It’s really easy to do your gift shopping on the high street or online, but with a bit of extra thought and planning, you can choose more sustainable, ethical gifts for your loved ones. You can also support smaller businesses at the same time. This gift guide has lots of ideas for ethical gifts for her, all of which you can buy with a clear conscience. From recycled and natural gifts, to ethical gifts that give back, I hope you’ll be inspired to give something with meaning, or find some things to put on your own wish list.
Being sustainable can be stylish, as I hope to prove! Some of these products have been gifted to me for inclusion in my Ethical Gift Guide, and they are labeled as (gifted), everything else are things I use already. I use them all apart from the boots, which are my sister’s, and thoroughly recommend them.
Ethical Gifts for Her: The Metallic Maven
If she’s into accessories, here’s a selection of bags, necklaces and boots she’ll love.
You may have seen me raving about the paper tote bag I bought from My Paper Tote in the summer. My review gained a lot of interest from ladies on Instagram, so I think one of these fab bags, which look and feel like leather but are made from paper would be a welcome present. I have the rose gold one, and it comes in silver too! My Paper Tote also sell this fabulous metallic paper clutch bag for just £9.99 (gifted). Isn’t it gorgeous?
It’s made of washable paper, so it’s vegan-friendly, and can even be hand washed, or machine washed on a delicate cycle. This gives in an aged effect, but you see it here in pristine fashion.
These paper bags have the durability of leather bags, with an environmentally-conscious material. It is lighter than leather but rivals it’s strength so won’t need replacing quickly. It’s washable, so will last longer. The washable paper is sourced from the USA, where a non-harmful synthetic polymor coating is added for water resistance. MyPaperTote do not use Pentachlorophenol, PVC or BPA, and their products are completely safe for the environment and humans. The paper has been tested in line with Oeko Tex Standard 100 and is safe for contact with human skin.
Mosami Silver Necklace
Founded by Sarah Greenaway just over two years ago, Mosami exclusively uses either Fairtrade or post-consumer recycled silver. Mosami works with talented British designers to create contemporary and unique jewellery, saying “It is mindfully sourced from small and artisanal businesses that genuinely care about their people and environment so you can wear it in the knowledge it is doing good for the people who made it.”
The necklace Sarah chose to send for this guide is the beautiful Wings of Hope silver necklace from their Whisper a Wish collection (£59.99, gifted).
The dove is a universal symbol of hope and peace. Mosami say, “Wear our dove talisman as a daily reminder of the power of hope and the importance of holding it always in your heart.”
Mosami’s silver is either Fairtrade or recycled, in order to protect people and our planet.
They say: “A vast majority of precious metal miners currently work in unacceptable conditions for inexcusable pay. In committing to Fairtrade silver we are actively working to improve the lives of the many families who struggle to scrape a living from artisanal mining. Mosami is proud to be one of only ten jewellers in the world to pioneer Fairtrade silver.”
Fairtrade silver is in very short supply, so when we are unable to use it to make our jewellery we use recycled silver instead. This means that we are using the planet’s resources mindfully, re-using a material that is infinitely re-usable and reducing the need for environmentally destructive mining practice.”
I think any woman would like these beautiful boots from TOMS (£89.99).
These are my sister’s and she says they are super comfy. Toms’ One for One™ scheme, where for every pair of shoes sold, they donate one pair to a child in a developing country, has been running since 2006. But now they do so much more.
TOMS Shoes has provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, TOMS Eyewear has restored sight to over 400,000 since 2011 and TOMS Roasting Company has helped provide over 335,000 weeks of safe water since launching in 2014.
In 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was founded with the mission to help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely deliver her baby. As of 2016, TOMS has supported safe birth services for over 25,000 mothers.
They offer shoes with sustainable and vegan materials including hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. Their shoe boxes are made from 80% recycled post-consumer waste and are printed with soy ink.
Ethical Gifts for Her: The Exercise Fan
For the yogi or gym enthusiast, how about super-soft workout wear, ethical trainers and glam yet practical wireless headphones?
