The planet smiled upon her day. The day that everything changed and a lightbulb went off in her head. A sustainable Christmas gifting season, where the environment, animals, and humans harmonized in perfect symphony. It came to her, as she walked in nature, hand in hand with a blissful October sun. Bathing her in light, she had an ephinany, the river banks caressed by mottled green grass. Though the leaves were falling, and the trees were bare, there was beauty in minimalism. Spindling twigs strewn across muddy paths. The extroverted cheer of rosy cheeked cherubs in festive onesies. The scent of pine, and kindling, crackling in the distance, a serene moment. In this moment of stillness, she realized something. Vegetarian for 12 years, and cruelty-free for 4, she was already contributing to a better planet. Yet, she knew she could do better. She wanted to support small businesses, who cared about the planet and were passionate about a greater cause. From sustainable fashion, to beauty, skincare, and homeware too, she searched high and low for eco-friendly gift ideas. The end result? A planet-conscious gift guide, which would take her, and her readers on an ethical journey this Christmas.
Going green wasn’t something that was going to happen overnight. She was fully aware of that. But despite being a work in progress, she was one step closer to being a planet positive writer. So she started small. Reducing food waste, with fridge fill recipes, laden with vivid colour. Thrifting beautiful clothes from charity shops that donated money to mental health resources. It wasn’t a jump, not even a skip. But it was a step, a step framed by possibilities. There was hope here, a small emblem that she carried into the festive season. The smell of happiness, where animals, humans and the planet alike could frolick in festive abandon.
There would be colourful socks from Barekind, mustard seahorses convorting with animated parrots in a sea of green and blue. An animal lover through and through, eco-friendly gift ideas that were animal-approved, made all the world of difference. After all, this accidentally vegan Christmas gift guide, just happened to be sustainable too. And so the socks danced in a lathering bathtub, where slippery senseous suds were created by the Little Soap Company gloriously. A moisturizing hand and body bar slathered in coconut conspiring heartily with eco-conscious bamboo toothbrushes in a rainbow of colours. Christmas tunes a’humming, they sang into their f.e.t.e toothbrushes as though they were Mariah Carey themselves, albeit warbled tones.
Everything felt accidentally sustainable, but in the best possible way. There were easy changes. Natural beauty products that were cruelty-free, vegan, and plastic-free. Recycleable Christmas cards from Panda Joy UK, made from sustainable bamboo and and cotton linter, that was 100% tree free. She would scribble into the cards quickly, a writer’s scrawly handwriting appearing on the page. Later, when her hands would cramp from writing festive cards, she would meditate, peacefully and calmly in her favourite TLC Sport leggings. Perched on a teal green yoga mat, she zoned out, in the communal small garden, feeling the fresh winter breeze. There, she had planted wildflowers from Seed Pantry, where in time a sea of field poppies, wild wallflowers, and wild chamomile would grow without restraint. She realized that being sustainable, didn’t have to feel overwhelming.
It was about starting small. Because even the smallest change would help make a difference. She found her biggest strength was in her self-care routine. That’s where she found it easiest to be more planet conscious. She opted to buy from small businesses who needed love this Christmas. Brands that were family run, sustainabily conscientious, brands that had meaning behind them. Companies who believed-like her- that Christmas should be inclusive, representative of the diverse community that we lived in. Inclusivity was important, and she was passionate about championing eco brands who had heart, soul, and meaning. There was nothing complex here. Just simple, feel-good gifts that were planet, animal, and human-friendly. After all Christmas was about the world coming together. Wasn’t it?
With a wave of a magic wand, her list was complete. She looked at it, with an acute eagle eye. Satisfied, she hummed her way into Christmas, watching the chirping robins dance on dewy branches with glee. Glinting Christmas lights were lit nearby, a sea of gold, red, yellow and blue in a magnificient display. The smell of vegan turkey cradled in a yorkshire pudding, a sprinkle of pepper and salt. A sea of vegetables, peppers, kale, and carrots too, doused in honey, and lemon, opposites attract. The spuds, the centre of attention, senseously crispy, and fluffy, just the way they should be. A painted pink wooden 3D Christmas tree that could be used time, and time again, with recycled decorations that screamed festivities. On the telly, a marathon of Harry Potter films were playing, while the cats pawed at eco baubles, in mischievious play. At last, all the hard work had paid off. She wriggled her feet in unicorn slippers, and smiled at her partner who looked oh-so cozy in his planet friendly snoody. This Christmas, was all about being green.
