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Are you looking for ethical and eco-friendly gifts for friends and family? How about gifts that support small businesses in the UK too?
Look no further because this Christmas gift guide is full of ethical and eco-friendly gifts from small businesses that you can feel great about giving. Without further ado, read on for my pick of ethical and eco-friendly gifts…
Look no further because this Christmas gift guide is full of ethical and eco-friendly gifts from small businesses that you can feel great about giving. Without further ado, read on for my pick of ethical and eco-friendly gifts…
Ethical and Eco-Friendly Fashion Gifts
When it comes to ethical and eco-friendly fashion, I think buying quality not quantity is key. Over the past few years I’ve found so many small businesses making the most wonderful clothes and accessories, without exploiting people or planet. Here are some that would make perfect gifts.
With Narrative Organic Handmade Sweatshirt
A soft and snuggly sweatshirt that’s ethically made of organic cotton is a Christmas must have in my book. My sister Debbie’s organic brand With Narrative has a wonderful range of handmade organic sweatshirts and I got one for my birthday.
Because they are hand made to order, each on is individual to you, so I chose mismatched cuffs in two shades of pink.
There are several cuts to choose from and a gorgeous colour palette.
With Narrative Organic Sweatshirts are:
- Designed by Debbie
- Handmade in North Bucks, England
- Made of super cosy GOTS certified organic cotton with cotton thread
- Perfect for lounging, yoga and the school run
- Sent in reused packaging with a short story written by Debbie, printed on eco-friendly 100% recycled paper
- If it needs repairing (within reason) Debbie will even repair it!
PoZu Ethical, Organic Trainers
PoZu create sustainable, ethical footwear, that are healthy for feet, better to the environment and safe for the people who make them. They also make the coolest official Star Wars trainers and boots!
I have the more every day Moth trainers, which are perfect for summer.
These Moth trainers are:
- Made of organic canvas
- With a comfy Foot-Mattress™ in natural latex foam and coconut fibre that moulds to your foot shape and provides insulation
- 100% Vegan
- All rubber is made from locally-sourced Fair Trade rubber, certified by the Fair Rubber Association
- Available in several colours
Nordgreen Sustainable Watch
When it comes to watches and jewellery, I believe in buying quality over quantity. I want a watch that lasts, looks gorgeous, and comes with added eco-benefits. A Nordgreen watch ticks those boxes and would make the loveliest gift, with options for men and women.
I have the Philosopher watch in gold with a white face, but let me tell you, I had a hard time deciding as there are several styles, and you can also choose rose gold and silver colourways, different face colours and lots of different straps!
Nordgreen Watches are:
- Responsibly manufactured in Denmark
- Carbon Neutral thanks to Nordgreen planting thousands of trees, including enough to offset the delivery of each watch
- Packaged in FSC certified cardboard which is easily recycled, and the felt in the box is made of recycled plastic bottles
- Part of the Giving Back Programme – I chose to support Cool Earth when my watch arrived
Trend Tonic Eco-Friendly Cork Earrings
Trend Tonic are a small UK business making ultra light eco-friendly cork earrings.
A lightweight, durable and sustainable alternative to plastic based faux and animal leather, cork offers the wearer the robustness of animal leather with the fun colours of faux leather without any of the negative environmental effects. The backs are intentionally left blank to retain the eco credentials and they can also be used as essential oil diffusers!Kerry Clayton, founder and CEO of Trend Tonic
Trend Tonic have partnered with Ecologi and plant a tree for every item sold, and don’t worry, o trees are harmed in the harvesting of cork.
I wear these earrings a lot as they are ultra light and go with everything being leopard print design, and they don’t irritate my ear piercing holes, which a lot of jewellery does. I have the Teardrop Earrings in Bold Leopard, and they are £12 a pair, with tonnes of gorgeous patterns. They also come in loads of different designs: the only issues is trying to make up your mind!