Boody Organic Eco Wear
Did you know bamboo is a much more eco-friendly alternative to cotton? Bamboo fibres are super-soft, which makes them ideal for underwear or fitness wear. Boody Organic Eco Wear have a wide range of simple classics, including this seam-free Bamboo Cami (£13.95 in Black, White, Marl Grey and Nude, sizes XS-L) and these supersoft Full Length Bamboo Leggings (£21.95 in Black, sizes XS-XL).
They have underwear and socks for women and men, and a range of adorable baby clothes too. I got my sister to model them for me, but I have been wearing both and they are so soft and comfortable. As well as being perfect for exercise, these leggings are also perfect to wear under a skirt, or just for lounging. They make a great extra layer under normal clothes for extra cosiness too!
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing, renewable and sustainable plants on earth, and has moisture absorbency, breathability and antibacterial qualities. Boody used organic, chemical-free bamboo yarn, which needs much less water than cotton. Their boxes are recycled and printed with vegetable-based ink.
VEJA Ethical Trainers
Trainers are some of the least ethical products you can buy, but when I’ve researched ethical brands, they mostly look hideous. But then I discovered VEJA, which have a score of between 12.5 and 13 of a possible 20 in the Ethical Consumer Table. (To put that in context, Nike and Converse both scored just 4.5.) I got these VEJA trainers from La Redoute, who have a limited range, but often run promotions* making them more affordable.
VEJA admit they still have a way to go, but these trainers are made by recycling 15 plastic bottles. Their upper mesh is made from recycled plastic bottles, plus synthetic leather sections made in Germany, the V logo made of wild rubber. They are lined in organic cotton and the sole is made of wild rubber from the Amazonian forest.
House of Marley Headphones
The earphones that come with phone are all very well, but House of Marley have taken them up a notch (or ten) in the style and sustainability stakes. Created by Bob Marley’s children, House of Marley have considered their materials carefully, and combine eco credentials with fantastic sound quality.
These Smile Jamaica Wireless headphones (RRP. £49.99, currently £29.99*, gifted) combine FSC™ Certiﬁed Wood and recyclable aluminium housings, to create a stylish alternative to the sea of plastic products we’re so used to seeing. These study headphones are sure to last a lot longer than the flimsy ones that come with phones, so should also reduce landfill.
- Bluetooth 4.1 with 10 metre range and 8 hour wireless play time
- Features recyclable aluminium trims, FSC™ certified wood and exclusive REGRIND™ silicone
- 9mm dynamic driver, noise-isolating microphone and 3-button controls
- Slender and lightweight neckband design and durable tangle free braided cable
- Available in Black, Brass, Copper (shown here) and Denim
I’ve been using them on the way back from the school run and at the gym and they are light, and comfortable and the sound quality is fantastic. I love them.
Marley products are sustainably crafted from earth-friendly materials, including their exclusive REWIND™ fabric, cotton and canvas textiles, recycled plastics, recyclable metals, bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council-certified woods. You can read more about all of their materials on the House of Marley website.
Marley products support 1Love, the Marley family charitable organisation. This global movement is dedicated to supporting youth, planet and peace.
Ethical Gifts for Her: The Home Lover
There are lots of independent makers and companies using fair trade policies, and these homewares make perfect gifts.
Fairtrade Sequinned Belly Basket
Pretty much every women I know loves a basket. Whether she uses it for storing a hobby like knitting, or a pile of cosy blankets, or even a plant. This silver sequinned basket is from OXFAM, (£14.99) was hand woven in Vietnam using natural seagrass.
Artisan Hanh Dung works alongside her husband and sister in Vietnam. The tradtional skill of hand weaving was passed down to them from their mother, and they have used this talent to set up work in their hometown and provide a stable income for them and their families.
Wick & Woo Handmade Soy Wax Candle
I’m a recent convert to soy candles, which burn cleaner than traditional candles and can last longer too. My sister bought me this lovely Wick & Woo candle for my birthday. It’s called ‘Nutcracker’ and it smells of praline. Wick & Woo are based near us, so I’ll be buying more of their candles in future, for gifts and myself!
