The holidays may look pretty different this year for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and celebrate if we can. Gatherings may look smaller, but love, friendship and family are still what really matters most. If you’re doing gifts this year, here’s a whole host of sustainable and ethical gifts you can give up close or from afar. Many features this year also give back, as it’s been a tough year for many, and there’s a whole section this year for crafting and DIYs to keep people creative during lockdowns.
I hope this provides some inspiration and makes online shopping a little more interesting this year!
GIFTS FOR STAYING AT HOME
Lochtree was founded on a fresh approach to sustainability; helping everyday, ordinary people as they embark on their eco-friendly home journeys. Their marketplace provides sustainable alternatives that are high quality and convenient to use in various aspects of home life, helping people find balanced, slow and sustainable rhythms. Considering we’re all spending so much time at home, this is useful for everyone from the seasoned environmentalist to the beginner! They’re here to make steady and simple progress as easy as possible.
Plus, Lochtree believe in giving back. They are a member of 1% for the Planet, a global network of organisations that commit to giving 1% of sales revenue back to the planet, as well as OneTreePlanted, who plant a tree for every Lochtree purchase or email subscriber. They also have partnerships with OffGridBox, who provide clean water and solar energy to those in remote areas, and Rozalia Project, who fight marine pollution through cleanup and education.
Asquith London make eco activewear for yoga, pilates, sports and every day life. All of their clothes are ethically made in a family-run factory in Europe, and are created with a specifically designed fabric that blends organic cotton and sustainable bamboo. Their bamboo is sourced from responsibly managed, FSC certified forests, while their production process is Oeko-Tex certified (aka, no nasty chemicals). This makes them much more durable than high street options while also being naturally anti-bacterial and breathable without fading, bobbling or stretching.
MY TOP PICK: The tiger pyjama set. Made with the soft and comfortable bamboo, this PJ set is naturally temperature controlling, sweat-wicking and great for sensitive skin. These pieces are designed for lounging, however the top is also versatile enough to go great with jeans and heels for leaving the house. Considering how many of us spent lockdown in daytime pyjamas, Asquith’s pieces are the perfect transitional options!
Use the code FRAN20 for 20% off
Planet Organic is both the UK’s first organic supermarket and a one-stop-shop for a wide array of sustainable living essentials, natural health and beauty products, and food for a range of diets. For this holiday season, they’re stocking a variety of ethically-sourced, environmentally sound and sustainable products, all available nationwide across the UK.
Their vast range, which is available for next day delivery, includes everything from natural candles, conscious skincare, cruelty-free makeup, eco-friendly toiletries and scents, organic alcohol, and a ton of festive food. Their food options include vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw food and keto options, making it an ideal place to find something for everyone, and this year they’ve put together larger organic hampers and gift boxes for a real treat.
PlanetCare was created to help eradicate microplastic ocean pollution. Washing synthetic fabrics and clothes leads them to shed plastic microfibres into waterways which, unless caught, end up in our oceans. PlanetCare’s washing machine filter stops the problem at the source, catching 90% of these harmful microplastics before they flow into wastewater. It’s such an effective solution that it was the first to receive the ‘Ocean Clean Wash’ label, awarded by Plastic Soup Foundation.
Even better, PlanetCare’s solution is also the only one that is completely closed loop. Their filters are easy to install on any washing machine (it takes around 10 minutes and you don’t need a professional to do it!) and utilise reusable cartridges that are replaced every 15 – 20 washes. Instead of this responsibility falling to the consumer, users simply need to send the cartridges back without even cleaning the fibres away! PlanetCare professionally remove and repurpose the caught fibres, as well as refurbishing the cartridges to be used in future, taking full responsibility for keeping the microfibres out of the environment and avoiding waste at every stage.