Sustainable Beauty Gift Ideas
She found sustainable beauty to be the easiest eco-swap. Why? Because she was already cruelty-free, and only used products that did not test on animals. Many of these products whether it was makeup, skincare, or perfume, happened to be sustainable, and vegan too. Yet she was aware of greenwashing. So how could she trust that brands were being truthful, and weren’t greenwashing their consumers? After all, as someone who was a bit of a novice, she desperately wanted to get it right. And so the gods, and goddesses of beauty arrived, five names on their lips; Little Soap Company, Trii, Palm & Pine, Ben & Anna, and Kind2. All products that helped save the planet. There were beauty products that were plastic-free, sustainably sourced, organic, and brands who offset their carbon footprint. Eco friendly gift ideas didn’t have to overwhelm you, when it came to Christmas shopping. There was something for everyone.
Little Soap Company
Sustainability often started at home. That much she could agree on. From hand soap, to shampoos, and shaving products, finding plastic-free, cruelty-free, vegan and sustainable skincare products often seemed like a never ending mission. Yet the Little Soap Company had other plans. It was 100% vegan, organic, cruelty-free and used organic natural ingredients. As a B Corporation, the founder Emma Heathcote Jones saw soap as a symbol of nature, of cleanliness. She couldn’t agree more. The soap revolution had exploded, and she was very much a part of its fan club. A little soap that had big dreams, from farmers markets to supermarkets.
A rural retail business, Little Soap Company was part of a revered group of like-minded businesses that met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Its eco-warrior range was a testament to that. The Total Works gift pack, that was British made and bio-degradable, with a minimum impact on the environment. She unwrapped the recyclable box carefully, a sea of prints and colour. It was like six Christmases all at once. Made from natural ingredients, and a bespoke essential oil blend, she couldn’t wait to change the way that she cleansed forever. Free from detergents, sulphates, and synthetic preservatives, she reached for the soaps hungrily.
Six bars waiting to be tested on parched skin. A sensitive facial bar that stood out as one of her favourites. It felt like manna to her senses. Nourishing, calming, and soft, all at once. A gentle caress rubbed into winter-parched skin. Her face was desperate for hydration, the wind whipping her cheeks in a gusty blaze. Infused with Mediterrenean Castile olive oil, an essential oil blend of chamomile and calendula felt oh so hydrating on her rough skin. It was in need of exfoliation, a feat that the Exfoliating bar was a match for. Made with oatmeal and citrus essential oils, it too was gentle, creating soft, smooth and supple skin that was glorious. Speaking of glory, her other favourite was the shampoo bar. She was new to plastic-free shampoo, and wasn’t sure what to expect. She was pleasantly surprised. A deeply hydrating solid shampoo made from pink clay, that cleansed, and moisturized her hair. It took some getting used to, but the orange and ginger essential oil blend, helped adjust her to a new eco-way of washing. As far as eco-friendly gift ideas went, soap was having a moment.
Price: £28 for the gift pack. Includes the following: 1 x Shampoo Bar, 1 x Hand & Body Bar, 1 X Exfoliating Bar, 1 X Shaving Bar, 1 X Charcoal Bar, and 1 X Sensitive Facial Bar.
Speaking of moments, it didn’t get any savvier than Trii. A new sustainable solid beauty bar brand that was humbly launched in September. In just two months, they had amassed an elevated body bar selection of five delectable scents. Incense rocked lavender to sleep dreamily, wafting deliciously. Lemongrass twirled peppermint, light and fresh. But what was so special about these body bars? They were minimalist yet mighty. Pared back, but colourful at the same time. The body bars was a sensory experience that made her come alive. She would come home late from work, in desperate need of TLC. Packed full of natural actives, it took two years to find the perfect combination to create a lasting sensorial experience.
Available as a hand and body wash, hand and body exfoliating wash, and hand and body moisturiser, they made the perfect planet-friendly letter box gifts. Her personal favourite? The Trii hand & body exfoliant in lemongrass was nothing short of perfection. The scent was uplifting, and felt like heaven on her skin. She could almost feel the exfoliant slough away her dead cells gloriously in a riotous cleanse. All the stress melted away, in a slippery slather. Most of all, it gave her that festive glow that she was longing for. She massaged it into her wet skin, until there was foam, luxuriating in its rejuvanating scent. The Rose Hand & Body Wash was another stellar gift. The scent of freshly cut roses serenaded her senses, transporting her into a rose garden from her younger years. It was in Madeira, where her family was from, famed for its glorious gardens.
