Green gift ideas for a conscious Christmas
We love the festive season as much as the average punter. Actually, who are we kidding…probably more.
But while spending time selecting holiday gifts we think our loved ones will adore and cherish is top of our own lists, sometimes it can feel a bit…commercial, icky, pedestrian, right?
Even moreso when (and this has happened to me on occasion) a family member says “just tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you. Or pick it up yourself and I’ll transfer you the cash”. Yeah, no. (By the way if you’ve ever heard this from your significant other, here’s a read to share with them).
Charities like Oxfam and UN Women have various ways of buying gifts that directly serve the communities they support: for example buying goats or skipping ropes to give children recovering from trauma a chance to play.
We tend to use these sorts of gifts as a supplement to gifts for the little humans in our lives, as a way of bringing awareness to how other people live. They can be great to prompt discussions on everything from environmentalism and gender equality to poverty and farming. Equally, they make a great add-on to gifts for grown ups.
We are also happy to plough our dough into gifts when we know the story behind the person who has made it, or can be sure it was made with ethically sourced ingredients, by processes that don’t harm the environment, that have a positive lasting impact and haven’t employed child or slave labour in their production.
If you are looking to support small and local business we suggested heading to Christmas markets in your city (probably more relevant for our northern readers) or to one-off boutiques or small shops in your area. These places are often owner-run and give you the chance to learn more about the story behind the brand. If physical products are out of the question, vouchers are a good alternative.
We are committed to supporting and sharing the best of our search for ethical and eco brands and products with you.
Go forth and shop our top 11 green gift ideas!
1. Linen Market Tote: The designers at Dos Ombre have designed the most luxurious, durable and eco-friendly bags we’ve seen yet. These bad boys are made from 100% linen and are perfect for the market or a day at the beach.
2. Toms candy cane glitter party flats: this is all we will be wearing for party season. To get the groceries and around the office between meetings at least. While Toms are famous for their ‘one for one’ shoe-matching in areas of need, their social responsibility program now extends far beyond that to include maternal health and bullying prevention. Tell that to next person who tries to dull your sparkle.
3. BYT upcycled cut-out ivory blazer: 10 per cent of profits made by BYT go to Hong Kong charity Redress, which is working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Committed to being a ‘force for good’, they carry the ethos through their three pillars of product, people and practices to create beautiful designs that make a positive impact. We interviewed their founder, here about the true cost of fashion!
4. The Slow Mode Sophie Gold Bangle: TSM was founded after its owner burned out building her previous business. It focuses on brands that are made slowly, thoughtfully and with purpose. I’ve got my eyes on this hand-beaten matte gold bangle.
5. For a sweet fix, head to Pana Chocolate: The famous Melbourne chocolatiers are now shipping worldwide. Their stuff is good for you as well as hand-made, vegan and raw.
6. Metal Tea Strainer: because who doesn’t need a solid brass tea strainer #modernistglam.
7. Keep Cup: the original and the classic re-usable comes in a variety of sizes, colours and materials. What better gift could you give than making the morning coffee run guilt free? (None). Shipping is global and if none of the designs appeal to you, there’s the option to create your own.
8. Curated with conscience office essentials hamper: perfect for your work wife. You will be helping a raft of charities and suppliers across Australia and Asia by purchasing this gorgeous number – or any of their other products.
9. Mud & Musk: cute and customisable DIY kits are available from this Western Australia-based brand which just won a start-up competition run by Perth Young Professionals. Founder Haweya Ismail is committed to the use of natural ingredients that are ethical, accessible and affordable, with a focus on the owners of traditional knowledge in the cosmetics field.
10. Adidas x Parley: Shoes made from ocean plastic? Not as weird as it seems, as shown by the global brand which has also switched from plastic to paper bags in retail stores. The collection also includes swimsuits and t-shirts.
11. Airtool Chair by Pentatonic: the UK-based furniture company is literally taking landfill and making into beautiful and useful items for our houses. They call human trash “the world’s most abundant and dangerous resource”. We love this item.
We’d love to know: what’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever given or received? Head over to The Squad to share or tell us in the comments below!
Green gift ideas you’ll want to keep yourself