Compassionate Christmas Gift Ideas
There are 35 days left until Christmas and the gift lists are coming out. With about two weeks left to order online in time to have the presents wrapped under the tree or packed before you head off on your holiday, I've comprised a list of 15 ethical gift options for the compassionate and eco-minded consumer.
Below are ten brands I admire and five minimal waste options for those who want to avoid resource waste or buying someone something they don't want.
Brands to support
Inspirationery notebook pack
An eco-luxe stationery label made from environmentally-friendly materials that donate 50% of profits to women's education and leadership programs through reputable organisations such as Plan International Australia and CARE Australia.
Pana Chocolate Merry Christmas Gift Pack
Fairtrade, vegan and organic certified, they produce handmade, raw chocolate that's soy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free. Decadent beyond imagination and able to be enjoyed by anyone.
Sienna Byron Bay nail polish Spring Pastels Pack
Vegan and cruelty-free polish made without the five major carcinogens found in mainstream nail polish brands. Made all from animal-friendly and eco-friendly materials, even the lid is handmade from non-native trees that are felled for forest sustainability. Their packs make perfect gifts!
Saheli Designs clutch
A micro-enterprise selling hand embroidered fashion accessories from rural Rajasthan, India in partnership with a local NGO providing of a variety women's empowerment projects. Started with a small crowdfunding campaign, the brand produces small batches of unique and vegan handbags, belts, necklaces and more.
In The Soulshine tote bag
Vegan merch ethically made in Bali. They make high-quality tops and bags with trendy vegan slogans, so you can share a message of compassion and kindness, knowing nobody was harmed in the making.
Ettitude sheet set
Eco-bedding made from bamboo lyocell, bamboo is high-yield with low water use. So not only is switching to bamboo bedding better for the environment and labour issues relating to cotton harvest, Ettitude also backs two charities: Swags for Homeless and One Girl.
A Matt & Nat wallet
A high-end vegan leather brand. The inner linings are made from recycled plastic bottles. They're made in China but the website states they only use partners with SA8000 standard certification that guarantees human rights protections in the factories.
Coconut bowls are made in Indonesia from the coconuts harvested each year for coconut oil, coconut water and coconut meat products. They are hand carved and finished with coconut oil, so are made 100% from natural materials and a great way of upcycling what would otherwise be trash. While they're not Fairtrade certified the company states they follow Fair Trade principles.
Bhumi Organic Cotton underwear
Fairtrade and organic certified cotton bedding, linens and basics. You can grab comfortable, non-toxic, eco-friendly packs of undies or yoga wear and know nobody was harmed in a sweatshop just to cover your butt.
Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Safia Minney
Safia Minney is Queen of the Fairtrade fashion movement. Founder of People Tree and one of the minds behind The True Cost Movie. "This book curates pioneering people and projects that will inspire you to be part of the change."
Jars of package-free sweets
Head to a bulk store, stock up on vegan chocolate, then stick it in a jar you already own! Done-zo. Something consumable, no packaging used and the gift recipient can reuse the jar as many times as they need!
An experience! And a luxe one that people often feel guilty paying for themselves. Booking a massage is a great way to say "I love you" without handing them anything physical. Everybody will want this gift.
A voucher or handmade coupon for dinner at a restaurant they'll love
Treat someone out to a dinner for two, on you! A handwritten card saying "IOU one dinner at ___" is a great option to give someone an experience they'll genuinely want. Everybody's gotta eat, and a dine-in meal uses less disposable waste. Bonus points if you don't use straws or napkins.
DIY infused scents
Another gift you can make with glass jars. Follow the link for recipes! You simply add all the ingredients to infuse the scent, then the recipient pops it in a corner and it fills their room with sweet, sweet scents. And once it's used, the jar is again up for reuse.
Live music tickets
The classic experience gift. Tickets to a band you love is an experience you remember for a lifetime, and today most tickets are digital so there's no waste produced at all despite it being one of the best gifts in existence.