Created by the spectacular Yolanda Wetteland, the Founder of TRII, was born in Odessa, Ukraine to a Zimbabwean mother and an Angolan father. Her strict upbringing taught her to always strive for the best for herself, and those around her. With that in mind, her journey into skincare, was like a love letter to her mum, and grandparents. After all, her mum was a single parent who taught her that noone can suceed for you. You must have your own story to tell. And suceed she did. After wanting to streamline her life, de-clutter, and be less wasteful, she decided to come up with Trii, a three-step me-time ritual. Streamlined, and luxurious, the products were reusuable too. The tins were recyclable, while the products did not become viscous after use, so the products would not get wasted. A me-time Christmas ritual that made the planet happy? She could get on board with that.
Ben & Anna
In the past, me-time was never her favourite time. She found self-care overwhelming, and felt guilty about looking after herself. It made her anxious, and she preferrred to look after others. But over the years she realized that without self-care she couldn’t heal, function, and give back to others. Christmas was no exception; in between deadlines, preparing for Christmas, work, and never-ending to-do lists, she found that it was a tad overwhelming. She knew that her readers felt the same, and struggled to find eco-conscious self-care options where the planet was at its forefront. She looked at her rolodex of brands, and gave it a spin. Who would come out on top?
Ben & Anna was here to save the day, re-defining personal care, and giving it an eco-conscious twist. Certfied natural, organic, vegan, and plastic-free, their gorgeous range of deodrant, hand soap, shower flakes, toothpaste, and hair-care, were begging to be explored. In the end her roving eye settled on the Ben & Anna gift box, which sold out immensely quickly. And for good reason; good value for money, the natural beauty products had something for all the family. There was their best-selling Persian Lime deodrant, with fresh ingredients. Lucious deodrant sticks infused with shea butter, soda, and her good friend lime. She was cautious at first given her prospensity for spray on deodrants, but she was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t greasy, sliding effortlessly under her armpit, in a smooth glide.
The Pink Grapefruit Deodrant in a tin was another favourite of hers. A slice of heaven with a sparkling smell that made her feel oh so good. It was citrussy, and tart with undercurrents of fresh bright sweetness. Her most surprising find though? The Shower Flake Sachet in Fruit Fusion. It was like she was a scientist, playing at making her own shower gel at home. She placed the flakes in a dispenser carefully, adding 200ml of hot water. With a shake, she waited for the liquid to develop before her very eyes. It was gorgeous, the scent of citrus fruits, and berries enveloped with tropical aromas. She stepped under the shower with glee, transported into a me-time world, where her needs were put first. If only, if only real life was like this, she mused.
Price: £28 for gift box
Contains Persian Lime Deodorant in a paper tube, Pink Grapefruit Deodorant in a tin, Shower Flake Sachet, Elmswood 2 in 1 Love Soap, White Toothpaste with Fluoride and Bamboo Toothbrush.
Palm & Pine
It had been a while since she had been on a holiday, and an eon since she vacationed in winter. It wasn’t that she didn’t love travelling- she did- but more that life had got in the way. In between COVID, Brexit, and juggling issues in her personal life, the quicksand of time had slipped through her fingers. As for a Christmas holiday? The last time she had a personal holiday during the festive season was when she was 8, or 9. She would be staying local this Christmas, but the New Year beckoned new terrain. She was eyeing up a short city break in a mystery location, where the sun shone gloriously in a dazzling display. The beaches would be golden, silky sand, and the seas crystal clear. There would be adventuring, walks through ancient caves, and hiking. Most of all there would be laughter, a sweet tinkling sound that radiated joy.
Frizzy hair frazzled in the morning sun, dewy make-up free skin. Yet, there was one thing missing. An eco-friendly SPF for the winter sun, that was kind to the oceans. Enter Palm & Pine, vegan and cruelty-free SPF’s that were plastic-free. It reminded her of home; born to Madeirian parents, partnering with Portuguese eco-brands felt right. Imagined on a beach in Portugal and developed in Cyprus, Palm & Pine had a mission to be loved worldwide. Winter sun was beckoning, and she knew they were the sunscreens for the job. Formulated with plant-based natural ingredients, and mineral filters for all year round UV protection it felt like heaven on her skin. There was an SPF 30 lotion for the body, and an SPF 50 tinted product for the face. The ingredients of course were stellar. Creamy shea butter enveloped in calendula, with a splash of echinacea.
