And here we are, gift guide number two!
This guide is less specifically focused on one theme, but is more of a collection of ideas for those people in our lives who have an interest in sustainable and ethical living but may not be experts. This is for those who are interested in generally incorporating more conscious, slow and sustainable elements into their lives in a variety of ways and want to learn more about the stories and craftsmanship behind what they own.
This is the gift guide for those things!
Made Trade curates ethically-sourced goods from artisans around the world, personally hand-selecting the best fair trade, sustainable, USA made, vegan and heritage products to provide options for everyone.
These fair trade Chilote slippers are made in small batches by female artisans in Patagonia, Chile with 100% locally sourced natural and upcycled materials. Chilote has no factory, instead each pair is slowly made by hand in the homes of women in rural areas. Chilote’s lead artisans work independently orchestrating their local network and production process to ensure a beautiful, quality product every time.
Each pair also includes a QR code with information on the artisans and geo-location, plus a repair kit to personalize or repair as needed.
Wool & The Gang
Wool & The Gang are a DIY fashion brand selling yarns and knits for everyone from beginners to the advanced knitters. Their products can help you learn knitting, macrame, crochet, embroidery and more, and each kit is specifically designed to both help you learn and help you reconnect with an understanding of craftsmanship and the process of creating something with your own hands
This Foxy Roxy knit is for beginners; helping you create a cosy, supersize scarf with a waffle weave and utilising wool that is consciously sourced from Peru.
Once you’ve completed the kit you should learn a variety of skills including: how to hold needles, how to make a slip knot, how to cast on with the cable cast on, how to make a knit stitch, how to turn work, how to work in garter stitch, how to cast off and how to weave in your ends. It’s a perfect beginner’s knit, helping awaken the crafty side in all of us and helping you stay warm through the winter.
GlobeIn’s mission is to equip artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable businesses and expand their craft to a larger market. They help conscious customers discover amazing pieces from across the world from the comfort of their own home, while also promoting authenticity and slow principles. Their monthly subscription boxes are filled with unique handcrafted items and curated around different themes, or you can buy a one-off gift.
My favourite option is the cosy box, featuring ethical cocoa, a hand-painted mug from morocco, a cotton scarf created in the mountains of Thailand, and a palm leaf basket.
Vaughan & Unwin
Looking for the perfect tote bag? Look no further than London based brand Vaughan & Unwin. Each bag is ethically made from 100% organic, GOTS certified Turkish cotton, which ensures the environment, workers and communities are cared for in each stage of production. They also utilise contemporary, playful and flexible designs, so each bag can be used in many ways and match any outfit.
Beyond the bags themselves, Vaughan & Unwin have a ‘Buy One – Plant One’ promise. Through working with TEMA Foundation (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats), they’ve created a Hope Forest of 3000 saplings in Edirne, Turkey. For each bag purchased, a sapling is donated on your behalf! Who doesn’t love sustainability and saving soil?
MY TOP PICK: Florence Travel Bags – Island Set
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth are an incredible environmental charity who campaign to protect the environment, global water and food security, and alternative clean energy solutions. They focus on a number of important sustainable initiatives, and this year they’re selling a Bee Saver Kit to help protect our incredibly important pollinator friends. Each kit includes wildflower seeds, Bee ID guides, planners to create bee friendly gardens in 2020, and a bee saver guide.
Survival International, formed in 1969, works in partnership with Indigenous and tribal peoples to protect their lives and land, aiming to put a stop to racism, land theft, forced development and genocidal violence. They stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, they lobby governments to recognise Indigenous land rights, and they document and expose atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them.
They also have a Christmas gift shop, with all profits spent fighting for the survival of tribal peoples worldwide.
MY TOP PICK: hand-painted coasters
Wunder Workshop are a London based food brand making organic and ethically sourced turmeric based products. They source their turmeric and most of their other ingredients directly from small community farms in Sri Lanka that use a sustainable farming technique called Forest Gardening, which supports Sri Lanka’s natural biodiversity, soil health, farmers and the local community. They also source ingredients that are wild-harvested (Fair Wild certified), growing in their natural habitat and avoid mono-cultural farms wherever possible.
Kiss The Ground
Kiss The Ground are a charity focusing on soil and ecosystem regeneration as the climate solution. While they work to advocate for regenerative agriculture across the USA, they have an advocacy course that is available to be taken anywhere in the world. I’m taking it right now, and it’s incredibly informative and hopeful. For anyone who’s keen to learn more and get involved with sustainable activism and advocacy, help them become a voice for soil and enroll them!
Nimble is an electronics brand that also values sustainability. Their products utilise high-quality, low-impact materials (for example recycled aluminium, organic hemp, and recycled plastic bottles), and their boxes are fully compostable, made from 100% recycled scrap paper with no harmful inks or dyes, and are created to be as small as possible to reduce fuel used in transport. They’re also a certified B Corporation and only work with suppliers who share their values on workers’ rights, sustainable materials, and reducing environmental impact.
Additionally, each product comes with a pre-paid return envelope so you can send old or obsolete electronics directly to Nimble’s e-waste recycling partner for safe, responsible recycling at no additional cost.
MY TOP PICK: Wireless Charger Stand
Jollie’s are, without a doubt, my favourite socks. Their designs are fun and each pair is ridiculously cosy but, more importantly, they use the principle wear a pair, share a pair, meaning that every pair of Jollie’s socks sold is matched with a pair donated to a homeless charity in your area to be distributed to their service users. You can see their full list of partners here.
