With so much on offer, how do you choose a worthy gift for a valued friend or family member? And what can you get that you know they’ll love and that aligns with your ethical and environmental values? There are plenty of sustainability-conscious brands stocking great gifts that give back; be that the profits donated to charity, through the company’s work in the local community, or their labour and environmental practices. I’ve rounded up a few examples of perfect presents that are more than just a gift…
Beauty & Skin Care
1. Haeckles unisex skin care and fragrance
Haeckels is an amazing natural fragrance and skin care brand based in Margate, focused on responsibly sourcing local botanicals from the English coastlines they work to protect. Founded by Dom Bridges in 2012 with the vision to produce simple, hand crafted and natural products. They hold one of only two licenses in England to harvest seaweed and take great pride in cleaning and caring for the coastline, organising beach cleans and taking part in marine conservation. Their products are tested on themselves, with no animals involved. And all bottles are glass not plastic, so the majority of them are reusable and recyclable.
Haeckels have a number of great gifts for him, her and the home. Some of my favourites picture above:
- Seaweed and sea buckthorn body cleanser – £34 – filled with natural antioxidants and vitamins helping to purify and refresh the skin
- Sailors beard oil – £34 – the perfect gift for him, this naturally hydrating oil with seaweed and vitamin E with help to repair and protect sensitive skin and smooth the beard
- Seaweed and geranium hand balm – £18 – I have this beautiful hand cream and I must admit, I usually stay clear of hand cream as I HATE my hands feeling greasy but in winter this is great for avoiding dry skin!
Shop here: http://haeckels.co.uk/shop/
2. Green People butterfly conservation gift sets
Green People are one of the UK’s most loved natural and organic skin care brands. Founded in 1997 with the same principles, Green People promises to never use aggressive ingredients or synthetic chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, or alcohol, or synthetic fragrances or colourants, and to never test on animals.
10% of their net profit each year is donated to charitable causes, such as the Marine Conservation Society, Penny Brohn Cancer Care, and Chestnut Tree House. A donation is also made to Butterfly Conservation with every sale of their special edition sets to protect British butterflies, moths, and the environment.
The men’s Energise set includes natural hair and body washes, blended with mint, eucalyptus, orange and clove. The women’s Joyful set comprises of an organic body wash and body lotion with a mood-lifting tangerine and cypress aroma.
Shop Green People here: https://www.greenpeople.co.uk
Apparel & Accessories
1. BIBICO’s handmade socks
BIBICO have brought out a cosy collection of hand made knitted socks for snuggly nights in this winter. They are all 100% wool and hand made by the womens cooperative in Nepal the company have worked with for over 8 years. Bibico are focused a “back to basics” approach to fashion, creating timeless, high-quality pieces to last a lifetime. They also ensure the people that produce their clothes are paid a fair wage and that they work in a safe environment. Bibico work with two women’s cooperatives that are both fair trade certified by the WFTO. The cooperatives provide women with training, education and work, empowering them to move themselves and their children forward and out of the world of poverty.
Shop Bibico’s socks here: http://www.bibico.co.uk/collections/socks
2. Matt & Nat’s HOPE charity bag
Matt & Nat are an eco-conscious vegan accessories company. They experiment with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, the company has been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. And as PU is less harmful for the environment than PVC, they make it a point to use it whenever possible.
100% of the purchase price of the beautiful little HOPE bag picture above (excluding taxes and shipping) goes to a charity of your choice. You can choose from the following: Friends of the Earth, Dans La Rue, Fauna Foundation, Girls Action Foundation, Keep A Breast Foundation, Magic Bus, Sunrise Sanctuary or Wild Tomorrow Fund!
