The holiday season is the perfect occasion to practice being a little more mindful. At a time of year centred around care and generosity, we look into how you can bring these Christmas values into the presents with our living gift guide.
Hello, holidays. Yes, it’s that time of year already, and Christmas is creeping up quickly. As we welcome the festive fun, food and fairy lights, we also usher in a much-needed opportunity to reconnect with the community around us and live a little more in the moment. But there’s a Christmas conundrum that plays on every consumer’s conscience: gifting. While we spend the rest of the year trying to buy what we use and use what we buy, our seasonal shopping often means spending on products we don’t truly believe in. Amid the festive frenzy, we found ourselves searching for a more meaningful way to purchase presents.
With this in mind, here’s our guide to the best ethical and sustainable gifts for your loved ones, from homewear to food and memorable experiences. Whether they help to support artisan groups around the world or just give your loved ones the chance to live a little more mindfully in the New Year, the below gifts encompass the festive spirit by having a positive influence on the world around us. Here’s to a Christmas of community, connection and consciousness.
Project Pico Naturally Died Handwoven Bath Sheet
Handwoven for Project Pico by a cooperative that supports heritage craft in India, these pastel pink towels will add a little elegance to your bathroom. Made from organic cotton and dyed by hand using plant extracts, they are the perfect way to wrap up in something natural after a long soak.
Akojo Market Ardmore Design Leopard Napkins
A maximalist statement for any interior design aficionado, these napkins will add a pop of colour to your Christmas shopping. Akojo Market is home to a selection of vibrant homewear that creates space for independent African businesses to thrive, making it the perfect place to find ethical gifts with an arty aesthetic.
Cocabana ‘Cover all Bases’ Kitchen Set
Stay away from single-use in style with a stylish travel set from Cocabana. Featuring the company’s signature bowls made from natural coconut shells which would otherwise be burned or go to waste, this set represents sustainability in a nutshell.
Tincture Natural Cleaning Starter Set
Natural, re-fillable and extremely aesthetically pleasing, Tincture’s cleaning products are as satisfying as they are stylish. Made using essential oils, botanical extracts and active silver, the starter set makes the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life.
Akojo Market QÄSA QÄSA Blantyre Storage Jars
These sophisticated storage jars are sure to turn heads at the zero-waste store. Upcycled from empty wine bottles, the Blantyre Storage jars are made by talented artisans in Malawi who then hand-carve the mahogany wood lids. Available on Akojo Market, QÄSA QÄSA also partner with community groups in Africa to support local makers.
Sasstainable Cutlery With Case
A handmade bamboo cutlery set that comes with its own travel bag, Sasstainableprovide the present of choice for anyone who eats their lunch on the go. Long standing plastic-free converts and those just getting into sustainability will surely appreciate this carefully curated set.
Riley Studio Guppyfriend
It may not be glamourous, but microfibres from our laundry ending up in the ocean has certainly become a hot topic. Help your friends and family avoid the issue with a Guppyfriend laudry bag from Riley Studio in which to wash any clothes made from synthetic fabrics. They’ll be sure to thank you for it and so will the environment…
The ShleepSkin™ Blanket
Christmas is a time for getting cosy, and what better way to do so than with the ShleepSkin™ blanket from Shleep. Made from superfine Australian merino wool and lined with cotton percale, this is made for winter evenings snuggling on the sofa. It’s safe to call it the plushest present on the market.
Selkie Patterns Coffee Filter Template
For those who like to get creative, a template from sustainable sewing start-up Selkie Patterns is sure to spread joy this season. This simple guide for a homemade, re-usable coffee filter might be free, but it makes up for it in thoughtfulness.
Use the festive season to fight against food waste by gifting an fruit and vegetable box subscription to your nearest and dearest. Born from a desire to reduce the emissions created by food waste, Oddbox works with local farmers to make sure misshapen produce gets put to use.
allplants Gift Voucher
The perfect plant-based present, an allplants voucher means you can treat your loved ones to wholesome vegan food, no cooking needed. From colourful mezze bowls to hearty vegetable stews, this gift will keep on giving long into the New Year.
A Bottle of Yealands Wine
Whether you opt for white or red, you can rest assured that Yealands wine will always be a green gift. An example of winemaking with sustainability in its soul, Yealands has explored everything from large scale solar energy to burning offcuts from their vines to reheat water. Just visit the website to find your nearest stockist.
Lunch at the Riverford Field Kitchen
Surprise someone special this Christmas with a farm to fork dining experience at the Riverford Field Kitchen. Seasonal, organic vegetables and herbs are grown just metres from the restaurant and cooked up into delicious, help yourself-style plates served to everyone in the restaurant at the same time.
A Syrian Supper Club Dinner
Food is a vehicle for sharing and connection, and there’s no better example of this than the Syrian Supper Club run by the Hands Up Foundation. Help give your support to those living in the war-torn country by gifting a ticket or two to one of their famous feasts. A dinner of traditional dishes is the perfect way to explore a new culture and support communities through community-focused projects in Syria at the same time.
Grass People Tree Tea Tasting
Reconnecting tea with tradition, Grass People Tree use hand-foraged ingredients from wild, indigenous tea trees for their beautiful blends. A bespoke tea-tasting experience with founder and Guizhou native Rui is sure to be a gift to remember. What’s more, 15% of winter sales will go towards training the young people of Guizhou in the gentle art of tea making.
Earl of East Terrarium Building Workshop
We all know a houseplant-aholic, and creative hub Earl of East have the ultimate sustainable gift for anyone with a green thumb. With everything you need to build your own mini eco-system included, it’s a guaranteed way to get connected with nature while in the big city.
Dried Flower Workshop at The Flower Factory LDN
Nothing uplifts interiors like a beautiful bouquet, and the best thing about dried flowers is that they can be an everlasting addition to your home. Book a friend with a floral fancy in for one of The Flower Factory LDN’s workshops where they’ll learn how to dry their own stems and create a hand-tied arrangement.
A Meditation Session at Re:Mind Studio
Wish someone a calming Christmas with a meditation session at Re:Mind studio. Designed with sustainability and health at its heart, this Pinterest-worthy hideaway offers a welcome retreat from busy city life. Londoners can work away their stress through breathing, sound healing and yin yoga.
A Nature as Nurture Forest Bathing Session
What better gift than giving someone the chance to get back to nature. A Nature as Nurture forest bathing session involves immersing oneself in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the surroundings through mindful awareness and meditation. Promising to increase wellbeing and boost creativity, it’s the ultimate refresher for the New Year.
Canopy & Stars Christmas Gift Card
Packed with dreamy cabins, treehouses and glamping experiences, Canopy & Starsoffers a curated edit of wishlist-worthy hideaways. A gift card includes all the fun of picking their perfect place from Alistair Sawday’s selection of sustainable spots.
Eco-Retreats Yurt Holiday
Treat someone special to a weekend of resting, relaxing and recharging this Christmas with Eco Retreats. Situated on an organic farm with nearby pools for wild swimming, everything in the retreat is designed to be as sustainable as possible – fair trade toiletries and waterless compost loos await!