Ok, so I know that lots of businesses are giving you ethical gift ideas at the moment but this guide is different – I’m not plugging our products (although I’d love you to visit our shop and buy some!), I’m talking to you about brands and products I know personally. I try to shop ethically whenever I can so I have come across some great brands. If I’ve bought from them myself I will spill the beans. Hopefully this will help you shop ethically and easily, and find some fantastic gifts too. In no particular order…..
What Daisy Did (Leather bags and purses)
What Daisy Did is a fellow BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) member and has some fantastic bags and purses – all made from factory waste or ethically sourced leather. I love the Carnival collection (factory waste) and have bought 2 items – the Rita purse and the Maggie Mae Messenger. I’ve had the Rita purse for a while now and it’s still going strong. I bought the messenger bag earlier this year – it’s perfect for carrying my ipad and other necessities to meetings. Here is mine, which is now well used. It looks great with our Tortoise Print scarf – oh how did that sneak in there?
You can find What Daisy Did at www.whatdaisydid.com.
Peopletree (Ladies fashion)
I LOVE Peopletree and have been a customer of theirs since they first started out. I particularly love their dresses which have beautiful prints on organic, fairtrade cotton fabric. This is probably my favourite….. it’s bright red with owls on, but I do have (ahem) one or two others. You can find their shop at www.peopletree.com
Arthur and Henry (Men’s shirts)
Arthur and Henry sell shirts, lots and lots of shirts. All their cotton is organic and most of their range is certified Fairtrade too. I bought my husband one of their plain white shirts for work – but they have stripes, patterns, colours and there is even a sale on right now! Founded by a brother and sister, the company focusses on producing great shirts – a staple for most men – with a strong ethical ethos. Fab company. Find them at www.arthurandhenry.com.
Madge Hatter (Stocking fillers)
Madge Hatter is about fabric flowers. It can be a on a hat, brooch, hairclip, headband or just in a vase…. We worked with Madge Hatter as part of our ‘no waste’ programme. They took a big pile of scrap offcuts from our denim children’s clothes collection and turned them into beautiful brooches and hairclips. They also have a strong recycling policy – many of their products are created using discarded clothing – they have a wonderful selection of flowers made from old ties! I’ve bought brooches and clips in the past but this Christmas I have bought some kits for my crafty friends (people who like craft, not my devious friends….). Everything you need to create your own flower brooch – materials, instructions etc is included. You can buy these on etsy at Madge Hatter.
This is the ultimate indulgence for yourself, or as a gift for a friend or loved one. A box of ethical goodies such as chocolates, bath items and maybe even a handmade scarf (ooh I wonder where that came from?) that turns up every month. What a treat! Find out more at www.pamperparcels.co.uk.
I could go on all day about the fantastic ethical brands out there. Treasured Pens (www.treasuredpens.co.uk) is a Suffolk company who create handmade pens – they can even engrave them. I’ve bought four, one for myself and the rest as gifts – fantastic. I’ve recently bought a beautiful, soft jumper and hat from Mamacha (www.mamacha.co.uk) All their garments are made using alpaca wool and their work provides regular employment for women in empoverished parts of Peru. The jumper is lovely and soft – I’m actually wearing it right now! I’m also a fan of BAM (www.bambooclothing.co.uk) for all items bamboo (but for me its their soft, comfortable tops) and I like Howies (www.howies.co.uk) for sports gear – they use merino wool, organic cotton and recycled fibres. I bought several running tops which I am very happy with (although they don’t make me run any faster….). A great stocking filler idea for the chaps is Friendly Socks (www.friendlysocks.com) – the socks button together so they can’t get lost in the wash! Bamboo too so less of the sweaty feet…..
If there is someone on your list who isn’t covered by my ideas then I suggest you head on over to Ethical Consumer. They’ve published a great ethical gift guide and also a Christmas High Street Guide if you are going to go out shopping and want to find the most ethical places.