A Green Christmas : Gifts to Help the Planet and Small Businesses

November 01, 2020


Christmas is a wonderful, but worryingly wasteful, time of the year. An extra 30% of waste is discarded during the festive period, and over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted Christmas present! 


However, there is no need to turn into Scrooge and give up on the magic of the holiday. Buying from independent and ethical brands means we can find unique gifts that are more likely to be cherished than thrown away, and also supports our local economy and community, which is particularly important after this tough year. Here are a handful of independent artists and businesses for some inspiration:


ART


  • BebesArts: I love Bee's paintings of UK animals and the countryside. I have several of her prints on the walls around my house, and my mum also bought some after seeing and loving mine!

  • byAliCottrell: Ali's David Attenborough print gets a lot of love from guests to our house! All of Ali's products are sustainably produced and packaged.

  • Georgina Hackett Art: Georgina offers pet portrait commissions, and I couldn't resist her recent British garden birds print which I can't wait to get framed and up on the wall.

  • Mister Peebles: Cute animal cards and prints, that are sent in plastic free packaging. I already have their 2021 calendar ready for next year!

  • Raspberry Thief: Art inspired by nature, including British animals, wildflowers, fungi and the four seasons.

  • Rose Agar Designs: Rose's beautiful handmade lino prints are inspired by nature, and celebrate our glorious woodlands.

  • Tori Ratcliffe: Tori paints animals in watercolour, and offers pet portrait commissions. Not only is her art incredible, she has also donated over £22,000 of her profits to conservation charities!


BEAUTY


  • Ethique Shampoo Bar - I had to include this shampoo bar, as after trialing what feels like 100 of them that left my hair feeling greasy, this year I finally found a brand that works! My hair is really oily, so I use the St Clements one, but they have options for all hair types.

  • Lush Snow Fairy - Ok so not independent but I've allowed it under ethical grounds.. and no product says Christmas time to me quite like Snow Fairy, and the fact that the products are limited edition makes it even more special.

  • The Plastic Free Shop and Plastic Freedom - both of these stores have loads of plastic free beauty options, and both support conservation charities.

BOOKS


Books are always a good gift choice, and independent book stores need our support more than ever. It might feel easier to go to Amazon, but supporting a local bookshop really makes a difference to your community. They also provide much better, tailored service, and many also run outreach activities. I shared some of my recent nature reads here, or if you're not sure what to buy, a voucher from your local bookshop is a good option. Visit Independent Bookshops for more info.


CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES


  • hello DODO: Will and I both own loads of patches from hello DODO, each have a jumper, and a screen print framed in our living room. Their designs are fun and colourful, and use ethically and sustainably sourced materials.

  • Silly Girl Club: Handmade clothing made from old bedsheets which will leave you feeling nostalgic! Everything sells out super quickly so it's worth following them on Instagram to keep up with restock dates.

  • Wyatt&Jack: Buy a unique bag and save plastic from ending up in landfill! Wyatt&Jack's bags and wash bags are made from old bouncy castles and inflatables.

I also wrote a guide to responsibly purchasing and disposing of Christmas cards and wrapping paper which you can read here.

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