Gift Good. Gift Green.

Gift Good. Gift Green.

Our Ethical Christmas Gift Guide 2023

With Christmas just around the corner, we are already starting to prepare for the festivities. A time when we dig out those old Christmas jumpers, fill up on mince pies and every high street shop seems to play Wham's Last Christmas on repeat. It’s also a time of gratitude and exchanging gifts, showing our loved ones how much we care.

However, it is easy to get wrapped up (excuse the pun) in the whirlwind of gift-giving. Finding the right ethical gift can sometimes be challenging. On one hand, you want to show your appreciation and affection for the person you are buying the gift for, but on the other hand, you also want to ensure that the gift you give is made with fair labour practices, sustainable materials and is free from any forms of cruelty.

Why is shopping ethically so important?

'Tis the season of giving and receiving presents. However, amidst all the joy and excitement, it's easy to forget the hidden cost associated with it. In the UK, Christmas gift packaging alone creates a massive 282 tonnes of waste annually, which is alarming.

If we collectively choose to shop more mindfully, we have the power to make a meaningful difference which will positively impact people, animals and the planet. Here's a quick checklist of what to consider when searching for that perfect, ethical gift:

  1. Material Matters: What's it made from? Check for sustainability and look for certifications like organic, vegan, and fair trade. Avoid materials such as plastic and palm oil that are harmful to the environment
  1. Eco-Friendly Packaging: Avoid choosing gifts with plastic packaging and instead look for recycled cards or paper. It’s a small but impactful way to make a real difference

  2. Who made it?: Think about the people behind the product. Were they paid fairly? Do they work in good conditions? Look for Fair Trade, Living Wage Foundation, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and B-Corp accreditations and check companies websites for there to view their ethical commitments and beliefs
  1. Think of the journey: Consider where your gift is coming from – minimising shipping distances is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and shopping locally helps to support independent shops and makers
  1. Choosing the right brands - Instead of getting caught up in the convenience of huge companies with questionable ethics such as Amazon, we encourage you to think independently and shop locally. Not only does it support small businesses, but by shopping locally you’re supporting your community and helping your local economy thrive

Our Christmas Gift Recommendations

Celebrate the season with a gift that not only brings joy to your loved ones but also helps make the world a better place.

We have put together this ethical gift guide to give you some inspiration when looking for that perfect Christmas gift:

Vegan Wine - Vegan Wine Online

If there is one drink that says Christmas louder than the rest, it's wine. Whether you prefer it hot and mulled or a glass of rich red wine to pair with your Christmas pudding, there is no denying that wine is certainly a festive favourite.

a selection of wines from vegan wine online

So what makes a wine ethical you ask? Well, there are a few factors to consider such as how the grapes are grown and whether they use any animal products as part of the filling process. Unfortunately, it is still common for winemakers to use fish bladder (isinglass) or gelatin to make the appearance of the wine clearer. 

To save you from having to shop high and low to find the right vegan wine for you we recommend using Vegan Wine Online which has curated some of the most delicious vegan wines you will ever try. This UK family business only sells wines that are 100% certified vegan with many of them also being certified Organic and Bio-Dynamic Wines.

Enter our giveaway here for a chance to win a luxury wine hamper from Vegan Wine Online!

Ethical Chocolate - OmBar

Nothing quite compares to the classic Christmas gift of chocolate, it's universally loved and a great way to show someone you care without worrying if the present will be well received. However, the multi-billion pound chocolate industry has not been without its fair share of ethical issues such as child labour, animal welfare, colonialism and deforestation.

Luckily our friends over at Ethical Consumer have created this helpful article which ranks chocolate companies for their ethical values and practices for people, animals and the environment, helping you to make more informed choices about who you buy chocolate from.

ombar advent calender

From this list, we recommend trying the delicious handmade chocolate from OmBar; a vegan, ethical chocolatier specialising in luxury raw and organic chocolates. Their expert artisans make decadent vegan chocolate the way it is designed to taste, with unroasted beans and without palm oil or refined sugar.

With every bite of their delicious chocolate bars, you can feel good knowing that the Ecuadorian cocoa farmers are always paid above fair trade prices. Ombar don't just make exceptionally tasting chocolate but it also represents a company dedicated to making a difference

Gifts Of Nature Hamper - Friendly Soap

If you are looking for a gift that is both sustainable and luxurious then our Gifts Of Nature hamper is for you. This eco-friendly soap hamper is filled with four of our most fragrant natural soap bars, with a variety of fragrances like zesty orange and grapefruit and the soothing scent of lavender.

friendly soap - gifts of nature hamper

This eco-friendly hamper also includes a full range of our eco-friendly bathroom accessories which are all made from sustainable and biodegradable materials such as bamboo and liquid wood.

Like everything we do at Friendly Soap, this plant-based hamper is 100% free from plastic, cruelty and harmful chemicals such as SLS and parabens. Each soap bar is handmade in the UK by our talented team who are all paid above the UK living wage.

We are also proudly accredited by The Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International as we firmly believe that beauty should never come at the cost of any form of cruelty or suffering.

By gifting this eco-conscious hamper, you can rest assured that it’s not only friendly to the skin but also to people, animals and the planet.

Book Subscription Box - Happily Ever After

If you know someone who is passionate about books, sustainable living and animals then you should consider gifting them a Happily Ever After subscription box.

Happily Ever After is not just another book subscription box; it's a movement fuelled by compassion. With every subscription box they send, they actively contribute to UK animal sanctuaries, igniting positive change one book box at a time. Their dedication has already raised thousands of pounds for incredible sanctuaries such as Pigs In The Woods and The Fox Rescuers.

happily ever after book box contents with descriptions

They also rescue all the books they use, preventing them from ending up in landfills so you can feel good gifting a book box whilst knowing that you are helping the animals and the planet! 