Use the code FRANCESCAPLANET10 for 10% off
The Coorie Home
Created by Ciara Menzie and Beth Pearson, the idea of ‘coorie’ (which means to snuggle or nestle) is Scotland’s answer to hygge. The Coorie Home is an intimate view of authentic Scottish home life. It features insightful interviews, practical advice, and beautiful photography, exploring communal living, cool interiors, the sanctuary of the remote getaway and more. The result is an eclectic array of Scottish living spaces, all personalised and completely creative.
Every week, Petalon design two bouquets using seasonal flowers, available for delivery across mainland Britain. Their offering is low waste and ever-changing. Order before midday for next day delivery, 7 days a week, for £42 all in, or order ahead in time for a special holiday treat. 5% of profit from deliveries goes towards bee conservation, and Petalon plant a tree for every 100 bouquets sent by carbon-neutral courier. Plus, all of their packaging is either recyclable or biodegradable.
wxy was created by a team who spent fifteen years working in candle and home fragrances, who had a desire to create a cleaner and fairer product. Their candles are hand-poured in the UK, contain no animal materials or parabens, use 100% plant based, palm oil-free wax, and use recyclable materials wherever possible. Plus, with every purchase 3% of profits are given to charity.
FOR ETHICS & AESTHETICS
Brothers We Stand
Brothers We Stand is an online marketplace specialising in a curated collection of sustainable and ethical menswear, catering to a range of styles and preferences. Whether minimal or quirky, they try to have something for everyone. Each brand they stock undergoes extensive research, and they have a strong set of sustainability criteria to meet, which includes labour standards, transparency, quality design and durability. Products must have a positive social or environmental impact that sets them apart (learn more here) and Ethical Consumer has awarded Brothers We Stand with their best buy label for the level of supply chain transparency provided at the point of sale. Each garment comes with a footprint breakdown that looks at everything from organic certifications, waste reduction, workers rights and durable design, alongside areas Brothers We Stand believe could be improved.
MY TOP PICK: the Alaska Essential Shirt from Brava Fabrics. Ethically made in Portugal with 100% organic cotton, this is a classic winter staple with a unique twist in the collar design. It’s timeless and luxurious, but with a little more of an interesting story too. Or shop their gift guide here.
Use the code ‘EthicalUnicorn’ for 10% off
Yala is an award-winning African jewellery brand founded by Audrey Migot-Adholl, who was born in Kenya and is now based in Bristol. They create ethical, transparent jewellery in small batches with collaborators who are paid fairly and use eco friendly materials, plus they’re the first jewellery company in the UK to become a Certified B Corporation. Yala challenges the common misconceptions about Africa and its people through beautiful design, entrepreneurship and creative talent. They work directly with over 150 artisans in Kenya, ensuring they receive fair wages, safe and healthy work environments, and real recognition for their talent. Their sustainable and ethically sourced materials include brass, reclaimed cow horn that would otherwise be sent to landfill from local farms, glass beads, and thread recycled from plastic flour and rice sacks. They even have zero waste pendants, made from brass leftover from the production of their other pieces.
affandjam was created by two London based artists on a journey of exploration through art, clothing and identity. The name is taken from their roots of one part African (ghanaian specifically) and one part Jamaican, and their aesthetic is taken from a love of faces, features and femininity as an inspiration for lines and shapes. Each affandjam piece is either carefully hand printed and painted onto vintage and recycled items, making them unique, exclusive and a way to reduce waste, or materials sourced from fair trade factories using locally sourced and organic fabrics. All packaging is also plastic free and recyclable.
Slowdown studio was created with collaboration in mind, discovering emerging and established artists from across the globe and bringing them to a larger market. They celebrate individuality and artistry; the result is a collection of pieces that are both functional and beautiful, and invite their owner to embrace the slower moments in life.
MY TOP PICK: Made with 100% recycled paper, The 2021 Bungalow Wall Calendar by Bungalow Kreativbuero is a large wall calendar with a creative twist. Each month, connect the dots to reveal a design. At the end of the year, a message will appear!
