Christmas is the perfect time to show gratitude to the people we care for. But finding the right gifts that your loved ones will appreciate – and ensuring those gifts have a positive impact on the planet – is no easy feat. We’ve gathered some of our favourite sustainable, ethical and purposeful gifts for you to peruse, to inspire gift-giving with intention:
For tradition-rich craftsmanship: Made51
Made51 brings refugee craftsmanship to share with the rest of the world. Set up by the UN Refugee Agency, they work with 3,700+ artisans in 23 countries, in collaboration with a network of 35 social enterprise partners to help re-establish refugees’ independence and sustain artistic tradition. From leather work of the Tuareg to fine embroidery from Syria, each product – cushions, baskets, jewellery and more – carries a rich story behind the craft.
For those waiting for summer: Water Haul
How can you really be sure your sunglasses are made to last? Water Haul can guarantee it; their sunglasses are made using discarded and forgotten fishing nets durable enough to last 500 years in the ocean. Founded by Harry Dennis, he previously worked as a marine scientist where he was removing plastic, primarily fishing nets, from the oceans. As his collection of nets grew, he decided to give them new life and be recycled into a valued resource: sustainable, recycled eyewear that meets the technical demands of adventure.
For the little ones: Lanka Kade
Upul and Diane met in Sri Lanka working for the Red Cross. To stay intertwined with the country and people they loved when they returned to the UK, they set up a few small imports with links to Sri Lanka. This has grown over decades to become what is now an established fair trade wooden toy and gifts company. The toys that Lanka Kade produces (which translates to ‘The Sri Lankan Shop’) can be identified by bold colours and a natural wood finish. In twenty years, their ethos remains the same; to build long-term, sustainable trading partnerships that provide stability for workers and protect local skills.
For the sartorially-minded: Seventy Mochi
Finding the right denim that works for you can be a challenge; add the requirement of purchasing responsibly and it becomes an even more impossible feat. Seventy Mochi “believe in jeans done the right way” – meaning jeans that don’t cost the earth, the people who make them or your wallet. Their cotton strategy is 100% sustainable, as they prioritise recycled cotton as their hero fiber, while also eliminating waste water from their dyeing and finishing processes. On the ground in their facilities, they are in the unique position to be able to connect with their team and ensure ethical production proven by multiple human rights certifications.
For the cocktail-drinker: Discarded Spirits
Discarded Spirits see the inherent beauty in the things we waste. They create award-winning spirits, made by using the byproducts that come from producing coffee, wine and whisky. Their philosophy – the value of waste – seeps into all parts of the product; not just the spirits but also their bottles. Creativity lies at the heart of what they do; they bring undervalued ingredients to the forefront and allow them to shine, while championing the circular economy.
For finding a second-hand gem: eBay
Generation Z has fully embraced the value of second hand – with Love Island sponsorships and second hand websites like Depop thriving. But before this was the humble online auction marketplace eBay. In more than 20 years, they have sold over $700 billion worth of goods generating $72 billion in revenue. Bespoke finds, vintage luxury items, rare collectables – its catalogue truly knows no bounds.
For those who already have everything: Oxfam Unwrapped
Oxfam Unwrapped is Oxfam’s range of charity gifts. Proceeds from the cards go directly to your chosen cause, from clean water to renewable energy, training women farmers and supporting young climate activists. Each gift card or charity e-card powers positive change worldwide, complete with a personalised message that you can share with your loved one.
For the hopeful: The Beautiful Truth Issue 03
If there’s someone in your life who is seeking inspiration on how they can be more purposeful in their life and work, Issue 03 of The Beautiful Truth is the gift for them. Featuring psychological and human insight from renowned psychologists such as Dacher Keltner and Adam Grant, climate activist Rebecca Solnit, as well as moments of pause in the form of poetry, it’s a magazine for those who are holding onto a hopeful tomorrow.