These boxes are packed with delightful vegan treats and are tailored to different age groups, making it easy to find the perfect book box for anyone, young or young at heart.

An Adventure In Nature - Daisy Bank Camp

When it comes to Christmas gift-giving, we love the idea of less stuff and more experiences. Why not surprise someone with the gift of adventure by booking them a luxury stay in nature in the breathtaking Yorkshire countryside with Daisy Bank Camp?

Treat your loved one to a stay at a luxury cabin out in nature where they will have the pleasure of immersing themselves in the beauty of the West Yorkshire moorland for a blissful holiday surrounded by nature.

Built by hand, each cabin is named after the birds that fill the air in this precious patch of West Yorkshire; with beautifully decorated interiors featuring wallpaper by Hannah Nunn and artwork by Kate Boyce that reflect the birds and the beautiful wilderness they call home

daisy bank camp collage

Located just above Hebden Bridge, there are plenty of activities and sights to see right on your doorstep. From leisurely walks along the canal to visits to the historic home of the renowned Brontes. You may even recognise familiar locations recently featured in the hit BBC shows Happy Valley and Gallows Pole.

Make this Christmas special by gifting the gift of adventure and nature.

Ethical Christmas Cards - Ohh Deer

Christmas cards are a great way to connect with loved ones during the festive season, but they can also raise ethical concerns. Many commercial cards are produced using unsustainable materials and labour practices that exploit workers. However, by choosing Ohh Deer, you can be sure that you are supporting a company that cares about people and the environment.

sausage dog with some greeting cards from ohh dear

Ohh Deer is a queer-run UK business that creates quirky and unique greeting cards that embody the true spirit of Christmas. They focus on sustainability and inclusiveness and are passionate about equal opportunities not just within the workplace, but in every aspect of their business. They also ensure their designers are paid fairly for their work.

What's more, Ohh Deer does not use plastic in any of its greeting cards or packaging and has planted over 150,000 trees in association with Treeaid, contributing to a better planet for all.

A Magazine Subscription -  Ethical Consumer Magazine

A subscription to Ethical Consumer Magazine is a thoughtful and ethical gift choice for the holiday season. This gift promotes conscious consumerism and encourages the recipient to make more ethical choices in their daily life.

montage of Ethical Consumer magazines

The magazine offers valuable insights into sustainable and responsible products, making it a useful resource for anyone looking to support businesses that prioritise people and the planet. It's a gift that keeps on giving, fostering awareness and inspiring positive change long after the holiday season has passed.

It is a perfect gift for your friends and family who are passionate about sustainable living and is always packed full of really interesting articles and wisdom on how to live greener.

Handmade Gifts

There's something truly special about gifting handmade treasures during the holiday season. In a world filled with mass-produced items, a handcrafted gift carries a touch of authenticity and love that's impossible to replicate.

Whether it's a hand-knitted scarf, a personalised piece of pottery, or a carefully crafted candle, a handmade gift tells a story. It speaks of the thoughtfulness and effort put into choosing or creating something truly one-of-a-kind for your loved ones.

young people making pictures with nature

Handmade gifts are a perfect way to add a personal touch to your Christmas gift, but you don't have to be an expert crafter to create something meaningful. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Hand-Painted Ornaments: Decorate plain ornaments with your own designs or messages using acrylic paint and brushes. It's a fun and creative project for all skill levels.
  2. Custom Photo Album: Assemble a photo album with cherished memories. You can even add handwritten notes to make it extra special.
  3. Knit or Crochet Scarves: Even if you're a beginner, knitting or crocheting a simple scarf in a loved one's favourite colour can be a heartfelt gift.
  4. Personalised Recipe Book: Compile your favourite family recipes into a beautifully decorated notebook. Include personal notes and cooking tips.
  5. Hand-Decorated Mugs: Use porcelain pens or markers to decorate plain mugs with unique designs or messages. They'll bring a personal touch to every coffee or tea break.
  6. Handwritten Letters or Poems: Crafting a heartfelt letter or poem can be a touching gift, showcasing your emotions and memories in a personal way.

    Remember, the thought and effort you put into a handmade gift matter more than your level of crafting skills. Your loved ones will appreciate the care and creativity that went into your personalised present.

    Second-Hand Gifts

    The festive season is a time for giving, and what better way to show your love and appreciation for your friends and family than by choosing to shop for second-hand gifts? Shopping at charity, vintage and thrift stores not only allows you to find unique and sustainable gifts but also helps to reduce waste and supports local businesses. By giving pre-owned items a new lease of life, you are doing your part in preventing them from ending up in landfills and promoting a more eco-friendly approach to gifting.

    shopping thrifty at a second hand store

    Moreover, shopping for second-hand gifts is a great opportunity to give back to the community and support charity shops. Your purchase can make a real difference to those in need, while also creating a positive impact on the environment.

    Give The Gift Of Time

    When it comes to gift-giving, we often forget that the most valuable gift we can give is our time. In today's fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity that we can never get back. Spending time with our loved ones and creating unforgettable memories is far more important than any material gift we could ever give.

    happy family and friends spending time together at Christmas

    In a world where consumerism is the norm, it's easy to get caught up in the bedlam of Christmas shopping. But it's important to remember that time spent together is always the best option. The joy of being with family and friends, sharing stories and laughter, is priceless, and at the end of the day, it's the time we spend with each other that truly matters.

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