Nude Ethics is a one woman shop based in Cornwall. It focuses on ethically crafted pieces, utilising organic cotton, fair production, renewable energy and a minimal carbon footprint. Nude Ethics t shirts are beautifully minimal and delicate, but they’re also manufactured by EarthPositive, and each design is screen-printed and embroidered in Cornwall using water-based inks and sustainable thread.
Ballo make unisex sunglasses and other items from recycled, upcycled and conscious materials, such as sustinable hemp and offcuts/waste materials from other industries. Their products are all designed and handmade in Cape Town, hiring local makers rather than using automated machinery, and most of the machines they do use are sourced second or third hand. Uneployment can be a challenge in South Africa, so Ballo deliberately chose not to automate and instead hire real people. They also aim for zero waste production, so use their own offcuts to make items such as earrings and flower pots.
Artisan and Fox
Artisan & Fox is a social enterprise who connect local artisans to conscious consumers across the world, helping them mindfully expand their micro-enterprises. They only collaborate with independent artisans, small artisan groups, non-profits and local social enterprises, intentionally seeking artisans with valuable techniques who may have difficulty selling their products internationally. All products are priced so that artisans receive 50% of the gross profits of each sale and are paid in advance, with remaining profits reinvested into heping more makers. Plus, when needed, Artisan and Fox also cover upfront for material and production costs or provide zero-interest micro-loans.
While some products in the marketplace include animal-based materials (eg. by-product leather or upcycled bone) Artisan & Fox only support reclaimed materials that would have otherwise been discarded or unused.
Floral Street perfumes are vegan and cruelty-free, while also being sustainable every step of the way. They utilise a range of sustainable, fully traceable, natural ingredients, with suppliers and growers ethically treated through the supply chain. Their perfumes are housed in glass bottles, their packaging is all FSC certified, compostable, reusable and recyclable, and they only use vegetable and soy-based inks. Additionally, they pay more for the paperboard in their packaging in order to offset its use through the World Land Trust, an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats. In 2019 these payments supported the protection of more than 4000 sq m of critically threatened tropical forest.
LOW WASTE TREATS
Upcircle handcraft high quality skincare that gives salvaged natural ingredients a new life in the UK, while also being organic, vegan, cruelty free and palm oil free. They began collecting coffee grounds from one shop; they now collect from many artisan cafes and have already transformed more than 250 tonnes of grounds into sustainable skincare. They also produce soaps from brewed chai tea spices, and more recently learned that the UK produced 23,000 tonnes of fruit stone waste in 2012 alone. This inspired the fruit stone range, with each product made with the powder of a different discarded fruit stone that is rich in vitamins like A, C and E. Their packaging is also 99% plastic-free, they offer plastic-free refill options for the 1%, and they break down how to recycle their products here.
Founded by the folks behind Trendlistr Vintage, Studio Courtenay create vintage-inspired fashion responsibly. Designed and handmade in the North East of England, they use deadstock and salvaged vintage fabric and components to create their pieces. The result is a range of pattern, print and colour for something as unique as you are.
grünBAG hand sew a range of bags and accessories in Denmark, using recycled industrial materials to divert waste from landfill. Their most common material is surplus truck tarpaulin, which is waterproof, strong and stain-resistant, meaning it will last a lifetime and making it an ideal investment, while also being colourful, minimal and beautiful too. I get complimented on my grünBAG items all the time!
MY TOP PICK: The laptop sleeve, I was given this last year and I love it. As well as being easy to use it provides great, hardwearing protection, extra storage, and it looks great!
2 Green Monkeys
2 Green Monkeys is a small family business, with all products designed, created and stitched by Sarah from their studio in Devon. These reusable, plastic-free, customisable crackers double up as napkins, making them perfect place settings too. Simply ‘pull the cracker’ then unroll the napkin for your holiday dinner (they don’t snap like traditional crackers, but are still a lot of fun for a sustainable swap!). Plus you can make them meaningful by putting a personal message, gift or hat inside each one, as each cracker comes empty with a durable cardboard core. You can choose your own cracker colours, thread colours and add personalised touches too.
