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.
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
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.
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.