Additionally, this year Jollie’s made the full switch so all their pieces are made from organic cotton, and they’ve also recently introduced their sock recycle scheme. All orders will now include a pre-paid envelope for you to send old socks to Jollie’s. If they’re in good condition these socks will be donated to homeless charities, while anything unusable will be recycled into valuable industrial textiles. In return you’ll receive a promo code for a free pair of socks with your next order.
La Aquarelle create eye masks and sleep sachets using botanics and plants to naturally dye each piece slowly, sometimes taking as long as two days. Each product is handmade with love and care, aiming to help you get better sleep and to be gentle on the earth too.
You can choose organic cotton, organic bamboo or silk for any eye mask you order, while each sleep sachet is filled with organic French lavender buds to aid with sleep.
MY TOP PICK: Calendula sleeping set
Alice & Peg
Alice & Peg curate a range of wellness gift boxes, filled with products from independent makers that focus on balance and rest. Each product is handmade in small batches by small sustainable UK makers, and all packaging is biodegradable, reusable or easy to recycle.
Additionally, £1 from every gift box sold is donated to YoungMinds, one of the UK’s leading charities fighting for children and young people’s mental health.
BuyMeOnce was created to fight planned obsolescence (when products are designed to break). They do that by finding the most durable version of everything and campaigning for a law forcing manufacturers to indicate product lifespan before purchase, in an attempt to put an end to throwaway culture. They select products by examining materials and craftsmanship, customer and independent reviews, ethical and sustainable credentials, aftercare, and timelessness of design. I have several things from BuyMeOnce and they’re all still going strong!
A Life Less Throwaway
In the same vein, Tara Button, BuyMeOnce CEO, has also written a book. Through her writing, she guides readers and teaches how to detect and avoid tricks that make us overspend, how to declutter and streamline your home, how to find happiness beyond buying, how to move away from trends and how to find deeper purpose and fulfilment.
Leo’s box is a conscious subscription box service delivered straight to your door. Customers can purchase a one-off box or a subscription each month, with boxes covering beauty and home and aiming to help you reduce waste in your life.
They also recently launched a bee box, which is filled with products to help bees directly or to support those working to care for bees. Each box contains: sticks for the creation of bee hotels, beeswax wraps, honey from artisanal beekeepers and lavender seeds (a plant that bees love).
Lüks Linen‘s multipurpose products are sustainably and slowly created in Turkey. Their cotton is grown in South Turkey and then spun, dyed and weaved by small family-run ateliers in the area. Their products are also either completely handmade or produced using semi-automatic looms, sometimes taking up to two weeks to complete, a process that results in better quality cotton and produces a more durable product, which comes with a 20-year repair or replace guarantee.
Their pieces can be anything from scarves and sarongs to towels and blankets in the home, making them a minimalist dream.
Christabel Balfour is a London based artist and weaver. Her designs are beautiful, and her process truly embodies slow craftsmanship and care.
Luckily, she has also put together resources to help others learn to weave too. Her book ‘Tapestry Weaving: An Illustrated Guide’ is 32 pages of detailed hand-drawn illustrations and text that covers the process of tapestry weaving from start to finish.
Gung Ho London
Gung Ho is a London based ethical and sustainable fashion brand. Each year they pick a different environmental issue and create prints and designs aimed to be talking points around these ideas. Each item comes with a minizine explaining the issue within the print, its importance and what you can do to help, equipping you for conversation when you receive a compliment on what you’re wearing.
I particularly love their one of a kind scrunchies, which are made from their offcuts to minimise fabric waste and look great.
Fair Trade Winds
Fair Trade Winds work with 150 artisan organisations in 57 countries around the world, sourcing fair trade items to being to a larger audience.
My top picks include the fall leaves bread warmer. Not only is it an incredibly smart idea, this warmer is made by artisan women in Bangladesh from terracotta and kaisa grass, a natural and abundant material in the area.
I also love this felt flower banner (that is technically for children but I adore nontheless), which is handmade by female artisans in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many of the women have been rescued from trafficking; they are now trained in the ancient technique of felting, earning an income to provide for their families.
Honeysuckle & Hilda
Claire, sustainable florist of Honeysuckle & Hilda runs both group and individual workshops that are suitable for both beginners and experienced florists looking for inspiration. Classes can be arranged for dates from April to Mid October and take place in the Chilterns. Half day prices start at £250, so if you’re looking to splash out and help your loved ones try something new, then this could be the experience gift for you.
Under the Canopy
Under the Canopy is a proud sustainable home brand that ensures every aspect of their materials and methods are certified to meet rigorous criteria. Their range of bedding and bathroom essentials are certified by GOTS, OEKO-TEX, Fair Trade, FSC, and WEL-TRAK™ (which means you can trace a product’s journey from the cotton fields to your home).
EarthHero is an eco-friendly online marketplace designed to make conscious living easier. Products are selected based on a criteria that includes sustainable materials (organic, upcycled and recycled), cleaner production with less waste, lower carbon footprints, and higher quality.
(USA and Canada only)
SPONSORED POST DISCLAIMER: this post contains paid features from some brands. I already had relationships with the brands featured and believed in what they were doing. I would never recommend something I don’t love myself, all editorial decisions my own.