Gung Ho Design
London based Gung Ho Design create colourful and fun designs that are also filled with deeper meaning and purpose. Each item is designed by hand by founder Sophie Dunster; created to be both beautiful and to connect people with environmental issues, and with each purchase Gung Ho donates to a corresponding charity working with this cause. Each piece is made from organic cotton which is hand-printed in the UK using responsible dyes, whilst the final collection is handmade in London.
MY TOP PICK: While I love all of their clothes, special mention must go to the Gung Ho scrunchies. Each is unique as they’re made with Gung Ho’s fabric offcuts to minimise waste. I have one and I absolutely love it.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS
Studio Vincent is a small jewellery studio based in Edinburgh. Each piece is made by hand using 100% traceable recycled silver and silver offcuts, and everything is made to order to reduce studio waste and overproduction. All packaging is also recyclable and reusable.
If you’d like your order gift wrapped with a personalised card just leave a note at checkout, last orders for Christmas can be placed on Sunday December 6th.
Personalised crosswords by Bunch of C-Words
George Sully is well known as director of Fest Magazine, but he’s also the mastermind behind the crosswords for The Skinny. He’s currently offering personalised crosswords, sent electronically for you to easily print at home. Just send over your recipient’s interests and he’ll send over a finished grid with clues to be used however you would like. Price range:
- 13×13 (standard Guardian size) – £20
- 15×15 (NY Times/The Skinny size) – £30
- 25×25 (sadism) – £50
- Plus bespoke options on request
To order, simply email email@example.com for more information
Hometown is a creative journal designed to help you explore, discover and love where you live. Filled with over 130 creative exercises to inspire mini-adventures, mindfulness, connections with nature, sustainable living and community spirit. Whether you’ve recently moved somewhere new, have always lived in the same place, or just need something to liven up the lockdown walks, this personal creative journey can help you see the place you live in a whole new way.
Luscombe is a Devon-based drinks brand who are committed to only the best products, inspired by the apples that have grown in their orchards for over 1000 years. They source directly from trusted growers, and each small batch is crafted on their farm using bespoke techniques, with minimal processing and no artificial additives. Though they usually are stocked predominantly in cafes, this year they opened an online shop to bring their treats to the home.
MY TOP PICK: the ginger beer Christmas gift box set, which includes a selection of their best selling ginger beers for a perfect winter warmer gift.
Mallory Mayhew is a Nashville native living in Paris. She also happens to be a designer, letterer and illustrator all in one, and this year she’s selling original illustrations and enamel pins for anyone looking for a dash of creativity, colour and Parisien spirit at home.
East End Press
Glasgow based East End Press create beautiful and colourful things for the home. The majority of their products are hand printed, hand painted or hand-dyed in their Glasgow studio, and they only work with suppliers who respect worker’s rights, pay fairly and are independently audited and monitored for ethical practice (they also personally visit every supplier they work with). All of their paper and packaging is made from recycled materials, all wood is certified by FSC or PEFC, and all ink is non-toxic and water-based.
FOR BEAUTY, HEALTH & WELLNESS
NARLOA create all natural skincare in small batches without harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients such as parabens, artificial fragrances or fillers. Everything is freshly made to order with minimal ingredients. They’re also suitable for sensitive skin, vegan and cruelty free, and are aligned with aromatherapy to give your skin and wellbeing a clean and holistic treatment.
The Qi source high-quality organic flowering teas designed for holistic well-being, working with small family-owned farms that only offer single-origin whole flower herbs. While each flower isn’t yet labelled as certified organic, this is because The Qi works with farms that are so small that they haven’t had the resources to obtain certification, and they are working with these farms to help them become certified.