Fragrance free, the SPF’s were suitable for sensitive skin, and contained COSMOS certified ingredients. She was pleased to see that the products were packaged in recycled aluminium, which in turn could be recycled. After, the key to sustainability was to re-use again, and again. She smiled wistfully, all that talk of winter sun made her pine for the city break of her dreams. She wouldn’t tell you where she was going just yet. She just wanted to reccomended Palm & Pine to fellow travel-lovers, who wanted eco-friendly gift ideas for a Christmas abroad. If only she could join them. She sighed, yearning. Her time would come soon.
There was one more element of self-care that she loved to relish in. Shampoos lathered into thick curly hair, suds enveloped in hairy waves. As foretold, she was used to liquid shampoos relishing the feel of the soapiness envelop her hair. In a cloud of perfume, her frizzy, curly hair would smooth out, albeit temporaily. Yet she knew that plastic based shampoos were not good for the environment or her. Using solid shampoo and conditioner bars felt alien at first. But with time, she learned to get on board. It didn’t foam as much as normal shampoos but she didn’t mind that. It was sustainable, good for the planet, great for her hair (no chemical nasties), and light on her pocket.
Kind2 was one of these revolutionairy plastic-free and vegan solid shampoo brands who showed her the eco-way. Soap-free, and PH balanced, her hair felt strong, and nourished, without the dreaded sticky feeling that she heard people have so often. Concentrated, and with no filler ingredients, Kind2 harnessed the power of plants to create gentle hair products that would leave you feeling brand new. Considering the harshness of the winter wind during Christmas, when it came to eco-friendly gift ideas, Kind2 seemed like a no brainer. Which is where their Shampoo and Conditioner Discovery Size Bundle came to play. With three solid shampoo and conditioner bars, it was the perfect foray into plastic-free hair care, for eco-newbies like herself.
Starting a plastic-free hair styling journey would seem daunting at first. After all, finding the right shampoo was all about trial and error, and the same was true for its solid bar counterparts. She had tricky hair; oily at the scalp, and dry at the ends, combined with thick curly/wavy hair, made for endless hours teasing knots out of its tendrils. So which Discovery bar would be the perfect Christmas treat?There was the hydrating one, a solid shampoo bar, that was shine enhancing, gentle, and sulphate free. Or what about the rebalancing one, formulated to be higher foaming in hard water, but still gentle. Could it be the fragrance free one that tickled her fancy, with coconut, macadamia, and argan oils. In the end it was The Rebalancing One, that was her hair saviour. She found many hair products would strip her hair of its natural oils leaving it dehrydated. Yet this Christmas miracle was a blessing in disguise. She was new to the journey, but she couldn’t wait and see how her hair would transform over the next few months.
Price: £15 for the Discovery Bundle
Planet Conscious Homeware & Lifestyle
Then there were the sustainable homeware, and lifestyle brands, where wildflowers danced with rainbow toothbrushes in a symphony of colour. Printed bamboo Christmas cards jumped into JOY, surrounded by a throng of colour. Patterned food flasks, and water bottles serenading bamboo straws, in a show for sustainability. Who would win? Well, it was the Earth’s birthday. So the planet would decide, as she sat back and let the magic happen, seeing people’s homes transformed with eco-friendly gift ideas this festive season.
She was never one who was good with the cold. She was a transitional girl at heart, caught in the in-between. With temperatures reaching -2 this week, her hands were laced with icy cold, as red as her wind-whipped cheeks. Yet, despite the chill that she felt deep in her bones, it didn’t stop her from being outside. Wrapped up warm in her new favourite thrifted mint faux fur jacket, she crouched carefully in the communal garden. For she had a new project, that turned out to do wonders for her mental health. In the early hours of the morning she would do some gardening, with the little space that she had. It reminded her of her teen years when she would help out her foster mum in the garden. Hacking at weeds, and planting roses, curating vegetable patches, and sprinkling wild seeds.