Boody Sustainable Bamboo Underwear
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the comfort is key. And that goes double for underwear. A few years ago, I reviewed super soft bamboo leggings and a cami from Boody in my ethical gift guide, and this year I’ve gone for his ‘n’ hers bamboo underwear! Boody make the loveliest bamboo basics that are anything but basic – they are luxuriously soft and comfortable and high quality. I still wear my vest and leggings years later. Boody have lovely loungewear and pjs too, so do have a look – they are on my wishlist!
Boody ethical and eco-friendly underwear is:
- Made of raw organic bamboo that is Ecocert certified
- Packaged in recycled paper and card, with vegetable inks
- WRAP Certified
- Super soft and comfy
- Available in XS, S, M, L and XL for women, and S, M, L and XL for men
- Available in black, white, beige and grey (men) grey marl (women), which is what I chose
Boody clothes are made from organically grown bamboo and produced to WRAP Certified levels (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production). This ensures sewn products are produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions.
When you click through to buy a Boody product, you’ll see some diagrams showing the positive impact of the item, including energy saved, drinking water saved, and amount of land famed without pesticides.
Because they have the perfect amount of stretch, they feel snug, but never tight. And as for underwires? I’m not sure I’ll ever buy a bra with them again.
Kånken Re-Wool Recycled Wool Backpack by Fjӓllrӓven
I have long been a fan of Fjӓllrӓven’s Kånken backpacks and have had my pale pink one for several years. They are doing some great work on becoming more sustainable, and also fall into the ‘slow fashion’ bracket as their clothes last and last. They have just launched their Kånken Re-Wool backpack, made from 80% recycled wool and 20% recycled nylon for strength.
It’s a great every day size suitable for all genders.
Because the wool is colour sorted before it’s shredded and re-woven, its production doesn’t require dyeing so greatly reduces the amount of water and chemicals used.Fjӓllrӓven
It comes with the internal removable seat pad, like the rest of the range, and comes in a 15 inch laptop version, and this smaller everyday version. It’s available in Granite Grey (shown here), Night Sky and Red-Black check.
It may not be sunglass season right now, but gifting a pair of chic recycled sunglasses is the gift that keeps on giving! Global WAKEcup have a gorgeous range of unisex recycled sunglasses, made from old fishing nets rescued from the sea.
Ethical and Eco-Friendly Home Gifts
We’re all spending so much more time at home than ever before, it makes sense that we make it as welcoming as we can. Here are some ethical and eco-friendly home gifts that are just the ticket.
Eco Friendly Volcanic Room Diffuser from Boostology
Fragrance room diffusers make gorgeous gifts and this one from Boostology is reusable for years and years to come. It also looks gorgeous and is really simple to use.
This simple yet stylish matte black glass container is full of lava and obsidian volcanic stones, with a unique hand-polished red Agate stone lid, that also acts as a coaster.
Just add 6-10 drops of your favourite essential oil to the stones. The porous lava acts like a sponge, soaking up the fragranced oil. It slowly releases the natural fragrance into your room, and looks gorgeous as it works!
There are no electric parts to break, no cost to run it, and no flames or fumes. Pure, simple and minimal. It comes in a black box, so it makes a great gift for home fragrance lovers. Read more about this innovative diffuser here.
Scented Soy Wax Candle from Joik
If your giftee likes the warm glow from a candle along with their room fragrance, a soy wax candle is the eco-friendly choice. Unlike regular paraffin candles, soy wax candles are based on a natural, renewable material. They also burn for longer, and burn cleaner so they are better for us and for the environment.
I’ve bought this candle every winter for the past 3 or 4 years and love the festive fragrance. This year, I unwrapped this one and my husband came into the room and remarked that it smelled like Christmas. He was correct!
Joik have all sorts of other gorgeous fragrances to choose from, like Gingerbread, Bamboo, Strawberry and Rhubarb and Masala Chai, which is sweet and festive, with the scent of cinnamon bark, cloves, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg.
Natural Room Spray from Seilich
If the person you’re buying for isn’t able to have a real Christmas tree, or just LOVE Christmassy scents, then a natural room spray is a great gift.