Rooted in time-honoured rituals, each flowering tea is deeply nourishing, grounding and revitalising, with each flower able to be steeped up to 3 times. The Qi also emphasise the ritual of brewing itself, taking in the colour and aroma from the flower, as a small chance for mindfulness and stillness.
Blästa Henriët focuses on natural remedies and traditional craftsmanship, creating products that are designed to be durable, multipurpose and timeless. They work with sustainable linen flax, sourced directly from the mill Europe, and Cotswold wheat to create self-care products that provide relaxation, natural pain relief and everyday comfort. Everything beyond the linen is done in the UK, including stitching, label making, recycled product packaging and fabric printing, aiming for a short and transparent supply chain and a low footprint.
MY TOP PICK: The Wheat Bag (also called wheat warmer or heat pack). An unscented, Scandinavian household item for pain relief that can be heated in the microwave/oven or cooled in the freezer. It’s designed as a safe and natural way to decrease joint stiffness, reduce pain and inflammation, and relieve muscle cramps.
Century General Store
Century General Store is an indepdent business, selling timeless everyday conscious products such as homewares, handmade ceramics and jewellery, indepdent magazines, plantbased skincare and scents, care packages and more. Since March they’ve sent out hundreds of care packages to NHS Staff and Key Workers working on the frontlines of the pandemic. They have a Gift It Forward Voucher and nomination scheme: this means you can send something to a key worker even if you don’t know them personally, or if you do know someone but can’t afford to send them something you can nominate them to receive something paid for by a stranger.
Sculpd pottery kits
In a time when we need escapism more than anything, getting creative is a great way to stay distracted. Recently awarded the Indy Best Buy for Adult Craft kits by The Independent, Sculpd provide clay kits (alongside extras like pastel paint sets and cacti for your creations) for you to get crafting at home. Each kit includes a step-by-step pottery guide to learn basic techniques to make your own pinch pots, bowls, plant pots, candle holders, sculptures… and anything else you can dream of! They use British air dry clay, so no kiln needed, and each kit contains enough clay for two people.
MY TOP PICK: the original pottery kit is great, but if you’re feeling extra fancy go for the Christmas pottery kit and paint set, which has everything you need for crafting holiday decorations and handmade gifts.
Balfour & Co
Established in 2020 by weaver Christabel Balfour, Balfour & Co was created to supply weavers at any level across the globe. Their shop includes weaving courses and accompanying kits (for rugs and tapestries), yarn, looms, tools, and an illustrated guide to weaving to get you started. Their wool is sourced from the UK, from small independent farmers who keep sheep on land that’s unsuitable for growing anything else.
DIY headbands from Agnes LDN
Agnes LDN hand make goods to help people reduce waste. They use deadstock and sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, support small businesses wherever possible, and everything is handmade by founder Sophie or her partner.
MY TOP PICK: the DIY headband kit is perfect for both skilled crafters or those who just want to learn some sewing skills. It comes with easy instructions, upcycled deadstock fabric, and the tools you’ll need to DIY your own headband from scratch.
Kaliko is a line of handcrafted textiles made with care in their Berlin studio. Kaliko use certified and local fibres such as European linen, which they then hand dye using regional plant pigments, creating pieces that are unique while also respecting the planet.
On their online shop you can find guides to natural dyeing, dyeing kits, weaving kits and a range of handmade products, all made with natural and organic materials.
PLAYin Choc is designed as both a crafty treat and a way to learn, selling organic bean to bar chocolates alongside 3D puzzles. They’re certified by the Soil Association, are free from refined sugar and common allergens (including dairy and gluten), and their packing and toys are all made from materials that are FSC or PEFC sustainably sourced, recycled, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable (even the chocolate is wrapped in home compostable film).
Their only ingredients are organic single-origin Peruvian cacao, creamed coconut, coconut palm sugar, and Madagascan vanilla. All ingredients are fairly traded, being sourced from small family collectives, and certified as 100% slave free and animal labour free. Their self-assembled toys are educational and made of card, with collections including dinosaurs, endangered animals and Christmas figures.