It had been so long since she had done gardening, years in fact. After all, living in London meant she never had access to her own garden. While she had a small communual patch of garden (if you call it that), it was better than nothing. But what would she fill it with? After all, Christmas trees weren’t always sustainable, so what was the alternative. That’s when she came across Seed Pantry, an eco-friendly monthly garden subscription box. On a mission to get everyone growing more plants, food, and flowers, it would allow her to reap the rewards of nature, in the most holistic way. Everything was either organic, bio-degradable, recyclable, or able to be used for a lifetime.
So what would she get? The Wildflower seeds starter pack was calling her name in the distance. Although she wouldn’t be planting them until March, she loved the idea of the seeds. Reflecting Britain’s heritage, and native flora with a beautiful range of flower seeds, there was something for everyone. Field poppies, and Musk Mallow too. Wild Wallflower, and Yarrow circling Wild Chamomile, in a natural haven to call her own. With organic peat-free compost, a coconut coir seed tray, rice husk pot, and FSC certified sustainable Oak, it would make the perfect gift for a loved one this Christmas. If you didn’t have access to a garden, Seed Pantry had some indoor plant kits including a Micro-Pod Garden, to get up and close with the plant growing process. After all, it was a well known fact that greenery was mood-boosting something we all needed this sustainable Christmas season.
Price: £28 for wildflower box
She wanted everyday to feel like joy. Come rain or shine, Christmas or Valentine’s day, she sought festive eco-gifts that were suitable for all the family. Bamboo toothbrushes in a sea of colours, greens, blues, and yellows too whispering into Konjac sponges. After all sustainable gifts often got a rep for being boring, monotonously dull, and uninspiring. With F.E.T.E there was no such thing. From Earth To Earth transformed everyday lifestyle, and homeware essentials into something magical. It didn’t matter how old you were. You too could be transported, into a world where eco-friendly toothbrushes were far from dull. There was a toothbrush subscription, where you could choose everything from your toothbrush colour, to interdental brushes, activated charcoal toothpaste, with a choice to add personal care products like bamboo cotton buds. Choosing your frequency, you could opt for every month, every 2 months, every three months, or every four months, saving 15% each time.
She personally liked choosing individual products as and when she wanted them. There was a Blue Sky toothbrush that swam into the Marvellous Mix multi-pack, with effortless elegance. With soft bristles they were gentle on her sensitive teeth, like liquid gold. Well Red, was another highlight, a vibrant pillarbox red that stood out yards above the rest. Then there was upbeat blue, and glorious green, saying hello to funky fuschia in a wave of colour. Whether you wanted soft, medium or hard bristles, an adults toothbrush, or a kid-friendly toothbrush, there was an option for all. It wasn’t just glorious toothbrushes that F.E.T.E sold either.
A Konjac sponge nestled in an eco-box, light blue swathed in brown. An all-natural Konjac facial sponge, it would gently deep clean her sensitive skin without giving it a rash. Because the plant is extremely gentle, she was able to use it to unclog her pores. leaving it cleansed and refreshed. It was almost like her skin (like her teeth) had been given a new lease of life! A perennial plant native to Asia more than 95% water, it was rich in minerals, and naturally alkaline giving her skin the star treatment it deserved.
Making sustainability look and feel good, had never been better. Many of the brands on her list were certified B-Corps, while all were vegan, and sustainable. She loved trying eco-conscious brands who streamlined what it meant to be eco. She wanted her choices to feel ‘easy’ and ‘natural’. Not overcomplicated and fussy. When it came to sustainable household choices, navigating a supermarket sometimes felt like an uphill battle. Shopping online was sometimes easier, but brands were savvy to consumers growing interest in sustainability. With the rise of Greenwashing could Cheeky Panda make household shopping easy again? The short answer was yes.
When it came to being socially conscientious they were eco-warriors. With all their bamboo products being FSC certified, their packaging was plastic-free and recyclable. Saving the trees, joining the Cheeky Club meant you didn’t have to compromise between comfort and luxury. Buying from Cheeky meant that she could save trees from being chopped down, while protecting animal habitats. Using bamboo was better for the planet, while reducing plastic use meant clearing the oceans. Oh, and they just happened to be Leaping Bunny approved. With the constant need for household products like straws, tissues, wipes, toliet roll, and kitchen roll, having them all in one place felt just right.
