Buying gifts is something that most of us put a lot of time and thought into. OK, there are some people out there who do their Christmas shopping at 11pm on the 24th December, and if you’re one of these people, we commend (and envy) you for being so chilled out.
Whether you bag the perfect presents in seconds or weeks, however, it is true that we all put love and care into wrapping our thoughtful gifts in beautiful paper, and picture-perfect bows. But do we always ensure that the same love and care has been put into the production of the gifts, and the people who make them?
Why is this important?
As consumers, it’s vital for us to understand a few things about the products that we buy. Reality for the people - and sometimes animals - that create these items is sometimes extremely far removed from the upbeat, fancy packaging, and the environmental impact that they can have is also greatly detrimental.
In the UK alone, we send 30% more waste to landfill in the festive season than we do during the rest of the year, and many unwanted (or poorly chosen) Christmas presents are binned pretty soon after our festive trees are thrown out like the ghosts of Christmas past.
So, what charitable, ethical gifts can you give to your loved ones this year, to make the world a better place?
Fast fashion is one of the environment-destroying industries that is making it into the spotlight recently, and those who want to buy ethical gifts should avoid mass produced jewellery like the plague. Pieces are churned out like there’s no tomorrow (literally) and this is contributing hugely to environmental damage.
If you’re looking for a more thoughtful gift, handmade jewellery could be just your bag. This Umiwi mango wood jewellery, for example, supports a non-for-profit centre in Thailand offering therapy and training programs for disabled children and young people seeking financial independence. Not only does it look great, but it does great, too.
Lovingly made cosmetics
Unfortunately, many of the high street cosmetic products that we use (including soap, hand creams and lotions) are full of complex artificial ingredients, and may even be tested on animals. If you really saw what was in that gift set you were purchasing, you’d convert to the world of ethical gifts quicker than you can say ‘how do you pronounce that?’
Opt for those products made from natural ingredients, such as Lady Muck Hand Cream, jam-packed with essential oils and harm-free alternatives. 100% of the profits go back into ARTHOUSE’s artists collective, supporting those with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities. These charitable gifts truly allow you to contribute to something brilliant.
- Ruth Bradford’s interesting children’s books are charitable gifts, and 25% of the profits make their way to wildlife and conservation groups.
- The perfect addition to a loved one’s home, YGN Collective’s handmade woven baskets help families in Malaysia to maintain a consistent income.
Get your hands on some thoughtful, ethical and charitable gifts for your friends and family members, and feel that good karma roll in.