Everybody knows that Christmas is the season of goodwill and charity, but unfortunately it doesn’t always extend to the way we shop for our Christmas presents. And who can blame us? I mean, “ethical Christmas gifts” – they don’t sound very glamorous do they?
Bear with me, though. Pictured above is me, aged 24, tearing up Oxford Street – but I’m hoping that this year, I can convince you to ditch the bright lights of the chain stores on the high street, and switch to a spot of ethical online shopping.
The festive bits and bobs included in this ethical gift guide are pretty much guaranteed to delight their recipients, but will also help support a host of excellent charities, projects and causes at the same time.
Warm and fuzzies all ’round!
The HungryCityHippy Ethical Gift Guide (2018)
1. The posh tipple: Snow Leopard Vodka, £30
This premium vodka brand was created by Stephen Sparrow, an drinks industry expert and passionate conservationist who had heard about the snow leopard’s plight during a trip to the Himalayas. Shocked at learning there were less than 5,000 left in the wild, he came back and founded the Snow Leopard Trust UK – and then created this premium vodka to help fund its projects, with 15% off all profits going directly to the charity. Stephen has set a global goal to raise a million dollars annually for snow leopard conservation by 2025. The vodka has a earthy, nutty taste thanks to being made with spelt grain, and is available to order online.
Oh, and Vivienne Westwood uses it at all of her parties, darling.
3. The cosy hat: Maykher: £22
MAYKHER is a ‘profit with purpose’ company that was founded right here in Cardiff. They vow to work with makers, not machines and are proud to champion beautifully authentic craft techniques that are rich in history and culture. Their bobble hats are super warm and cosy (I have one, in navy blue) and they’re made by women in Haiti, giving them an ethical, sustainable source of income and helping them to overcome poverty.
3. The statement reusable water bottle: WWF: £39.99
With increasing recognition of the pollution caused by single use plastic bottles, loads of us are switching to reusable water bottles to drink on the go (check out Refill Cardiff for info on where you can get yours topped up for free). If one of your mates has been slow on the uptake, gift them one of these bottles, designed in the UK by ICE° Bottle, in partnership with the WWF. Made from premium grade stainless steel, these bottles are tough enough to survive the knocks of a busy daily life at home and on the go.
4. The winter-skin soother: Bee Lovely Body Butter, £23
It’s no secret that I love Neals Yard. Their deliciously softening and bee-utifully scented body butter is one of my faves. The moisturising organic honey and orange essential oil leaves my skin super soft soft, silky and fragranced – and through sales of the ‘Bee Lovely’ range, Neals Yard donate £10,000 a year to projects that Help Save the Bees.
5. The Secret Santa mug: RSPB, £8.50
We all saw that heartbreaking episode of David Attenborough’s Dynasties, with the fluffy little baby penguins freezing in the snow – and I bet everyone was talking about it in work the next day, too. Help the furry little critters (and their feathered cousins) out by buying this fine bone china mug for your colleague’s secret Santa gift; the money will help fund conservation efforts and research projects to help sustain wild bird populations, both at home in the UK and overseas.
6. The Statement Necklace, Cool Earth, £25
Cool Earth is a charity which works directly with rainforest communities to half deforestation and its impact on climate change. This delicately handcrafted necklace is made by women who live within the communities supported by Cool Earth’s Awajún project in Northern Peru. The organic jewellery is made using seeds harvested by the women from the surrounding rainforest, helping to create a sustainable income to support their families.
7. The Slogan Tee, The Wildlife Trusts, £21
I bloody love a statement tee, so this one is definitely on my own Christmas list; it’s cute, organic, and printed on demand in a renewable-energy-powered factory. The proceeds from the sale of these tees go towards supporting the trust’s work in helping local wildlife and their habitats.
8. The Cross Body Bag, Cambridge Satchel Co, £65
This adorable satchel was created in partnership with the Aspinall Foundation, an internationally renowned animal conservation charity (read more about this here). It features fashionable stud fastenings and a super slim adjustable shoulder strap, and 20% from the sale of every bag will go directly to the charity, helping them to continue their conservation work.
9. The Graphic Print, The Charity Arts Project, £45
This hand pulled ‘Inspired’ Screen Print, illustrates the wonderful work of the charity Brainstrust.org. Featuring a fun design by Jenni Sparks, it carries a simple message about the incredible work that brainstrust.org deliver, in providing a support service to people who are coping with a brain tumour. It’s printed on FSC certified paper, so you can be sure of a clear conscience, too.
Happy Shopping! 🙂