Shop small, shop sustainable at Christmas

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Christmas can feel overwhelming in pretty much every aspect in years previous; from the dozens of relatives making their way out of the woodwork to critique your cooking (I’m only trying to help love!) to the endless entertaining, cooking, wining and dining. Although most of these things will look quite different this year, one thing will remain the same; the gift of giving.  Written by Ciara Loane

Whether you’re posting, hand delivering or even sending them virtually, gift giving this year will take on a whole new meaning as people try to communicate in physical matter (or 1s and 0s on a screen) just how much they care for one another. And this year, it’s more than ever.

However, that being said, 2020 should be used as an excuse to overhaul the gifting system. Gone are the days of cheap tat, the new era of beautifully thoughtful, meaningful and most importantly sustainable gifts has been ushered through.

I love gift giving as much as anyone, but this year it is important to strive to be as sustainable as possible when giving gifts. For the environment, to cut down on the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic and other materials that goes to landfill. For the economy and your own purse pockets, to make money go longer at Christmas. And for the small businesses struggling after lockdowns and a looming recession.

Shopping sustainably doesn’t have to be hard; in fact, you can shop sustainably incredibly easy. By finding things from small local shops on the high street or further afield online on websites like Depop, Etsy, eBay and Not on the High Street you are helping out small business owners all across the country. If you’re looking at a high fashion item, look for ones made from sustainable companies where you can trace exactly where the factories are and what labour is like and what their carbon footprint is, or hunt for items made of recycled materials (there is so much out there!) 

Here are the best of the sustainable gifts out there for just about everyone you’re going to be buying for this Christmas…

For him

Men’s Stocking filler bundle, Rapanui Clothing, £35

With all items made from sustainable, organic cotton, you couldn’t feel any better about gifting this to a loved one. Featuring Christmas classics such as socks, boxers and a 2020 special: face masks! This time though, instead of being out of date and from a defunct department store from your nan, they’re stylish, comfortable and great for the planet.

Crumbs 3 Beer Gift Pack & Glass (Social Supermarket), £15

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An ideal introduction to Crumbs breweries bready brews. The beer is brewed from leftover artisan bread from Chalk Hills Bakery in Surrey, fighting food waste and creating their own unique brews in one!

For her

Silk Kimono, Spiced Chai Clothing (Depop), £30

Made from vintage sari material, this upcycled kimono jacket can be worn around the house casually or teamed with a white t-shirt and jeans for a casual look, or dressed up for wearing out! A versatile, re-worked and stylish piece of history.

Plantable Seed Hexagon Paper, Ruby and Bo Shop (Etsy) £5

This incredibly aesthetically pleasing paper actually contains seeds that grow incredibly easily! If you know someone who has a habit of neglecting plants, this could be the alternative for them. The paper hexagons have been hand-embedded with 24 types of British Wildflowers that are perfect for bee pollination, saving the bees when planted!

For the kids

Grow Wild Growth Chart, Wee Gallery (Good Things Gifts), £34.95

A beautifully illustrated growth chart made out of completely GOTS organic cotton, which is sustainably sourced and biodegradable too; this chart will allow you to measure your child’s growth over the years as well as creating a completely unique keepsake.

Adopt an Animal, WWF, Various

Animal adoption allows children to follow the lives of their chosen animal and fund essential

conservation work to protect endangered species. From just £5 a month, it will ignite a fascination in kids about the world we live in and animals across the globe. It’s create for the planet too!

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