It’s that time of year again, when the pressure to prove our affection for our loved ones through a purchase can lead to all sorts of dubious shopping choices. If you’re planning to celebrate with the usual shower of gifts, it is possible to turn the traditional orgy of consumption and waste into a festival of ethical purchasing power with just a little thought. We take a look at just a few of the more sustainable gift options available.
The Art of Repair scarf, The Shop Floor Project, £95
This fine, hand-spun, naturally dyed wool scarf celebrates the essence of slow fashion. Inspired by patterns found in repeatedly repaired, patched and restitched heirloom Japanese textiles, the range’s signature contrasting blocks of colour create a bold design that won’t date because it’s already redolent of the love, care and custodianship of generations. Launched with a 2013 exhibition, The Fabric of Life, in an ancient French chateaux, the three designs in the range are expertly hand-woven in the Khadi tradition by a studio of skilled female artisans.
Hemp Tropical Bubblebath, Yaoh, £6
This year, why not seek out the best possible toiletries rather than being seduced by fancy packaging? Yaoh’s organic hemp seed oil tropical bubble bath is both vegan and free from nasties like sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens, petroleum extracts and other harmful and unnecessary additives. Combining moisturising fresh organic hemp seed oil with rejuvenating natural mango and coconut essences, it creates an exotic and relaxing soak. Not tested on animals, Yaoh products all bear the Vegan Society trademark, and the small British company supports PETA and Animal Aid.
Cashmere & merino wool ‘cabbage’ jumper, Sir Plus, £85
Sir Plus – geddit? This gorgeous, classic, masculine cable-knit sweater is made entirely from ‘cabbage’ – the clothing industry nickname for offcuts, ends of rolls and other surplus materials, by a small London company specialising in repurposing this ‘waste’ into a full range of quality menswear. The rustic styling and the cheeky offcut elbow patches highlight its ‘green’ credentials but this is no gimmick – 30% cashmere and 70% merino wool sourced from luxury manufacturers make for a superior, durable garment that will look good for years.
Sensitive Shave Cream, Bulldog, £4
This UK company specialises in ethical, vegan toiletries specifically for men. Priding itself on combining amazing natural ingredients in unique formulations to provide superior skincare, it never uses parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances and all the products are labelled in detail for complete transparency. Bulldog is endorsed by BUAV and the Vegetarian Society and is a Good Shopping Guide Ethical Company. This gentle cream was praised by Men’s Health for its soothing aloe vera and green tea formulation.
For him or her:
Peasy slippers, Po Zu, £79
If it seems to be slippers every year, perhaps it’s time to stop buying mass-produced ‘novelty’ ones and invest instead in something that will stay warm, comfy and beautiful for years. Handmade in Portugal by UK green footwear pioneers Pu Zu (founder Sven Segal won Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2012 People and Environment Achievement Awards) this clever, convertible slipper is made from chrome-free suede and felt wool and features the company’s revolutionary coir and latex “foot mattress” and a waterproof latex sole. Which is just as well, because you won’t want to take them off.
And finally for her, don’t forget a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes
Beyond Skin 100% Vegan the ultimate Deeper luxury , ethical vegan ladies shoes for the discerning and style-led that care about our world.
A very Merry Sustainable Christmas !