Seilichgrow and distil Scottish wildflowers to produce floral waters, which form the basis of all their products.
- Seilich only work with native/naturalised Scottish wildflowers, which provides a habitat for many species of wildlife
- They always leave around 50% of the plants in the ground to leave plenty for wildlife
- They also have two large areas of wildflower meadow which the never harvest from, providing habitat continuity
- They use organic farming practices, never ever spraying crops with pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers
They have several scents to choose from: “We distil these precious botanicals in our workshop to make essential oils and floral waters, which we use to make our room mists.”
Positive News Magazine Subscription
Regular newspapers tend to be full of bad news, especially at the moment. It can feel pretty overwhelming. But a subscription to Positive News magazine offers gives a ray of hope, written by independent journalists, focussing on progress and solutions.
“Each issue features uplifting articles about what’s going right in the world, with high-impact photography and beautiful design. By providing hope, balance and perspective, Positive News magazine offers respite from the psychological impacts of the pandemic and helps people to stay informed without needing to disconnect from the news.”
Positive News magazine gift subscription recipients will receive four issues throughout 2021 (published in January, April, July and October), plus access to the digital archive of all back issues.
You’ll also get a free copy of the current issue of Positive News magazine to wrap and post, or to put under the tree at Christmas.
- Positive News is a certified carbon neutral publication
- It’s printed on FSC certified paper using 100% vegetable oil-based inks
- On average, 99% of waste associated with printing Positive News magazine is recycled
- In May, Positive News crowdfunded to send 9,000 copies of its magazine to NHS hospitals and staff across the UK
Eco-Friendly, Ethical Food and Drinks
Christmas is the perfect time to gift some special food or drink. And when it comes from an ethical and eco-friendly source, the calories don’t count, right? 😉 I’ve picked some really special foodie Christmas gifts here – hide them carefully before you gift them in case they get eaten or drunk by your family.
Sustainable Mermaid Gin or Vodka from the Isle of Wight Distillery
The Isle of Wight Distillery is the only one on the island, and it’s certified Net Zero thanks in part to plastic-free packaging, and investing in projects that actively protect the environment. Their signature Mermaid Gin and Vodka are certified as plastic-free by A Plastic Planet. The beautiful bottle is made from easily recyclable glass, with a sustainably sourced natural cork stopper and compostable tamper-proof seal.
Doing things differently, minimising waste, using ethically sourced and often local ingredients to craft a range of smooth, complex spirits. Inspired by our island setting, we use ethically sourced and local natural ingredients. Rock Samphire is foraged from our shoreline, Boadicea hops are harvested from Ventnor Botanic Gardens and elderflower is handpicked from local fields, while our strawberries are grown in the lush and sun-soaked Arreton Valley.Isle of Wight Distillery
It contains rock samphire, elderflower, grains of paradise, organic lemon zest and boadicea hops.
Our signature gin’s name was inspired by its lead botanical rock samphire, known locally as ‘mermaid’s kiss’. This aromatic succulent clings to the cliffs surrounding the Island and marks the high tide line on its majestic beaches.Isle of Wight Distillery
A delicate vein of salt creates a back note that makes Mermaid Salt Vodka an essential ingredient for any well stocked back bar – an ideal flavour enhancer for adventurous cocktails, or a classic dirty martini.Isle of Wight Distillery
This Mermaid Salt Vodka is a great ingredient to add to an Espresso Martini, and I like to make mine with decaf coffee so I can sleep afterwards. The Lost Sheep Coffee decaf capsules are perfect for this! Find out how to make homemade Creme de Cacao here. Making this would also be a lovely homemade Christmas gift.
Lost Sheep Compostable Coffee Capsules Gift Set
I bet coffee machines around the world have been getting a lot of extra use this year. So gifting the coffee lover in your life some compostable coffee capsules is a great eco-friendly gift. Lost Sheep 100% Arabica coffee is fully traceable, and roasted in-house in Whitstable, Kent.
This Lost Sheep Christmas Capsule Gift Set has three different Nespresso-compatible compostable capsule flavours, all made from speciality grade 1 coffee beans.