Sexy scribbles by Hannah Witton
There’s nothing more fun than a bit of colouring, no matter your age. A collaboration between sex educator Hannah Witton and illustrator Maddy Vian, Sexy Scribbles is a digital colouring book filled with sex positive colouring pages for adults. What originally started as a fun, monthly perk for newsletter subscribers has now evolved into a 14-page colouring book, emailed straight to your inbox for easy printing at home, for only £6.
GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
By Tori Tsui
By Tori Tsui was created by intersectional climate activist and mental health advocate @toritsui_. Tori started making earrings a while ago as a creative outlet and, after many requests to sell them on etsy, started a shop to raise money for charity. Each item is uniquely handmade in her bedroom in Bristol using polymer clay, while all proceeds are donated to mental health charities like Mind and climate action groups that work with Indigenous communties around the world.
Digitally donate to a food bank
This winter food banks are under more strain, but it’s also even easier to donate to them from home using Bankuet. For every friend who might not want a physical gift for themselves, why not donate to help people in their area instead?
To donate simply choose a food bank, then choose a specific item or bundle. On their find a food bank page you can enter your postcode to find the closest food bank to you, and bundle prices range from £10 – £100. From here, Bankuet take care of everything else. They buy and deliver items specifically requested by the food banks, at the time that is best for the food bank, saving everyone time and money.
The Big Issue subscription
For nearly 30 years The Big Issue has helped those facing homelessness set up small businesses selling their magazines. The entire business model is based on sellers working on the streets, which is precarious in current times. They now offer subscriptions for weekly home delivery; it costs £32.50 for a 3-month subscription (approximately £2.70 per week) and can provide weekly reading material for someone you love, support the network of 2000 Big Issue sellers, and create supported employment opportunities for vulnerable people in the subscription fulfilment team.
Plus, you can now purchase a subscription directly from your local vendor. Using this map, whenever you see a yellow pin it means 50% of net proceeds from your subscription will go directly to the vendor, the same as when you buy the magazine directly from them.
Choose Love has raised millions for the charity Help Refugees, to support displaced and vulnerable communities. They’ve ensured hundreds of people have been rescued at sea, while providing thousands of tents, sleeping bags and nearly 1.5 million hot meals. The Choose Love store is the world’s first shop that sells real products for refugees, every item in-store represents a similar product/service provided by one of over 120 projects they support around the world.
TO HELP REFUGEES TODAY: their options are split into secret santa gifts, emergency needs, daily survival, and building futures. Plus, if you still want to give something tangible this holiday season, their ethically made merchandise donates 100% of profits to helping refugees too.
Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women who have had a social and economic disadvantage. They provide a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically, using baking to equip each woman with transferrable skills and understanding of entrepreneurship. They offer courses, work experience and paid employment within the bakery, aiming to break cycles of poverty, violence and disadvantage.
In their shop, you can find brownies that arrive through the letterbox, (GF and vegan available), fudge, cakes, vouchers and cookbooks.
Pivot is an ethical and sustainable jewellery brand who empower those experiencing homelessness, helping the, transition out of temporary accommodation, through the practical experience of making and enterprise. They design products that can easily be made in hostels, utilising materials like brass and stainless steel, to bring flexible and meaningful employment for vulnerable people who may find it hard to access work.
Mosaik gift shop
Just 3% of refugees can access higher education, compared to 37% of global youth. Mosaik provide guidance and courses designed to help refugees access university education, including guidance workshops, peer to peer learning programmes, and English classes. When you purchase a gift from the christmas shop, at least 10% of the profit is donated to Mosaik Education.