The Bamboo Toliet Rolls were the tip on top of the cherry. Premium toliet paper that felt like vegan cashmere, soft to the touch. Caressing skin, and enveloping it with love. A perfect sustainable festive solution for your busy home during Christmas, it didn’t get any more planet-friendly than this. Dermatologically tested on sensitive skin, the vegan toliet roll was kinder to humans, the environment, and its majestic animals. The packaging too (including the toliet core) was made from 100% recycleable card. As if that wasn’t enough choosing bamboo products meant reducing deforestation, cutting down on carbon emissions and being kinder to those with allergies. Using surplus virgin pulp bamboo that would otherwise be wasted, they sourced it from FSC ® sustainably sourced forests which would grow back a huge 30x faster than trees would. As if that wasn’t enough she learned that it reduced carbon emissions by 65%, with Cheeky Panda’s supply chain being fully carbon balanced.
Spreading the joy of sustainable Christmas cheer felt glorious. Yet, shopping sustainably was often expensive, with products marked higher than their non-eco counterparts. It was the same with vegan substitutes vs their non vegan counterparts. So finding eco-friendly gift ideas for Christmas on a budget seemed like a stretch. But it wasn’t impossible. Thanks to brands like Panda Joy, you could buy reasonably priced vegan planet-friendly products that were extra joyful. With eco greeting cards that were oh-so colourful, her face lit up in rapture. Reds, greens, and blues, yellows and purples too, a glorious celebration of colour done the eco-way.
Focused on positivity, people and the planet, prices ranged from £1.50, to £3.50, with many of their cards on sale for the festive season. Ensuring their materials, design, amd manufacture would have the lowest impact on the environment, they gave back to the earth,and people as much as they could. A family-run, minority owned business, they sought to heal the planet by creating lasting moments of happiness that wouldn’t leave a trace on the Earth, encouraging everyone to live in harmony with the environment and its communities. Their impact was felt. Everytime a card was purchased, a portion of the proceeds would go towards supporting environmental and social associations. Currently, they were supporting the MicroLoan Foundation , Lend with care and Ecologi. She felt a swelling in her heart that could only be described as admiration, happiness, and respect.
Altruism was dear to her heart, a value her Aunty instilled in her life from a young age. Giving back to others was incredibly important, and she loved supporting brands who shared the same values and ethics as her. She reached into her parcel with glee, 9 beautiful small Christmas cards begging to be written on. A card for her partner, and her cats too, her loved ones, and family, and friends as well. The 9 most important people in her life, who deserved an extra-special card. She couldn’t help but have a soft spot for the Special Christmas Panda, who popped out to say hi. Inside a red present box, the Panda is smiling joyfully, like the name suggested. This was one card that she was going to keep for her very own. After all, didn’t she deserve a Christmas card too? Using bamboo and cotton linters, the sustainable Christmas cards were just the magic eco-touch we all needed this season.
When it came to magic, nothing made her feel better than a splash of colour, emblazoned in a foray of prints, patterns and textures. When people asked her why she was colourful, she would reply simply. Because it made her happy. It made her laugh, it made her smile. Most of all, it brought her pure joy. In the festivities, it was all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, and feel overwhelmed. Yet colour kept her grounded. After all, Christmas colours were exceptionally beauty. Deep velvet greens and rich burgundy. Textured bright reds, and glinting golds. Sparkling silvers and resplendent rose gold. Still, she was never one to follow the rules. She wore colours as and when she felt like it. It wasn’t about trends, or following seasons. It was about what made her feel good in that moment. From fashion, to homeware and lifestyle, she used colour as her survival tactic.
SHO, like herself also believed in the power of colour. With an eye-catching range of reusable water bottles, and food flasks, they proved that festive Sustainability could be fun. Whether you needed a stylish water bottle to run errands, or a delicious home-made soup while Christmas shopping, there was plenty of choice. Affordable, and effective, SHO was innovative. The SHO Original 2.0 would keep her drink cold for 24 hours, while tea, and coffee would be hot for 12 hours. BPA Free, and EU safety tested, she would choose an artist design by Klara Hawkins. Simply titled Wild Meadow, pink, red, and white flowers cascaded down the teal blue bottle, in a mesmerizing dance.
The SHO Food Flask was just as impressive. In a beautiful pink cat design (also by Klara Hawkins), the flask would keep her food hot for 10 hours, and cold for 20 hours. Revolutionairy, it was 100% leakproof, and made working during the festive season that much easier. When she didn’t have access to a fridge or microwave, the flask would make all her gastronomic dreams come true. Not only was it sustainable, but it was budget friendly too. It would help her save money when working in events, as she didn’t need to fork out a fortune, just to eat Lunch or Dinner. Reducing plastic-use, and waste was so important. However, they also made it their mission to support two causes close to their heart. The first? Mary’s Meals, a beautiful charity that helped provide a daily meal for Children in need. They also sponsored two schools in Libera, which would help feed, and educate over 800 children a year. The second? The SeaLife centre, where they sponsored a seal pen.
