Not long to go now until the big day! Have you done all of your Christmas shopping yet? I’ve got a few more things to buy but I’m on the home straight now! If you’ve still got some presents to buy I have a few ideas that may help.
When you leave it late to get those last few gifts it’s tempting to panic buy and grab anything vaguely suitable. But with so much media coverage about unnecessary waste, many of us are looking to make more considered purchases. This ethical Christmas gift guide might give you some inspiration for what to buy and what to ask Santa for 😉
As I get older I appreciate useful gifts more and more. I still get excited over pretty, sparkly things, but there has to be a balance of practical and decadent 😉 Since I became vegan just over a year ago I’ve been gradually refining my whole way of life and changing my purchasing habits. It’s an ongoing process and there’s still a long way to go, but bit by bit I’m weeding out bad habits. Since I wrote my 8 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste post back in January I’ve managed to largely follow my own advice. I’ve only used three takeaway coffee cups, I’ve nearly always taken my own lunch to work, and probably had to purchase no more than two or three plastic bags.
Plastic straws and cutlery are a real bugbear of mine. I know sometimes we have no choice but to take them when we grab lunch on the go, but I try to avoid using any more than absolutely necessary. Recently I was sent this gorgeous bamboo cutlery set from Bare Vida. The set contains a knife, fork, spoon, chop sticks and a straw in a sustainably-sourced cotton pouch. The food-approved varnish on top strengthens the utensils to ensure they last 3+ years – so much better than those flimsy plastic utensils that break under the slightest pressure. The set compact easily fits into my handbag and now goes almost everywhere with me.
Bare Vida use as many recycled materials as possible – from hotels, and left over garments. They also ship globally, plastic-free.
I recently discovered Ethical Superstore while searching for vegan and palm oil-free food and beauty products. As well as stocking up on seitan, jackfruit and tempeh, I couldn’t resist adding this beautiful wooden elephant photo frame to my shopping basket. The photo frame is made by artisans at Asha Handicrafts, a not-for-profit organisation helping to spread the benefits of fair trade in India. It’s currently sold out but the website says more stock is expected soon. I also love this one which is just as fabulous, and a bargain at only £11.95.
I have lots of leather bags and shoes, which I continue to use. After thinking long and hard about the ethics of wearing leather, I decided that it makes more sense to carry on using what I already have but not buy any more. Replacing all of my leather accessories would be very costly as well as wasteful. On balance this approach makes more sense to me. However, I’m constantly looking out for good quality vegan leather brands.
Matt & Nat
Matt & Nat (which stands for Material and Nature) use vegan leathers and eco-friendly materials like recycled nylon, cork and rubber. The linings inside all Matt & Nat bags are made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Approximately 21 plastic bottles are recycled for every bag produced. The designs are both modern and classic, making them ideal for work. You can see more of their designs here.
My taste in clothes and accessories is nothing if not ecclectic. While I love classic pieces I’m equally partial to whimsical and fun items. If you’re a fan of quirky bags that are guaranteed conversation starters, then you’ll love Vendula. They’re not cheap, but these vegan leather bags are so unusual that I might just be tempted to treat myself one day. I mean, a cat driving a fish and chip van…who could resist? Pop over to the Vendula website to see more fabulous designs, including a biscuit shop and a cuckoo clock!
I’m not sure if Santa reads my blog, but just in case I’ve picked out some luxury items that would definitely put a smile on my face come Christmas morning 🙂 Organic cotton pyjamas, a beautiful watch and gold vegan leather Dr. Martens would all make fabulous Christmas gifts for luxury-loving ladies. I’ve also included a couple of vegan leather biker jackets and Veja canvas trainers, which are a great alternative to Stan Smiths (especially if the Stella McCartney versions are out of your budget, as they are mine).
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without stocking fillers, but it’s so much better when they’re beautiful or useful…or both. We love Burt’s Bees lip balm in our house…even my husband, who says it cures chapped lips within a day. I prefer the tinted versions, which give quite a good colour payoff for a balm. Some other things I couldn’t live without are my bamboo coffee cup (for a 50p discount at Pret), resuable water bottle and canvas tote bags. I’ve also recently bought a pack of bamboo socks and love how silky smooth they are.
I’ll be posting a separate men’s gift guide later this week…I think men are much harder to buy for than ladies!
Disclaimer: I was gifted the cutlery set in exchange for a review. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliates links which means I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps towards the running costs of the blog and is very much appreciated.