Jollie’s will always be my favourite socks. Sustainably made from organic cotton in Portugal, each pair is bright, cosy and colourful. But there’s more. Their wear a pair, share a pair principle also means that for every pair sold a pair is donated to a homeless charity in your area, and they recently introduced their sock recycle scheme. All orders now include a pre-paid envelope for you to send old socks to them: those in good condition 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.
Sustainable coffee for a cause
While there are many wonderful direct trade coffee brands, Old Spike is the UK’s first coffee roastery social enterprise. Based in Peckham, Old Spike source, roast and pack direct trade coffee while offering employment to those affected by homelessness. They train and employ homeless people in their cafe, in coffee production, and in delivery, meaning that every bag of coffee you buy contributes to helping the homeless.
There is also New Ground Coffee. They source ethical direct trade coffee from small-scale farms around the world, are a living wage employer, use recyclable packaging, run on renewable energy and use carbon neutral logistics. But, beyond that, they use their business to create work and training opportunities for ex-offenders across the UK, giving some of the most overlooked people in society a new beginning.
FOR LIFE ON THE GO
Glow & See
Glow & See provide a range of light-reflective accessories that are unisex and multifunctional, designed for city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Uniquely combining athleisure and traditional safety-wear, their pieces are stylish, functional and sustainable, while also promoting road safety at night (something which is even more needed when it gets dark by 4 pm). Their snoods, beanies and headbands are ethically made from wool with a unique glass fibre yarn woven into it, making them quick-wicking, breathable and light-responsive to keep you safe and stylish.
Finisterre is a Cornwall based brand designing functional and sustainable products for those that share a love of the sea. Sustainability is a core part of their DNA, and they aim to make each item and durable as possible and minimise environmental impact wherever they can. They’re a perfect pick for those who love the outdoors; supplying warm layers, durable kit, and everything in between that you may need for an adventure.
House of Marley
House of Marley create headphones and speakers from a range of the most sustainable materials possible, including bamboo, FSC certified wood, recycled plastic and fabric made from reclaimed organic cotton, reclaimed hemp and recycled PET. Each item is designed to provide the best possible sound, and product sales support global reforestation efforts in collaboration with One Tree Planted.
MY TOP PICK: the Champion True Wireless Earbuds. I have a pair and I love them!
Peckham Cloth’s on the go bread and snack bags are handmade in London using ethically sourced, GOTS certified organic cotton. Their bread bags are treated with a mixture of natural beeswax, pine resin and organic jojoba oil, while their packaging is made from recycled materials whenever possible, and is fully recyclable. For every product they sell they plant a tree in Indonesia with One Tree Planted.
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY
The Singing Leaf
The Singing Leaf handcraft small batches of organic, loose-leaf herbal tea blends in the UK, with a focus on health and wellbeing. They use locally grown and wild foraged plants, combining herbs that complement each other for their taste and therapeutic properties. Their philosophy is to only use herbs that grow in abundance and to be mindful about their origins. All blends are 100% natural with no added flavours or additives, and all packaging is biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.
MY TOP PICK: the loose leaf tea gift set.
Elephant Gin is handmade in small batches in Germany using artisan production methods. Without any artificial flavouring, they only use locally sourced spring water, with all other ingredients hand-selected and checked, bottles custom made, and labels hand-written. Their gin is distilled using 14 botanicals, including rare ingredients that have not been used in gin-making before.
Elephant gin also uses recyclable and sustainable materials including glass bottles, natural cork, and hemp string decoration, use plastic-free and recyclable packaging whenever possible (even the shrink cap is compostable), and work with local beaders in Kenya to decorate their sloe gin bottles with glass beads strings. Plus, they donate 15% of profits to elephant conservation foundations, and have contributed over EUR 500,000 so far.
L’Art du vin
L’Art du Vin are passionate about wines made by artisan producers, with a portfolio focusing on wines made with passion, integrity and uniqueness of origin while remaining true to environmental and ethical values. They have a wide selection of biodynamic and organic wines, alongside an in-house range of micro fair trade wines, and they’re the first Scottish wine merchant to be a certified member of the Soil Association.