Sustainable Charity Gifts
Christmas was about the season of giving. Although she loved being given thoughtful gifts, she was far happier treating others. She loved watching her loved ones surprised smiles light up with glee, as they embraced her in a warm hug. They were thankful, and so was she. She wanted to spread love, light, and cheer to those who needed it the most. Charity was a huge part of her life, and at times she had been without money, and in debt. When she could help others out, she would gladly, just to see them smile. She supported many charities, including mental health charities, animal right charities, and women empowerment to name a few. Both Stitch Sainte Luce, and Miracles Mission, were two incredible (and eco-friendly) charities who did the world of good.
Stitch Sainte Luce
From a young age, her Aunty had instilled in her the values of compassion, empathy, and giving. No matter what life experiences she had been through, giving back to others was important to her. The older she got, the more charity work she carried out, and it helped her stay centered. Why? Because it gave her perspective. Although she grew up with little, she had a roof over her head, food and water, and a loving partner and cats. She wasn’t the richest person in the world, neither did she want to be. She just wanted to be happy. So when she came across Stitch Sainte Luce’s mission to empower artisans in Madagascar, she was desperate to know more.
A bright, bold and beautiful embroidery brand, gorgeous hand-crafted bags, vivid cushions, and even tableware helped provide valuable income to families in Madagascar who needed it most. With 1.5 million people on the island facing starvation, Stitch Sainte Luce was desperately needed. Supported by the charity SEED Madagascar, they would not only support families with their income, but they also taught embroidery, as well as business skills in maths, sales, and the English Language to over 100 women. Empowering them through a creative and social outlet would build confidence and self-esteem. With gifts starting from as little as £10, each one of a kind item was unique. Colours were bright; stark oranges with teal blues, sometimes multi-coloured embroidery brimming with creativity.
These unique eco-friendly gift ideas, couldn’t be found anywhere else. She was struck by one Tote Bag, embroidered with a pair of chameleons (one orange, one purple) in a sea of rainbow flowers. Handmade in the rural region of Sainte Luce in Madagascar by Haja, reviews showed that pictures did not do it justice. The richness of the colours combined with its functional design, made for a quirky tote bag that was different to anything else that was out there. Another standout was a blue embroidered handmade makeup bag made with a colourful foliage flower design, handmade in the rural region of Sainte Luce in Madagascar by Elisette. Intricately patterned it would come with a name and ID tag detailing the identity of the embroiderer so she could find out more about the artisan.
One thing that struck her about the Christmas season was the amount of stray animals who would line the street forlornly, waiting for their forever home. Animals abandoned, and crying out for love and affection. As a child it broke her heart. She rememembered a trip to Madeira when she was around 13-14. This was where her family was from, and she sobbed on the spot. Countless dogs and cats on the streets, at the beach, at the supermarket and shops. Ever since she was little she was desperate to adopt pets, and give them a loving home. They would never need to worry about where their next meal would come from. Instead, they would be showered in attention.
She supported a number of animal charities, and 2 out of the three of her cats were rescues. They were so thankful to have a loving home, and in return she was thankful for her mental health warriors. That’s why she wanted to partner with Miracles Mission this Christmas, an animal welfare charity. This festive season they were supporting their foster dogs, and humans who were waiting to be adopted with some hearty Christmas cheer. Many of these animals had special-needs and were disabled and needed a special human to give them a loving home. While she had three cats, and no space for more, she still looked for ways to help rescue animals. At Miracles, you could buy their rescues a Christmas dinner or toy.
Pets like Anny were grateful for the support they could get. A happy snuggly girl who loved destroying toys, she was found as a stray in Egypt. She needed a loving, and patient dog-free home, where she could become her most authentic self. With so many hungry mouths to feed at Miracle’s, a small gift would make the world of difference. It was a sustainable feel-good gift (you could get sent your certificate by email), which massively impacted the quality of life of a dog or cat. Inspired by the real life Miracle, she was a dog rescued from the streets of Borneo at one week old. She had several injuries and was very weak, but she made a miraculous recovery and is now strong, happy and healthy living with her adopted brother Ben, sister Star and sister Tess. Today, Miracle’s is a thriving charity, where animals come first.