Neon Wine Box and Weekly Planner
I won this fab wine gift box from Flat 102* in an Instagram competition, but you can buy one from Steph’s Etsy shop for £12. The neon pink is gorgeous and each box is individually silk screen printed using waterbased non toxic inks. That means Steph doesn’t need any chemicals to clean the screens, and they don’t have any of the ozone depleting chemicals that traditional screen printing inks have. Plus, they are approved by the soil association.
Flat 102 are based close to me, and they sell all sorts of other gorgeous printed goodness, do check her out on Etsy!
I think a lovely family calendar is a great gift for a busy mum, and this neon weekly planner from Petra Boase (£12) has plenty of space for each family member, with five columns. In our case that means a column for other information or meal planning as there are four of us. The planner is undated so you can use it any way you like – it would also make a great work panner too.
Petra Boase Ltd is a small brand based in the Norfolk Countryside, established by Petra and now a joint project with her husband Russell. The planner is printed with a Risograph printer on FSC paper with eco-friendly ink.
In my opinion, every coffee or tea drinker needs a re-useable cup. The majority of disposable cups from high street coffee shops cannot be recycled, due to their plastic coating. So using a KeepCup or similar re-useable cup is vital in the fight against the tsunami of disposable cups. It looks great too! Available from Amazon in a wide range of colours, the KeepCup is light and dishwasher safe* so you can chuck it in you bag on your way out of the house.
There’s enough plastic in 20 disposable cups (and lids) to make one small KeepCup. So although KeepCups are made from plastic, using a KeepCup will mean less plastic is produced and discarded. You only have to use it 15 times to break even with a disposable cup in terms of the energy manufacture and use, and it’s made from single component materials to help recycling at end of life.
Ethical Gifts for Her: The Green Beauty Buff
I am passionate about using natural, and organic make-up, skincare and hair and body products. As our skin is our biggest organ, whatever we put on it is absorbed in to our bodies, so I don’t want chemicals on my skin. For like-minded ladies, here are a few natural beauty gift suggestions.
NEEK Skin Organics Lipstick
Aussie vegan brand NEEK Skin Organics has launched two new lipstick colours Mystify and Kiss Me Kiss Me (£15.99 each, gifted). These 100% natural and vegan lippies go on smoothly and stay put for hours. Based on a shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil base, they keep lips nourished and moisturised. The colours are subtle enough for every day, and they are comfortable to wear.
I don’t know many women who wouldn’t like a lipstick in their stocking. For those who prefer a natural look, they have a beautiful barely there shade called ‘Shine On’, pictured on the right. It can also be layered over lipsticks for a high shine finish.
The Magnitone WipeOut (£15 for two, gifted) is a great stocking filler. This super soft cloth removes make-up with just water, so it’s ideal for travel. No need for leaky and heavy bottle of make-up remover! I have to admit I was sceptical about whether this would actually work, but it does! I used micellar water afterwards and the cotton pad looked clean. I don’t think it would work for heavy eye make-up, but for everyday make-up it works really well.
It is also an eco-responsible gift, as it can be used up to 1000 times, machine washable (30 degrees) and perfect for travel thanks to their quick drying properties.
Harbour Elements Cleansing Balm
If she prefers a balm to remove her make-up, I love Harbour Elements Truly Gentle Cleansing Balm, (£25, gifted). It feels so luxurious and is fragrance-free so ideal for sensitive skin. You can read my full review of this all-natural cleansing balm here.
Willowberry Natural Skincare
If she prefers her skincare gorgeously scented, Willowberry Natural Skincare have a wonderfully indulgent cleansing balm, oil and day cream. I have been using the 100% natural Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm (£27.95, gifted) and Facial Oil (£22.50, gifted) for a month or so, and you can read my full review here.
Looking for more ideas for ethical gifts for her? Check out my Natural Beauty Gift Guide for even more ideas!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to ethical gifts for her, why not Pin it for later, or email to a loved one as a big hint?