• Loving the Decaf – “A big bold body, yet amazingly smooth
with no need for additional sugars.”
• Smooth Journey – “Smooth chocolate fudge body with a light
• Funky Camper – “Tasting of sweet Irish cream with a rich body
and mulled winter fruits.”
Zero Waste Chutney from Rubies in the Rubble
Who else loves a Christmas cheese board? Rubies in the Rubble have a perfect accompaniment, with their Christmas relish gift set. It’s made of surplus fruit and veg that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Working directly with UK farmers, they create a market for the freshest (if a little wonky!) fruit and veg. They save 8 onions, 1 apple and 1 pear in every box.
Tony’s Chocolonely Ethical and Fairtrade Chocolate
The ethics and environmental impact of chocolate may not be front of mind over Christmas. But those delicious treats we devour over Christmas often come at the cost of child slavery. Tony’s Chocolonely are trying to change that.
We aim for everybody in our supply chain to be happy with our chocolate, from the farmer and his children to the consumer who buys the chocolate. We lead by example as a commercially successful company to show the world chocolate can be made differently and without the use of slave labor or exploitation.Tony’s Chocolonely
So by buying ethically produced chocolate, we can help. It’s a very complicated issue so please head over to Tony’s Chocolonely’s website to find out more.
Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate is:
- Made of fairtrade cocoa and sugar
- packaged in 100% recyclable packaging
- Fighting child slavery
- Amazingly delicious
Reusable Stainless Steel Lunchbox from WAKEcup
Help your loved on ditch the clingfilm and plastic boxes with this lovely stainless steel lunchbox. It’s plastic free and comes in two sizes, with a removable separator that means you can section off food.
WAKEcup say the two clasps shut the lunchbox “so tightly you could even carry soup if you wanted to!” I haven’t tested that, but it kept my sandwich and crisps nice and fresh!
10% of profits go to to ocean conservation charities too.
Stocking Fillers, Top Ups and Secret Santa Gifts
If you’re looking for ethical and eco-friendly gifts for friends, top up gifts or stocking fillers, these are some things I think fit the bill.
Bamboo Make-Up Remover Kit from 8.7 Living
I’ve used reusable cotton rounds to remove my make-up fir a couple of years now and been really pleased with them. But these amazingly soft bamboo rounds are next level. This kit from 8.7 Living is such a good idea as it has three colour-coded sizes: smallest for eye make-up, biggest for removing your cleanser and medium for toner or micellar water. It comes with a soft headband, and a cotton bag to wash them in, so it ticks all the boxes.
8.7 Living are a new brand championing reusable products at a fair price, and currently have a capsule collection including reusable water bottles and razors. They are a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning 1% of gross sales are donated to environmental non-profit organisations. Another 1% goes to community youth projects.
So not only are you stopping cotton wool waste, and plastic packaging waste, you’re also supporting some good causes.
Organic House Cleansing Balm
This organic cleansing balm from Organic House is one of my absolute favourites. It’s suitable for all skin types, so it would make the perfect eco-friendly gift. Organic House are an award-winning British brand, and each batch is hand-made in the UK.
Organic House use recycled paper for marketing materials, packaging and labels. The bottles and jars use recycled materials for production and are reusable or recyclable, and my cleansing balm and cloth arrived in a hessian bag.
Naturally, they are a cruelty-free brand, and most of the products are vegan. Organic House products are free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, silicones and sulphates, propylene glycol, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA and DEA.
Plastic-Free Waterless Shower Gel Tablets from Ben & Anna
I love these shower gel tablets from Ben & Anna. They come in a paper packet which can be easily recycled. I popped some of mine in an old glass jar to keep them dry in the shower, which would make a lovely little gift!
You get 24 tablets in a packet and each tablet lasts for at least five showers. They smell lovely too and lather well. I use an old jam jar lid to keep the current tablet in on my shower rack.