Price: Christmas Dinner for a dog or cat costs £5 and a toy for a dog or cat also costs £5.
Eco Friendly Fashion Gifts
A sustainability gift guide wouldn’t be complete without two very extra special fashion brands. Sustainable, inclusive, colourful and bold, they made a difference. There were sustainable printed socks from Barekind that raised money for animal charities, and an inclusive diverse activewear brand who empowered its wearers. They showed that sustainable fashion wasn’t just about saving the planet, but about saving humans, animals and everything in between.
Anyone that met her knew that she was passionate about animals. After all, when she was older, she wanted to create an animal sanctuary for animals who needed a loving home. Whether they were a cat, or chicken, dog or cow, all would be welcome at her rescue retreat. She couldn’t describe the indescribable feeling she had being around animals. It felt like home. Being around animals is when she felt at her happiest, and she knew Christmas was no exception. This would be her first Christmas with her cats, and she was so excited to share it with them. But what did this have to do with fashion I hear you ask? Well Barekind combined her love for fashion, colour, and animals, in one gorgeous sock brand!
Good for the planet, animals, and humans, each pair of socks would donate proceeds to a special animal charity. For the two she had chosen, Save the Toucans would donate 10% of proceeds to Rainforest Trust UK, while Save the Seahorses donated to the Seahorse Trust. Bamboo socks to keep you warm in winter, and cool in summer, the sustainable socks were warm, and fuzzy inside. She already had Save the Turtles, and Save the Sloths, and wanted to help more animals/ aquatic life. The Toucan socks would also save parrots, something that she remember her grandparents having when she was younger. With teal blue, and green, the black, orange and white toucan contrasted beautifully with the red, yellow and blue parrots.
In contrast, Save the Seahorses was sea blue, and sunshine yellow, a beautiful shade. Other charities that Barekind supported included The Turtle Foundation, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and Farm Animal Sanctuary. For the last two years she had felt priviledged to support Barekind in their mission to save the animals, and she had no signs of slowing down. It was important to note that buying their socks wasn’t just for Christmas. They needed help all year round. Still, Christmas was the perfect sesason to gift your animal obsessed loved one with eco-friendly gift ideas that were budget friendly.
One thing she noticed when buying from sustainable brands, is that companies felt like a family. The products were made with love, and each worker was treated with fairness and compassion. A sentiment echoed by TLC Sport, they knew the names of the men who spun their bespoke fabric, and the children’s names of the ladies who stitched their seams. An inclusive sportswear brand, it was founded by Sara in 1986, who was passionate about building confidence in women. She certainly felt confident in her medium compression leggings. With flattering leg panels in navy, and burgundy, the leggings were made from a super-stretch, lightweight fabric. With a slow slung waistband, it was surprisingly comfortable.
It almost felt like second skin, something many other reviewers would agree with. Figure enhancing, sizing ranging from XSS to 4X, meaning there was something for everyone. There was even a maternity collection for mothers to be who wanted comfortable leggings during pregnancy. Sizing was inclusive; you could shop by your shape (whether you were rectangle, pear shaped or an apple). Alternatively you could even choose the compression of your leggings. But why was that important? Well, compression leggings helped support and stabilize your muscles while you trained, absorbing some of the strain. What’s more it would increase blood flow and muscle oxygenation, speeding up the muscle repair process, and reducing muscle fatigue after workouts.
She sat on her yoga mat thoughtfully, allowing her eyes to close as she shut the world out around her. As someone who was suffering with depression and anxiety, she found it difficult to feel calm, and relaxed. Especially during the Christmas season with its never ending overwhelm. She arched her back, before transcending into Child’s Pose, feeling her back stretch out with satisfaction. As she went through the rotation of yoga poses for anxiety, she felt slightly calmer. Her Fitbit tracked her breathing, slowing down, until she was calm again. At last, she felt present. In her burgundy leggings, and matching top, she finished the rest of her yoga routine, with a side of mindfulness and meditation. After all, wasn’t Christmas all about self-care?
What Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas Do You Have On Your Wishlist?
Please note I was gifted these products in exchange for inclusion in my gift guide, but all thoughts are my own. This is with the exception of Stitch Sainte Luce, and Miracle’s Mission who are charities.