MY TOP PICKS: you can find their Christmas recommendations here, you can shop case by case which collates wine by grape varieties or style, or you can sign someone up for a monthly subscription. Subscriptions include a case of bottles, introductory letter explaining the theme of each case, producer information and tasting notes for each of the wines, and food matching suggestions.
Montezumas have been making ethical chocolate by hand in the UK for 20 years. They source the highest quality fairly traded cocoa from organic cooperatives, and never use palm oil, vegetable oil, artificial flavourings or preservatives. All packaging is either 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable
They are also in the process of seeking B-Corp accreditation and are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2025. All the power in their stores is sourced from 100% renewable sources, and they’re lobbying their factory landlord to do the same for their production.
MY TOP PICK: Their gift selection
Rio Nuevo hot chocolate
Rio Nuevo create ethical and sustainable single-estate chocolate that is also vegan friendly. Their 70% dark drinking chocolate is only £10, making it a perfect stocking stuffer or secret santa choice, while also being rch, natural and handmade in small batches in the UK
Ai No Mochi
Ai No Mochi is a London based company creating fresh mochi that experiments with non-traditional flavours. They deliver nationwide and all are vegetarian and halal, with vegan and gluten-free options available. Flavours range from azuki, sesame and vegan matcha to salted caramel and nutella & biscoff.
Healthy treats from Nummy
Nummy provide a unique range of healthier vegan sweet treats, using carefully selected natural ingredients and with no added nasties. All handmade with love, you can send their vegan treats to anyone you like, and they’ll be delivered in an eco-friendly branded letterbox.
MY TOP PICKS: Their vegan mince pies, made with 100% natural ingredients. Or their baked vegan Christmas doughnuts, free from refined sugar and flour, naturally coloured with beetroot powder and featuring chocolate date truffle noses on their snowmen design.
Love in Colour
Released in August 2020, this Sunday Times Bestseller is the perfect way to celebrate love and joy. Self-professed ‘romcomoisseur’ Bolu Babalola takes love stories from history and mythology, rewriting them as vibrant tales for modern audiences. She focuses on the folk tales of West Africa, iconic Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and even adds some new stories too. The book shifts between locations, settings and perspectives, all the while investigating the depths of what love can mean. Whether you’re a hardcore romance lover or just looking for some escapism this winter, this book is the perfect choice.
Red White & Royal Blue
Hands down, Casey McQuiston’s queer romcom was one of the best books I read this year. It’s hilarious, sweet, and so unputdownable that I read it in less than two days, Set in an alternate reality where a female democrat took the white house after Obama, the story follows Alex, the handsome and charismatic first son who has some major beef with Britain’s Prince Henry. When the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, damage control mode springs into action to stage a PR friendship between these two rivals. What starts as a fake friendship for Instagram soon grows deeper and, as a secret romance looms that could derail the 2020 Presidential campaign and upend two nations, there’s only one question: can love save the world after all?
Fattily Ever After
Stephanie Yeboah has experienced racism and fatphobia throughout her life; her response has been to change the narrative around body-image and what we see as beautiful. In Fattily Ever After she speaks openly about her experiences of life as a Black, plus-sized woman and finding self-acceptance in a world rife with judgement. Filled with stories of everyday discrimination and misogynoir, Stephanie shares her thoughts on the treatment of black women throughout history and the marginalisation of Black, plus-sized women in the media, alongside insightful tips, honest advice and bold illustrations. This inspiring book is essential reading.
As well as being the perfect aesthetic for a coffee table book, Minimal aims to make simple and sustainable living easier. It’s filled with practical tips for all areas of everyday life to reduce your impact on the earth, care for yourself in more conscious ways, and find a more mindful approach for daily habits. It includes ideas on decluttering your life, reducing waste and consumption, eating seasonally, and making your own natural beauty and cleaning products.
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