thread, to spinning and weaving, the construction of these shirts involves a whole village, so there’s a great amount of passion and community that goes into each and every one. The slow fashion process takes 3 months to complete and the end result is a high quality, visibly fine, soft and luxurious 100% cotton fabric that will soon be a wardrobe favourite.
Best for: anyone you can borrow this from! They look great on women, too.
Ooh la la! This is a highly luxurious gift that anyone would love to unwrap! It contains four soft cashmere essentials in neutral grey: gloves, scarf, socks and beanie – as well as an eco-friendly care kit and a relaxing scented candle. It’s beautifully presented in an elegant black box and wrapped up with a tonal grosgrain bow.
Best for: someone very special!
Containing three perfect essentials, Grown Alchemist’s ‘Amenity Kit’ is the perfect gift. It includes a moisturising cream, hydrating lip balm and soothing hand cream, and each one is all natural and contains antioxidants and botanical extracts to protect and nourish the skin.
Perfect for: the guy on the go.
Watches say a lot about a guy – a Casio screams ‘ hipster;’ a Rolex Oyster shouts ‘minted;’ and this wood watch says ‘sensitive conscious guy who is the ultimate boyfriend material’. Waterproof and super accurate, WeWood’s watches are all sustainable classics.
Perfect for: the outdoorsy ecologist.
Teach kids how to get a bit crafty with this easy weaving loom. They can make scarves, tea towels, oven mitts and all kinds of other basic textile-based goodies. Connect multiple looms to create larger woven projects, such as chunky throws and wraps, without any unsightly seams.
Best for: kids who love to make things, especially girls; they’ll love making a chunky scarf for the cold weather.
A fun new take on tattoos! These ones transform hands of all ages and sizes into a colourful creature. This two pack of eight monsters includes red, yellow diamond, pink stripe, purple with yellow dots, yellow bands, pink and purple, green and blue. Safe and simple to apply with water, and all are non-toxic, of course! Perfect for putting on a puppet show!
Best for: creative children who will have lots of fun putting on puppet shows for everyone.
Forget about toxic Legos – yeah, I said it, they’re totally toxic! Instead, let your kid’s imagination flow with this natural hard wood block set instead. From magnificent castles to trucks and toys, you can build just about anything with these babies! Suitable for kids of all ages, too.
Best for: anyone with children. This will keep them entertained all Christmas!
Forget fast fashion; WAK are revolutionising the sustainable fashion industry by encouraging us all to get knitting our own clothes. With zero plastic, these knit kits comes with beechwood needles, and the yarn is 100% naturally dyed and sourced. This comes with a pattern, of course – choose from a beanie hat, oversized sweater, blanket, and more.
Best for: anyone in your life who loves crafts. Who knows? They may even gift you the sweater they make! #karma
Create a relaxing atmosphere with this high tech, cool mist aromatherapy Bluetooth Diffuser. Accompanied by 16 essential oils, including frankincense, bergamot, cinnamon leaf, lemon and more, this set provides all you need: bluetooth technology for music play, alarm functions, and colour changing LED lights, all encased in a beautiful natural wood case that gently mists natural essential oils to scent the room and change your mood.
Who doesn’t need a sweet little notepad? This one’s not only pretty, it’s made with recycled paper, and for every notebook bought one tree is planted, nursed and raised towards permanent reforestation in Madagascar. The cover is hand designed and utterly adorable.
Best for: busy bees and those who like to jot down thoughts, poems and ideas.
Candles are a wonderful way to give your home a gorgeous scent whilst creating a cosy and relaxed atmosphere – and this one comes with a serious bonus! In addition to delivering a soothing scent of English Lavender, sweet Basil and Jasmine, after 30 minutes of burning, the resulting 100% pure cocoa and almond oil blend can be dripped onto the body for a hydrating indulgence.
Best for: luxury lovers – or, just lovers (wink, wink!)
Know someone that loves to read? The Happy Hero is the perfect gift this Christmas. A combination of positive affirmations and advice, this book offers a refreshing approach when it comes to wellbeing and living sustainably. Aware of how we’re bombarded with fear from the media, Solitaire Townsend teaches us to stop worrying about the state of the world, and instead make a conscious effort to make it better. With the scientific proof that trying to make a difference, no matter how small, can extend our life, this book will be a welcome read for many this year.
Best for: anyone looking to make some positive changes in 2018
Wooden sunglasses were this summer’s must have, and now we’re onto wooden accessories. They’re elegant and ooze natural style, and now you can make your phone and laptop look as though it’s made of wood. Made to be extremely thin, WOODWE not only give a stylish edge to your electronics, but they also protect them from scratches. And there’s various wood designs to choose from to suit your preferences!
Best for: anyone who considers cafes to be their ‘office’.