The HOPE charity campaign was first introduced in 2015, and in the first season they managed to raise $70,000 for the five charities involved. Matt & Nat are now in the second season with a new bag and a few more charities. They have selected charities they feel best represent and share their brand mission and beliefs. Find out more here: http://mattandnat.com/the-history-of-the-hope-charities/
Shop the HOPE bag: http://mattandnat.com/shop/hope-bag-2016
3. Apolis global citizen customisable tote bag
Apolis have released a reusable, customisable, market bag. Handcrafted in Bangladesh by a womens cooperative with working mums paid fair trade wages, and then finished in California only a few miles from Apolis HQ. The lining is waterproof and the natural vegetable-tanned leather straps are reinforced by antique nickel rivets, making it perfect for the unpredictable British weather! Add up to three lines of text to make it personal, or go for one of their pre-selected options like the Brockley bag below.
Apolis are a B-Corporation with an “Advocacy Through Industry” model founded on the idea that people can live better lives when they are given equal access to the global marketplace. Apolis, pronounced uh–paul–is, actually means “global citizen.” and represents their vision to be a socially motivated lifestyle brand that empowers communities worldwide.
Click here to find out more and shop the market bag: http://www.apolisglobal.com/
Lifestyle & Homeware
1. Liforme’s eco yoga mat
Liforme provide eco-friendly yoga mats that help you stay centered throughout your practice. The founder James Armitage spent 5 years developing the Liforme mat in collaboration with suppliers in China, who he continues to spend a great deal of time with to ensure ethical and environmental practices. The bulk of the Liforme mat is made of a natural rubber which is biodegradable, unlike PVC mats that will sit in landfill for years and years. And they have also taken steps to ensure the packaging and delivery process is as efficient as possible; with three strategically placed warehouses and a carbon neutral logistics company.
This mat is the perfect present for a yogi. Their AlignForMe system helps you navigate between the intelligent markers on the mat, indicating where you should place yourself during your flow – so it’s also great for someone just getting into yoga too. This gift also gives back to the receiver as typical PVC yoga mats have been found to have serious health implications; for example the phthalates in the PVC has been linked cancer and infertility, and often irritate the eyes, skin and nose, can cause headaches and nausea, and contribute to the incidence of asthma! I’m currently working on a post about eco yoga mats and their health, wellbeing and environmental benefits, including a review of my amazing Liforme mat!
Get yours here: https://liforme.com/liforme-yoga-mat.html
2. ARTHOUSE Meath homeware collections
ARTHOUSE Meath work with talented men and women suffering from complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. More than 70 artist work alongside instructors to produce homeware, clothing, gifts and accessories in a safe environment supported by the Meath Epilepsy Charity. They provide a platform for people who are often marginalised to learn new skills, meet new people, and produce high-quality products. 100% of sales revenue goes towards sustaining the enterprise, helping it to grow and evolve.
Textiles, like the cushion and tea towel picture, are usually 100% cotton. Candles are made using organic plant wax with no animal or paraffin-devised ingredients. You can also see the artist responsible for the image on each product page.
Follow the link to find out more: http://www.arthousemeath.com
Food & Drink
1. Bah! Humbugs by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
All profits from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies sales go to the Ministry of Stories, a creative writing and mentoring charity for young people. The charity aims to help build confidence, self-respect and communication skills for young writers, and they are largely dependent on their network of volunteers to run school workshops and writing clubs. They also offer innovative writing programmes and one-to-one mentoring.
Get your Bah! Humbugs here: http://www.monstersupplies.org
2. Barrett’s Ridge beer bread
Barrett’s Ridge want to bring back bread. A fresh, tasty loaf to be shared between family and friends. A proudly South African product, not only is Barrett’s Ridge certified fair trade, they also give back to the local community in many ways.
The bag is handcrafted, reusable and created by the lovely ladies of the Deaf Hands at Work, a team of hearing and deaf people passionate about training and employing those living with disabilities.
The product is packaged at Ukama Holdings, which provides training, mentorship and support to black-owned micro-enterprises. Barrett’s Ridge is also a big supporter of the Ukama Community Foundation, which currently helps to feed 130 children every day, providing care packages at Easter and Christmas.
Get yours on the Ethical Superstore’s website now: http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/products/barrett-s-ridge/
Which are your favourites? What other gifts have you found that give back? What would you like me to write about next? Let me know by commenting below!