This Christmas, I am trying to really think about where I am putting my money when I buy gifts for people. Whilst I will still buy things from the high street, I am also making presents, giving vintage gifts, and shopping ethically from independent stores.
We are now more aware than ever about the impact our actions have on the environment, and Christmas brings with it a major surge in the amount of plastic and general household waste we produce- so it’s a great time to make a few changes.
If you’re also thinking about giving some more ethical gifts this Christmas, this guide has you covered from vegan gifts, to plastic-free gifts, to sustainably sourced gifts.
My favourite one-stop shop for ethical gifts is Ethical Superstore. They have EVERYTHING. This post is not sponsored by them but lots of the products mentioned in this ethical gift guide are from Ethical Superstore because their selection is just SO GOOD.
Ethical Superstore also have a Black Friday event this week from 25th November- 2nd December this year. Nearly everything on site is 20% off, with the company making a food bank donation to the Newcastle West End Food Bank with every order over £30.
(This post contains affiliate links to Ethical Superstore which means that if you make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you).
Vegan Gift Guide
I now have a few friends who are vegan, and some friends who are vegetarian and avoid leather goods. You don’t have to buy something specialist for your vegan loved ones, but putting some extra thought into gifts and getting your friend something that they wouldn’t buy themselves is always going to put a smile on their face.
The options for vegan and dairy free food are now incredibly good- I used to really struggle 12 years ago when I became dairy intolerant! These are some of my favourite picks…
Vegan cheese making kit, now £22.00.
This looks AWESOME and you can choose to make so many different types of cheeses with this kit- saving your vegan friends lots of money in the process I’m sure.
Vegan chocolate, because surely this must be the number 1 thing most vegans miss? And everyone needs a selection box in their stocking at Christmas! This Moo Free selection box is now £3.99
Vegan hot chocolate! Surely you can’t ask a vegan to go through another winter without a hot chocolate? This one from Montezumas is now £5.59 and has some seriously cute packaging (plus you currently get a free gift when you buy).
Vegan skincare and beauty is also on the rise as many move away from skincare products containing potentially harmful chemicals. I love…
These ‘roller on wellbeing’ roll on oils by Tisserand, now £12.80.
I’ve been obsessed with the idea of roll on oils since my colleague introduced me to her lavender one on a long haul flight- I’m sure it’s what helped me sleep for 7 hours!
This ‘Super Naturals Refresh & Revive’ gift set by Green People, now £8.00
This is such a well-priced gift set and includes shampoo, conditioner and shower gel- none of which contain any parabens, SLS, Triclosan or phthalates.
This bath essence in a glass bottle by Fruits of Nature, now £11.20
I adore how this bath essence looks, it’s a gorgeous glass bottle with beautiful botanical plants inside. This would make a lovely gift just by itself.
Tea & Tonic are a luxurious, natural, ethical and vegan-friendly brand. Try out their luxury bath and body care products, and their delicious teas. Anything from Tea & Tonic would make a delightful gift- I specifically love the bath salts and their body and face oils.
The Halen Mon Bath Salts are hand blended in small batches for optimal freshness and potency. These salts are guaranteed to get you into a relaxing head space before bed time.
The Gentle Solitude face oil is a fragrance free, gentle tonic for the skin. Its rich formula soothes and comforts your skin and is 100% natural, vegan, and cruelty free.
Vegan leather goods are becoming more and more prevalent as we look for long-lasting alternatives to traditional leather.
Ethical Superstore have loads of products by Mat & Nat, my favourite being this vegan leather purse, now £25.56.
Plastic-Free Gift Guide
If you want to give plastic free gifts, make sure that the wrapping paper you use is also plastic free! Plastic-free alternatives can often be expensive, some of these gift ideas may seem a little out there, but if the recipient is passionate about plastic-free, he or she will be over the moon with some of these gifts which they might be reluctant to buy for themselves due to the price.
Gifting bamboo items in place of other materials can often be a more sustainable option, I love this 5 piece bamboo kitchen set, now £6.36, and these festive socks by Thought, now £4.76. I have a couple of pairs of socks by this brand- they are very comfortable and long lasting.
If your pal is all about plastic-free oceans, they will have heard of the Guppyfriend washing bag. It’s a genius little invention that you use in the washing machine which prevents synthetic microfibers from clothing enter our rivers and oceans. It’s £25 and extends the lifespan of your clothing as well as protecting sea life.
Plastic-free toiletries are also on the rise, my favourite is this ‘Human Change not Climate Change’ soap bar, with the cutest packaging ever, now £4.80.
And for those that are just starting out on their plastic-free journey, this ‘How to Live Plastic-Free’ Book is just the ticket, now £10.39.
For more gift guides, check out Gift Guides UK!
Sustainable Gift Guide
Personally, I think the most sustainable gifting option is to gift vintage or second hand, which is something I have got on board with this year and I am gifting two vintage tops to friends which I know they will love. They already love vintage, and so this is a good option for them.
HOWEVER, not all of your friends and family will be on board with the idea of second hand or vintage gifting. I like the idea behind a fully second hand Christmas, but I also like to buy people things that I know that they want, or will love and cherish.
I always got stuck when looking for ethical fashion brands, but Ethical Superstore has a ton of them all in one place which is great. Brands include People Tree, Thought Clothing, Marzipants and Komodo. Plus ethical jewellery from brands like La Jewellery and Mosami.
And if you’re still stuck on what to buy? Ethical Superstore does gift vouchers, so you can allow your loved-one to choose some gorgeous ethical gifts for themselves.
Independent Gift Guide
Clement & Company
These soy-based, hand poured candles from Tamworth are made in small batches and smell divine. The Clement & Company store is run by Mina, who has painstakingly worked out the perfect cocktail of scents within each candle.
I wish scents could be transported via the internet, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. My favourite is Fig & Vetiver, which I keep open on my bedside table- the smell fills the room without even being lit.
Candles start from £10, you can find them here, and even receive 10% off your first order.
My favourite place to find independent crafters and makers is of course, Etsy. You have access to thousands of items from small business owners from all over the world.
The prices can be very reasonable- you’ll often pay a similar price to an item from the high street for something much more unique. Lots of sellers will offer personalisation which is something special that you often can’t get when you buy from the high street. Here are some of my favourite things to buy from Etsy…
Cards are in abundance on Etsy, just type in anything and usually you’ll be able to find a hilarious pun-based card. Delivery is also usually very inexpensive for a card, so it’s the perfect item to get from an independent seller.
I love this F.R.I.E.N.D.S themed card, (anyone else love that Holiday Armadillo episode?!) and this card costs less than most cards you would find on the high street. I also just bought this cute Christmas card for my other half-it’s sweet and something different from what I’ve seen in the shops so far.
My other favourite thing to buy on Etsy is artwork and prints– often you can buy a beautiful print for less than £10, and frame it in a frame from a charity shop. It makes for a really beautiful, but thrifty gift. I love this faces ‘all roads lead to you’ print, and the A4 size is currently less than £8. This simple lemon watercolour print is also gorgeous, and the A4 size is currently less than £5!
There are tons of ways to have a more ethical Christmas. None of us are perfect, but even if we make one or two small changes to the products we buy, the food we eat, or the way we wrap presents it can make a difference to the world around us.