‘Tis The Season
As advent begins and Christmas climbs closer we find ourselves in rhythms of buying and wrapping gifts to exchange. If every dollar we spend votes for a world we want to belong to, how can we use Christmas to exercise those ethical and sustainable muscles? Now’s the time to put the concepts of this blog into practice! Go wild. This post will fall into two halves: To Gift Or Not To Gift and Ethical Shopping Suggestions.
To Gift Or Not To Gift?
What’s the most sustainable gift you can give? It’s not actually a bamboo toothbrush or a reusable bottle (because these are still sparkly new items) - you see, it’s not a product you buy. There are heaps of alternatives to the standard wrapped gift that hold up strong against consumerism…
Give memories - Event tickets, memberships, experience days (surely this is the best gift?).
Upcycle - Is there anything you already own which you could repurpose or refurbish?
Buy second hand - Check out thrift stores, charity shops or eBay. I love a good book that has been previously adored.
Make something - Homemade chutney, soy candles or dry baking ingredients in a jar.
Buy ethical - Okay, so this is a sparkly new gift but it serves the function of supporting great, generous initiatives.
Ethical Shopping Suggestions
If you do want to give a gift, there are heaps of conscious businesses out there with practices worth supporting and items worthy of giving. To name a few…
Woodsnap - Wood print photos supporting forest conservation.
Able - Women’s accessories and apparel supporting economic opportunity for women in poverty.
TenTree - Men and women’s outdoor wear investing in tree planting.
Shutter To Think - Photo prints with 100% of profits going to charities supporting girls’ education.
Thought - Bamboo socks made by a UK based company committed to sustainable fabrics.
Enrou - Home goods providing opportunity for artisans around the world.
Purpose Jewelery - Handcrafted jewellery funding recovery for women escaping human trafficking.
Global Goods Partners - Handmade gifts made by women artisans receiving a fair wage.
Freeset - Bags and made-to-order tees made by women survivors of prostitution.
Bali Depot - Handmade bags creating employment and fighting poverty in Bali.
Prosperity Candle - Soy candles made by women artisans and refugees.
DoneGood - An online catalogue full of ethical/sustainable business recommendations and discount codes.
Regardless of how you choose to do gifts this season, there are a few other details to keep in your oh-so-conscious mind…
Wrapping gifts - Paper and twine are great ways to avoid plastic tape and plastic string.
Unwrapping gifts - Gently does it. Keep paper and gift-bags to repurpose on another occasion.
Avoid plastic giftcards - Many shops offer online e-giftcards (you can schedule these to arrive via email on Christmas day) and these digital versions omit the waste of single-use plastic giftcards.
Avoid novelty gifts - Tempting as it is to give a punny gift, try to stick to gifts you know the user will get a lot of life from.