Shopping ethically and purchasing eco-friendly items can be particularly difficult at Christmas. You’re under pressure to find good but affordable presents for lots of different people. It can seem impossible to find presents for everyone, let alone making sure they are also ethical and not damaging for our planet. It’s easy to be sucked into the toxic materialistic atmosphere of Christmas and not think about the impact of the things we buy.
But no fear, this time I’ve done the hard work for you! I’ve picked out some of the best places to hunt out sustainable and eco friendly gifts for a greener and more rewarding Christmas! Here’s 7 ethical and eco-friendly shops based in the UK to visit for all your Christmas shopping needs.
Rapanui is an awesome shop for getting sustainable clothes made here in the UK at an affordable price. Many ethical clothing shops are expensive (justifiably so as they pay their workers fairly and invest in quality natural materials). Which is why I usually opt for secondhand clothing. For gifts, however, that might not always be suitable so Rapanui is a great option. They have quirky outdoorsy t-shirt designs many of which support charities and good causes. And if that’s not good enough, you can even design your own!
Plastic Freedom is a new online shop that sources only plastic free (or reusable) products in a bid to help people reduce their plastic use. From make-up and wrapping paper, to razors and eco glitter, there’s a great selection. And they have many beautiful gift sets and plastic freedom boxes to choose from. Definitely the place to go if you’re stuck for gift ideas.
Lush is the perfect place to go for Christmas presents! Who doesn’t want a box of gorgeous smelling goodies from Lush? They’re cruelty free, eco-friendly and Lush has many plastic free options on offer. There’s loads of gifts to choose from to suit all budgets. I’d recommend avoiding plastic wrapping and go with their knot wrap options or create your own gift and add a knot wrap.
When it comes to books, for most of us Amazon is still the place to go. But ethically Amazon is a big no-no. I’m as guilty as anyone, I still use Amazon but I try to limit what I buy from there as much as I can. Books are an easy one though, head to Hive instead. They have decent prices, a huge range of books and free postage! It’s an online store that supports your local book shop, helping local independent book stores stay open in the digital age.
Whilst many of the products on Buy Me Once are expensive, they make for truly sustainable and useful gifts that people will appreciate. This store’s premise, as you might guess, is to sell durable good quality products that you will only ever need to buy once. They will last a lifetime, helping to reduce waste and reduce the huge levels of consumption that are harming our home.
If you can’t find anything in the Superstore for your loved ones then you never will. Socks, chocolates, calendars, jewellery, candles, stocking fillers, pajamas, etc. There’s all the Christmas present classics and much much more. And best if all, it’s all ethical and you can even filter based on your preferences, for example, vegan or organic. It’s also a great place to stock up on other Christmas essentials like festive food and alcohol or decorations.
Christmas is about giving and some of the best presents you can give are those that make a difference for those in need. What do your loved ones care about? Animals? Then adopt an animal for them. Nature? Get them an environmental charity membership. One of the most memorable I ever got was a donation on my behalf to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Knowing money was being spent on a worthy cause rather than on me was a lovely feeling.
Got any great eco friendly and ethical gift ideas? I’d love to hear about them, comment below!