HURRAW! Natural Moon Lip Balm
An all-natural lip balm is a great stocking filler for an eco-conscious person and this HURRAW! Moon Lip Balm is extra thick, creamy and rich. It’s enriched with vanilla, blue chamomil, argan oil, avocado oil, and rosehip seed oil.
Hurraw! Balms are all natural, vegan, made from premium raw, organic and fair trade ingredients. This one is meant to be used at night, but I also use it in the day. It stays on my bedside table at all times as I’d be lost without it!
Hurraw have loads of great flavours, I’ve had a few and liked them all.
A Gift That Cuts Carbon Dioxide
A Climeworks Subscription removes carbon dioxide directly from the air and then safely stores it. It even removes historic CO2, not just new carbon dioxide. And best of all, this air-captured carbon dioxide is removed for good.
For £6 per month, you can remove 85kg of carbon dioxide from the air per year, in the name of your favourite conservationist.
Reusable Organic Cotton Bag
This is my favourite reusable bag as it scrunches up so small it can go in your pocket, but is really room as the woven organic cotton expands as you add to it. I got mine from Gather + Give in St Albans, another female founded small business. They say “Turtle Bags was established to raise awareness of the hazards of plastic bags and sell great alternatives. The name Turtle Bags acts as a reminder of the dangers of plastics in our oceans, especially to turtles who mistake them for jellyfish.”
Turtle Bags are:
- Certified organic under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), meaning no chemical pesticides or fertilisers are used in the production of the fabric and farmers must work under safe conditions with an agreed minimum wage
- Made alongside fair trade partners who share their commitment to supply environmentally friendly bags
Eco-Friendly Fixing Kits from Sugru
Making do and mending is just as important as buying ethically. Reusing and upcyling existing stuff we already have is a great way to keep things out of landfill, and test our creativity. Sugru have lots of ways to make it really fun!
Their special mouldable glue now comes in these cool little tins, with lots of inspiration about what you can use it for. I have the Create & Craft Kit (also ideal for kids as the glue is non-toxic) and the Organise Small Spaces Kit.
Not sure how to use it? They also have loads of inspiration on their website here.
Sugru also have some other new kits that caught my eye.
This amazing pack of Gold Iron On Patches are such a fun way to cover over a stain or mark in a unique way.
Do you have a treasured garment with a mark, stain or imperfection that you just can’t remove? No worries, now you can give the garment a new life with remarkable. This amazing solution is a kit containing quirky, delicate, golden iron-on patches. Each patch will turn any imperfection into something remarkable, as if you’ve been hit by some flying golden paint.Sugru
Each kit comes with a sheet of golden iron-on marks, a piece of felt, some baking foil and an easy step-by-step manual. Use it on a t-shirt, tablecloth, fabric trainers, bedding… whatever takes your fancy!
Or how about a crafty way to mend a jumper or hat? This Woolfiller kit is actually a felting kit and can be used in so many ways to mend holes.
Wool fibres contain minuscule scales. When pricked with a felting needle, the tiny scales open up and bind with each other creating bonded fibres where there once was a hole. A new solution for an age-old problem, wool-filling is quick, simple, sustainable and extremely satisfying. Choose your colour to blend in or stand out – it’s up to you.Sugru
Wrap Your Ethical and Eco-Friendly Gifts in Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap!
So now you have all your ethical and eco-friendly gifts – don’t forget to choose an ethical and eco-friendly way to wrap them up!
Curlicue have the loveliest range of eco-friendly wrapping paper and gift tags.
Everything is 100% recycled, plastic-free and fully recyclable. Curlicue use vegetable-based ink, so it’s all Vegan, and they print in the UK using a waterless and chemical-free printing process!
And their designs are just gorgeous aren’t they? Here you see Bauble Noire and Winter Wonderland.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to ethical and eco-friendly gifts. Please Pin it for later!
Don’t forget to read my round up of the best creative craft kits to make and give this Christmas, which you can find here.
If you’re buying for a newby or wannabe cyclist, my guide to stylist cycling essentials is here.
Do you need even more ethical and eco-friendly gifts? Check out last year’s Eco-Friendly Gift Guide for even more inspo!